Dragons and Old Men

Just some fun with a good ol’ sword and sorcery yarn.

Damn, but dragon hide is sturdy stuff,
my lance broken, horse dead or run off.
My shield was busted by a swipe of tail,
helmet went flying and left arm broken.

Our foolishly brave troop is down to me plus three,
all hiding and rethinking our chivalrous vows.
Two have died from swipes of massive claws,
three roasted in fiery breath, one ingested I fear.

Sitting here with my back against this boulder,
wondering how in the hell to get out of this mess,
pledging that the monastery will be my destination;
damsels can stay in distress, the dragon keep his gold.

What’s this? A newcomer to our futility. Oh Joy!
Much help, I am sure, this old man trudging up the hill;
stooped against the slope, leaning mightily on his staff,
clothed in oversized robes and wide brimmed hat.

Halfway up the hill, just below my hiding place,
he is greeted by the dragon’s challenging roar.
Stopping, as if mildly distracted by the breeze,
he looks from under his hat and strokes his beard.

I hear the now familiar mighty beating of dragon wings,
the old man seems unperturbed, as if studying the event.
Another roar is accompanied by the heat of belched fire;
much like viewing the executioners work, I cannot look away.

Suddenly straightening with unexpected speed and strength,
he thrust his staff forward as the fire engulfs him….
What?! I saw it but do not believe! The dragon’s fire parted,
passed him by on sides and above; not a singed hair in his beard!

There is a new tone now to the dragon’s cry; rage maybe? Fear?
The sorcerer takes a step forward, staff held high in right hand,
steely eyed he begins raising the left as he starts chanting,
a white, glowing globe begins to form in his upheld hand.

Continuing his mumbling as he slowly takes two more steps,
coming even with my spot as the globe grows and swirls.
Beating wings are deafening now as he thrust left hand forward,
launching his magic at his monstrous, unsuspecting foe.

A brilliant, blinding explosion of light and a piecing scream….
I awake to his gentle hand on my arm; ‘Is it over? Is it dead?’
He smiles and shakes his head. ‘No, one does not kill a dragon.
You just have to convince it that it is time for it to move on.’

He stands and takes up his staff, a helpless old man once more,
and makes his way down the hill, carefully avoiding the rocks.
My remaining companions gather round and watch him go,
all somewhat surprised that he left us the damsel and the gold.





Filed under Poetry

7 responses to “Dragons and Old Men

  1. Breathtaking. I really enjoyed antibiotics are working. Sinus infections are no fun at all.

  2. Two lines were wiped out of my comment: ….I really enjoyed this, for the story, for the excitement and for the skill of your writing. I do hope your antibiotics etc etc

  3. I was grinning by stanza three and enthralled shortly thereafter. The story is tremendous fun, such that the reader is carried along at a faster and faster pace.

    I am going to assume the antibiotics are working or you couldn’t produce a tale like this.


Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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