It was those who ruled the sky that held most worship,
For it was they who commanded the realm men could not.
Land and Sea were formidable,
But they could be claimed and mastered,
But the sky,
Was so expansive,
It made the ancestors crave it.
One of the ancestors,
A young man called Vilt,
Was so drawn to the sky,
That he prayed,
Night and day,
To any god that would listen.
He pleaded to be given wings to fly,
So he could soar upon winds high.
A sky god replied,
One whose name has long been lost to us.
The great deity answered Vilt,
By giving him a set of instructions.
‘Venture over three crystal streams,
Pass the mountain of wondrous dreams,
Through the great and noble grove,
In the centre,
Find the stove where the white-witch lie,
There you will find your tool to fly.’
Vilt ventured to the three rivers,
And he did pass over them,
One after the other.
The first by grey stepping stone,
The second by jumping bravely,
The third, by swimming like a fish.
Then he found the mountain,
Of wondrous dreams,
Where Vilt was tempted to sleep.
Offered to rest and enjoy the treats,
And tempting favours on offer to him.
But he resisted it,
Until he reached the great grove.
He walked past trees,
In a clearing,
Came upon an old stone stove,
Where the fires roared,
Searing smoke out and up,
And gathered around it,
Lay five white-witches.
Each one had gorged on the fruit prepared,
And now, lay head resting,
Filled from that consumed,
But for Vilt did see,
Upon the stove,
Untouched from heat,
The head of a bird.
Cleaned and carved.
Vilt moved towards it,
Where he did pick it up,
Burning his hands as he did so.
He dropped the skull on the floor,
And sucked his fingers,
To soothe them some.
He retrieved the skull,
And placed it upon his head.
Vilt was no more.
He forgot his name.
And from his back grew great golden wings,
Laced with brown feathers,
And as he stretched them out,
He bent his knees,
And launched himself into the sky,
That he had longed to soar within.
The people of the nearby hill,
Would call out his name when in need.
‘Birdman, Birdman’ they would cheer,
And from the clouds, he would appear.
To aid those who needed aid,
To offer a way to those who were lost,
To warn of weather upon approach.
And for those who wish to fly as well,
Need not chime bells,
Nor waft plumes of smoke,
Simply croak and shout aloud,
And then wait,
And gaze at cloud.