Saturday, March 28, 2015


I tried to be nice,
but when I opened my mouth, ghosts on fire flew out.

People started calling me the Dragon Lady,
but the dragon was its own creature,
sitting inside my bones switching its tail.

I crawled inside of myself to see, and what I saw was this:
The dragon had no arms,
no legs,
no wings,
no spines,
but it had a heart and the heart was full of broken glass.

I tried to go back, but the dragon whispered in my ear,
offering a deal.
"Take my heart, make your womb a shell."
Nine months later I gave birth to a little bad tempered sun.

Everywhere I go, people call me Mother Light,
but they are shadows, and I can't find a real soul among them.
Kiss me;
me and my dragon.
We're lonely.

I tried to be nice, but my heart was a dragon's child,
and my mouth made ghosts on fire that no one could love,
though I wanted them to, so badly,
all the more for having no body, 
no face, 
no ash or angel that I could call my own.



Susan said...

I feel I should cast a spell for protection and good on those inner journeys when we go to face ourselves--or at least what has taken possession of us. To give birth to a bad-tempered sun? that's sort of cute ... but loneliness is something else. I wanted to laugh at the story but in the end found it too sad.

Other Mary said...

Maybe a breath mint?
Sorry, I can't resist going for the laugh sometimes. This is brilliant thought. Sharp and sad and frightening. Like I think we must all be inside.

Outlawyer said...

Hey Shay-- very effective metaphor and imagery, with your bittersweet irony, humor, candor. My novel is called Nice. It is a good title for this poem, which is very sympathetic. Ghosts on fire is a very intense image. Thanks. K.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

i loved the opening line......and like the image of the inner dragon....was saddened by the heart full of broken glass (I have one, too.) Was amazed by the bad-tempered sun. Resonate with not being able to find enough whole souls, and wanting love so badly. In short, I totally love and resonate with this poem, my friend. And no one writes like you.

Sherry Blue Sky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oops, it posted twice which is what happens when one is typing one-handed and eating a Skinny Cow at the same time. And I WISH I was a skinny cow. Sadly, I am not, LOL.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This takes self-knowledge to a whole new level. You have both defiance and longing knotted together in these lines - very effective. And the final stanza says it all for me.

Shawna said...

This is the one. The best one. So deeply moving, Shay.

hedgewitch said...

The ultimate bad trip, into the scarred self, where those things live that will tear us and everyone close enough to bloody bits. The language is indeed full of 'spells and magicks,' the last stanza is hard and bright as a prisming crystal, and the hurt it splits into fragments of light is our own. Brilliant.

Jennifer Wagner said...

Well, nice can be boring, ha. I so get it...and your opening couplet just nails it. Something about making "ghosts on fire that no one could love" makes me sad. You come up with the most unique and fantastic imagery.

Mama Zen said...

This is really brilliant stuff, Shay. Amazing.

Lynn said...

That one will stay with me for a bit.