The Phoenix and the Dragon in the Year of the Monkey

As you know, I’m writing along with the students in my Creative Writing class this semester. Here is this week’s assignment: A Villanelle.

The Phoenix and the Dragon in the Year of the Monkey

There were two mythic beasts who fell from flight:
A Dragon and a Phoenix, who grew tired
of solitary soaring in the night.

Embracing only mist and chased by moonlight,
they choked upon the smoke of their desires,
then stilled their mythic wings and fell from flight.

The Phoenix cooled to ash; the Dragon’s brightness
burned to stone. Each lay upon a pyre
of solitary, bone-sore selenite.

But seasons turn, and one red stroke of lightning
split the planet, set them each afire,
and raised those mythic beasts in double flight.

Her feathers flared, his scales gleamed at the sight
of beauty and rebirth. By love inspired,
they soared toward dawn and burned the rags of night.

As peace and justice reign, they taste delight,
for now they dance in air, a two-tongued fire,
these wingéd souls who rise again in flight
and soar together on their wedding night.




About Sørina Higgins

Sørina Higgins is a writer, English teacher, and Inklings scholar. Sørina serves as Chair of the Department of Language and Literature at Signum University and teaches English at King's College and Lehigh Carbon Community College. She has published two books of poetry, "The Significance of Swans" and "Caduceus."

4 thoughts on “The Phoenix and the Dragon in the Year of the Monkey

  1. This is beautiful! I love it!

  2. pennkenobi says:

    Time to burn some Nag Champa and fire up some Peng Xiuwen Orchestra and then reread this. Solid to the touch but with soft lines like a fine woodcut.

  3. Richard Johnston says:

    Very beautiful–and you use that difficult poetic form perfectly.

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