Mountain of Orda

The Nicodemus Epic, JB & BJ Grim

I. Prologue

Mountain of Orda touching the sky,
Buried within are secrets and lies;
Brave-hearted warriors dare not draw near 
For soldiers and knights live in your fear.
Mountain of Orda, forest so thick,
Light dispels darkness, Candle and Wick.
Who can hold Candle? Who can hold wick?
Just Nicodemus and kids with true grit.

Hear now the tale of long, long ago,
Of things most Wise Ones never have known.
Guarded for ages, sealed until now,
Kept secret from evil not to allow
Dark hands to twist it, taking the truth,
Mixing in poison, fouling vermouth.
Mountain of Orda, clever disguise!
Using the truth to sweeten your lies.

Your border of Birches seldom is passed;
While bark of Birches, warning it has:
  “By them be swallowed, so TURN AWAY,
   For those with no fear with life will they pay!”

O Birches of Orda, thick do you grow;
Bark on your trunk is white as new snow,
Sprinkled with cinders (small flecks of black),
Spelling a warning none can retract. … Your

Leaves shine like silver, tinted twice green;
Wind makes them flutter so that it seems
Thousands of birds are ’bout to take wing
Fleeing the danger Orda does bring.
Warning of Birches readers must know
If dare ye to open text now below:
  “The white of Birches appear so bright,
   But mistake not which for Candle light.”

Where is this Candle? What is this Wick?
Is it the wax kind held like a stick?
Or is it magic hidden from eye?
Can one possess it and still not die?
Mountain of Orda, few will survive
Subtlety of your secrets and lies.
Innocence feeds you — Devouring it
You grow strong with sinister wit.

Now starts the tale of long, long ago,
Beginning with River which does flow
Under the Birches, beside the den
Of Gristle the Bear, Killer of Men.
Gristle’s connection later is seen:
He plays the part of evil that’s mean.
Evil is hungry, growling for food;
What feeds ol’ Gristle feeds Mountain, too.

II. The River

What feeds the Mountain? How does he live? 
Sometime the Birches work like a sieve
Winnowing weeds to let the wheat in. … But
Chiefly the River brings him his food,
Culling the Valley on her way through,
Sifting the stones from sugar and spice
As she mixes her “Nectar of Life.”
River, so lovely, is Orda’s wife!

(Shh … this is a secret few dare say
‘Cos that would show a Valley’s decay.)
Winding through Valley, gently she flows,
Streams joining streams ’til widely she grows; 
Children can swim and mothers can doze,
And those in love can wiggle their toes;
Her ripples so cool, her voice so mild,
‘Round her a grownup feels like a child.

Her quiet presence offers relief. Yet,
Beware of dangers shrouded in peace.
Peace can most surely dupe to sleep,
Furtively sewing weeds in our wheat.
Helpmate of Orda dissenters belays;
Night and day moving things he own way;
Drawing her strength from Valley’s calm land,
Increasing the power of her chilly hand.

Then onto Orda she flows beneath Birch,
Stirring a fragrance that drives men berserk.
Swirling ’round roots she makes Bubbles shine,
Bursting with freshness of sweet Birch Wine!
Birch Bubbles sipped by mere mortal man
Cover all worries with beauty’s thin hand;
Released from their fear, men start to sing,
Making ol’ Gristle’s dinner bell ring!

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