Tag Archives: rage

The Patriarchic Dark

by Thomas Davis
a sonnet from the Waterkeeper’s sonnet cycle

 The old man stood inside the freezing dark
And watched the Indians in their makeshift camp.
He felt his age, an ancient patriarch
Who’s seen too much of living hard to tamp
The rage he felt into a discipline
The oilmen in their fancy suits and ties
Embraced each time their spokesmen put their spin
Upon the outrage in the Indian lies
That let them dance and sing and carry on
Their protests as the winter iced men’s blood
And civilization turned into a pawn
Of waterkeepers dredged from river mud.

Our Mother Earth, he sneered, then turned away.
The Law will win, he thought, and have its say.

Note: The Waterkeeper’s Sonnet Cycle is in honor of the protestors in North Dakota who are enduring harsh winter weather while still keeping their protest going.  This is the second sonnet in the cycle published here.

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39. To War! And Raging Dragon Hearts!

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

Above the earth, stars hard and bright against
The thin, cold blackness of the atmosphere,
Sshruunak felt faint from lack of oxygen.
The tug of gravity was powerful enough
To make him strain his wings to stay in flight,
And then he felt the weirding far below,
The swerve of history as rainbow light
Congealed into a dragon’s hardened scales
Around the heartbeat of a human girl.
From Mmirrimann an image filled with dread
And wonder seemed to dance before his eyes.
He felt outside the ganglia of minds
That sparked into connections buried deep
In dragon memories linked back to times
When solitary power filled the minds
Of dragons hid in solitary caves.

He felt a journeying that seemed outside
Of who he was, kaleidoscope of rage
Red-eyed, incensed that human brains could scurry
In bodies small as ants and still wrap him
With ropes that would not let him save himself.
He felt the memories of Mmirrimann
Begin to sing into the rainbow light
That haloed round his stratospheric flight…

And then, his self alive inside the old,
Dark dragon’s mind, the power surging out
Into connections not available
to younger dragons still involved in making
The self that would protect them from the songs
Miasma and the ancient memories
Could strike into a dragon’s hearts, Sshruunak
Exploded with a black, cold rage that slammed
Into the human woman linking him
And Mmirrimann, the human that had burned
An arrow deep into his eye, and humming
That throbbed from dragon spirits to a world
Upon the cusp of breaking from its egg
Into a newness never known before.

He felt the woman fall, saw the human evil
Beside a dragon in the snow fall down,
And heard the grumbling rage in Mmirrimann
Distract the ancient dragon from the light
Inside the field and force awareness, harsh,
To lock on Sshruunak’s seething bolt of rage.

As Mmirrimann’s awareness ricocheted
Back to Sshruunak, the younger dragon’s wings
Collapsed, and suddenly he fell as if
He’d lost what strength he had to have to fly.
He plunged toward the cold, hard mountain peaks,
His rage so great he could not make his wings
Flare outward, letting air support his weight
And finishing the free fall hurtling him
Toward a death he’d never contemplated.
He struggled as he fell and twisted, turned
Until, at last, he forced his wings to flare
Into the thickening of air as flight
Came back to him and let him feel control
And let him flatten out his flight above
The earth and let him feel alive again.

The line between the dragons in the field
And him was gone, and in its place he saw
He could not wait for night to start his war.
A miracle had caught cave dragons deep
Into a rainbow mesh they did not understand.
He could not let them extricate themselves
If he and all his followers were fated
To ever rid the earth of human evil.

He aimed toward the valley where black stones
Were charred with dragon fire and flew so swift
The air around him whistled from his flight.
The light was growing in the sky as shadows
Retreated from the slowly rising sun.
He shot his urgency into Stoormachen.

“The war has come!” he screeched inside his mind.
“We’ve got to make the war begin right now!”

Stoormachen startled from the shallow cave
He’d dug into the mountainside and looked
Into the sky to see Sshruunak’s black scales.
He seemed confused, unsure of what dark threat
Had changed the plans Sshruunak had drilled in him.

“We have to move!” Sshruunak repeated, wild
With edginess, afraid delay would end
Up ruining all the dreams he’d brewed inside
Since arrows buried fire into his eyes.
“The dragons and the humans are distracted.
The plans have changed. We’ve got to hurry! Move!”

Stoormachen spotted blackness in the sky,
Sshruunak’s flight swift enough to startle him.

The followers Sshruunak had gathered felt
A stirring in their spirits and their hearts.
They heard the urgency Stoormachen bleated
Into the mountain air and felt the fire
Of battle lust so suddenly inside
Their minds that they could barely see the boulders
Below them shining in the early sun.
They looked and saw Sshruunak’s wild flight and moved
Their wings to greet their leader’s urgency.
The time had come; the dragon’s legacy
Of fire and claws and mindless rage had come!
They watched Sshruunak plunge like a meteor
Into the valley’s eastern edge, his blackness
Contrasting vividly against blue skies.

“To war!” their leader roared. “To human death!
And fiery dragon flame and raging hearts!”

To listen to this passage, click on
To War! And Raging Dragon Hearts!

Note: This is the thirty-ninth 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 Mind’s Black Fire to read the passage before this one. To read the next passage in the epic, click on The Shock of Rage.

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Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

19. Brewing Dragon War

an epic poem by Thomas Davis

Inside his cave Sshruunak’s dark thoughts unleashed
A constant storm that pummeled him with lightning
As pain and anger raged with burning hatred.
He felt a fire so fierce it made scales burn
Into his flesh and scar his spirit’s song.

He’d let the healers come, extract the arrows,
And wrap his bloody eye with salve and webbing
Designed to let a membrane heal the wound,
But then he’d sent long streams of dragon fire
To singe all other males brave enough
To bring their fury to his cold, dark lair.
He brooded in the darkness like the worm
The humans once had said described his kind
And tried to find his balance in a world gone mad.
He’d always thought himself impervious
To any human wile and could not understand
How two small humans had defeated him
And made him flee the battle like a coward.

When old Williama came and stood outside
His cave and called to him, he snorted fire
And rumbled with his incoherent rage,
But chasing elders off was not as easy
As threatening the friends he’d had since birthing.
The old, dark dragon waited for his fire
To spend its breath, then came inside, her eyes
So wild with whirling colors that she seemed
As potent as Ssruanne upon the dais.
She stood in light made by her eyes and curled
Her lips so that her rows of teeth gleamed white
Inside the storm of hatred that he’d brewed.

“You’re hiding from yourself,” she said, her voice
A whipping blade of anger. “Now you know
Why peace was made before all dragonkind
Was lost to history and ancient myths.”

Sshruunak let silence stretch and coil
Into discomfort as the elder stood
And stared implacably at where his eye
Was blind, her stance aggressive, challenging.

“This universe cannot let dragons live
While humans breed like rabbits in the spring,”
He growled at last. “We live; they die, or else
They live, and we become an ancient myth.
You used the words; I spit them in your craw!”

Williama’s eyes grew more intense. She snorted,
A puff of fire flared out to light the cave.

“I was a fool,” she said. “I heard the geas Ssruanne
Called from the ancient spirits of our race
And let my hatred of the humans crush
My sentience and send you out to where
You were as big a fool as I when I
Called for destruction of the human girl.
When Mmirimann negotiated peace
I thought he was insane, but we are thriving
Inside these caves where once our numbers fell
Year after year through centuries of time.
The peace has got to hold. It’s got to hold.”

He stirred. “The young will follow me,” he said.
“I’ve heard their talk outside the cave for days.”

“You think you are a leader then?” she asked.
“Like Mmirimann? Ssruanne? The ones who made
It possible for us to live our lives
Without the threat of arrows in our eyes?”

The blackness in him stirred alive a force
More powerful than any dragon was.
It overwhelmed his pain and blindness, swept
Aside the reason in Williama’s voice,
And roared into the cave so loud the stones
Above their heads began to tremble, crack.

Inside the universe of sound Williama
Stood still, despair a wailing in her head
That echoed back into the times when dragons
Were solitary in their greediness.
Inside the cave Sshruunak seemed like a nightmare,
Wings black, his spirit black as shining wings.
She stared into the storm of who he was
And tried to find his sentience, the key
That could unlock the future of his kind
And let them all avoid a dragon war
Where young fought elders as their futures waned.

“You cannot kill the human girl,” she said.
“Ssruanne is eldest. She has seen the song
That’s gathering inside our dragon hearts.”

The silence was so sudden that it echoed.
He glared at her, his eyes so strong they seemed
As if they had the will to hypnotize all time.

“The humans who were brave enough to send
Their arrows in my eye are dead,” he said.
“A single dragon’s not the force that dragons
Assembled like a human army are.
Ssruanne’s girl took away my dragoness
And made me silent when I meant to speak.
She’s just as dead as those two hunters are.”

“Ssruanne and Mmirimann will fight against
Your craziness,” Wwilliama said. “The elders
Won’t easily forsake the future of our race.”

“The elders battling the young?” he sneered.
His blackness seemed to stretch outside the cave
Into the winter cold and coal black night.
“The young will win,” he said. “The young will win.”

“We’ll see,” Wwilliama answered, sadness like
A pool of water covering her spirit.
“We’ll see what dawn and dragon hearts will bring.”

She turned and left the cave. Sshruunak saw deep
Into the universe and saw the power
Of rage engulfing all the earth in flame.

“The hunters and the girl are dead,” he said.
“And if the elders have to die, they’ll die.”

Ssruanne would never use her geas on him.
Inside the darkness of his cave he saw
His blackness leading as a hundred dragons
Flew massed toward a village wrapped in peace.

Listen to an audio of this section of the epic: 19

Note: This is the ninteenth installment of a long narrative poem. 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 1 to go to the beginning and read forward. Go to 18 to read the installment before this one. Go to 20 to read the next section of the epic.

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Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

11. The Dragon’s Conclave

Ssruanne’s claws touched the ledge. The summons came.
She did not hesitate, but walked toward
The tunnel that would lead into the mountain.
She felt the gathering that moved before
Her through the caverns, tunnels, endless caves.
The movement of the mountain dragons seemed
More powerful than any storm the world
Has borne throughout its endless history.

She blanked her mind from thought and dream.
She hardly saw the other dragons as she joined
Into a stream of colors walking through
The ghostly lights the young ones mined from veins
Of crystal near the mountain’s granite cliffs.
The thunderous noise of dragons walking through
The tunnel’s passageways hummed through her bones.
The young girl’s eyes kept flickering and shining
Inside her consciousness. It made no sense,
But in her blood she felt the young girl’s heart.

The dragons parted as she walked into the cavern,
The sea of necks and spines, the glittering of eyes
Electric as a thousand lightning bolts.
Mmlynn’s bright eyes watched as her mother walked
Into the storm of fear surrounding her
And flinched to see her mother’s absent eyes.
Her mother looked as if her nightly dreams
Had entered day and burned with unwilled fire.

Ssruanne walked up toward the round, black dais
Where nine huge elders sat, their whirling eyes
Upon her as she did not hesitate,
But climbed the nine huge steps to tower over
The conclave’s rumbling, restless energy.
Upon the dais she turned to dragons she
Had known from when she’d quaked inside her egg.
She was the oldest. Still, the nine had lived
Through years of war with humans, then the moment
When dragon isolation ended deep
Inside this cavern in the mountain’s heart.

Old Mmirimann looked deep into her eyes,
His dark green eyes a swirl of radiance.
He turned his head toward the dragon sea.
Ssruanne’s eyes swept toward the ceiling where
The spoils of other ages were embedded
In melted stone, then looked down at the silence
That had descended as bright dragon eyes
Stared in their thousands at the place she stood.
She felt the bristling of thought and fear inside
The minds behind the eyes, the wondering
That after all these years her dreams were powerful
Enough to bring them to this spirit place.

“You’ve dreamed. We’ve felt the prophecy of dreams,”
Old Mmirimann said, thundering in silence.

Dread rose like bile into Ssruanne, her hearts.
She felt the child inside the cavern, saw her hands
Weave light as if the light was more than light
As boundaries between the universes
That could not ever bridge were bridged and songs
Not of this world were echoed from the past
And future in repeating symphonies.
Her thoughts flowed out of her into the thoughts
Of every dragon there as long necks swayed
In rhythm to the storm her thoughts had made.
A moan rose from the gathered dragons strong
Enough to tremble rock inside the mountain.

Dismayed, Wwilliama, standing next to where
Old Mmirimann’s eyes whirled emotions dense
With fear into cavern’s echoing,
Cried out, “the human girl must die!” as males
Throughout the cavern roared assent and rage
The way Mmlynn had said they would the night
She’d forced Ssruanne to tell about her dreams.

The girl’s blood beat inside Ssruanne’s two hearts.
The girl won’t die, she said inside herself.
Her thought had power like the power burned
Into the light that flowed from young girl’s hands.
It cut into the rage and silenced it.
The nine old dragons looked at her, eyes shocked.
No one had ever silenced dragon rage
In all the ages dragons had existed.

“Your foolishness will bring about our doom.”
Ssruanne was shocked to hear her voice ring out
Outside the working of intent or will.
The voice of prophecy was in her words.
“New days are coming on all dragonkind.
The human girl is part of powers stronger
Than fire and claw. She will not, cannot die!”

The silence was intense, devouring thought.

“The males cannot accept your dreams,” Sshruunak,
The leader of the young males boomed into the silence,
His great voice raw and ugly in the cavern.
Black scales shined power from his whirling eyes.
His neck was rigid challenging Ssruanne.

“The girl is one of us,” the voice of prophecy
Said, slicing once again through strength and rage.

Sshruunak’s great head swayed, fear replacing rage.
He tried to speak, but could not speak, the geas
Of prophecy so powerful it shattered
His will and forced a silence in his hearts.
He forced his legs to move and bumped against
The male beside him, moving back toward
The tunnel that would let him find a ledge to leap
Into the air and stretch his reason into wings.

A movement vast as nightmares stirred throughout
The conclave, shattering community, the dragon
Society’s great unity a chaos
Of fragmentation, swirling individuals
Into the fears in ancient enmities.
The tunnels filled with dragons fleeing prophecy.

Dismay rose up into Ssruanne and echoed.
She felt the pain of times long past as steel
Brought death past scales to dragon flesh.

What was the human girl to her? she cried.
She was a dragon, not the mother of a child.

Audio of The Dragon’s Conclave

Note: This is the tenth installment of a long poem. 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 to reach other sections, or go to the Categories box to the right under The Dragon Epic. Click on 1 to go to the beginning and read forward. Click on 10 to go to the tenth section. Click 12 to go forward a section.

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Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis