Content Warning: death, dark themes
Laura Varnam – Dead Dragon, Deep Dragon
When they scudded my carcass over the cliff
(their yammering cries a last death-rattle
as I pitched sea-soon–)
For a sigh's space my wings whooped wide
and time snapped back–
a bobby dazzler!
in the night's cool joy –
zip back to the cave before the dawn can clock me
my signature smoke trails
bobbing back to earth
I sink, belly-dragging downwards,
a wreck on the whale-road.
This sea-bed is no earth-cave but I'm making do.
Crabs keep track of my scales when the water
winkles them away. Words slough off my spine,
wæterwyrm merewif saespel
shells for curious creatures to snitch inside,
and in the deep quenched
dark, I dream...
Laura Varnam is the Lecturer in Old and Middle English Literature at University College, Oxford. Her poetry is inspired by the medieval texts that she teaches, especially the Old English epic Beowulf. Her poems have been published in Atrium, Crow of Minerva, Dreich, Green Ink Poetry, The Oxford Magazine, and Ink, Sweat & Tears.
Artwork: Jellyfish by Julia Gavrilova
Julia Gavrilova is a printmaker and surface pattern designer who grew up in Russia and now lives in Switzerland. Her creative journey started in middle school and then developed through years into what she is now. Her works are inspired by nature's basic forms, textures and colors.