Copyright 2013. PATG LLC. All rights reserved.

Chapter 35

Tipping Point

Above the sea, an albatross,

Watched winter waves, swill and toss,

As fleets of ships left the Island,

Sailing north, a spectacle grand.

The white bird watched the leading ship,

And flew to crows nest, down to sit.

It saw a man, with falconed hand,

Among the swabbies, shouting commands,

And a woman, below his neck,

Commanding too, the swabbies on deck.

It watched some more, and wondered where,

These floating nests were making fare,

Until the hawk, caught sight of it,

And pierced a cry, and from man lit.

The Albatross knew a chase was on,

And soared, and dove, to quick be gone,

But Hawk flew swift and strong of will,

And would not easy lose its kill.

Fast through masts, the two birds raced,

Soldiers cheering loud their pace,

Humrecs and Reywals shining their armor,

Srellik standing hard in ardor.

Far ahead, the chase long flew,

Flying out of ships' sight view.

As hawk closed in on albatross,

Sensing its end, sensing the loss,

Of soaring days and sailing skies,

Of bounteous fish, and happy cries,

It mourned the hawks blood victory,

It pitied itself above the sea.

But then, as talons reached for marrow,

A singing, whisking, speeding arrow,

Stuck the hawk, straight through its neck,

Bitter blood spurting, feathers wreaked,

And then a second, struck its heart,

Blowing the bitter pump, apart. 

The forceful strikes, made it wheel, and spike,

Gliding gone, a crumpled kite,

Plummeting down, straight from air,

A dropping dead weight, beyond repair.

And as hawk fell, its eyes saw well,

The arrows that killed it, but could not tell,

Who had shot it down to die.

It gave a last, long piercing cry,

That carried back to Giant’s ships,

And hit their sails and bit their rips,

So all the soldiers, in commotion,

Felt the superstitious omen.

Neath the waves, with splashed wings spanned,

Despoiled bird sunk, to mermaid hands,

Of two grim scouts, that watched the ships,

And from its corpse, their arrows ripped,

Replacing them to covered quips.

Then Hawk they stuffed to open pack,

And first scout took it, over back,

And disappeared, while the other maid,

Called albatross, with speaking aid,

Of beautiful, magical, singing words,

Conversant in the language of birds.