Thursday, May 7, 2015

Judith McCombs' "Dragon Song"

This morning I'd like to post the first entry into the women and music contest: Federal Poet Judith McCombs' "Dragon Song."  Above is a Japanese dragon as imagined by Kate Pfeilscheifter.  Below is a European painting of a woman and a dragon.

Dragon Song

There was a dragon loved a lady:
All his kindred thought her shady:
She was peeled instead of scaley
and where was her long green tailey?
            warned him dragons must
                        never trust
                                                a tailless, scaleless lady o.

When you fall asleep beside her
she will let another ride her:
She will pine for human words
and betray you to a sword:
            warned him dragons must
                        never trust
                                                a moody, human lady o.

Did the lady love the dragon?
When she saw his heart was sagging
she grew tired of human bragging
and of heroes' agony:
            and she thought that creatures must
                                                always trust
                                                                        what gentleness God sends us.

She's led him to her silky bed
kissed his scales and held his head:
In his claws she's found no harm
and his fires keep her warm:
            and she thinks that creatures must
                                                ever trust
                                                                        what gentleness God sends us.

And if the morning found them happy
who's to say what's wise or apt?
Love is precious where it's found
rare enough on mortal ground:
            blessings on all lovers
            and all others
                        waking in the morning.                      

Sing of dragons, sing of ladies,
sing of heroes in their bravery,                                                           
as you choose among your savories                                                   
think of us who lack for gravy,
keep us from the thieving poor.
Open purses, don't be greedy,
think of us, we are the needy,
keep us from the thieving poor--
if we starve we sing no more--
May you feed this year and more,
may we sing this year and more,
blessings on your noble, gentle door.

This poem was originally in Green River Review 13:1&2 (1982): 117-18.

Perhaps Billie Holiday would have been happier had a dragon fallen in love with her.

Or for that matter... Sandy Denny

I hope to be publishing other poems that celebrate women and music.  The contest continues!


  1. I enjoyed that uplift! Thanks Marianne

  2. Thank you, Angela. :) It's a beautiful day today!

  3. What an uplifting poem. The nostalgic feel of words works well. Congratulations on your publication Judith!