Sometimes I Just See Dragons

[Image description: close photograph of a bright burst of flames against a dark background. The brightest flames rise to the upper left corner of the image.]   Michael Chanter  / Creative Commons

[Image description: close photograph of a bright burst of flames against a dark background. The brightest flames rise to the upper left corner of the image.]

Michael Chanter / Creative Commons

Could you paddle in a kayak
And imagine that the lake
Is an ocean made of diamonds,
Full of silverfish of gold,
And the kayak is a warship
And the sea is tempest-tossed,
And the great waves churn with monsters
And the paddle is the sword
That slays the kraken? In reality,
All oceans just evaporate,
Plain kraken-, kayak-, diamond-less,
Go upward, cooling, forming
Water droplets in the sky,
The condensation stage of the cycle;
Knowing this, I go outside,
And I look upon the clouds,
Scientifically explained, and yet,
Sometimes I just see dragons,
Floating on their nimbus wings
And breathing lightning at the ground —
And the thunderclap! It sounds!
Booming air of rapid heating
(Or the roar of mighty beasts,
If you ascribe it to the dragons).
And when the skies do clear,
All the drakes dispelled by sunshine,
All the colors of the spectrum shimmer,
Bows of blue and orange
In the misty sparkles glimmer,
Bridge of Iris kissed by Ra,
At its base a pot of gold,
And I walk up to the gods:
I pick flowers with Persephone,
I make a deal with Death,
I do a dance with Shiva,
In the desert walk with Seth,
And I meditate with Buddha.
I go swimming with Poseidon
(In the ocean with the kraken)
And I sit on Zeus’s throne,
Throw his bolt into the heavens,
Make the thunderclouds my own,
Making dragons of my own —
Making dragons of my own--!

But calm down now, settle down.
Do your math and drills and homework.
Dragons fit not this equation:
Pi times two r equals life.
What great energy your mind has;
Put that power to your work.

But the power isn’t work!

Block that power, do your work.
Get your head out of the clouds!
Bring the dragons down to Earth!
Nine months still their beating wings,
Or be lost forevermore.

But is being lost so bad?

Yes, it is, come now, child.

But why then, in the flicker
Of the eye or of the pen,
Do the dragons flap their wings?
What small circle do we live in
That the universe is finite
And there’s not another world?
See you not the countless stars,
Or are they drowned by city lights?
And if you cannot see the stars,
How can you claim to see the light?
Look, they fly! Winged lizards
In the purple of the sunset,
In the shadow of the moon,
In the darkness of the night!
If I close my eyes, my mind will make
A kingdom for the dragons,
And I’ll fly with them forever
To the never-ending sky.


J. D. Blood is a young author from Long Island, New York. He studies mathematics by day (and, occasionally, all night) and tends to stare off into space daydreaming during his free time. You can find him on Twitter. And by the way, J. D. Blood says "trans rights". 

PoetryJ. D. Blood