ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the February 2, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] capriuni. It also fills the "disaster" square in my 11-3-15 card for the Disaster Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] nsfwords. It belongs to the series A Conflagration of Dragons.

Warning: Canon-typical violence and devastation ahead.


"The Nesting Urge of Aluzza"


The desert city Zayd was bright and fair,
The pride of Imran people living there,
So fierce, so sharp of horn and slim of wing,
Who built a nation far beyond compare.

A land of air and flame, the bards would sing,
Its solar power gathered ring by ring,
Its mines a source of gold and precious jewels,
Before the hen Aluzza brought her sting.

Where once the gardens greened around their pools,
She shattered walls and scattered farming tools,
Then left the plants to wither in the sun
And drove the Imran stumbling like fools.

A bronze she was, the metal of the gun,
But brightened at the edges, overrun
With veins and streaks of bullion blazing gold,
And with her coming, battle was begun.

The army sallied forth from their stronghold
And all the soldiers did as they were told,
But then Aluzza breathed an orange sheet
Of flame with golden sparks that spit and rolled.

The desert could not burn, and that was sweet;
But buildings could, a bitter herb to eat.
Aluzza razed the length and width of Zayd,
And sent the army fleeing in defeat.

Their allies on the coast were sore afraid,
Who had already faced a hen and paid,
So when the Imran fled their homes in fear,
Madhusudana had but little aid.

The mountains were no better, stark and sere;
The Eofor all turned a deafened ear
Upon the Imran plight and pleading cries;
No shelter could they find, not far or near.

The burly males debated truth and lies,
Mulled how to kill the death that wheels and flies,
But in the end it was the heroes slain
And not the dragon roosting on her prize.

The females, lean and fierce, pushed down their pain
And gathered what they could, for boon or bane.
They carried crying children on their backs
And started walking on the blasted plain.

They took their lances, whips, and swords in packs,
Grenades and poisons bundled into sacks.
The solar cannons lay in ruined wrecks,
The dragon's maw effective as an axe.

Aluzza gathered gold by pounds and pecks,
Then piled it upon the groaning decks.
She drew the drakes into a mating fight,
From which she chose the strongest, and had sex.

Their mating set the city all alight,
What hadn't burned in battle or in flight,
And then she melted gold into a nest
To slumber through the desert's cooling night.

In time Aluzza's nesting urge was blessed;
A clutch of gilded eggs came to their rest
On gems and nuggets fine as could be found,
Kept safe from any hero, drake, or pest.

The watchful mother guarded, paced around,
And kept the beat with claw marks on the ground,
While dragonets grew strong inside each shell,
Their bodies nourished by the gold that bound.

At last the egglings pipped, and small chips fell,
Soon followed by much larger shards as well.
Three dozen hatchlings tasted desert air,
And each new voice gave forth a fearsome knell.

* * *

Notes:

This is one of the Six Poems of the Fall, a rubaiyat.

Read an overview of the Six Races.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-25 06:01 am (UTC)
thnidu: edited from img383.imageshack.us/img383/3066/ss35450qf7.jpg (smiley)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
While reading not-aloud in a sub-whisper and getting drawn in:

stanza sta- (Hm, iambic pentameter, far from her usual free verse. But she does like forms.) -nza stanza (HEY, it's a rubáiyát!)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-25 12:47 pm (UTC)
sweet_sparrow: Picture of two cats lying back-to-back with two black spots connecting to make a heart. (E: Heart)
From: [personal profile] sweet_sparrow
Oooooooh, powerful. And ominous.

I like how you're capturing the Fall in six different poems too. It's a great way to get an overview of what happened. ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-25 05:52 pm (UTC)
nsfwords: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nsfwords
36 new volcano level disasters! The six races are in for some real future troubles. What's the infant survival rate of these dragons? Are most of them likely to reach maturity, or will many of them meet unfortunate ends?

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2016-12-26 02:59 am (UTC)
nsfwords: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nsfwords
So Yrsa in "Testing the Metal" is thrice cursed currently - being still relatively small herself, burdened with growing eggs, and lacking nutrients. And the growing clutch have smaller odds of future survival due to these factors themselves.

This series seems really promising for the Dark Fantasy theme coming up in Allbingo in January! *unsubtle hint hint*

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-25 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
I like most anything about dragons and your poem lets them be what they are supposed to be: Not sweet or cute but major predators.
:^)

Thank you!

Date: 2016-12-25 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Yeah, there are a couple of less-violent dragons in this setting, but the vast majority of them are horrible. I got the idea for this series from an essay about the economic impact of Smaug on Middle Earth, and thinking about the uber-rich here. So what if there were several hundred dragons, instead of just one? They would destroy civilization. And then what happens? Won't this be fun? :D

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-27 04:29 am (UTC)
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
From: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth
Well done! And bonus style points for (as it was probably meant to be) rhyming the third line in the last verse with the other three lines of the first verse. And the glimpse into dragon physiology is quite interesting, too.

Thank you!

Date: 2016-12-27 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Well done! <<

Yay!

>> And bonus style points for (as it was probably meant to be) rhyming the third line in the last verse with the other three lines of the first verse. <<

That is my preference for the rubaiyat form. It is not required, but is recommended. I am a big fan of repeating/interlocking forms and I really like when the end connects back to the beginning. :D

>> And the glimpse into dragon physiology is quite interesting, too. <<

I'm glad you enjoyed that. I have a bunch of notes on how their bodies work, and which elements appeal the most to what color of dragon.

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