Dragons do not die. They sleep
And watch, and dream of the world they left behind.
Not the magic sword, the jewel and the skimpy maiden
But the naked figure with the power of the mind
As their only weapon, and the upraised hand
And the maiden choosing a wiser way than marriage
When there is knowledge to be won.

Dragons need no gold. They hoard words.
Sentences and clauses are kept tight in their teeth.
For they duel not with foolish steel, but with Words
The ones that shaped the molten world, and make
Swords softer than clay with one taunt.
Their riddles tie men’s bones in knots
Leaving them helpless under quivering curses.

Dragons use no wings. They fly
On the winds they call for themselves, and the imagination
Of the ones who speak them forth, seeking runes
Long forgotten, but strumming with their mouldering power.
They soar beyond worlds, through time, outside of space
Where mockery cannot touch and there is only the taste
Of stars like candles waiting to be blown out. 

Dragons fear no man. The knights
They have seen have only faith in the weapons given
By well meaning wizards, who do not know the ancient Law
That Love and Honour are the only armour for a hero
And that Ignorance and Fear are his only foes.
They only see the swirling magic light, the orb, the stone
And do not reach beyond for their Power.

Dragons breathe no fire. Theirs is the flame
That kindles in the heart and inspires the hand to create
Or the mind to wonder, or the eyes to roam beyond
And see the colours in the dark, or the song in the air.
Theirs is the burning light that guides the seeker
and brings the Shadow to be faced
That all who seek may be made whole.

© Joanna Berry 2000

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