I think it’s time to occupy blog space with another poem, before we get back to the serious business of…oh, well…of whatever it is I do here. I’m sure it must be serious, though. If it wasn’t serious, it wouldn’t be in a blog, would it?
I’ve noticed that I seem to have a thing about dragons, and I don’t mean the fun-scary good luck kind from China. (Or I’m just guessing about that good luck reference; maybe I made that up.) Recently I’ve been looking over some short stories I’ve written in the last few years, and I find that I have one about dragons, another in which imaginary dragons are referred to, and a third that opens with a metaphor of a dragon.
Maybe this dragon obsession was because when I was a kid a dragon flew down and burned up our house. I’m not lying. It also kidnapped my cousin Linda, and we had to find a noble knight to go and get her back. That wasn’t easy to find a knight in those days, with no Craigslist.
In writing this poem, I didn’t feel bound by reality, which made it more fun to write. So the images are not true, but paradoxically, the poem itself is true. In order to express some truths, it’s necessary to use a poetic language that tries to pull us out beyond the dull weight of logic and language, out to the weightless space where some realities exist. This poem is, in the end, as true as any poem I’ve written.
You Can Keep Everything Else
I want more dragons in my life.
I want that flame and thunder,
the covert caverns treasure-filled,
the yellow eyes that make me wonder.
I’ve looked in open snowy fields
or the darker parts of churches.
To find the things that dragons bring
requires some cryptic searches.
I’m willing to walk on winding roads
where nothing is in sight.
I want what’s different, secret, strange,
honest by day or taken at night.
It’s a life of smoke and distance
where the papers don’t get signed,
but when you finally smell that fire,
the songs are epic and the singer blind.
Then I’ll drink the wine of a gypsy
who asks if you want what’s true,
or would you rather be happy?
He shrugs, and it’s up to you.
I intend to climb the treasure
to look the dragon in the eye,
and if it chooses to burn me,
that’s how I choose to die.