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Fantasy Drama Romance

And lo they did come

These so-called friends

Of your good dragon, Magford

Who never did bother a soul

Now, did he?

A Dublin dragon!

They all said

When I first did appear

Out of a November storm

Wings never furling

Fire through my teeth

And down below

The ministers and the holy people

Cliffmongers to the village

Of this and that

Looking up at me

With their bad breath

And their fishy eyes exclaiming--

‘Whomsoever heard

Of a Dublin dragon?’

This was back

When Dublin was a village

And I could make my way

As I saw fit

Diving down to sandy

To gather up shells

That struck my fancy

Not bothering a soul, mind you

Never so much as breathing

A flame towards anyone

A wee cave I did find

Tucked into the rock

Of Beth’anna Nave

And in it I did go

With my tidy collection

Always kept so

By the incoming tides

Roll they do

And roll proud

Into the cave

My belly catching

The foam

And over my shells

My jewels

My treasure

Each morn

While the sun

Is still deciding

What it would like to be

I go out and retain

That which nobody else

Would care to have

The bones of a beached seal

The discarded mop of a dying maid

Empty milk bottles

Empty baby bottles

Empty empty empty

And to me

They seem full

Of all possibilities

So back they come

And who does it harm?

I ask you plain

Who does it harm?

But lo they did come

These dragons from Glasgow

These dragons from Port

These London dragons

Who think their scales

Don’t stink of weed

And mushbanger

Just like the rest of ours

Calling themselves ‘family’

All because of our genus

As as if that means

A piddler’s pot to me

And my collection

O, but who did snitch

The pitch to these

My reptilian brethren?

To the Dubliners

I am a mascot of sorts

And proud they are

To have such a clean dragon

In their midst

When all do know

That the Moscow dragons

Reek to high heaven

Of tuna they swallow

By the ton

And vodka they do guzzle

With no shame about them

But snitch someone did

And the arrival of my kin

Brings to mind the monsters

Of epic lore

When great poems were written

About knights and kings

All gone, all gone

Now just a handful remaining

And what kind of hand?

Such is the concern

That my fellows fly on

Begging me to let go

Of my glory

In all its hard surface

And tender recall

‘Magford,’ Oso from Glasgow

His tongue the color

Of spoiled butter

As he pleads to me

In the eldest language we speak

Hoping his dialect

Hasn’t creaked too rusty

In years intervening

‘Magford, your cave is--

Well, it’s a bit of a dump’

Claw his vision off

I’d like to

Clamp my incisors

Down on his pithy tail

Is what springs to mind

But I must listen

For Magford is no mad dragon

And all know that mad dragons

Are sent to polar fields

To freeze their insanity

In its tracks

These traitors of the flame

Would take me there

In no time asked

Provided I say one word

That doesn’t pitch to their tune

‘Let us clean up a bit for you,’

That squealer Oso beseeches

Promising to only dispose

Of that which is not of value

But what is one dragon’s gold

Compared to a dragon

With no poetry in his heart?

Are we not all allowed

Our own aesthetic?

May a dragon not reside

In his domicile

Without having to justify

Why a piece of driftwood

Is pertinent to his high morale?

But wars are sometimes lost

Before the first gun is loaded

And such is the case

When the collective fly in

From all over

Their prune-ish minds made up

Ready with sacks attached

To fill with that which

Brings you serenity

I do but watch

As one by one

They pluck items

Off my shelves of rock

Into the burlap

Fastened to their wings

Go every cracked glass

That was rescued

Just before high tide

In go the bits from ships

That met their maker

Against Gurney's Rock

In go the iguanaskins

Gifted to me

By Brusoe the Blind

One of the greatest dragons

To ever fly the Blue Migration

Before his death at Three Thousand and Twelve

What fight would I have

For any of them

If not for all of them

Rum barrels with no rum in them

Lady skirts with no ladies in them

Scrolls with the ink blurred

From the mist that peters in

When I do slumber

Asking me to come up

With my own stories

As I imagine to read

And tell on nights

When the bustards crow

They pilfer from one end

Of the cave to another

Trying to hide their glee

But failing as giggles purt out

Enough to gather me up

Chewing on my own

Rust-colored tongue

For fearing of lashing them

With the language of new

A language that says

Gold need not be glimmer

Gold be that which

Glues up a broken heart

When there are no more castles

No more knights to battle

No more crowns to guard

Each wiz of dash

And witch of flint

And long eye of majesty

Has been shocked off

By adult declarations

That one must sip coffee

With a spoon at one’s side

And electric bills

Must be paid on time

Or else

Why were dragons the last

Of the past greatness

Sent to ashes

By modern entrances?

The look in castaway eyes

When they catch us in the sky

Confusing their wits

Asking them to consider

That once they were giants

And now they’re but bill payers

And coffee stirrers

And van drivers

And package unpackers

And contract signers

And dullards with teeth

That can’t but open

A piece of paper

Sealed with nothing

But child’s adhesive

We are their sad

Memorandums

And I have no urge

To CC any of them

I’d simply like

My seashells

And my driftwood

And my hat

Blown off the head

Of a baby

On a blustery day

By the sea

But all that’s left me

When they go

That jackley bunch

Are four dubloons

All gold, yes

They left me my gold

But for what,

I might ask

And will ask

But for what

Am I to do

With gold?

The waves will come up

And perhaps higher

Than my belly they will go

This night when my shelves are bare

Perhaps they will

Swallow me up

And I will no longer be

A creature of air and fire

But one of sea

Down into a second

Blue Migration may I swim

Finding all sorts of sunken

All bits of wreck

And treasures buried

So deep in the silt and coral

That no man or beast

Should ever hope

To salvage them

February 11, 2023 01:20

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9 comments

Nona Yobis
21:47 Feb 22, 2023

Very nice, I like the rhythm of the poem style. I also like the "one man's trash is another man's treasure" idea, and although he is a dragon and the story is fantasy, it has a very relatable vibe. How many of us "know better" than to speak up when family tries to step in and help in a well-meaning but uninvited way? Nice story!

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Story Time
00:56 Feb 23, 2023

Thank you very much, Nona!

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Michał Przywara
23:31 Feb 14, 2023

Very enjoyable! Though I'm kind of shite with poems. There's a melancholic feel to this, a sense of aging and things changing. That's made pretty clear with the vanishing of knights and the appearance of bills - the magic of the narrator's youth is gone. But the relatives swooping in to clear out the cave also has a tinge of greedy family waiting for their wealthy elders to die off. On the surface it's about dragons, but I was also put in mind of hobbits. Perhaps this was due to Bilbo's treasure collecting, and tense relations with the Sac...

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Story Time
00:37 Feb 15, 2023

Thank you, Michal. I thought it might be fun to take the genre of epic poetry, borrow its standard characters, and then give them a modern problem to face.

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Amanda Lieser
03:15 Feb 13, 2023

Hey Kevin! This was a thrilling piece. I adored the format and imagined this story out to song to be sung in the pubs of Dublin. The pauses you placed with the line breaks were so perfect. I loved the way this dragon carried themself through the story and I really enjoyed the ending. This story made me smile. Nice job!

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Story Time
23:14 Feb 13, 2023

Thank you so much, Amanda. I had a wonderful time writing it.

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Lily Finch
04:28 Feb 11, 2023

Kevin, Dublin Dragon holds on to empty bottles: babies and milk. The dragons from England, and Russia, described by Magford, are absolutely detailed. The fantastic way you weave the notion of many dragons' trash is another's gold works. The idea is that the other dragons from all points who say they're family (because of the genus) have heard about Magford's filled with junk. They come to 'help him' when he doesn't ask for help. He allows them to clean him out and save the dubloons, which could not be more ironic than when he said, "For...

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Story Time
06:50 Feb 11, 2023

Thank you, Lily. It's the format I feel most comfortable with, so it felt great to lean into the idea of an epic poem.

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Graham Kinross
01:53 May 07, 2023

I like that dragons have interventions as well. Hoarding is an odd mental illness. This made me think of a show I watched called Obsessive Compulsive Howrders. There was a man living in a large house reduced to squeezing through cracks between stacks of newspapers. He slept on a bed made of them squashed up by a window.

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