the girl & the dragon

maybe it’s the spanish tunes,
dropped with tender fingertips
into a moorish night–
way too cool for may,
and i am shivering, or

my struggle with the roller coasters
that reminds me constantly
how difficult it is for me
to trust

and i say “next time” to my colleague,
“next time i will ride ’em all”
he smiles & says we’ll go for two
as that’s enough to start with,

after midnite and
a hundred work calls later
on three different mobiles, i sit
in the dark and suddenly i know,

it happened in that chinese circus
with her, sleeping on the bench
after playing with the dragon, he
takes off his coat, steps ClosEr &
i’m terrified– NO!! pleASE
dON’t harm her– but he spreads
the cloak and
covers her with warmth,

i wipe my eyes, breathe hard, stumble
on a cross road where i least expect,

rafts glide through the water,
almostSilent and the scent of mold
hangs in the air–

hours later i
still smell it on my hands and clothes,
& realize that i’m just a refugee
in a land, whose name
i can’t remember


it’s OpenLinkNight again at dVerse and brian miller serves drinks behind the bar…write a poem and join us at 3pm EST


72 responses to “the girl & the dragon

  1. I like the progression of this, Claudia. Never was one for roller coasters myself. Some thrills I can easily leave for others.

  2. what a ride on the dragon. you open so big and colorful and end in a desolate place. but the trip was so fun, there’s payoff in the silence at the end. so nice.

  3. As a kid I loved all things. Try them once just to say I did but, I’m with Mary, as we age we begin to see the dangers and tend to become more conservative. This is filled with lovely imagery. I am so glad the girl didn’t come to any harm and it all ended up happily ever after. That’s the way I like it ! *Smiles

  4. This is really rich Claudia, and the evolution of the subject towards the end is wonderful! I really admire your way of juxtaposing the story, first work, then the dragon metaphor… awesome read! 🙂

  5. Isn’t it wonderful that poems are wide open to interpretation? I love this for my own reasons, but then I enjoy everything you pen. 🙂

  6. i am awake now…smiles….3 am…yikes…roller coasters and trust are a good pairing there…funny i rather like the old wooden rickety ones more than teh new easy glide pipe ones…i think it is harder for me to trust one that is so smooth you know…smiles….i like that she does not get what she expects in the middle…instead of harm he gives compassion…those closing lines are tight with emotion for me…a refuggee in a land that she cant remember the name…nice piece claudia…see you in a bit…

  7. Holy crap, Claudia. I felt the fear, the need to stay in control and gained a bit of insight into my own dislike of carnivals and clowns and the like. This engaged me, for sure.

  8. Taking refuge from confused memories of dragons and damsels in distress under the rollercoaster rides of our busy lives is a normal impulse. However, we can never take refuge from all the exciting possibilities we would have missed if we had not gone to the circus, the fairgrounds, the carnival of our lives.

  9. Really like granbee’s read on the poem….alas roller coasters create dragons of a different kind for me…once again an excellent poem.

  10. Aren’t we all…the mood of this gets under your skin…like a blue perfume. Trust is so often a light blown out in the rush of wind on that downward ride. Fine one, Claudia–one of your best, in my simpleminded opinion.

  11. this is such a poignant piece… when i was a child i had a recurring nightmare about a dragon…and trust is one of the hardest things in this life, this life that is always a roller coaster.

    that closing stanza is fabulous.

  12. Great write, Claudia, it’s amazing how you capture emotions. I love the image richness!

  13. Beautifully done – visually stunning and moves within several different realms of fear and hope. To me the ending was a surprise as the voice speaks from someone in exile and in a land far from home a refugee — many of our world’s citizens are caught up in this very war torn world. Thank you Claudia for another exceptional write!

  14. Wonderful, as ever….and that last stanza packs a punch…hard to enjoy things when we fear them…a terrific write..

  15. Intriguing write, lots of depth and layers I sense. I can’t go on roller coasters anymore.

  16. You had me with the title, and slayed me with your finish. Awesome as always, and yet another to add to my favorites collection.

  17. The desire to protect your daughter and the ambiguities of this amusement park called life are so well expressed. We definitely can’t put a name on this country. Great poem.

  18. I used to go to a theme park when I was younger and it had a roller coaster that was entirely made of wood. It would squeak and sway as the cart flew right on by… this poem, and the roller coaster/trust comparison reminded me of that. I’m often reminded of things when I read your work, Claudia. Thank you.

  19. Hello,

    The roller coaster ride of life can leave us drained at times so it makes me think of the ups and downs of life not just a physical roller coaster ride.

  20. This felt so full of insecurities…full of anxiety…but the desire to ‘ride all the rollercoasters’ an expression of intent and courage. The girl and the dragon seems such a significant title after reading this in full. Love how you capture the peaks and troughs of emotion, just like a rollercoaster

  21. Wow! I rode many roller coaster relationships, which is why I especially like-

    my struggle with the roller coasters
    that reminds me constantly
    how difficult it is for me
    to trust

  22. Cool write. I don’t enjoy the roller coasters and my little one always tries to lure me into joining him and my husband…:)

  23. There’s so much going on here, so many layers and rich images, both lovely and scary. Love those first three lines that set the stage. The ending, wow, the ending! We can be such strangers in strange lands, and in familiar ones too. Great write, Claudia.

  24. I liked your poem, although I always want to know the kernel that spawned poems like this…
    My dragons ride with me where ever I go.


  25. Long past memories can raise their (sometimes ugly) heads just like a menacing dragon…your writings always make me FEEL… such a talent you have..

  26. Hey Claudia

    misty narrative – fogging perception but giving us the clue glasses to filter thru and speculate… all of which i love – dreamy on a solid plane

    hours later i
    still smell it on my hands and clothes,
    & realize that i’m just a refugee
    in a land, whose name
    i can’t remember

    i will take that with me…. because it sticks!

  27. Loved how this rolled like a coaster- absolutely wonderful. Also, following the narrative and the line of emotions, I felt like I was there too. So good.

  28. Oh there was lots conveyed here for me,the fear, the trust all familiar and so I readily took something darker from this piece.not sure if that was your intention but this had an element of trauma and I was totally pulled into it.Fantastic!

  29. Myself and roller coasters do not get along. I do trust some things, but not some fair rides for whatever reason. Your poem made me think of that. Also, I have no fear reading your work; great expectations fulfilled every time.

  30. What a ride you take us on in this fine piece. I know about the trust being hard part and the strangers being kind part, even feeling the refugee in a strange land part, but how you weave it all together is new and fresh.

  31. That ending really hit me, Claudia. It was a perfect way to wrap up the ride of emotions in this piece. Your poems are always beautifully accessible. I also like the play on words with “cross road”. Very nice 🙂

  32. God, Claudia. This is just about too much for me to handle. I’m so close to crying but fighting it. You never know who to trust, who is just trying to be nice, or who is about to destroy you and/or your child. This is heavy and painful; almost unbearably so.

    This, though, is beautiful:
    “maybe it’s the spanish tunes,
    dropped with tender fingertips”

  33. Absolutely brilliant. The title immediately evoked the thought of dragons, and damsels in distress – and there it is, modernized in a world of rollercoasters and shadowy coated figures and girls who are strangers in a strange land, but faithful to the archetype, with every emotion ringing as true as the medieval metaphors.

  34. Lovely… Got me wondering if my fear of roller coasters ties into my ever present trust issues. I enjoyed the vivid picture you painted, Claudia. I love reading your posts…

  35. what a fantastic ending, tying in the sense of smell with memories and reflection. Strong piece. Great build up. Love it. Thanks Claudia

  36. a Moorish night holds something quite evocative and romantic, doesn’t it? Well writ here sister… hope you are well Cloudy and not overworking yourself!

  37. I so loved all the details invested in this poem, and thought of New Orleans before Katrina..pictured Geisha’s in a tea room [ not sure why}, and any mention of chimeras sets my heart singing.Wonderful.

  38. I started out thinking it was a gypsy’s tale, Claudia. And the progression took it to a whole different place.

  39. “maybe it’s the spanish tunes,
    dropped with tender fingertips
    into a moorish night–”

    the girl & the dragon

    Hello! Claudia…
    What a very beautiful poem…You, too have captured a mood that evokes mystery [Of adventure at an amusement park and yet, having to face the reality Of work too!]
    Tks, for sharing your very beautiful poetic words… too!
    deedee 🙂

  40. so glad when grace appears in response to fear…a 100 calls, wow! the first few lines and the last stanza are sticking to me…Happy Thursday by the time you read this…blessings, Claudia 🙂

  41. This has the subtle, unspoken terror that eats at the heart, erodes so much of us from the inside. That you do not describe it in extravagant detail is testament to your poetic piwers, since it gets into the bones, like the alienation you write about and makes itself known by the most invisible means, though no less powerful for that.

  42. Overcoming fear and the drive to protect are the signs of one with heart and one who knows the source of fears. I have many “maybe next times” in my own life, relating closely with the self-disappointment when each fear controls and wins again. Wonderfully written, Claudia. ❤

  43. Truly fascinating and what a splendid piece this is… the fear of the rides and circus and the way you connected it with the trust factor is simply admirable…