@peterwilkins1 and I wrote this over two two sessions over three days. As Peter says in his blog we didn’t premeditate anything except that our work would be about our shared love of dragons. I have noticed that in the past I noticed that @perterwilkins1 and share synchronicity. We often start thinking and writing about similar topics at the same time. I was very excited about the prospect of writing with Peter.
Like Peter I am used to collaborative writing in academic contexts. Co-written academic articles need to appear seamless as if they were written by one person. Writing in this way, one learns to adapt and adjust one’s own writing to the style of another to achieve a seamless finished piece.
I think that both of us brought this experience into play when we started our dance with a dragon. I was wondering where the story line would take us and what sort of style we would use. I started with a gogyohka because I thought this form would not restrict our flow with too many formal constraints. I hoped that Peter would approve, his quick response indicated that indeed he did. I couldn’t wait for his verse. Peter continued our dragon tale with a gogyohka. He has dubbed our form a rogue gogyohka and I think this is very apt. We were also performing renku, a poetry tradition from Japan which has its origins in Renga.
Our writing was a performance and we were both aware of our audience. On the second night of our performance I was a little weary emotionally from the onslaught of bad news from the Queensland floods (I live in Australia and spent 7 years living in Townsville). But I really wanted to write with Peter that night. The first ‘turn’ was mine. After at bit of searching and banter I looked at the last rogue gogyoka, “Clouds shudder / the sky / begins to simmer / eons have passed / the moment has come”.
The word “cloud” was a meme I wanted to transform, given the damage in South East Queensland and the images being relentlessly broadcast on TV in Australia. But I wasn’t thinking about this on a conscious level, I just wanted a place to restore my own equilibrium. An image of a red phoenix popped into my mind. And Peter and I continued to waltz seamlessly.
Flames of Creation
White dragon soars / past gilded domes / in the land / of perpetual summer
Fire streams / laced with dreams / roar / into the sunlight
White scales / kissed by sunbeams / spark / with many hues /miniature rainbows
Down below / people gasp / as falling cinders / become golden flowers / in their gardens
The air was thick / smokey frangipani scent / honeyeaters drank / sweet sticky nectar
Like twisting smoke / the dragon turns / its fiery eyes / burn like hot steel
From the east / a fleck appears / a song wafts / on the wind / white dragon smiles
Clouds shudder / the sky / begins to simmer / eons have passed / the moment has come
Red Phoenix arrives / soaring between / golden pink clouds / dazzling / people below
Wing-lash / a storm of flames / and falling ash / the beasts / are dancing
Dragon swirls / a rondo / bows his head / swoops an arc / towards the ground
The hillside / tilts and trembles / as he lands / people scatter / beneath his fiery breath
Mayhem / through the crooked village streets/ white dragon laughs / on a tower balcony / appears a wizard
Avada Kedavra / turquoise comets spin and zing / in the wizard’s eyes / the dragon takes / a mighty breath
And spirals up / flying eastward / diamond tears fall from dragon’s eyes / people scramble / Phoenix drops a feather
Wizard’s wand / catches sunbeams in each swish / skies blacken / thundercrash / the phoenix falls
People gasp / electricity crackles / in their hair / silver sparkles in the air / Wizard smiles
The dying bird / screams in pain / sweet gasps of frankincense / flitter like final kisses / from its beak
Eyes glaze over / Phoenix stretches wings / iridescent flames / magenta, green and white / a pile of ashes
Whilst on a mountain top / in Tyana / an egg cracks / in a nest of / scented embers
A tiny beak / with a golden hook / emerges from the crack / Dragon senses magic / swiftly flies / towards Tyana
Dragon arrives / peels of laughter / cascade down the mountain / then stillness / rebirth
Dragon’s breath / gently tickles feathers / red wings and white entwined / yin and yang / forever bonded
Peter’s version is here