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Dragons in the Southern Sky

I went for a beach walk today. But I do not love the sea, so my head was in the clouds as I strolled first one way then back again. And up there was a realm as familiar to me as any old neighbourhood, for it has remained the same since I was young.

Southward, dragonlords stand with their faces to the white wind and their shadows elongated by the vast, elegant wings of wild-hearted, wise-eyed dragons. Their domain is a harbour full of trade ships, students ambling across the lawns of a great university, the beautiful white house of the duke. Where ever I am in the world, whatever lies south in reality, that is the world I see.

North-west are old stone towers amongst briar roses, dreaming roads, enchanted old oak forests in which live creatures so shy we have never learned their names. The women of this realm wear richly embroidered gowns and have an ornate, secret, embroidered language; the men carry swords but are ruled by an ancient ideal of gentleness. The king's house overlooks a different harbour from that southward: older, smaller, with ships whose trade is more wondrous. I grew up inside this realm, although at a layer where only whispers and glimpses of it could be seen.

Sometimes I've tried to write stories in these sky worlds, but they are too real.

art john bauer

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