There be dragons

or water serpents
their unseen ripples
raise the rough water
until a scream: Enough!

the tall dragon head
with ruby red eyes
proud as a viking prow
in the swirling fog

there be dragons, and
hic sunt leones
and here ends the earth
known to the mapmaker

in an endless waterfall
over the back of an elephant
standing on the back of a turtle
and turtles all the way down

where have all the pirates gone?
they still get drunk
and rape and pillage
but their art is now commerce

and the chinese dragon
lazily snaking
through the swift river
in an ink drawing

the pain of others
hurts me
yet their lives are better
under their own control

sometimes swimming
is the best answer
you never know
the dragon may smile