Once again, the Oracle shows that she sees and understands.


Heat lies still,
a basking dragon,
where dew once watered roots,
and claws scratch runnels
where rivers ran.

Heat sings
a dragon song,
brass and bronze,
as an ugly dream,

beneath a throbbing sky,
where blue
is an intangible shade
of steel,
sweating drifting feathers.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “Reptile”

  1. There’s a song by Willy Nelson called “Time of the Preacher” in the original BBC series of Edge of Darkness which feels apt for our times. The Preacher in the song is a black powder revolver but for us it’s the Dragon’s Breath fanned by fiery wings.

  2. You and the Oracle have used such wonderful imagery to describe the current world.
    I had thought our posts would be very different today because mine is personal–but your Turner and my photo!
    We had that blazing heat–it hurt my eyes–but it was also like a steam room. It’s gone now, temporarily.

    1. I got the poem from the first page of words, and I don’t remember ever seeing that arrangement before. I added ‘dragon’ but the rest was all there.
      I hope the really bad heat doesn’t come back with the same force. It sounds as though your forecasters are being as wary as ours—this episode is coming to an end, but there’s no indication that there won’t be another one.

      1. I thought the words seemed different today, too! I actually saved my first set to write a cadralor perhaps at some point. 🙂

        Yes, I hope your weather improves. It doesn’t sound like the rest of our week will be terrible, but not as beautiful as this weekend. This lovely weather–high in the mid-80s, lows going down to high 60s tonight and low humidity– is really not typical for August either, which is usually very hot and humid. This seems more like September. Of course, I won’t complain! 🙂

      2. Good idea! I had a similar thought, to go back and see what was on the next page, but of course the words will have been reshuffled.

        Lucky you with the weather! It was supposed to be cooler, and it has been, a little, but still 97° and sticky. Maybe there will be a storm, with rain.

  3. That Turner and your reflected words…so vivid and true. A dragon is just right.

    Once again I think all our messages are related, but coming from different angles. (K)

    1. I had that thought too. I’ve been trying to write a poem about the moon which has been bright red for two nights running. As husband said, it’s the kind of moon that would have predicted the death of a king.
      Last night I was up and down a lot, watching the sky. At 3am the sky was a pale blue and the western horizon was ablaze, like a sunset. It was the forest burning.
      You are at the point after the storm has passed. We’re still waiting for it to hit.

      1. We do seem to be in a calm between, while the storms rumble around us. And your moon and sky is burning–which does seem like an omen, not a good one.

        The attack on Rushdie is distressing. The idea of Trump hanging on to nuclear secrets is distressing. The Right Wing rhetoric–increasing mad and more distressing….

      2. I’ve never seen a moon like that before. I wonder if Rushdie saw it?
        Crackpot notions, crackpot people, religions and cults all have to be worshiped because they have groupies who say so. Logic, reason, science—what happened?

      3. One thing i find refreshing about living here is that there is a healthy cynicism about most of the orders that come from on high. Political debate is reasonably intelligent, there’s a respect for science and reality, starting with keeping religion firmly inside its box. A lot of that seems to have disappeared from the English-speaking world.
        It will get here, I suppose, unless there’s a real sea change in the way the Anglophones see the world and they wake up to some of the crazy notions they’ve been peddling lately.

      4. I read something a couple of weeks ago about the Plymouth Brethren that I didn’t know. I’d always thought that they went to America to avoid religious persecution in England. It seems as though they left voluntarily because they didn’t think the Puritan revolution had been ‘pure’ enough, and went to Leyden in the Netherlands where their rigid totalitarian way of life was tolerated. Until even in Leyden they got sick of them. The Brethren took ship for America because they saw it as a blank sheet they could imprint with their own special brand of lunacy.
        I wonder how the fate of the world would have been changed if the Mayflower had sunk?

      5. The Puritan impulse has permeated the American consciousness on both right and left. There are many such pivotal moments in history, and that is certainly one.

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