The Dancing Dragon Poems

Dancing Dragon Poems

The Dancing Dragon Poems

by Victor M. Depta

Blair Mountain Press, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9768817-5-9

Vic Depta must have been a happy man as he wrote The Dancing Dragon Poems.  The ingenious plan of expressing mystical ideas through a playful dragon is delightful in itself, and then to place him in scenes and situations where those ideas are dramatized, whether in a café or a cavern, is a tour de force of hilarity. 

Somehow, in the midst of all this fun, Depta manages to teach, not only about mysticism, but also about philosophy and science.  For example, the mystical idea that reality is non-causative and non-contingent is set alongside Richard Dawkins’ selfish genes, which clearly replicate themselves in a causative and contingent universe.  The theological concept of a transcendent being is set alongside the existential concept of atheistic materialism.

And if that weren’t enough, the dragon dances about in a slapstick world of social satire, as when Bush is seen worshipping the Wall Street bull, the public is in Plato’s cave, mesmerized by the second-hand reality of the American Idol, and some pentecostals share the same riverbank with a group of hell-raising, whiskey-drinking dope-smokers.

Among the other felicities of this charming book are the rhymes and the rush of energy.  It’s as if the dragon were the first to discover the pleasures of mnemonic word-play, rhyming “monads” with “gonads,” “zero” with “ex nihilo,” and doing so with such verve that, wherever he finds himself—at the Naropa Institute or Suzhou, China—he never fails to make his situation a prosodic hullabaloo.

On the back cover of the book, Depta says that he was inspired by his grandson who, as many boys his age, was fascinated by dinosaurs and dragons, and that his grandson was his muse.  It seems to me that the Laughing Buddha had a hand in the composition of these beguiling poems.

Betty A. Huff

Managing Editor

Blair Mountain Press

The Dancing Dragon Poems is available at Blair Mountain Press; simply send the managing editor a check for the sale price of $10.00.  You can also purchase the book on

The Dragon’s Toady Self

The dancing dragon has a self—

it’s very serious

it’s never delirious like a woodland elf

nibbling on mushrooms

but more like a toad on the top of his head

warty and squat between his horns

its mouth in a frowny slit

bulgy-eyed, the sulky thespian

croaking about I am I am

till the dragon

sick of the puffy, Shakespearean ham

coils up his scaly neck

and with an unwhirl worthy of a plumber’s snake

flings him against a tree trunk


and for the time being

that’s that.

The dragon is an icon of fantasy and, through it, much can be explored.  The Dancing Dragon Poems is a collection of poetry exploring fantasy, philosophy and science through the dragon, drawing from an inspiration of joy....  Exciting, poignant, and thought-provoking, The Dancing Dragon Poems is a fine collection that should not be overlooked.

Micah Andrew, The Midwest Book Review

© Victor Depta 2018