• J. W. Barlament

The Bloody Beaks of Pelican Isle

On a rocky shore a small ship lands and sinks beneath the waves

And from the wreck a man emerges by his fortune saved

And he bows his head 'fore an army of white birds with beaks of blood

As tall as men and talking of the thunderbird above

‘I sail from the south, to the isle where the pelicans, they say

Are gifted with the sight of things that lie beyond today

And I come to ask a question, and I offer any price

Is it true you may predict the day I be decreed to die’

Then silence, stirring, coming forward of a bird so old

That his clouded over eyes still shone with countless tales untold

But his head hung low and his wisdom seemed a withered pitied thing

For the other birds wore woeful looks while he began to sing

‘There was once a time I’d smile and I’d give you what you seek

But you’d swear an oath by blood you’d spill yourself upon my beak

To pass to me for prophecy what I wanted from your years

But the truth be told, I can no more see and the future gives me fear

For the thunderbird who rules us tells us all of nature’s course

But his power’s been supplanted by your fellow men by force

And the lightning strikes the hour when no thing will go to plan

And the gods all starve for their food’s all poisoned by the schemes of man’

‘But my ship has sunk and I know not how I’d even get back home

Do you mean to say I have come for nought and disaster I have sown?’

And he looked around in panic and he felt his tear ducts flood

For why then were all the beaks of the birds still coated red in blood?

‘Never fear, just yet, unlucky man, for your quest’s not yet in vain

We may both your answer give and our immortal lord repay’

And the birds all moved as if on que and their stare with vengeance shone

And he saw that the rocks he stood on were not rocks but human bones

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