Atilla the Brown. Photo: Karen Duggan

Bard Billot on Atilla the Brown

Look on my Works, ye Mighty

Lo, from the vast rolling plains of the north
rides Attila the Brown, most dreaded
and legendary Khan of the Steppes.
From the desert lands of doom
he sweeps, and all fall before his scimitar:
Leo of Molloy, Lady Viv the Fair,
even High Chief Efeso, viceroy
of the Red Empress.
Lo, the satraps of the Land of Auk
prostrate themselves;
the merchants and officials
arrive with booty and offerings.
Thwap! Another head flies sideways
from the Khan’s fearsome lopper.
“O Great One,” quaver the scribes,
“what hours will you keep on the throne?”
“Verily,” roars Attila, “I will keep the hours
that a Khan of my stature feels like!”
“O Great One,” wonder the scribes,
“our tribute of $270k per annum
is beyond comprehension of mere mortals!”
“Verily,” the Khan guffaws,
“for an immortal King of Kings
your meagre shekels are not worth
my effort to pluck from the treasure chest.”
“What say you, Wormtongue?”
chuckles the Khan, merciless Attila the Brown
as he tosses another lopped head
into his bloody sack.
“I am showing them who is calling the shots!”
And behind the Khan trotting on his ass
Wormtongue Hooton turns,
with a sly grin and wink to the audience.
“O yes, Great One,” says Wormtongue.
“You got it, boss.”

Victor Billot has previously felt moved to compose Odes for such luminaries as Bishop Brian, Jacinda Ardern, Mike Hosking, and Garrick Tremain.

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