Liz from the wonderful blog here at WordPress Exploring Colour: asked us recently to find inspiration between a stunning photograph taken by Pete Hillman from his blog Ghosts In The Weir   and the concept of a Snow Dragon. The request was to write a poem or draw a Snow Dragon. I went for the poem and then, inspired by the photograph, made a little pastel sketch as an accompaniment

et voila… a little audio version first…


I stepped into the storm
and took the path between the pines,
I curved along the bank
of which the river bed defines.

I watched the falling snow
bequeath a blanket on the bark,
the water formed a wave
and then that wave became an arc.

I noticed how the birds
had all since taken from the trees,
and that the current held no caution
and the arc held no appease.

I stopped within the storm
among the silent pillared pines,
and held a breath by the bank
as aberrant arc unfurled its spine.

I watched the wave turn wing
and saw the tide become a tail
while onward came the snow
on the wind now a wail.

I’d stepped into the storm
between the pines along the path,
but by the bank that cut a curve
I feared that myth had met with wrath.

A tarragon arose,
had drawn breath upon the rivers,
a dragon of the snow
and my skin awash with shivers.

I wondered if the birds
had since foreseen in the future
this dragon from the tide
find its form as snow-capped creature.

I tried to turn and run
from this basilisk of the snow
until its eyes fell open
and I sensed this was no foe.

I stood upon my tracks
and felt my foolish fear descend,
no fire this beast did bare
and no danger his snout distend.

This dragon of fair flakes,
this mammoth mythos flushed in white,
no monster of the dawn
and neither demon of the night.

I stepped into the storm
and found my fate transform from snow;
for this vision from the water
did bring a tale for me to show.

I’d fallen from the magic
and had been jolted out of joy,
had grown to be a man
who’d lost the dreams he’d held as boy.

But there, in the clearing,
I finally watched my youth take flight,
from a ripple on the river
as this snow-capped dragon slayed the night.

All words and sketches by Damien B. Donnelly

Heartfelt thanks to Liz at Exploring Colour for the challenge (link to her blog above).

Photograph inspiration by Pete Hillman (link to his blog above):



15 thoughts on “DREAMS AND DRAGONS

  1. Fun challenge, and what a cool photo.
    This is like a ballad. I can imagine it set to music, Damien, but I liked your reading of it, too. 🙂
    Lovely pastel.

  2. I am so taken with this most beautiful poem and artwork, Damien! I listened via SoundCloud and was so lost within the magic and the wonder of your recital. Thank you for taking up Liz’s challenge and for creating such wonderful and inspirational works of art! You have truly moved me so! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Pete. Liz had given me a heads up to watch out for your photograph and her challenge so I was already excited although it’s very far from what I normally write but then I took a step back and just let your photograph wash over me and last night the words found their way onto the page. Your photograph is so visually stunning, both filled with so much movement and yet has a certain silence to it at the same time. Thanks for letting us give it a little mystical background. Best wishes, Damien

      • I truly love what you have created, Damien. It is from the heart, and it really is something very special indeed. It’s amazing what magic one can conjure when they step outside their comfort zone. Thank you, again! And to add, isn’t Liz quite something for bringing us all together in a most wonderful way? 🙂

      • Liz is just a totally wonderful lady and I am so glad we found each other here. I am always touched by her words and wonder and, as I told her the other day, the colour she brings to life

  3. Pingback: The Snow Dragon Soars | Pete Hillman's Nature Photography

  4. Dear Dami, you really embraced this challenge and took it to heart! My first reading of it was out loud to Nigel and I was just all goosebumps reading it, such an extraordinary start to my day! I’m just fizzing with excitement that you’ve brought this all together so beautifully and so completely. Your “little pastel sketch” is breathtakingly beautiful! I really LOVE the poem and the sketch Dami! Thank you so much for bringing your amazing talents to this challenge and, even with this work alone (let alone all your other work), bringing so much beauty into my life. Your Soundcloud reading is the icing on the cake, really lovely!

    • Now I am all goose bumpy with smiles and joy. You have brought the challenge to the table and I loved eating it up. I was so nervous at first as it was such a departure for me but Pete’s photograph was so breathtaking that I couldn’t stop looking at it and then the words just flowed out. Also I wanted to do this to say thank you for your kindness and support. It has been such a treat getting to know you and Nigel and you are truly inspirational. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This has been such a pleasure for me to take part in and to share the beauty that Pete caught at the end of his lens and you shared with us all. Warm hugs on the way to you both 🤗🤗

      • My joy is overflowing and beyond words Dami! I’ve really pushed way beyond my usual limits, just in setting up the challenge let alone doing a poem and drawing! You, Pete and Candice have responded so generously with your beautiful, beautiful work and I’m just blown away! All of you have joined me in pushing through our self-perceived boundaries and we’ve freed our minds and imaginations to explore new worlds! So much is possible – so MUCH more than I ever dreamed of! Thank you dear friend! Hugs from us too and take care!

  5. Pingback: Come Away With Me – Exploring Colour

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