‘A wondrously stark universe comes to life’
Thomas Davis has taken a literary form that goes all the way back to the great sagas of antiquity’s oral literature, and fashioned a contemporary tale that will enthral both adults and their children. Davis has heard the song/Dredged from the ancient dragon memories and given us a story-poem that is part Beowulf and part Game of Thrones. Filled with witches, dragons, warriors, battles a wondrously stark universe comes to life in The Weirding Storm.
Terence Winch, winner of the American Book Award and author of fifteen books of poetry and prose.
‘Vivid and often stunning language’
In his epic poem, The Weirding Storm: A Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis discovers vivid and often stunning language to explore both ancient worlds and our present world with its ongoing cycles of death and resurgence, war and peace. Here you will find language and story that mesmerize the reader, that transport one to places where words and stories are born. This epic poem serves as a bridge between realms: substance and spirit, beast and human, reality and dream, none of which are separate in any moment of life.
James Janko, winner Association of Writers and Writing Programs Prize for the Novel; author of Clubhouse Thief and Buffalo Boy and Geronimo.
‘Fantastical creatures and dramatic scenes’
Thomas Davis pays homage to the most hallowed traditions of poetry: this is storytelling, with heroes who are at once both vulnerable and courageous, with fantastical creatures and dramatic scenes, told (for the love of language) in the discipline of blank verse.
John Looker, author of The Human Hive
‘An important classic of our time’
Thomas Davis’ stunning novel-length narrative poem, “The Weirding Storm”, is a mythological-like journey replete with dragons, spirit animals, witches, and magic spells. The origins of its form can be traced back to ancient oral traditions. Yet from its first lines in the Invocation it is profoundly and, at times, chillingly relevant to the present.
“Great dynasties exploded life in layers
Great swarms of species split from species”
Political maneuverings, misinformation, prejudiced assumption, terrorism, public and personal paranoia create the stage for a “dark spiraling” towards divisiveness and destruction. This is not only a tale of the lead up to and realization of blinded, bloody conflict, but, also, a discourse on how mistrust, close-mindedness, revenge, hate, and, ultimately, violence turns in on itself: i.e. dragons fighting dragons. “Would an aggressive show of strength ensure the dragons lived without the endless threat …”
“Or made a war where dragon claws and flame
Raked mostly dragon hides and forced a slide
As the most affecting war stories are, “The Weirding Storm” is essentially a call to peace: to reason and benevolence, to the oneness of all creatures, to love. The fear and loathing that drives dragons and humans are questioned and resisted, especially by those (on both sides) who have experienced such insanity before and know there is much more to lose than gain. A balance between the darkest and brightest sides of living beings, between fear and empathy, aggression and pacifism, despair and hope, is achieved in the tenor of the writing and the wisdom “The Weirding Storm” espouses, voiced by one of the older dragons, Ssruanne, to Wei, a human child who uncertainly but crucially transforms into a rainbow dragon:
“We’ll find the balance that is you
And then we’ll understand this lunacy”
Wei, who is left alone and unprotected when her mother, a witch ostracized by other humans, dies, embodies blamelessness, vulnerability and the transformational power of hope. In his introductory remarks, Mr. Davis reveals his inspiration for “The Weirding Storm” began “with an image of a young girl experiencing metamorphosis”:
“a girl caught up
In storms too big for her to understand”
Wei represents the impossible possibility for reconciliation between living creatures. Her innocence is her protection, manifested in the dragon scales she forms. Surrounded by the coldness of death and winter she is warmed by a mystical faith that eventually flames into dragon breath. She is able to shake off the burden of grief and fear and open her arms into dragon wings, so she can take flight for a higher purpose to see …
“Where all eternity and history
Spun on the cusp of change so powerful
No being would be like they were before.”
Her many colors sparkle light to scatter darkness. She embodies the rainbow’s meaning as put forth in the Bible, Ecclus. 43:11, as a “symbol of hope and the bright emblem of mercy and love, all the more true as a symbol because it is reflected from the storm itself”.
Along the streams of various points of view and experiences, “The Weirding Storm” moves effortlessly and clearly, exquisite prose-poetry swelling every line, verse, page and chapter. There is pure genius in creative composition that marries complexity with clarity, achieves poeticism without pretention, and engages the lover of story and language equally, all the while offering insight into human nature and the fragile possibilities of survival for the world and its inhabitants. “The Weirding Storm” is an important classic of our time, deserving much attention and acclaim.
DM Denton, historical novelist and author of Without the Veil Between, Anne Brontë: A Fine and Subtle Spirit.
‘I read the Poem in “one gulp” of five hours’
The Weirding Storm, an Epic Poem by Thomas Davis, was not what I expected from this writer of historical realities. The Weirding Storm is a tale of fiction and fantasy, but at its root–stems a truth of our “current” human nature. The characters force the reader into their world through Davis’ painful, but real understanding of personal psychology. What drives us to do/act, behave/respond when “Weird” happens? We draw upon what we know or recollect from others’ narratives; and make an internal understanding to what we perceive. Then we react. Right or wrong is only established after-the-fact, because ultimately everyone is limited to his or her perception.
In Davis’ tale, there are characters that “see” beyond normal boundaries, and “hear” the thoughts of others. Davis shows us what happens when we interpret the Weirdness around us. In a milieu of “Weirding” — bad happens, but good prevails. Never the less, through the “Storm,” characters sacrifice themselves, somehow, to reach understanding; And, some are just too naïve and stubborn to see or hear anything outside of their personal judgement and pride.
The Epic Poem “The Weirding Storm” is fiction and fantasy, but shows the depth of faults in what we think we understand. I read the Poem in “one gulp” of five hours, because when I started—I could not put it down. The poetic form, with iambic pentameter became invisible in reading the story. Mr. Thomas Davis, has proven an ownership of his craft.
As a college faculty member, I think that this work should be brought into the high school regimen to examine closely and extrapolate the many significant aspects of Davis’ writing.
‘Engaged and inspired’
What an honor to read and experience this song of life, woven through all life, including those with two hearts and with three hearts! I would love to hear Thomas Davis read this epic poem at an Ale House, before a roaring fire and a plate of venison and wild rice. I felt engaged and inspired all the way through the reading of The Weirding Storm, and will remember the female dragons for a long time. Thanks Tom!
‘A lovely story’
Successful at a challenging form (iambic pentameter blank verse) and a lovely story.
Excellent epic poem filled with adventure and fantasy! Love this!
Beautiful hero’s journey told in the traditional epic form. Brilliant!
Mary R. Wood