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Shrine of the Blue Dragon

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at night spirits come
and send dreams of a dragon
not yet fully grown
sapphire scales shimmering
in its dance of azure flame

the princess arrives
without royal finery
drifting from the sea
a leaf cast off from the tree
pushed around by the current

the maiden finds out
princess is a cheeky girl
the spirits complain
because she eats their dumplings
treats herself to their fruit tarts

three years pass swiftly
down the flowing stream of time
three years like three days
merging into a timeless now
ocean of eternity

it’s cold and rainy
princess holds an umbrella
her kiss is soft, brief and sweet
it stops the shrine maiden's breath
her heart becomes throbbing flame

soon all things must end
the princess must go away
on some kind of quest
to reclaim her inner fire
the sun sets as she departs

alone once again
the maiden clings to routine
clean and sweep and dust
leave offerings for spirits
wait for princess to return

spirits miss the princess
strange and wonderful mortal
who stole their dumplings
and made off with their fruit tarts
her smile like the sun at noon

one night the spirits come
bringing dreams of the princess
seeking the answer
to the riddle of her flame
from the dark thief of faces

blue dragon returns
having shed her childish skin
a woman full grown
her embrace is searing flame
and her kisses are lightning