That Dragon Tattoo

Toads aโ€™ croaking

The sugarcane high

Fools rushing in

Where angels fear to fly

Doors broken

Blown open

Eucalyptus trees

Thrown asunder

In the white hot thunder

Of a cyclonic breeze

๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰

Bells toll

For the souls

Strung up

On the line

Hung out to dry

In the doing

Of hard time

Not a word of goodbye

So what could I do?

She gone with the man

with that dragon tattoo

๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰

I seen him

Hanging around

At the old truck stop

On the outskirts of town

She looked into his eyes

When he stopped her to ask

Was she going his way?

He had a face like a mask

Another snake oil peddler

Just passing through

Mayhem ‘n’ venom

Was the man

With the dragon tattoo

๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰

The preacher

Was preaching

Mannered and mild



Bound up

In the heart

Of the child

But who

Can you turn to?


Can you do?

When itโ€™s you


Was born

To be wild

Too bitter to swallow

It pierces straight through

She gave her arm to the man

With that dragon tattoo

๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰

“Thereโ€™s no meaning to life.”

. . . some people say

Itโ€™s true sometimes

You can see it that way

Some rush to the strange

While others make do

Thereโ€™s a sting

In the tail

Of that dragon tattoo

๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰

A tempest


Once raging

Now receding

To a forbidden zone

Yet in the silence

Her loneliness

Never leaves

Me alone


Born of fire


Made of stone


Upon the water


To the spoon

A broken wooden cross

Under a blood red moon

There’s a lonesome track

To a dark racecourse

Someone is out there

Beating on a dead horse

๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰

Is this existence

A blind witness

To the undertaker of crime?

Or is life in the living

The sowing and the reaping

A privilege divine?

Had she heard the Word

Faithful and true?

Yet she never said a thing

So what could I do?

Thereโ€™s blood

On the trail

Of that dragon tattoo

๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰ ๐Ÿ‰

~ by David B. Redpath ยฉ 2022


Inspired by Bob Dylan’s
‘Man in the Long Black Cloak’

Title Artwork by Multiple Michael

David B. Redpath ยฉ 2019 – 2022

144 thoughts on “That Dragon Tattoo”

    1. Thank you very much Charlie.
      I was just ordering a new dictionary
      to enable me to assimilate your
      intriguing writings. My old one
      fell far short. Even my Rune Stone
      was stumped. Guess I’ll just have
      to use my imagination, if that’s O.K.?

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I would like to show my gratitude for your kindness for all those that absolutely need help with your area. Your special dedication to getting the message throughout became really interesting and has consistently helped folks much like me to arrive at their pursuits. Your entire warm and helpful suggestions can mean so much a person like me and further more to my colleagues. Many thanks; from each one of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Not a word of goodbye…” made me weep. (Not even a note.) Terrific homage and I love your art. S/he knows about the light. The seed may grow and bring healing. Pain teaches us so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Most poignant words and very strong imagery.
    The beating a dead horse line and imagery that comes from it is particularly vivid and distressing for me.
    Reminds of a scene in the film โ€˜Catch 22โ€™ where a horse in a darkened alley laid on the road is being brutally beaten by a man with a whip !!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A great movie, and book.
      It showed me that when it comes to fighting
      the system, one individual just can’t win.
      So best just transcend the whole damn thing
      … or be sure to have fun trying โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      Sorry to cause distress, Don.
      From my equestrian experience, horses are
      friendly & affectionate when treated right ๐Ÿ‡

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Just when I get the hang of pocket calculators, fax machines, and pagers
        … they’re all out the window, and you’ve
        got to start all over learning a new device.
        I think I’ve got future shock!
        I best go on strike ๐Ÿ˜Ž


  4. This distinct mix of eclectic ecstasy and neurologically troubling psychedelia is the foremost reason as to why you are one of my favorite people on WordPress… ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was spellbindingโ€ฆ Iโ€™m not sure how you do it but so much love comes through in your posts in spite of the slightly ominous atmosphere, itโ€™s really a nice thing to read them. I liked the dragon emoji stanza separators. That artwork at the end!!!! Unreal. Iโ€™m thrilled to see you posting more! Keep going please! ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿ’›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanking you libaciously, Lia ๐Ÿ™
      I’ve been chasing that dam dragon,
      from Mount Doom, to the land down
      under. I suspect that lounge lizard๐Ÿฒ
      is a lunar virus ๐ŸŒ• super spreader.
      In the meantime, I’ll make progress
      reports of my endless search ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You intrigue me David
        And yet I sometimes feel
        Iโ€™ve been in cahoots with you
        Without even knowing it. ๐Ÿฒ๐Ÿงš๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿงžโ€โ™‚๏ธโ‰๏ธ๐Ÿ”† Bon continuation et Bon courage. ๐Ÿ’—

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You can file this comment under wierd associative reader response: your poem reminds me of Alfred Noyes’ “The Highwayman.” It must be something about how repetition is used. I’ve been meaning to ask, do you have showings of your artwork in the brick-and-mortar world?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A forty singing seamen salute to
      you Liz, for the reminder of that
      grand poet, Alfred Noyes.
      The author of Dick Turpin’s Ride.
      ‘The Highwayman’ is an epic tale
      of tragic romance along the lines of
      Romeo and Juliet. At least the ghosts
      of Bess and her highwayman lover
      get to meet again on winter nights.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a lock down peculiarity.
        I’ve ever been so busy, EC.
        But I do my contagious best
        to keep a finger on the pulse
        of my poetic favourites,
        such as your eloquent self ๐Ÿ’–

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the revisit, Anna ๐Ÿ™โค๏ธ
      Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
      Providentially, I’ve survived a slow
      motion near death experience.
      It would seem to give one something
      to write about.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. WOW! I totally forgot this one, David! It’s wonderful! I have no idea why and I’ve never had this happen while reading You before but I got thrown into a sort of Gatsby-ish Fitzgerald funk from this. I could see it all so clearly.
    I was left heartbroken for him and more than a little worried for her.
    Once again, The David Express took me somewhere.
    And the art of you both is beautiful!!! Thank You!!! Cheers and hugs! ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald in Paris
      with Ernest Hemingway in the 1920’s!
      That would be the roaring place to be!
      Thank you very muchly, Katy, for the
      revisitation of my cautionary poem.
      Many a string was broken in the
      writing, but my old violin just keeps
      on playing. Forgotten faces, and
      haunted places, are forever bathed in
      the stream of my fevered imagination,
      so better to express than keep it all
      locked up down in the dungeon.
      Sorry that it left you a wee bit
      perplexed and heartbroken ๐Ÿ’”

      “The tune that is yours and mine
      to play upon this earth,
      We’ll play it out the best we know,
      whatever it is worth,
      What’s lost is lost, we can’t regain
      what went down in the flood … ”

      ~ Bob Dylan

      … and yes, Multiple Michael’s artwork
      is most poetically inspirational ๐ŸŽจ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My absolute pleasure, David! You can break my heart anytime with Your incredible flows! And I LOVE this:
        “Forgotten faces, and
        haunted places, are forever bathed in
        the stream of my fevered imagination,
        so better to express than keep it all
        locked up down in the dungeon.”
        Hey….if You ever find/design a time machine and head back to Paris in the 20’s….I wanna come!!!! Cheers and Hugs! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Si seulement, Katy ๐Ÿ™
        In the meantime I’ll just have to ask
        you do you parlez-vous franรงais?
        And then make do with watching that
        movie ‘Midnight In Paris’ with Woody
        (providing Rachel and Owen don’t get
        too feisty ๐Ÿ˜Ž).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. NO!!! But I’m learning Italian as I have very vivid fantasies of moving to Italy in a few years! Does that count?!! ๐Ÿคฃ And….sigh. YES! I’ll take Woody’s midnight in Paris! Laughing here because I’m trying to think of something witty to say but my stone-cold crush on Owen stopped me in my tracks! You got me!!!! Cheers, my friend!!! Thanks for the laugh! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿค—

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’m now in a Uffizi Firenze, lost
        in a Renaissance art gallery ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŽจ
        somewhere in old Tuscany
        where you have sent me with
        the merest mention of Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
        Thank you muchly, Katy ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’› ๐Ÿ˜Ž

        Liked by 1 person

      5. AHHH!!!! Sign me up!!!! I’ll be there someday! I LOVE how much Y’all have traveled!!! Sighing though a HUGE taking-over-my-entire-being!!! smile as I walk away swimming in Italian adventures to come!!!! Yay!!! Thank You muchly as well, my friend!!! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually wrote this one to be a
      spoken word performance piece,
      to be delivered with a staccato
      beat. Hence the short sharp
      phrasing. It also helps the old
      memory in the delivery, John ๐Ÿ‘

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Most wonderfully written in such
    a terrible situation of world, yeah.
    All lives have many joys but in a
    climate of dragon’s fearing tatoo
    inside. Gorgeous, dear Redpath!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Most certainly, Aruna โ˜‘๏ธ

        “Fear not, for I am with you; be not
        dismayed, for I am your God; I will
        strengthen you, I will help you, I will
        uphold you with my righteous right
        hand.” ~ Isaiah


      1. I like the tune of your lyre and its abhorrence for dragon fire ๐Ÿ”ฅ Which in this age seems to reign to the sad refrain of the King of Pain. (I had to bring Sting into it somehow or the other)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well forged, Tanmay ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘
        Clearly a noble word smith worthy
        of royal patronage. May your sturdy
        armoury withstand the slings and
        arrows of outrageous fortune ๐Ÿ’ช

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The deepest unfathomable
      thank you, K. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ˜Ž
      I did sit at the feet of the
      Poet Laureate of Rock ‘n’ Roll
      for a while, but he told me to
      go away, and that inspiration
      don’t come cheap ๐Ÿค”


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