ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the April 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman for The Magp'cat Duchess of Filkhaven, [personal profile] capri0mni, and [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron. It also fills the "gentle monster" square in my 4-1-16 card for the Archetypal Bingo fest. This poem has been selected in an audience poll as the free epic for the June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl reaching the $200 goal. It belongs to the series A Conflagration of Dragons.


"As We Have Created It"


I am a dragon, but
that does not mean
I must be a monster.

This is the truth to which I cling,
the truth that I seek to make
as my claws dig my den.

I do not have to be so.

I am a dragon, but
that does not mean
I must do the same
as other dragons do.

They may lay waste the cities
of the Six Races and eat the flesh
of thoughtful beings and rut upon
those who do not want them
and watch the world burn.

I do not have to do likewise.

I am a dragon, but
that does not mean
I must think as they do.

They believe the world was made
for their pleasure, to use and abuse
as they will, and then sleep away
the centuries beneath its ashes.

I do not have to make the same bed.

The world exists as we have created it,
a product of our thoughts and our actions.
So to change the world, we must first
change ourselves, and from that
all else will follow in turn.

I may be the first to change,
but definitely not the last.

I watch the Six Races, and
wish that we could be Seven.

Why should it be as it has always been?

There is no advantage for anyone
in all this pillaging and plundering --
as much treasure is wasted as collected.

So I do not hunt the refugees
who struggle to rebuild their lives
from what my kind have done.

Sometimes, they do not chase me.

Sometimes, when the gleaning
has been poor and my body hungers
for metal I cannot find on my own,
I go to a trading post or a market
with a deer in my mouth and see
if anyone will trade it for scrap.

Sometimes, it even works.

Other times, it makes trouble,
but such is the way of the world;
it will not change all at once.

There are those who are willing
to believe that what was
is not the lord of
what will be.

They say that a highway
begins by one person
walking along it.

What would I know of such?

I am a dragon, and
the sky is my highway.

But these people know
more of roads than I,
and so I will heed
their wisdom in this.

Somehow, we will begin
to build a new way between us,
and then the world will be
as we have created it.

They call me Shalmaneser,
which can mean peace or
retribution, and I am not
certain which they intended.

It can also mean
one who is tied, and
I suppose I am confined
by these new ideas that
forbid me from doing what
the other dragons do --

but if I am bound,
I am determined that
it will be by lines of
my own making.

* * *

Notes:

Monsters are most often defined by grotesque physical form, but can also be defined by abhorrent action.

The behavior of dragons and other mythical beasts would often be described in terms of psychological disorder for a sentient being, such as narcissism or psychopathy.

Peacemaking spans a variety of traits and skills. There are ways to teach peace skills and be more peaceful yourself.

Shalmaneser [N] [S] peace; tied; chained; perfection; retribution
-- Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-02 07:30 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
<3

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-02 08:04 pm (UTC)
thnidu: gold sculpture of a "thumbs up" gesture (thumbs up)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Definitely.

Of course I looked up "Shalmaneser", and of course it can mean anything at all in this other 'verse.

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-07-03 01:27 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

Thank you. Most peculiar, but I believe these were religious persons and not linguists.

Bt>'Bt</=x~,.

(ASL in ASCII-Stokoe notation: "doesn't matter, not important")

.

Edited Date: 2017-07-03 01:28 am (UTC)

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-07-03 03:50 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
YUP. And in that 'verse, maybe they do know what they're talking about. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-02 10:25 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I like this. The image of the dragon walking into the market with a deer in its mouth, looking to trade, is absolutely priceless. And the idea that "all change begins with one" is as true for us as it is for dragons.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-03 02:51 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
This. <3

-fallon~

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2017-07-03 03:08 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
Me, too. :)

We had (Still sort of have, even though he doesn't front much) a dragon in our system-and the image of him carrying a deer in his mouth is priceless. )He would probably carry it on his back were he in human form-but that's beside the point)

...this reminds me a lot of him-unspoiled beauty in its natural wild state is something he prizes-and that goes for humans as well-he leaves them be if they're not bothering him-he doesn't like fear-gotten treasures (YHuman or otherwise) he feels like captive beauty is no beauty at all.

(He does, however, keep a garden with such things that are meant to be...cultivated, but he lets it run sort of wild. I wish I could describe his home, it's beauty is definitely close to unparalleled because he's worked so damn hard to balance nature and confinement in such away that you don't know it's...confined unless you know what to lok for-responsibly wildtended is what he calls it.

-Fallon~

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Date: 2017-07-02 09:12 pm (UTC)
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