I stepped into the storm and took the path between the pines,
and curved along the bank of which the riverbed 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 long since taken from the trees,
the current held no caution and the arc held no appease.
I stopped within the storm among the silent pillared pines
and held my breath by the bank as that arc unfurled its spine.
I watched the wave turn wing and saw the tide become a tail
and from the sky came down the snow on the wind, now a wail.
I’d stepped into the storm between the pines along the path,
and t’was there by the bank where I saw myth lay down 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 run, run away, from this basilisk of snow
but when its eyes fell open, I sensed that 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’d stepped into the storm and found my fate transform from snow;
for this vision from the water had a tale for me to show.

I’d fallen from the magic and been jolted out of joy,
had grown into a man who’d lost the dreams he’d held as boy.
But there in the clearing I sat and watched my fear take flight
from a ripple on the river as the dragon seized the night.


This poem was originally inspired by a photograph from the wonderful photographer Pete Hillman http://www.petehillmansnaturephotography.wordpress.com

and a nudge from the ever inspiration Liz Cowburn from Exploring Colour and this link brings you to Liz’s gorgeous wordplay poem based on the same photograph… http://www.exploringcolour.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/ode-to-snow-dragon


All words and drawings by Damien B Donnelly


8 thoughts on “DREAMS AND DRAGONS

      • My pleasure. Just getting around to replies now as was blissfully on kitchen duty all day. I started cooking at 10am and finished when we sat down to eat at 7pm. Starting preparations for food for Christmas Day (traditional Irish) and st Stephens day (traditional French) meals and then made an Indian feast for myself, mum and my aunt and uncle tonight of makhan murg (butter chicken), red lentil dal and homemade coriander and garlic naan breads. Now stuffed but so happy. And ahead of the list of things to cook. 👏👏👏

      • Amazing! But I’m most happy simply to hear you’re happy and knowing you’ll have a wonderful time over Christmas. Best wishes 🙂

    • Thank you Kerfe. The photograph from Pete had been inspirational to both the poem and the sketch. River dragon, I liked that idea too, fire and water, fear and fantastical flight.

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