Oh! Oh my! Oh, goodness me!
There is a dragon in my tea!
Will he swallow me right up?
No! He’s sleeping in my cup.
Nostrils puffing smoke so grey,
he wakes up to greet the day.
Tiny dragon, scales all red,
giggles, wriggles, nods his head –
sitting on my toasted bread!
Wiggling wings, winking his eye,
itsy dragon starts to fly.
He swoops and loops and smiles at me –
I can hear him shouting, “Whee!”
Bitty dragon spits out fire
as he flaps and flies still higher.
Soaring over the jam, he lands
on my sticky, waiting hands.
Crawling slowly up my arm,
my dragonling, aglow with charm,
leaves of his passage not a trace,
makes my shoulder his nesting-place.
Curling close, he nuzzles my neck,
gives my chin a flicky lick
followed by a dragon-kiss
and sleeps again, in scaly bliss.
~ Marta Ziemelis. Written in Dubai, copyright February 2012.
Where did this come from, you ask? From experimentation, I suppose. One day I wrote two poems, both of which felt rather “clunky” – pleasant, but the language didn’t quite flow to my liking. The first was about drinking tea, and the second was about Chinese dragons. Finding myself unable to smooth out either piece, I got frustrated and left them alone. After some more playing around with words (and staring into space, as well) an unexpected brainwave arrived – why not try to put dragons and tea into the same poem? That idea, followed by several drafts, was the source of the poem you see above.
(I read/ performed “Dragon Teatime” to an audience of elementary school students, at the same poetry reading I mentioned in my previous post “Losing Marbles, Finding Unicorns”. Must admit that I was a bit nervous, but it turned out that the second and third graders who heard this poem quite liked the idea of a tiny dragon 🙂 My work gave an audience joy, which is one of the most meaningful experiences I, as a writer, could have :))