Tag Archives: witch

37. The Song of Becoming a Dragon

By Thomas Davis, a passage from what has become The Dragon Epic

Wei felt the light around her, felt her bones
And flesh expanding out toward the light.
She heard Ssruanne, above her changing, saw
The golden old one stretch her claws to land,
But could not pay attention to the voice
That called to her, her flesh becoming light,
Congealing back to flesh that felt too heavy
For any human frame to ever bear.

She felt no pain although the singing fire
That rose up from her chanting voice created
An agony that seemed as if its roots
Were in the universe her mother’s life
Was clutched in, struggling against the formless,
Cold winds that were no winds, miasma blank
Enough to be an element beyond
The understanding of an individual life.
She felt her spell and light that flowed in rainbows
Out from her spell solidify to bone,
Then dragon scales as bright as drops of sun.

She did not think, I am a little girl!,
But felt her transformation as her head
Ballooned into a dragon’s head, her heart
Into the double beating of a dragon’s hearts.
Her hands stopped moving in their spelling dance
As wings grew on her back and arms and legs
Became a dragon’s massive arms and legs.
Inside her mind her mother sang as if
She’d left the nether world and fixed herself
Into the flowing of her daughter’s thoughts.
Wei felt as if she was no longer Wei,
But more than Wei, a human, witch, her mother,
A dragon unlike any other dragon
Hatched from an egg upon warm hatching grounds.

Light hardened into flesh and scales and bones.
Her body seemed too large, unwieldy, awkward,
As if it was not who she was, but still
Was truly who she was, a spirit creature
Transformed out of a human to a dragon
Who had a witch’s powers and a human’s wiles
Imbedded in a child with dragon wings.

At first she only saw the light congealing
A rainbow storm inside her mind, around
Her body; then her hearts began to beat
And then she saw out of a dragon’s eyes,
The whirling strangeness of the world a bending
Of consciousness and even understanding.
She tried to move her massive dragon legs,
But saw her movement made the dragons gathered
Around her in the snow involuntarily
Move back from her, their fear of weirding strong
Enough to make them want to spread their wings
And flee into the freezing winter skies.

Ssruanne and Mmirrimann walked forward, though,
Fear whirling in their eyes, but brave beyond
The ancient age that lived inside their bones.
Wei tried to move again, but felt as if
She was a baby still inside her crib,
Her movements larger than they should have been,
But human-sized, not fitting for a dragon.

Ssruanne, her mind awhirl, sent thoughts
Into the rainbow dragon’s mind, “Slow child,”
She said, awe in the song inside her thoughts.
“You have to take things slow until we know
What magic you have brought into the earth.”

Wei looked at her, at all the dragons strewn
Like boulders on the fields she known since birth.
She tried to find her mother’s ghost among
More dragons than she’d ever dreamed existed
Inside the caves above the cottage she’d
Grown much too large to even fit inside.
She did not want to be a dragon, did
Not want to live a life that was not human.
She could not see her mother, could not feel
The humanness that made her who she was.
She was a girl, she thought. A human girl!

Ssruanne moved close and touched her scales.
Wei tried to move again, but felt the awkwardness
Of never having been so large before.
She stumbled, then moved upright as the strength
Ssruanne sent shocking through her body made
Her feel as if the light about her was her self.
The dragons in the field seemed so intense
With whirling eyes and primal fear she coiled
Away from who she knew she had become.

“Enough!” the thundering voice of Mmirrimann
Demanded calm. “We’re dragons, not the spawn
Of emptiness,” he said. “I’ve heard of this,
Of humans taking on a dragon’s shape
And dragons taking on a human’s shape.
We need to find the reason why this weirdness
Has come just as existence trembles where
Extinction and continuance are poised
Upon a ledge that I can’t see around.”

“Slow, child,” Ssruanne said once again. “You’re not
A dragon, not a human child, but something else.
You’re not alone. Both Mmirrimann and I
Are here; we’ll find the balance that is you,
And then we’ll understand this craziness.”

Wei moved her foot and slowly moved her wings
And let them fall back to her massive back.

“I need my mother who has died,” she said
While looking at Ssruanne’s bright golden eyes.

Ssruanne looked at the dragon child as large
As any full-grown dragon, but was silent.
As Mmirrimann stared at the rainbow fire
That seemed to pulsate from Wei’s dragon scales,
He started humming, dredging up a song
Out of the depths of dragon memory.
Another dragon started humming too, and then
The mass of dragons hummed, an echo bouncing
Out of the caves that were their mountain home.

Wei startled. What was going on? But then her mother,
Inside the flesh that was her flesh, inside the dragon
That she had wanted to become, began
To hum just like the field of dragons hummed

She looked into Ssruanne, her golden eyes.
She was a dragon. Born of light, her mother’s
Deep human love for her had turned her life
Into a dragon’s life. Her mother lived
Inside of her, inside the dragon that she was.

She glanced at Mmirriman, Ssruanne.
She felt her mother’s humming, heard the song
Dredged from the ancient dragon memories.
She moved her massive legs and tested wings
That felt as if they could not be her wings.

And then, deep in her chest, she let the song
She felt come out of her so powerfully
It added music to the dragons’ song.

To listen to this section of the epic, click on The Song of Becoming a Dragon.
Note: This is the thirty-seventh section 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 Mesmerized Cave Dragons to read the passage before this one. To read the next passage, click onThe Mind’s Black Fire.

5 Comments

Filed under The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

33. Vertigo and the Moment of Sudden Truth

1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4 Comments

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

26. Escaping Possession

The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

Ruarther woke to sunlit cold, his head
So sore he felt as if his life was bound
Inside the thrumming pain that made him scowl.
The burns were gone from arms, legs, chest,
And though he felt as if he could not move,
His spirit rose to know that he’d survived
The night black dragon and its searing flame.
The fire beside the boulder smoldered, smoke
Still rising from the cold, gray, lumpy ash.
He stirred up from the hollow in the snow
He’d made for sleep and, groaning, found his pack
And put a slice of jerky in his mouth.
The goat was strong beneath the heavy spice,
But he had never tasted food so good.
He was alive and eating, wolfing meat
That tasted like sweet honey to his tongue.

He looked toward the campfire, felt the cold,
And thought he’d build it up and warm his hands,
But then he picked his pack up, shouldered it,
And started climbing through the dazzling fields.
He’d not find where the witch’s cottage was
Before the sun blazed down, he told himself.
He’d better move before his will had failed
And warmth became the cause for lethargy.
He’d never kill the child by staying put.

The surface of the snow had frozen hard.
He moved as swiftly as his legs could move.
The walking cleared his head and made him feel
As if he’d found his humanness again.
He thanked the spirit bear inside his mind,
Exhilarated at the strength he felt.

But then, just miles from where the cliffs rose black
Into the winter’s white, he stopped, confused.
The air in front of him looked charged, a mass
Of swirling chaos threatening to end
The world’s solidity with nothingness.
He felt the bear rear up inside the chaos,
Felt snow and fields and light sucked into dark.
A woman, waving hands, had somehow grabbed
The bear with energies Ruarther felt,
But could not see, a battle raging far
Beyond his senses even though he sensed
The powers devastating what was real,
Miasma threatening existence anchored
To life he’d always thought was all that was.
He stepped back as the chaos inched toward
Where he had stopped, the swirling wild with songs
Originating from beyond existence.

A greater fear than what he’d felt the day
He’d faced the golden dragon seized his heart
And made it beat so fast he could not breathe.
He saw the bear’s face waver in the light
And then the woman’s weaving web of hands
As death came from its natural place and tried
To build a portal to Ruarther’s world.
He wondered why he’d left his days-old camp
To face a wilderness he’d thought was myth
Made up by women and old, doddering men.

The great bear turned away from chaos, stared
At where Ruarther stood in front of him
Inside the realness of the real world
And leaped toward the body with a heart.

The witch is doing this, Ruarther thought.
The witch! He tried to dive away from where
The bear had aimed his leap, but even though
He moved as fast as any human could,
Convulsions ripped his consciousness.
He fought against the spirit entering
His spirit, tried to be the self he was,
But in his mind the great bear roared and roared.
Time wavered as the sunlight flared, then died,
Then flared alive again, the chaos mixed
With life’s stability, existence swelling
With spectres lost beyond the boundaries
Of what could ever be or come to be.

The child, Ruarther raged inside himself,
The witch’s child had made the dragon mock
Him as he hunted in the woods that day,
And now she’d witched the bear into his spirit.
He’d kill the child, he roared. He’d kill the girl.

The spirit in him roared against his roar.
Ruarther felt the self he knew recoil
As chaos swirled into his head and bones.
I’m stronger than the bear, he snarled inside.
His heart beat crazily, his fear
The only rage that kept him from possession,
The end of who he was, a human man.
I’ll kill the girl, he chanted in his head.
The witch’s girl is dead. I’ll kill the girl.

The great bear twisted as it fought to find
A place away from where the woman’s hands
Wove order out of chaos in chaotic song.
Ruarther twisted painfully in snow
So cold it seemed to burn his throbbing flesh.
He felt as if he was inside a furnace,
The brick kiln burning with a glowing heat,
His skin so sensitive it seared with pain,
As if he’d touched a fiery red-hot coal
And spread its agony across his face,
Hours blistering into eternity.

The bear retreated from the searing pain,
Life’s sharpness shredding who it was
Into the emptiness of air and sky.
Chaotic swirling dissipated like a mist.
The sunlit cold possessed the world again.
Ruarther, body still, stunned, felt his life
Inside the who of who he was, a man.

Splayed out upon the snow, he wondered how
He’d ever thought he had the strength to kill
A witch so powerful she had the force
To bend a dragon’s spirit to her will.
He could not countenance that he still lived
Outside of deathless chaos in his world.

To listen to this section of the epic, click on Escaping Possession.

Note: This is the twenty-sixth 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 1 to go to the beginning and read forward. Go to 25 to go to the section previous to this one. Go to 27 to read the next section.

6 Comments

Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis