Tag Archives: preparations for war

41. Fate and Sentinels

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis


As Cragdon stood upon the field stone wall,
He felt a wind so cold it drove through flesh.
The weirding in the wind came harrowing
Into his spirit, forcing him to hunch
Against the battering that rolled from mountains,
Past where he stood, into the village humans.
He strained to see the dragons in the skies
Ruanne had said were coming full of rage.
The men had taken up positions meant
To let them fling their arrows from a wall
That would not burn when dragon flame belched out
Toward the vulnerability of human flesh.
The mothers had their children hidden, buried
Beneath the slabs of stone beneath the floors
Of cottages built when the dragon wars
Were devastating human, dragon lives.

He straightened up against the chilling wind
And thought about the blackness of the dragon
He’d fought beside Ruarther in the dark.
Inside Ruanne’s small cottage, dragon eyes had slammed
Into his spirit, forcing him to fall,
But now he stood determined, stronger than
He’d been just weeks ago, a warrior armed
With weapons that he’d use to fight the evil
Swooped raging from a night-black silver sky.
He felt the dragons even though he saw
No trace of dragons in the morning light.

He shifted on the wall and tried to see
Beyond the distance walling in the sky.
He’d fought a dragon once, he told himself.
They’d not use claws and fires to devastate
Ruanne and all the men who’d sought him when
He’d stumbled through the blinding of the snow.
He’d use what strength he had to shield his wife
And child against the possibilities
Horrendous in the wheel of human fate.


The black rage boiled at Mmirrimann and stirred
His blood to mindlessness, Sshruunak’s rebellion
A seething hatred as he turned away
From what the human girl had generated
Out of her mother’s need and looked toward
The mountain skies where dragons rose to war.
Ssuranne, beside him, stared at him in silence.
She stood beside the human rainbow dragon
And waited as he conquered mindless rage
And started calculating what response
Made sense as miracle confronted fate–
Tinged with the promise of extinction facing
Continuance of all of dragonkind.

The other dragons, ringed around the girl
Transmuted to a dragon, seemed distraught,
Eyes shocked by feeling blackness ricocheted
Across the fields of snow, Sshruunak a nightmare
They’d thought would go away, but dreaded deep
Inside their in-most thoughts, rebellion woven
Into the history all dragons lived.
They seemed to hesitate as Mmirrimann
Decided what he’d do to meet the challenge
Sshruunak had sent into the dragon host.

“He’ll end the dragon race,” growled Mmirrimann.

“Responding will create a dragon war,”
Ssuranne replied, her thoughts intense and sickened.
“No dragon’s fought another dragon since
The Time of Mindlessness and Gorgon’s fight
To build the strength of dragon sentience.
We cannot fight the daughters and the sons
We saw break from their eggs into the light.”

The rainbow dragon, still pulsating light,
Looked calmly at the two of them, her changing
Done, humanness a part of who she was,
A dragon on a field where other dragons were.
Her song was softer than a dragon’s song,
Her voice so musical and clear is was
Like springtime winds whooshed through the leaves of trees.

“The dragon race will live,” she said. “The war
Will not disgrace the strength of who you are.”

She spread her multi-colored wings and drove
Them downwards as she rose inelegantly
Into the air above the frozen pond.


As Reestor lit the fires inside the pots
The men would use to light the arrows used
To splash flames over hardened dragon scales,
He cursed the day and said a heartfelt prayer
To Selen, hoping love could overcome
The pain and suffering about to bloom
Into the garden of the wondrous earth.
Ruanne, beside him, said no word, but sparked
The flame into the pot he placed beside
Each man, eyes grim with fear and strength of mind.
He could not hear the children hidden dark
Beneath the cottages, but knew they cried
And pleaded with their mothers for their love
As life became a dream they’d never dreamed
Would change their lives while they were still so young.
He thought about the horror of his father’s death
And wondered why the ancient horror marched
Alive into a time when wars were in the past.

He almost dropped the pot he held when flame
Flared up too high and almost singed his hand.
Ruanne just looked at him, still silent, scolding
Eyes wild with brewing, devastating spells.

Unsettled, Reestor looked toward the wall
Where Cragdon and the others strained their eyes
To see the dragons flying at the village.
Someone would see them coming, shout their warning,
And life would change from what it ought to be,
And nothing would be like it once had been.

To listen to this passage, click on Fate and Sentinels

Note: This is the forty first 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 Shock of Rage to read the passage before this one. To read the next passage in the epic click on The Deadly Dragon Horde.


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

30. Valley of the Scorched Black Stones

an epic poem, The Dragon Epic, by Thomas Davis

The great black dragon banked and hurtled down
Toward the ring of valley stones, his silence
So disciplined and fierce it seemed a fire
Inside his belly ready to be flamed.
Behind his plummeting Ssshraann and eight
Great dragons followed, silent, disciplined,
Intent on coming on their enemy
So unexpectedly that he would have no time
To organize an orderly defense.
A hundred feet above the stone, Sshruunak
Swerved hard, his flame scorched black into the circle
Inside the cold, black stones, and soared back up
Into the air, each dragon following,
Emitting flame at different spots pre-planned
Before the drill had started in the dark.
Around the stones the earth was bare and soft
In spite of ten foot snows inside the valley.

Sshruunak veered from the circle to a pattern
Where claws extended to the ground and flame
Burst down into the hordes of made-up men,
Death chortling inside his hearts as chaos
Defeated enemies as old as dragonkind.
Behind him every dragon took a pattern
That spiraled from the center out to points
Designed the make the enemy despair.
Sshruunak then trumpeted retreat and flew
Toward the rendezvous inside a hollow
Below a great, snow covered mountain peak.

Inside the hollow in a wind that howled,
He grinned to see each dragon land exactly
As he had ordered them to land, their eyes
Awhirl with colors fiery with delight.
The dragons planned. Their days of passiveness
Inside the mountain caves were nearly done.
The joy of rage and battle lust was burning
In dragon hearts and dragon strength again.

The eight great males around him waited, eyes
Locked on his eyes, their frenzy disciplined
By how he’d forged their senses to his will.

“We’re ready,” he announced, his triumph edged
Into his voice. “We’ll wait until the moon
Is new and blacker than my scales, then strike
The village near to where we’ve cowered all
The years since Mmirrimann invoked his peace.
We’ll see how strong our tactics are before
We use our skills and strength to decimate
The King of Tryon’s vaunted capital.”
He paused. “We’ll win this war and start to end
The human’s dominance,” he said. “But when
We burn the village to the ground, we need
To see that every human in the village dies.
We need to test what we have learned, but if
A single human gets away, they’ll flee
And warn the armies that the peace is done.
We won’t possess surprise, a weapon needed
With only nine to score a victory.
Ssruaane and Mmirrimann still lead the dragons.
To win the war we need the ones that hide
And live their lives in peace inside the caves.
To bring them to the war we have to kill
Each woman, child, and man inside the village
Or else face armies greater than our numbers
Can beat inside Tyron’s stone city gates.”

Stoormachen smiled and shook his head. “I am
A dragon male,” he said. “I won’t hold back
From tasting human blood and crunching bones.”

“We’ll hide until the night of darkness comes,”
Ssshraann said. “Then we’ll meet inside the circle,
As you have said and start another war.”

“We’ll end the human dominance and breed
Like dragons ought to breed in open air,”
Sshruunak said. “We will make an age that dragons
Will celebrate as long as dragons live!”

Stoormachen roared as nine great dragons let
Their voices smash into the mountainsides
And loose great tides of snow in avalanches
That roared back at their thunderous roars.

“To victory!” Sshruunak screeched. Then he flapped
His wings and shot into the air and flew
Toward the valley of the scorched black stones.

To listen to this section of the epic, click on Valley of the Scorched Black Stones

Note: This is the thirtieth 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 Another Dragon Scale to go to the section previous to this one. To read the next poem in the epic, click on Doubt


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis