How Divine
{An Umbrella Special Feature}

John Savoie

teaches great books at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. His poems have appeared widely in journals including Poetry and Shenandoah, and he is putting the finishing touches on his first book-length manuscript titled Metaphysical.

He is a dedicated Narnian, as is Eustace whose story may be found in C. S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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Most Subtle

Even as we pray
for the forgiveness
of trespasses,
yours, mine, theirs,
a lisping hiss,
neither yours nor mine
but surely ours,
slinks from voice to voice.


For Eustace

I, too, have been a dragon
and slept among jewels
dappled like a chill stream
flowing all green and gold
over my jeweled skin.

I, too, have touched the ones
I love, tenderly, with claws,
with eyes of hoard and cave,
coughed my thoughts in fumes
and chased us into solitude.

I, too, kept my light within
till it pressed upon itself
like diamond smoldering deep
in earth, the golden breeze
shrunk to fierce black flame.

I, too, have beaten the air
with leathery wings yet never
flown outside my dragon skin;
hated the hateful dragon glaring
from the steep mountain pool;

turned teeth and claws on self
to strip the mocking scales;
dug and sloughed and dug
again, but always I was
dragon’s heart in dragon skin.

And I, too, have known the Lion,
felt Lion claw and Lion breath
(a dragon seems so small),
taken the stark half-blind plunge
and died the sweet dragon death.

[First appeared in the Bulletin of the C.S. Lewis Society of New York and in The Mythic Circle]