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Here There Be Dragons (2012)

Chris Murphy

Here there be Dragons, and possibly flagons
It would sometimes be written of old.
With wine that makes the tongues to roll
The stories of seamen grow bold.
From Jonah to Job and Leviathan
Of monsters down deep we are told.

Yet others have trekked, survivied they would say
The jungles and rivers afar.
Spiders and snakes and Savages' stakes
And yet weirder sights have they seen.
Flying creatures, flaming screechers
Both wicked and winged and mean.

From the deepest crypt of Memoria
The winged serpent flies.
Just after dusk, at the edge of town
Its beating wings arise.
Its flaming breath, a furnace blast
The pet of the Father of Lies.

So many stories I now recall,
I heard as a lad by the fire.
A sword that came up from the lake,
St. George who killed the flaming snake,
Of Leprchauns and Borrowers
With friendly but impish desire.
The image that haunts me to this day
Is the shifting of man into snake.

Here there be Dragons, so they say.
The phrase is grammatically queer.
Dueling adverbs, back to back,
And I'll parse them some other day.
Here and there, let hearers beware
There are dragons in slacks and in drag.
But the one I suspect, and may even detect
I do not know how to bag.

The dragon I see, at the edge of the day
(His lair is filled with gold and loot)
This dragon has killed many a soul
But he wears a Brooks Brothers' suit.