From thousands of feet up, circling the brown waves of hills
he scans pinheads of mountain peaks searching for his father;
feathers bleached a deep indigo with sunrise, the large bird
like a flying firmament squints into the caving sockets of hills.
The air gets pressed as Garuda plunges close to the earth,
Kashyapa in deep meditation opens his eyes as flaps of wings stir breeze,
sees his glorious son for the first time. Hardly hatched, but brimming
with purpose that even as seed Kashyapa laid in Vinata’s womb:
tapas of sixty thousand hermits mixed like rich cream
as he took her that night and she cried with pleasure.
She waited five hundred years for the egg to hatch
as the thousand serpents hissed and tormented her.
The shell cracked and the tender down of the eaglet shone,
his mother looked with sadness. Wind on the high mountain moaned,
coils of serpents that sunned on the cold rock welcomed Garuda:
his cousins that he will kill as prey for holding his mother in bondage.