Dragon at midwinter’s gate

A dragon at the city gate.

A ghost is in the square.

A bell man will not pull the rope

The coffin does not care.


A wishing well that’s almost dry

A  ring wrapped tight in hair

Hearts blood upon  Damascus steel

A minstrel wailing there


A damsel sprawled wide on her bed

A whisper in a room

A page lost in the city deeps

A risen crescent moon


A gruff voice raised in anger

A silken tongue drips with glee

A thief cuts purses hopelessly

And a priests wrists blood runs free 


A monk lashes himself with whip and chain

A widow is hoarse at prayer

A stallion prances his bladder is full

A dragon does not care.


The city’s prisons are empty

The minstrel’s hair is shorn

The king is in his coffin

The  ghost is bound in thorn


A first star shows above the wall

People’s  parties have begun

A pirate whispers regrets, amidst his coin

Every  hero was undone


The city growls with the crys of the crowd

Holed by piercing wails of fright

Many raucous celebrations sing

And sex is free tonight


A dragon’s eyes are both awake  and bright

A ghost puts out his moan

A damsel lies a trembling

A thief says leave well enough alone


A man chants pity,  pity,  pity me

The moon has reached its zenith

A wind rises up now,  suddenly

While the cats all howl nonsense


A riven heart, it can not beat

No queen sits on the throne

The prophets will always speak of scorn

A damsel cries alone


The willow trees are bowed to fate

The wind is growing brisk

The bell man has just opened the gate

A ghost fades in-betwixt


I watch from my window

As the dragon starts to rise

I sign and seal this manuscript

I have no more  good-bye’s


Saul Scudder – December 1995