Charcoal Dragon by Herb Kauderer

Charcoal Dragon
Herb Kauderer

He lives in the cool dry deserts to the north
where no one expects a creation of
wood & flame reduced to carbon & ash.

Here scribes and artists seeking to harvest
his magic for chronicling and etching,
badger him for shed scales, and broken claws.
They cannot excel without his notice.

In the heat of the day
he hides behind the barren rocks
or beneath the pale biting sand.

In the dark of night he prowls darkly, unseen.

No chance reflection leaves his body.
No stray gleam escapes his face.
His prey never know who hunts them,

but the power of his explosive breath keeps them
running in the night.

In his solitary
invisible existence he covers his feelings
with layers of blackness & keeps
his weaknesses of flame & water as carefully
guarded and forbidden lore.

Still, in his sleep sometimes
he dreams of lives less vulnerable
& secrets shared. He imagines sketching
the myriad varieties of dragonkind,
recording their history.

And in his nighttime hunts he always watches
for other darknesses
that come in layers and look as he imagines
he must look to others of his kind.
His waking night dreams are to meet
another charcoal dragon
to form a greater blackness
and so he hunts for food and companionship.

 

Charcoal Dragon by Herb Kauderer 1

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