Tag Archives: miasma

44. Confrontation

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis


Ruarther stopped his struggling inside
The golden dragon’s claws. They did not bite
Into his flesh or even make him feel
Uncomfortable, although the ground below
Sped by so fast it made his stomach churn.
He looked at how the other dragons flew,
Their eyes intense upon horizons set
Beyond his human sight, and looked in wonder
At how the human dragon with her scales
So bright with rainbow light it hurt his eyes
Flew like the dragons flew, her wings a steady
Beat, driving her toward the village where
Her father’s death had made her mother flee.

The spirit bear was just behind him, surfing
An eddy from the world of whirling vortex.
Behind him weirding bridging life and death
Swirled madly in the morning’s normal skies,
A song unnatural within the world,
A wrongness brought to life upon a day
Unlike another day from history.
Ruarther held his self, inside the talons.
Inviolate from spirit bear possession.
What was a human man, who’d lived the wrongness
That he had lived, do when a dragon grabbed
Him, lifted him to flight, and let him live
In spite of all the evil that he’d done?
He looked toward the human rainbow dragon
And wondered why he’d been fanatically
Determined that she had to die if humans
Were destined to continue with their stories.
The cold miasma following their flight
Was like a nightmare, troubling the madness
Inside the morning’s skies and shining light.

He kept himself as still as possible.
The golden dragon’s flight was way too high
To fall from if he valued living life.
Without a weapon, what role could he play
If he was dropped inside the village fighting
Against the ravages of dragon war?


The clashing din of war was obvious
Before Ssruuanne could see the devastation
She sensed as dragons battled villagers.
Then Mirrimann’s wings started moving faster.
A violet dragon, Sshisshiton, who’d left
The conclave he had called to end the madness
Sshruunak had generated from his rage,
Was on the ground, her wounds so great she drooped
Her head and did not look to see the sky
Completely full of dragons from the caves.
The tension in Ssruuanne reflected sounds
of battle now so loud it innudated
The universe and silenced miasma’s song
That followed them toward the tragedy
Now raging at the human’s small stone village.
Below her dire wolves howled to smell the blood
Of dragons and their human foes in air.

Then Mirrimann roared louder than he’d known
That he could roar. The other dragons echoed
The power inside Mirrimann as dragons
Aflame from burning human arrows danced
In skies and plunged toward the human archers
That bent their bows and sent their deadly flame
Into the scales of dragon hides, pain roiling
The dragons and the humans as they died
From injuries inflicted by Sshruunak’s
Mad war that had no chance for victory.

A dragon flung a human archer high
Into the air as roaring filled the skies.
Miasma’s silent roar of sound entwined
Into the battle’s roar, the dragon’s roaring,
And seemed to leap toward the chaos raging
Above the cottages and forest trees.
Deep in Ssruanne she felt the prophecy
That Mmirrimann had said in conclave, warning
About extinction for the dragon race.
She keened her sorrow at the sight of dragons
And humans battling toward their deaths.
Her keening made Ruarther, held by talons,
Squirm, trying to escape her talons’ grip.

Enraged, an ancient dragon male who’d led
The mountain dragons during all their years
Of peace inside the caves, a hurtling Mmirrimann
Flew like an arrow at Sshruunak’s black scales.
The coal black dragon felt his leader’s charge
And turned toward the threat he’d never thought
He’d have to face, his belly scales on fire,
His pain and rage so great the world seemed red
And violent in a mind unhooked from thought.

Miasma flowed toward the battlefield.
Once living spirits teemed and swirled in clouds
Of mourning, searching for the living light
Where absolution could absolve their spirits
Of darkness and the flowing cauldron central
To individuality’s privation.
The earth quaked in the shivering blood calls
From dire wolves’s gleaming, hungry, dull red eyes.

To listen to this passage, click on Confrontation

Note: This is the forty fourth passage of a long narrative poem, which has grown into The Dragon Epic. Originally inspired by John Keats’ long narrative poem, Lamia, it tells a story set in ancient times when dragons and humans were at peace. Click on the numbers below to reach other sections, or go to the Categories box to the right under The Dragon Epic. Click on Dragonflies, Dragons and Her Mother’s Death to go to the beginning and read forward. Go to The Dire Wolves to read the passage before this one. To read the passage after this one, click on Before the End of the World.


Filed under The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

43. The Dire Wolves

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis


The dire wolves, eyes as glittering as suns,
Began to gather in the hills and forests,
Great packs that knew of dragon, human wars
And salivated at destruction where
They would relieve the earth of carrion.
Upon the crest of hills they started howling,
Their songs a haunting madness shivering
Their ravening into the day’s cold skies.

As Wei kept laboring to stay in flight
The voices of the wolves caused her to rise
Above the tallest treetops, dragons flanked
Around her as they rose up from the ground
And filled the skies with colored scales and wings
That thundered as they flew toward the village
Where dragons battled humans to the death.
How could a little girl be who she was?
Wei thought. The scales of light she wore outside
The human dragon that she was perturbed her,
Although she also held onto her sense
Of self inside the weirding of her life.

Beside her Mmirrimann kept humming songs
That seemed much older than the winter skies.
They seemed to reach into a time before
Time found its measuring, its arrow’s flow.
Below the two of them Ssruuanne swooped down
And grabbed a human in her massive claws
And lifted him into the winter skies.
His frightened yelp was faint inside the beat
Of steady dragon wings that sent the horde
Toward the village Wei had left while young.

A pack of dire wolves burst out from the woods,
Their movement slow compared to dragon flight,
But filled with bristling energies that sang
Of violent spirits empty of remorse.
Beside her Mmirrimann sniffed his disgust.


Toward the mountains, distant from the flight
Of dragons, huge, a wall of mist began
To anvil up into the day’s bright sky,
Inside the mist miasma whirled and sparked
As if it held a winter lightning storm.
Shades gloamed in dusk as chaos sang and gates
And boundaries began to shift and fray.
Inside the storm, inside her daughter’s spirit,
Wei’s mother, father waved their witching arms
And blotted out the shine of winter sun.


Ruanne could feel the storm. The great black dragon,
His claws extended, hurtled at the shelter
She calmly nestled into; strong, gray slate exploded,
His body’s strength so large it took away
Delusions of her safety, hammering
The cottage roof a half a dozen yards
Away from where she’d hid. She sent a bolt
Of energy out of her frightened spirit
Toward the massive dragon with his one good eye.
She felt another spurt of energy
Mesh with the bolt she’d sent, the two bolts strong
Enough to knock the dragon off the roof.
The dragon roared, crescendoing his voice
Into the muttered roars that punctuated
The battles flaming just above the rooftops.
She did not think, but notched a burning arrow,
Then sent it at a violet dragon’s scales.


Knocked to the ground, Sshruunak could feel the horde
Of dragons in the air, their eyes and necks
Strained at the melee in the war’s first skirmish.
He wondered at the feelings forcing him
To understand that all his plans were dashed,
And, like the night he’d lost his eye, his life
Was spinning to a grim reality
He’d not seen in the shining of his dreams.
He pounded wings into the sky and searched
For dragons flying to the humans’ rescue.
A single light burned in the front of scores
Of dragons humming ancient warrior songs.
The rainbow of the light was much too bright
To countenance. Behind its fire the skies
Above the mountains roiled with spirit beasts
And chaos borne upon the winds he’d made
To start the glory of his dragon human war.

He saw his followers were scorched by flames.
The burning underneath his scales seared pain
Into his mind’s slow, sluggish desperation.
What should he do? he thought. What could he do?
He could not, would not lose the war he’d made.


A shock made Wei forget to keep her wings
In motion as she navigated currents
Above, below her shining dragon body.
Ruanne’s thoughts rang in Wei and made the world
Seem brighter than the possibilities that trembled
As dragons filled the skies with who they were.
The great black dragon fell and then was up
And raging at his puny human foes.
His followers were shaken by the fires
That gouged into their scales and weakened them.
Wei sent her dragon human powers deep
Into the stream of power emanating
From where Ruanne sat dazed upon a roof
As roaring captured all the world in pain.
Behind her in the wild miasma’s storm
The universe seemed like a madhouse thrown
Into a time where time did not exist.

Sshruunak’s attacking dragons felt the song
That Mmirrimann, Ssruaanne, the others sang.
Wei flew beside her dragon kin and felt
Her mother’s spelling at the boundary
Where all eternity and history
Spun on the cusp of change so powerful
No being would be like they were before.

To listen to this passage, click on The Dire Wolves

Note: This is the forty third passage of a long narrative poem, which has grown into The Dragon Epic. Originally inspired by John Keats’ long narrative poem, Lamia, it tells a story set in ancient times when dragons and humans were at peace. Click on the numbers below to reach other sections, or go to the Categories box to the right under The Dragon Epic. Click on Dragonflies, Dragons and Her Mother’s Death to go to the beginning and read forward. Go to The Deadly Dragon Hordeto read the passage before this one. To read the next passage of the epic, click on Confrontation.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

33. Vertigo and the Moment of Sudden Truth


He woke as groggy as he’d ever felt
In all his life, miasma thick inside
The copse and deep inside his self.
The fire he’d built was smoldering as light
Crept through the branches to the snowy ground.
He forced himself to sit, then slowly stood,
The weirding powerful enough to change
The way the trees stood as he tried to find
His balance in a universe that seemed to roll
As if the land had waves beneath its soils.

I have to kill the witch’s child, he said
Into a wilderness that did not hear.

He bent and carefully picked up his bow
And sheaf of arrows, then walked warily
Out of the copse into the fields of snow
That climbed toward the mountains and the green
Of pines that snaked between the dark cliff rock.
He had to orient himself toward
The cabin where the witch had made her home,
But then felt better as he slowly made his way
Across the blinding fields of crusted white.

A half mile from the copse he felt a wave
Of nausea sweep through his body, hands
He could not see opposed to letting him
Continue on the path he’d set himself.

The witch, he thought. She’d died. The dragon said
She’d died, but she had used the spirit bear
To forge a link out of the chaos wild
With death and nothingness and willed his will
To falter as she made the universe before
Him toss and turn into a whirling wall.

How could I know what’s going on? he thought.

And then he saw the spirit bear refracted
Out of his walking body on the snow.
His arm hair stirred with skin that tingled fear
Into the coldness of the snow and light.
He’d lost the battle that he’d thought he’d won.
He’d sent the bear into the nothingness
Out of the who of who he was, the man,
But now he was Ruarther and the bear.
He was a monster walking on the earth.
He looked again and felt the shadow bear
Beside him as he walked across the snow.

What should he do? he thought. What could he do?
The witch and bear were locked in mortal combat,
And he was in the center buffeted
By forces greater than mortality
Could hope to face and still survive intact.


Ruanne froze as her hand reached for a nail.
A vertigo so powerful it stunned
Her made her freeze upon the steep sloped roof
Where she was working on a shelter made
To hold a bowman who could shoot his arrows
At roaring dragons with a hope he’d live
When claws or fire came raking from the sky.

The voice that filled her mind was not the voice
Of Mmirrimann, but even larger, singing
With powers amplified by centuries
Of dragon elders taking care of dragons
In spite of all the awful human/dragon wars.
The dragon looked at her, evaluating
The woman that she was, and sighed so deeply
The sigh seemed dredged from all eternity.

“I am Ssruanne,” the dragon slowly said.

The golden dragon’s eyes blinked twice, and then
Ruanne was in the fields of blinding snow.
Ruarther, sheltering a spirit bear
Much larger than his body, eyes as red
As blood inside his veins, stood stunned, his life
Undone by knowing that he’d let the bear
Inside of him in spite of what he’d thought he’d done.

Without a thought Ruanne screamed out, “Ruarther!”
The village workers stopped their preparations
For dragon war and stared at how she stood
Upon the roof, her body aimed toward the mountains.

Ssruanne conducted all the power streamed
Into Ruanne’s wild cry toward Ruarther.
She shattered through the whirling chaos dancing
In waves around the hunter’s muddled head.


Ruarther felt a wave of raging love
Slam at the spirit bear inside of him.
He felt the bear’s fierce spirit spit a spume
Of hatred at the cry that pierced it like
An arrow singing from Ruarther’s bow.
He stood up straight. The winter air was clear
Of all the whirling that made the morning
Miasmic, filled with chaos, hatred, loss…
He felt as if he’d found himself and shrugged
The forces centering into his body out
Into a universe he could not know or see.

He looked toward the mountains, and the trees
He’d not seen lost inside the cold miasma.
He felt as if he was a child at night
Who was alone as dire wolves howled their hunger
Toward the darkness of an unseen moon.

A mile away a small stone cabin stood
Alone inside a wilderness that seemed alive
With songs too powerful for stone to silence.
He felt as if he’d starved himself for days.
He knew he’d reached the cottage that he’d sought
So angrily and single-mindedly.
He could not see the witch’s child outside,
But smoke was rising from the cottage fireplace.
He knelt down on the snow and took an arrow
And notched it on the bow’s taut, ready string.

He’d show the golden dragon that his heart
Was strong enough to mock her dragon fire,
He thought. He’d found the witches’ child she’d tried
To make him save from winter’s deadly storms.

To listen to this section of the epic, click on Vertigo and the Moment of Truth

Note: This is the thirty-third section of a long narrative poem, which has grown into The Dragon Epic. Inspired by John Keats’ long narrative poem, Lamia, it tells a story set in ancient times when dragons and humans were at peace. Click on the numbers below to reach other sections, or go to the Categories box to the right under The Dragon Epic. Click on Dragonflies, Dragons and Her Mother’s Death to go to the beginning and read forward. Go to Mmirrimann Inside the Conclave He Called to go to the section previous to this one.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis, Uncategorized