"The Gilded Stones"
-- a rubaiyat
The hen Aluzza wrecks a mighty path
And slays uncounted Imran in her wrath.
The fall of Zayd is terrible perforce,
And whelms the nation in its aftermath.
They plan their counterplay without remorse --
The females of the Imran are a force
To reckon with and not one to dismiss --
With courage and with calm they choose their course.
When Naamla stares into the bleak abyss,
She tips her horns with steel and swears to this:
She will not let the dragons have their way
With Alaqaaf where sandy winds will hiss.
Asheera stands beside her day by day,
Whose painted wings hold loneliness at bay;
When Naamla says that they will have to fight,
Asheera spreads her wings in fierce display.
They speak to other females in the night
To friends and sisters cowering in fright
Who shake their heads and say it's a mistake,
But Naamla's arguments soon prove her right.
A dragon hen lusts for a dragon drake
To quicken eggs for what nest she may make.
The drakes won't know until it is too late --
The trove is mostly gilded stones, and fake.
The drakes and hen will surely take the bait,
And battle to the death will seal their fate.
They need a good defense and lots of paint --
Which they can get, and that wins this debate.
They choose the hen Zaquum whose bitter taint
Infests a town with nary a constraint.
Asheera lays a trap of gilded stones
While Naamla and the others dodge and feint.
The drakes are drawn, and fight with mighty moans;
The ruins of the city shake with groans.
By ones and twos they come and die -- and then
The vultures come to feast upon their bones.
The Imran sneak upon Zaquum's lair when
The skies are shattered by another hen,
Not like Zaquum's own red but green with claws
Of copper falling on the lair again.
Zaquum is vanquished there without a pause,
Brought low by hidden weaknesses and flaws
So well exploited by a bigger foe
That soon there's nothing left of her but paws.
The Imran know they're beaten, so they go
To open desert where the hot winds blow.
While Naamla holds Asheera by the hand,
They pledge their love despite this overthrow.
The little group of females must disband,
But Naamla and Asheera understand.
They find a hidden spring and take a bath,
For while they have each other life is grand.
* * *
Read about the rubaiyat form.
Alaqaaf (al-ah-KAAF) -- the Windy Dunes.
The Quran gives the location of ʿĀd as being Al-Aḥqāf (Arabic: الأَحـقَـاف, "The Sandy Plains," or "the Wind-curved Sand-hills"). It is believed to have been in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, possibly in eastern Yemenand/or western Oman.
Read about Arabic stress markers.
Zaquum -- a dragon hen infesting a city
• Zaqqūm (Arabic: زَقُّـوم, A tree in Hell)
Naamla -- a female of the Imran with metal-capped horns, the lover of Asheera
• The namlah (female ant) of Solomon (27:18–19)
Asheera -- a female of the Imran who paints her wings, the lover of Naamla
• Ash-Shi‘rā (Arabic: ٱلشِّعْرَى, Sirius)
Red dragons and bronze dragons are attracted to gold, among other things. However, blue and green dragons like different materials. Among the components of gold paint are various types of mica which includes cesium, chromium, potassium, and manganese -- all things that blue and green dragons love. Trying to fake out one type of dragon may legitimately attract another.
Red dragons: iron, mercury, gold, copper, tin, nickel, zinc, strontium, lithium, chlorine, calcium, sulphur, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium, vanadium, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, manganese, and rhodium. They have claws the color of blued steel. Aka rust, cinnabar, iron, or steel dragons. Because of their craving for both sodium and chlorine, they are strongly attracted to salt. They typically breathe red flame, sometimes orange, occasionally yellow. Rarely it has a purplish hue. Sometimes it sheds gold sparks.
Bronze dragons: gold, iron, copper, tin, nickel, zinc, antimony, carbon, calcium, sulphur, sodium, fluorine, bismuth, vanadium, lead, cadmium, and chromium. They have golden claws. Aka gold or brass dragons. They typically breathe yellow flame, but it may be orange, sometimes with gold sparks. They may breathe toxic sulfurous gas.
Blue and green dragons: copper, cobalt, chlorine, barium, boron, arsenic, caesium, phosphorus, bismuth, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, potassium, manganese, vanadium, and osmium. They have pinkish or coppery claws. Aka verdigris dragons or copper dragons. They typically breathe blue or green flame, which rarely sparks. Occasionally it has a purplish hue. They may breathe toxic, corrosive green chlorine gas or spit globs of thick blue-green corrosive gunk.
I once came across a way of distinguishing genre vs. subplot based on the premise that the most important crisis gets resolved last. Therefore if you save the world first and then get together, it is romance with a speculative subplot. If you get together first and then save the world, it is speculative fiction.