Lord Vanus was a sullen king
who resented the crowns of other men
as affronts to his own glory and everything
he prided himself upon as a sovereign.
In his resentment, Lord Vanus gazed upon
the fulgurous forks crowning the skies
and wished for his broody brow to somehow don
a crown likewise so blinding to human eyes.
So Lord Vanus ordered his blacksmith to form
from simple iron a crown of thorny rods
so as to draw to him the mighty thunderstorm
and outshine the brilliance of kings and gods.
The crown thus forged, he gathered unto him
his people from all parts of his many lands
and he stood atop his tallest tower, its crenellated rim
illumined as he spread out his welcoming hands.
“My people, I am to become as a god,” he said,
watching as another storm rumbled to the West.
“For I will crown myself as becoming of the thunderhead.”
He then awaited the storm with his crown upon his crest.
Lightning crackled and, in a dazzling flash of light,
his crown was of the heavens, branching and overspread
above his astonished people, who all saw that night
that he had a crown peerless upon his head.
When his people took his smouldering body down
they raised their Lord’s name up in a religious song,
saying he was now a god, because of his lightning crown;
their faith unquestioning among their singing throng.
They held a feast in honor of their ascendant king,
eating and drinking and dancing at great cost,
as did the other lords in their own lands, each laughing
and plotting, too, to take what Lord Vanus had lost.