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