Here, But For Me, There Be Dragons

Dragon by Elizabeth Crawford

Here, but for me, there be dragons

Am learning to speak myself
into being. With a word, a phrase,
can change where I’ve been, what
I might become.

Chart a course by inner compass
locked onto stars only I know
the names of.  Sail seas of inmost soul
pulled by currents of peculiar knowing

Traverse plains of tall grass
on padded paws, moving over
continents wrapped round
this spinning globe of spanned seasons.
Split darkness of interior canyons
on silent wings, seeking that life
which hides in deepening shadow.

Pen in hand, create a map of fine blue
lines, conquering worlds built by other
people’s definitions.

Make myth from these moments of owned
existence, confident in knowing that all
these dragons be mine.

Elizabeth Crawford  1999

Notes: This piece was the title poem for a small chapbook I published in 1999. It remains a favorite because it comes straight out of my Personal Mythology. The image is a pen and ink drawing I did for the back cover of that small volume. The poems within its covers are about writing and how I see and feel about that subject.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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18 Responses to Here, But For Me, There Be Dragons

  1. Susan B. says:

    “Make myth from these moments”

    Your personal mythology has always intrigued me: so well formed. My life has been haphazard patching together of myths and stories, a veritable jumble box of beliefs and systems. Your mythology seems predetermined and a measure of the collective unconscious. It helps me to understand my world as well as yours.

    Solid poem. Thank you.


  2. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you. For a long time, I thought my mythology was haphazard, but I am beginning to really appreciate the word methodical and all of its meaninigs, lol. Glad you have found both value and enjoyment here.



  3. Mary says:

    Beautiful poem, Elizabeth. So many wonderful lines. Though you wrote this a while ago, it seems to express very well the YOU you are today. I like these words a lot….

    Pen in hand, create a map
    of fine blue lines, conquering
    worlds built by other people’s

    ……and often feel, with so many wonderful blogging poets it is a shame that we are all now more renowned in the world at large. Some poems, such as this one, definitely rival poems that have been published by poets who are ‘famous.’ Oh well!


  4. 1sojournal says:

    Hi Mary, okay confession time. This poem was published in a small chapbook volume of poems about writing. It was self-published. At the time, I was the General Manager of a bookstore, so could create a ‘booksigning party’ at will. Which I did many times for known and unknown authors. This small volume, with the back cover image above, came about because one of my students wanted to put a book of poems together. I helped her do that and took her through the step-by-step process. When I suggested a booksigning, she stalled, scared out of her wits, so I suggested that we share the limelight and she agreed. Then I had to go home and figure out if I had enough poems to even do such a thing. And like most poets, I had an entire collection of poems about writing, so I put it together and we had a booksigning about two months later. One of the best attended we’d had in the store, ever. She had no idea how many people would come out for her, lol. It was fun and really enjoyable. And by that time, I had a bit of a following as well, if only locally. I still have copies of all of the books and the zine I personally put together, and sometimes just rifle through them for ideas and those rare moments when I need to know why I actually do this stuff, lol.

    But, this poem is a personal favorite because, as you said, it is so me.



  5. pamela says:

    Elizabeth, so many truthful words in this but the last stanza speaks to me clearly!
    Excellent poem!

    Pamela, although this has always been a particular favorite of mine, I needed its message today. Thanks for reading and commenting,



  6. Tumblewords says:

    A beautiful poem!

    Thank you tumblewords, it is an adventure, and it tells of my own journey through the land of writing,



  7. The inner you spoke out to me. The longings and desires are what really define us.

    Here is my Haibun in 55 words!

    Thank you Gautami, I think you are very correct about that one. Seeing them to fruition is a life time experience,



  8. Diane T says:

    You are such a creative writer, Elizabeth. Love your three dragons!

    Diane, thanks for commenting and there are far more than three after all of this time,



  9. derrick2 says:

    “Split darkness of interior canyons/on silent wings, seeking that life/which hides in deepening shadow.” stands out for me. As well as the very first stanza!

    Derrick, thanks for reading, and I’m glad you found something you enjoyed. This one has always held layers for me,



  10. Irene says:

    Wonderful lines Elizabeth. I like especially ” seeking that life
    which hides in deepening shadow.” and the final stanza wraps up wonderfully. I can’t remember where the line “there be dragons” came from.

    Irene, when the explorers set out to sail, they drew maps of where they had been. When the maps were drawn up, a line was drawn showing the area explored. Beyond that line, the cartographer often drew dragons or sea monsters and wrote, “Here, there be dragons.” I used that line for the title of the book I created about writing, because my writing was always aimed at the inner workings of my own person, the one place no one else could explore. In my poetry, I have met the dragons and all of them “be mine.”

    This poem was especially appropriate for me today as I had to set up an appointment for an angiogram, another dragon to be met. Thanks for reading, commenting, and asking. I like questions, lol.



  11. Weasel says:

    Excellent write up! Love the journey! =)


    Weasel, this is an old poem, pulled out because of something I was experiencing and was reminded of by someone else’s words. I like the poem for lots of reasons, but am glad you enjoyed it as well.



  12. christopher says:

    So this prompt evoked dragons in three places so far. Here is one, and in my post there is a green dragon, and because I had a dragon, Jinsky shared with me a recent dragon of her own, posicn newly hatched with Piglet looking on. Her baby (or perhaps an adult having the last of the egg it broke open) is also green.


  13. christopher says:

    posicn was meant to be posing I believe…WTF??

    Christopher, I had no idea what to post for the prompt. I’ve been dealing with all sorts of things that have taken me outside my comfort zone for a number of weeks. So, I went to the BTP site in hopes of finding some inspiration. I found your poem, which clicked for me on several levels, especially the mention of dragons. So, I posted this old poem to remind myself of what and who I am about. My sense of dragons is a bit different from the norm. That’s why the title of the poem. My writing is always aimed at self-exploration and the dragons are definitely helpful in doing that.

    So thanks for the hand up, it was deeply appreciated,



  14. This is an amazing piece of writing! The urge to re-invent oneself is strong, and I loved the way you brought your “dragons” into it…those things you cannot change.

    Cynthia, I suppose that is one way to look at the dragons. I see them as a more highly evolved species come to help us be better at being human. And yes, they do inform those places that come from the past and why they came to be the stumbling blocks they most often are, but they can also help us to resolve those blocks, if we are willing to do the work. I can’t change the shortness of my stature, but I can certainly change the shortness and limited quality of my understanding as a child.

    I occasionally use Tarot cards for self-exploration purposes, not for devination. And at one point found a deck called The Dragon Tarot. It is expressly aimed at self-exploration and I found it very helpful in that arena. It certainly informed my creative process a great deal. Thanks for stopping and commenting,



  15. I love this one, Elizabeth – the “spinning globe of spanned seasons”, the padding paws……and the knowing that “all these dragons be mine”. Oh yes!

    Sherry, I wrote this one a long time ago and it still remains a favorite. Glad you like it. I used it for the title piece in one of my chapbooks. All of the poems are about writing, which seems to bring out the dragons with lessons to teach. Thanks for taking a look,



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