Prime Meridian


I doubt we think of

Fighting dragons all that much

If at all

We know a story

Maybe one or two retellings


Saint George


Or the dragon who slew Beowulf

Most of these from the west

(as someone has determined)

In the east

The east of east

The dragon is a force as likely

To ally itself

With virtue

And to embody the divine


Then there are those between

Those who’d just as soon have peace

To sleep in every now and then

And enjoy late breakfast


Who might take an adventure

On, because a spark of virtue

Has ignited


Travel somewhere farther out

Not for treasure but for

Keeping all the neighbors

And the neighborhood intact

And then


There is the confrontation

And because the sword is rusty

With the faith in fighting

Our hero

Turns to listening

And hears more than the

Dragon’s name

Hears its complaints


Beneath the bluster

It is a creature

With a need

It wants to escape the stories

And the derring-do

It has treasure enough

With a collection of knight’s armor

It can’t wear


The hero, then, steps forward

Not to raise the sword

That molders in a

Rotted sheath borrowed from

A museum

Not to speak a loaned-out



But instead to utter

Through the fear of one so grand

And sharp with many razor-points

A greeting that sounds

Civil, if vibrated


There’s a wet tear

The first one steaming


Tears from both combatants

They make a friendship flame

To camp

Tea for drink and

Moistening dry food

They talk into the night


The town has two heroes, then

One of them will last for ages

The other return

To sunlit life

Late breakfast in

The back garden


C L Couch



By Allie_Caulfield from Germany – 2012-10-10 10-13 Berlin 313 Pergamon Museum, Ischtar Tor, DetailUploaded by FunkMonk, CC BY 2.0,

The mušḫuššu is a serpentine, dragon-like monster from ancient Mesopotamian mythology with the body and neck of a snake, the forelegs of a lion, and the hind-legs of a bird.[18] Here it is shown as it appears in the Ishtar Gate from the city of Babylon.[18]

[18] Black, Jeremy; Green, Anthony (1992), Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary, The British Museum Press, ISBN 0-7141-1705-6