Underworld Getaway (5-6)

Setting myself a small challenge of reducing word count and verse size to recount a story resulted in Underworld Getaway. It is a work in progress.

Chapters 5 and 6 continues a mythical tale of rescue and robbery as heroic Hermes embarks upon an intrepid quest journeying into Hades seeking to return with both Persephone and Immortality Potion. He is required by the court of Zeus to restore spring and eternal youth to mother and gods respectively for the plight of winter has beset both and Earth lies dying in the grip of winter whilst nothing grows…

Carefully following an ancient path circumnavigating the bad-lands Hermes arrives at a gateway leading onto Hades. Still hidden at a safe distance from the towering gate he looks-on as crowds busy themselves with dead-bodies. He watches and waits and considers his next move…

~~~

~ Underworld Getaway (5) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Outer wall

Bustling still

Body bountiful

~

Wicked lands

Outlaws brigands

Hawking corpses

~

Stacked packed

Neatly racked

Blood-stained

~

Minions scurry

Minions worry

Buying merchandise

~

“Damaged dead,”

“Two-bits,”

“Per head”

~

“Screw you!”

“Gimme three!”

“Gimme four!”

~

“No more!”

“Fetid flesh”

“Second best!”

~

“Rotting sinners”

“Cerberus’s dinners!”

“Worthless waste!”

~

When suddenly,

Discussion interrupted.

Watchtowers trumpeted!

~

“Make way!”

“Make haste!”

“Inbound waste!”

~

Whispering sounds

Hooves pound

Thundering closer

~

Spectres hidden

Horses ridden

Galloping hard

~

Four Horsemen

Racing pacing

Hastening fast!

~

Dastardly demons!

Demonic knights!

Apocalyptic blight!

~

Quick succession

Swift procession

Rapidly by

~

Following behind:

Oxen strained,

Wagon train!

~

Bodies slain

Winter’s reign

Corpses galore!

~

Endless cartloads

Ceaseless flow,

Withering woe

~

Hades Door

Panic furore

Guards stumbling

~

Minions fumbling

Corpses tumbling

Voices cursing

~

Outlaws skittering

Crowds scattering

Gateway opening!

~*~

~ Underworld Getaway (6) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Hermes waited,

Anticipated deliberated,

Left roadside

~

Dashed darted

Rushed departed

Ran alongside

~

Climbed outside

Clambered inside

Beside death

~

Putrid flesh

Stinking mess

Weeping seeping

~

Tightly squeezed

Hidden Hermes:

Restricted view

~

Peering through

Body stew,

Glimpses glances

~

Skull-tipped fences

Guards restless

Bloodied avenue

~

Wagons roll

Carts rumble

Oxen trundle

~

Crowds amass

Hoards harass,

Pilfering corpses!

~

Chaos abounds

Wagons surrounded

Highway robbery!

~

Hermes squeezed

Hunkered down

Baying crowd

~

Guards attacking

Looters ransacking

Mercilessly beaten

When then

At last!

Trumpets blast!

~

Rumbling sound

Trembling ground

Gateway closing!

~

Snatchers disperse

Hermes hearse,

Successfully through

~

Beyond gates

Darkness waits,

Fear, loathing

~*~

~ Artwork/Photography ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~*~

Advertisements

Underworld Getaway (3-4)

A self-imposed challenge to use reduced word-count and whittled verse led to this attempt at short-story writing. Rough and ready but a first effort and learning-curve the poem is more a work in progress than finished article. Chapters 1 and 2 preceed this post.

The story borrows loosely from the myth of Hades and Persephone to which I’ve added further urgency by way of depleted reserves of ‘Immortality Potion’. Persephone is kidnapped, spring has failed to emerge, nothing has grown to replace what had come before including Ambrosian Roses used to make immortality potion. With the Gods in commotion Olympus has turned to Hermes to resolve their unseasonal dilemma…

~~~

~ Underworld Getaway (3) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Zeus’s court,

Hermes sought:

Hero’s quest.

~

Gaia quaking

Mother aching

Spring forsaken

~

Grief stricken

Tears glisten

Tragic Persephone.

~

Demeter pleaded

Implored entreated

Begged favour

~

“Save her!”

“My daughter,”

“From slaughter”

~

Hermes listened

Spring imprisoned!

Seasonal calamity!

~

He wondered,

Pondered upon

Earth’s plight

~

Winter’s blight

Decimation atrophy

Apocalyptic catastrophe!

~

Without Persephone,

Starlit canopies

Meant nothing.

~

“I’m tormented,”

“I’m tempted,”

“Challenge accepted”

~

“One day”

“To ready,”

“Steady nerves”

~

“Pack reserves,”

“Buckle down”

“Head underground.”

~

“Indeed agreed,”

Zeus decreed.

“Take heed!”

~*~

~ Underworld Getaway (4) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Strategy dissected

Details corrected

Idea perfected

~

Intrepid rejected

Simple plan

Humble man

~

Early morn’

Bitter dawn

Striding on

~

Bootstrap backpack,

Hooded cape

Desolate landscape

~

Winter’s wrath

Lonely path

Dark aftermath

~

Ice-storms

Snow showers

Frigid hours

~

Until arriving

Slipping sliding

 Mountain wilderness

~

Whereupon halting

Consulting maps

Choosing tracks

~

Avoiding spies

Evil eyes,

Formidable bad-lands

~

High pass

Ancient path

 Silently trespassing

~

Carefully treading

Perilous edging

Fatal fall

~

Ridgeway ended

Pathway descended

Valley floor

~

Shadow played

Shade haunted

Darkness daunted

~

Eerie sounds

Echoed around

Wild wasteland

~

Stealthily stepping

Silently fretting

Getting closer

~

Through haze

He gazed

Upon Hades

~

Outer wall:

Unconquerably tall

Fortified gated

~

Hewn stone

Granite grim

Archway towering

~

Wagons wait

Hell’s Gate

Fully laden

~

Shouts screams

Ghastly scenes

“Dead delivery!”

~

Demonic crowds

Set about

Unloading corpses

~*~

~ Artwork/Composition ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~*~

Underworld Getaway (1-2)

To encourage a different approach to my writing I’ve set myself a small challenge. Using three-line verse containing two words per line I wondered if it were possible to write a short story? This is an attempt to do so. The poem is a little rough at the edges but it’s written for amusement to appease my curiosity.

To assist my endeavour I borrowed (or misappropriated) elements from a mythic tale – Hades and Persephone – and added a side-reel event of my own. Chapter 3-4 to follow shortly…but this won’t be an unnecessarily long tale.

Thanks for reading….

~~~

~ Underworld Getaway (1) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Incumbent Spring

Winter chill

Menacing still

~

Darkness reigns

Season’s claimed

Brumal days

~

Barren grey

Nature lay

In disarray

~

All around

Ice-bound

Frozen ground

~

Months drifted

Snow persisted

Nothing grew

~

Glacial lands

Gelid soil

Compost spoil

~

Earthen womb

Fruitless loom

Burial tomb

~

Death consumed:

Devastation bloomed

Impending doom.

~

Gaia cried

Demeter sighed

Life died

~

Mothers undone:

Spring gone,

Persephone stolen!

~

Wicked Winter

Seized her:

Kidnapped Spring!

~

Hades bound

Deep underground

Relentless misery

~

Queenly company

He feeds

Pomegranate seeds.

 ~

Chained restrained

Futile resistance

Hapless existence.

~

Absent sunlight:

Persephone fades

 Deathly shades.

~

Shackled days

Manacled nights

Deepening plight.

~

Spring chastened

Demeter frightened

Abundant decay.

~*~

~ Underworld Getaway (2) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Winter’s flowing

Withheld flowering

Ambrosia Rose

~

Sacred flower

Special powers

Godly properties.

~

Potent petals

Pestle pounded

Finely grounded

~

Sugar spiced

Eternal life

Endless reverie

~

But alas!

Persephone stolen

Disastrous omen!

~

Without Spring,

No Rose

Ever grows.

~

Without roses,

 Fermenting posies,

No Ambrosian!

~

Olympus commotion

Immortality potion

Supplies low!

~

Replenishment desired

Solution required

Demi-god hired!

~

Zeus conceded

Hermes needed

“Go Below!”

~

“Immortality potion”

“Under key”

“Underworld treasury.”

~

“Enter Hades”

“Acquire more”

“Devil’s store”

~

“He keeps”

“A keep”

“Hidden deep”

~

“Potion ocean”

“Elixir Vitae”

“Storage bay.”

~

“Some say,”

“Eternity exists”

“Hades persists”

~

“Resists aging:”

“Fading grey,”

“Dying days”

~

“Drinking rose-shine:”

“Ambrosia wine,”

“Immortality potion.”

~*~

~ Photography/Artwork ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~*~

First-Storey

~ First-Storey ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

One small feather flew yesterday,

Blew to my hand whilst on my way,

Walking that day to work.

~

A fervent morn with fierce sun,

O how pathways of gold did run:

Dazzling like diamond aisles.

~

I walked downhill through shadow’s haunt

Taunted by terrace housing,

Crowding my daunting descent.

~

Turning right blinding light,

Eyesight stunned shocked stuttered:

Heart fluttered beating fast.

~

Paths ahead auriferous threads,

Ribbons meandering pyres:

Rivers of rushing fire.

~

Sunshine fed pavements bled

Led to a crossing beneath morn’s sun,

Where without stopping crossing a road.

~

I pass a point where seagulls feed,

Where need rips open bin-liners,

Food left-over diners.

~

A sudden wind harried morn’s air,

A feather blew with spirited flare,

Flew into my open hand.

~

So small so delicate I couldn’t clutch,

In as much I might have crushed its spirit.

Closing my hand with it held in it.

~

Fleeting touch on fingertips,

Then airborne fleeing once more,

Hovering above the floor.

~

Into shadow cast by storied blocks,

Wind racing pacing strides,

Said feather quickened to hide.

~

Urgent bounds urban grounds,

Chasing a feather blowing around

Windy streets of town.

~

Reaching down at last I grasped,

Lifted this feather carefully,

Brought her closer to me.

~

Fragile form from one so young,

Comfortably stowed I continued on: she,

Grounded between book pages.

~

Shade again as I meandered my path,

Councilmen swept night’s aftermath,

Pigeons pecked homeless slept in doorways.

~

Life strife tumbled town, fading sounds,

As my feet beat street along avenues

Moving with the grooving day.

~

Empty streets until turning left,

Sunlight refreshed sight, a path ahead,

Two doors distant before me.

~

Stairwell ascended steps extended,

Floor two where through two door,

Across carpet-tiled floors.

~

Work-station destination,

Lay silent this hour,

Tube-lit sour it glowered.

~

Feather sighed silently,

Freely floating above my desk,

Her reverie didn’t rest.

~

Spirited feather wouldn’t desist,

Couldn’t resist one last breeze,

Someone sneezed close by.

~

She tried to fly to get away,

She floated towards light of day,

Windows wide sunlit skies.

~

I wondered at her joyous play:

Was there any other way,

For a feather to behave?

~

When grounded at last

I held her fast,

Grasped her tenderly.

~

Upon my desk at rest

Vessels are full with quills:

Rhymes waiting inkwells.

~

I placed this feather in warm shadow,

In shady company of pigeon and crow,

She shimmered glimmered glowed.

~

But I knew in dreams she still flew,

Upon wind quickly passing through,

Open office windows.

~

She sighed without song,

For dreams long gone,

Blue skies she never knew.

~

Never flew never knew lofted view,

From high above:

One feather doesn’t lift a dove.

~

She rippled she swayed,

She quivered she shivered

Dreams of flight severed.

~

Her flightless song

Precious dreams undone

Lamenting yesterday.

~

Yet I heard her cry

Cannot deny I sighed I pitied, so,

Quick-witted I picked her up.

~

I knew what to do,

How to set her free:

Six floors above seventh storey.

~

Elevated upwards lifted pass four,

Three more before desired floor,

Whereupon along a corridor.

~

At end of that long corridor

A door stood ajar:

To a room with views afar.

~

Panoramic horizon storeys high,

Streets far below,

Serpentine to my eye.

~

Around abounds azure blue

Unimpeded vision,

Cloudless views.

~

One window slowly opened wide

Gusting wind gushed inside,

Ghosting through our room.

~

Whether wind or whisper,

A breeze caressed her

Calling her back home.

~

Unruffled she rippled,

She was ready to roam,

 Float onwards alone.

~

When then she said,

“It’s destiny,”

“Bringing me to thee.”

~

”You see,” said she, ”I needed thee,”

“To set me free.”

”You needed a story to pen.”

~

”Liberty and poetry,”

”Is why I flew to land,”

”In your reaching hand.”

~

”Tis fair exchange,”

”Equal measure:”

”One poem for a feather.”

~

”In prose you will pen,”

”Tell of our happening,”

“In ryhme again again.”

~

”Now please set me free.”

She pleaded with me,

”Please let me be…”

~

“Let me fly,” she sighed.

“Let me fall:”

“Fate will exert her will.”

~

“If it’s goodbye,” said I,

“Then small feather fly,”

“Fly onwards forevermore.”

~

“I’ll write your tale,”

“I’ll tell how you sailed,”

“Across atmospheric seas.”

~

”A legend you’ll be,”

“A mote afloat:”

“Beneath Heaven’s canopy.”

~

She whispered a prayer,

One final stare,

Gazed absently away

~

“At last untied,”

“Infinity,” she sighed,

“Goodbye!” She cried.

~

When then she was gone,

Lifted silently away,

Twirling swirling sunlit day.

~

Racing pacing soon a speck

Far sooner a fleck,

She faded floating away.

~

Her song lingered on,

I journeyed on:

Six flights down first storey.

~*~

~ Photography/Artwork by Dewin Nefol ~

~*~

The Great Fairy Fire (213 – 214) – Whispers (Continued)

Inside a tomb-like room in a pyramidal structure resting upon a misted mountain top, Merlin the Great Wizard is concluding a protracted process restoring him to new life in new guise to fulfil prophecy overthrowing wicked Queen Morgana-Le-Faye. Still distant in deep dream, Merlin floats in a vat of gold inside a golden sarcophagus watched over by new companions assisting him back to life: Kingfisher, Halcyon, Great Heron, Andromeda and Creosote. Discussion has ensued concerning the forgotten history of Eons Bach and its astonishing connection to ancient Egypt but as the conversation draws to an end, Creosote has a suggestion to make.

Elsewhere inside a tomb-like room beneath a pyramidal structure resting upon a hill-top careful preparation is being made for ceremony…

~~~

~ The Great Fairy Fire (213) – Whispers (Continued) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

‘Twas an hour or two before Heron was through,

Before he’d finished his soliloquy.

Whereupon Creosote said, “why don’t we see:”

“Crack the lid take a peek,”

“A quick sneak at how Merlin’s doing?”

~

“Still brewing I suspect,” Halcyon said,

As Heron picked up Red Penny Red, and,

Began to write in his book.

“One look to check on Merlin: still twirling,

“Still swirling inside his dream?”

~

To either end of one golden cask,

Two gasped in their task of lifting:

Shifting the lid of said coffin,

Stopping only to catch quick breath

In air redolent with death.

~

“I hope they hurry reinstating Bast.”

“Delay much longer this stench will last, and,”

“Stain the tomb taint this room, else,”

“Gloom the bloom of gild and gold: when then shall we be,”

“Encased in a space dark and cold.”

~

“Be careful with the lid,” Heron said,

“Tis unfathomably old.”

“And pure,” remarked Halcyon,

Who knew how gold was rolled:

“Every mould every fold pukka in my opinion.”

~

“At first sight,” wrote Heron,

“I’m impressed by his gild,”

“Bright colour, right tincture,”

“Pores nicely filled: still breathing still dreaming, and,”

“Still warm I note not chilled.”

~*~

~ The Great Fairy Fire (214) – Whispers (Continued) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

One maid with braid lingered still,

Polishing statues atop the stairwell.

She’d long dispensed with birch besom broom,

 Had already dressed the bridal room:

Presented at its very best for Bast.

~

When then upon two other maids,

Arrived swiftly in procession.

Whilst one carried flowers ablaze with colour,

The other was in possession, of a key on a cushion

Cast from gold bullion fitting the topmost drawer.

~

Crossing the floor with dainty strides,

The phantom maid appeared to glide.

Until at rest by a chest at rest against a wall,

She climbed a stool inserted the key,

Turned the lock excitedly.

~

One drawer both doors of one cabinet:

An ebony case of grandiose size,

Let loose their ties sprung open wide,

All very much to the maid’s surprise.

“Bast has awoken!” She delightedly cried.

~*~

The Great Fairy Fire (211 – 212) – Whispers

Morgana-Le-Faye’s arrival in Eons Bach has not gone un-noticed by those who dwell in the Great Bastion Mountains. The wicked Queen has come with swarms of evil-fairies to slay Merlin the Wizard before he returns to new life in new guise to lead prophecy foretelling of her overthrow. In so doing, Morgana and two rogue-Fey hastened their way towards a secret place located in the misty mountains where they struck bad luck after striking a rock-face and fell to freeze on the floor. Found by a Wolf, but too rancid to devour, their heinous frozen bodies were airlifted by birds to a mountain-top for sky-burial. Unfortunately for Camelot, but fortunately for Morgana and her two Fey, their bodies were frozen solid and could not be scattered in small pieces or ingested by carrion. As such they were deposited in an ice-cave to keep until next spring. In the meantime, Wolf continues with his day.

Elsewhere inside a pyramidal mountain, inside a tomb-like room where Merlin is returning to new life, the room’s current occupants, Kingfisher and Halcyon the Leprechaun, are joined by Andromeda the Swan, Creosote the Cat, and Great Heron, Scribe of the Book Of The Dead. In conversation with both Swan and Cat, Great Heron revealed something of the antiquated history of Eons Bach and whilst Merlin continues to dream in his vat of gold Heron continues to tell more…

~~~

~ The Great Fairy Fire (211) ~ Whispers ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Cloaked in weaves of evergreen trees,

Wearing spiralled peaks of ice and snow,

Wolf lolloped-on-and-on upon his path,

With nowhere to have to go: and so,

He flowed with the flow loping slow.

~

Yet he’d covered much ground since when he’d found,

Three frozen corpses at lofted height,

Each creature he met, each mammal, each bird,

With each he shared this curious sight:

Until all on his path had heard.

~

Such news encouraged loose lips and chatter,

Animals discussed whilst birds nattered:

Took delight in flight dispersing mystery,

From forest to glade, from plain to sea,

Words were heard with curiosity.

~

‘Twas then a snake-on-the-make dressed scaly black,

Befriended Rogue-Fey in Eons Bach: and,

With a serpents tongue quickly revealed,

Where to find three frozen-meals,

“Fresh rotting flesh, just thaw to squeal.”

~

Snake revealed news of three ice-bound:

“Found on the ground still feather-clad.”

“A vulture of impressive dimension.”

“Two other nasty things both had wings,”

“Did I mention they were both Rogue-Fey?”

~*~

~ The Great Fairy Fire (212) ~ Whispers (Continued) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Leaving behind the emblazoned day,

Three comrades in arms squeezed their way,

Through stone passageways back to the tomb.

Where there in a room gilded with gold,

History was shared tales were told.

~

Whereupon Kingfisher duly declared,

“Truly unbelievable,” he aired.

Said Halcyon who also shared his view,

“No even the Stone knew that: but yet,”

“It explains this vat of old gold.”

~

“Bast left Egypt with her flotilla in tow,”

“Where stowed on-board her treasury:”

“Said-to-be 1000 pieces of vast weight.”

 “Straight to this land Bast made haste, with”

“Her gold-in-hold beneath full sail.”

~

Heron paused for breath, continued-on,

His cadence more song than lecture.

“When then Bast built her first structure,”

“To the east of Eons Bach: upon a hill,”

“Where light would spill to fill Ra’s Temple.”

~

“Her gold adorned this palatial place.”

“Its bloom honeyed this sacred space:”

“Would flash her eyes, gild her face,”

“In golden light she knew of grace:”

“She glowed within his sweet embrace.”

~*~

The Great Fairy Fire (210) – Sifted and Drifted (Continued)

Eons Bach bathes beneath a sun-filled sky whilst secreted away in far away mountains, Merlin the wizard is concluding a process restoring him to new life in new guise in preparation to lead a prophecy foretelling of Queen Morgana-Le-Faye’s overthrow and reclamation of Camelot. The Great Wizard is not alone in the tomb-like room in which he dreams inside a sarcophagus of gold for there with him is Kingfisher, Halycon the Leprechaun, and Great Heron, Scribe of Book of the Dead. Whilst Merlin is in deep sleep within a vat of alchemical gold, Great Heron took short respite outside of the pyramidal tomb to take-in fresh air. Here he was met by Andromeda the Swan and Creosote the Highway Cat who’d returned from investigating a tumbled-down ruin in nearby foothills: a ruin once dedicated to the Goddess Bast. Great Heron has welcomed their return and their questions concerning Bast and a curious frieze of Hermes, which encouraged the ancient Scribe to discuss Eons Bach’s antiquated history and most specifically its association with Egypt.

And so it is whilst Eons Bach warms beneath sunshine, whilst Merlin dreams a little dream, Great Heron reveals more about Eons Bach, the frieze of Hermes and the legend of Bast…

~~~

~ The Great Fairy Fire (210) – Sifted and Drifted (Continued) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

“Mercury?” Repeated the Highway Cat,

“The Winged Seer was here in Eons Bach?”

“Why yes indeed,” Great Heron said,

“He was Psychopompos of the Dead:”

“He who led Kings to eternal sleep.”

~

 “Bast’s reign ended in 665 A.D,”

“Her Kingdom stood empty for centuries.”

“When then after eons in 30 A.D,”

“Her Lands cried out, Ecce Romani!”

“Twas they who brought Lord Mercury!”

~

“But my dear Swan,” Heron continued-on,

“You’re not entirely wrong either:”

“Nor history you’ve read been in error.”

“Hermes was here also as Seer, also amongst the dead,”

“The great prophet Bast once wed.”

~

“Such scandal in Egypt caused outrage!”

“Bast was cast to the shadow land.”

“This her stage not her purgatory:”

“Indeed her story really begins here:”

“Where without fear she knew only love.”

~

“Beneath this mosaic, this tiled frieze,”

“Remains a depiction of prophetic Hermes:”

“But his despicable blasphemy sat ill-at-ease,”

“With foreign invaders with Roman armies.”

“Worshippers of Mithras and Mercury.”

~

“For an age they stayed tumbling stone,”

“Destroying the kingdom Bast knew as home.”

“Until one day when Druids arrived,”

“Reclaimed the Land beneath slate-skies:”

“With fight gave flight to Roman tribes.”

~

“Druids rebuilt this capping-stone,”

“It were they who wrote of Bast’s lost throne.”

“Who first discovered the Hall of Kings:”

“Protected this tomb in misted mountains: who,”

“Knew of Grim’s domain beneath the plane of Eons Bach.”

~

“Grim has always been here,” Heron said.

“Twas he who conjured Book Of The Dead.”

“I’ve no idea where he originated from: but,”

“The number of tomes is infinitely long: and Underworld,”

“An eternal place living on-and-on.”

~

“Despite Grim not being there?” Said the Cat,

“We’ve no longer a Reaper in Eons Bach.”

“Indeed,” replied Heron, “no-one is at the helm.”

“No-one controlling death’s darkly realm.”

“Tis why the stench of death begins to overwhelm.”

~

“Corpses are piled high waiting to be led:”

“To be shown to dark halls of the dead: ’til then,”

“I can’t pen their end: in fact no lines at all,”

“Not until checked-in by Grim: or Anubis,”

“Who cut loose from his roost is useless.”

~

“I was advised Grim had died by Mercury,*

“Twas he who revealed Grim’s treachery: and, “

“Whilst his death is tragedy, one can’t forgive perfidy.”

“Tis why we’ve invoked ancient ceremony:”

“Returning Bast to her former glory.”

~*~

The Great Fairy Fire (209) – Sifted and Drifted (Continued)

Ahead of Merlin’s imminent return from deep restorative sleep inside a sarcophagus of gold, other great secrets are emerging within the misted mountains of Eons Bach. Andromeda the Swan and Creosote the Cat left the confines of Merlin’s tomb to follow a hunch: an idea gleaned from a frieze of Hermes seen in the tunnel leading to where Merlin is returning to life. The frieze depicts a figure allegedly of Hermes with wings spread-wide open standing in front of an desert valley. Believing she knew the whereabouts of this scene, Andromeda flies the journeying duo to a nearby destination where they discover the remains of a tumbled-down stone structure. Recognising the location from an ancient drawing kept as part of her family history, Andromeda declares the ruin to be dedicated to the Goddess Bast and the Lands of Eons Bach formerly known as the Lower Kingdom of Egypt. Such explosive news is confirmation for Andromeda but revelation for the Highway Cat whose job it is to know and patrol all pathways to every location throughout history.

The inseparable two return to the Great Bastion mountains to again be at Merlin’s side. They arrive to find Great Heron outside of the tomb-like room taking in some air…

~~~

~ The Great Fairy Fire (209) – Sifted and Drifted (Continued) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Andromeda landed softly in fine powdered snow,

Looked down from a crag on Heron below:

Who sat alone absorbed in deep trance,

Some distance from the tunnel door,

Where Book and Pen lay on the floor.

~

Her attention shifted to the dramatic peak;

Rising as a sleek snowy incline,

Its summit weighted: an ice-packed crest,

Dressed in a vest of translucent mist,

A pyramid built within wilderness.

~

“What you imagine is true,” Heron said,

“Tis the King’s Chamber of the Dead.”

“Beneath this high mount, this lofty tomb,”

“Extends away a sacred room: a Hall of Kings:”

“Lying at peace cradled by dreams.”

~

“Encased in rising foothills set far below,”

“The Queen’s Chamber is lain in our shadow.”

“By design, through choice, She built her room,”

“Constructed her tomb in sight of her land:”

“Both exquisite and grand – only the best for Bast.”

~

Great Heron stood and walked closer,

Within whispering reach of the two.

His demeanour was lighter, plumes steely blue,

As if sun’s hue renewed him: left him refreshed,

Rejuvenated in spirit by meditative rest.

~

“I know of Bast,” Andromeda said,

“But not the Halls of Monarchic dead.”

“I thought the land lost when famine struck,”

“The Kingdom gone no turning back:”

“How is it Kings lay beneath this rock?”

~

“Eons Bach is Home of the Dead.”

“Tis the Underworld of Myth,” Heron said.

“Where Pharaohs and Queens are laid to rest:”

“Their destination when passed from life to death:”

“Spirited from tombs as they drew last breath.”

~

“By sea by boat they’d make their way,”

“Crossing oceans by night, mountains by day.”

“Destined for Eons Bach as their final stay,”

“This land is the Twelfth Gate, the Afterlife: where all strife ends,”

“Where spirit ascends to be one with the Sun.”

~

“Eons Bach is Underworld?” Creosote mused.

“But what of portals in pyramids and pathways beyond?”

“What of passageways and doors to the stars?”

“What is written of them in the Book Of The Dead?”

“How is their end penned in memoir?”

~

Heron smiled, said nothing, turned to go,

Headed for the tunnel and deep shadow.

“What of the frieze of Hermes?” Andromeda said,

“Why is it here amongst the dead?”

“Tis not Hermes,” Great Heron said, “but Mercury the Winged-Seer!”

~*~

The Great Fairy Fire (207 – 208) – Sifted and Drifted (Continued)

Within a secret space in a hidden place atop the Great Bastion Mountains, Merlin the Wizard is concluding a process of restoration and return. He is currently inside a golden sarcophagus being gilded, upgraded, and enabled to lead a prophecy foretelling of Morgana-Le-Faye’s overthrow and reclamation of the Kingdom of Camelot. Asleep and floating within a dream, Merlin continues his journey towards the source of a feint sound, a song, echoing through his imaginary space. En route he is lulled to an emerald-isle lying silently beneath a misted sky between two pearlescent moons. Upon this isle Merlin finds the legendary tomb of King Arthur.

Waiting for the Wizard to wake from sleep and to step out of the sarcophagus, is the Great Heron, ancient Scribe of the Book Of The Dead. It is he whose words delineate the history of everything, whose pen, Red Penny Red, records the events of  lives and the judgement made at death in the archaic feather-bound Book. Great Heron is an ancient bird and a noble being with vision, who in his wisdom has predetermined Merlin’s outcome: to permit the great Wizard to persist with life but yet, perhaps only if the Great Wizard proves worthy…

~~~

~ The Great Fairy Fire (207) – Sifted and Drifted (Continued) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Whilst a solar breeze teased leaves in trees,

Whilst apple-blossom flew twirling,

Merlin gazed upon Arthur’s tomb, his heart swirling,

Stirred by yearning for one never returning:

At peace amidst amber’s flaring light.

~

As might a Knight’s effigy be laid to rest,

With sword and shield upon his chest,

Arthur lay recumbent in chiselled black-stone,

Crowned in bright-gold, forever alone, but yet,

Eternally home beneath starlight.

~

“Taken in his Kingly prime!”

“When at a time I wasn’t there!”

“Fool that I was being found in exile:”

“Bound by thorns within wilderness,”

“Whilst villainous storms left emptiness!”

~

Merlin knelt reached out his hand,

Rested his palm on Arthur’s tomb.

Whereupon a flare: one arcing bloom,

Twinkled there within amber-stone: it flashed

Dashed and darted, excited by his presence.

~

A second essence joined the first, and then

Another sparked making three: before one more,

Made four, another five: whereupon,

Five were alive, alight upon his finger-tips,

Each lit more brightly than a star.

~*~

~ The Great Fairy Fire (208) – Sifted and Drifted (Continued) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Great Heron disconnected telepathically,

Excused himself, turned to leave: said he,

“One moment for Merlin to be alone: for this tome,”

“To be set aside, Penny Red paused: my hand stayed,”

“Stilled on the page whilst he prays.”

~

“I shall return forthwith,” he said,

“It is but one moment of air: one chance,”

“To stand and stare after an eternity writing!”

“Scribing in this tome, this ancient gilded room!”

“Where I’ve been since antiquity!”

~

“We age,” he said, “upon leaving this tomb,”

“Time is eternal only within this room.”

“But not outside,” he cried, “in the harsh light of day,”

“Where these feathers of blue turn ashen grey!”

Great Heron laughed as he shuffled away.

~*~

By the light at the threshold at tunnels end,

Heron laid down both Book and Pen,

Paused his stride to reflect once again,

Then strode on through the entranceway,

Stepped out into the bright of day.

~

Sunshine pierced mountain’s misted veil,

Light danced upon crisp white snow,

“Intense indeed,” Heron declared focusing on his shadow:

‘Twas far taller than he and ill-at-ease moving constantly,

“Memories,” said he, “of those once penned ceased to be.”

~*~

The Great Fairy Fire (206) – Sifted and Drifted (Continued)

Drawing towards end of his restorative journey, Merlin spends brief moments with the Tailor before continuing onwards in his lucid-dream. The Great Wizard is asleep within a vat of alchemical gold being metaphysically gilded: here within his dream, Halcyon the Aurelian Leprechaun bonded his Philosopher’s Stone with gold whilst the Tailor rapid-fits him with light-fibres. Merlin is close to concluding an arduous process returning him to new life in new guise ready to lead a prophecy against Morgana-Le-Faye – current ruler of the Kingdom of Camelot – foretelling of her overthrow and reclamation of the Kingdom of Camelot.

Merlin is currently cradled within a golden sarcophagus secreted away in a hidden place located in the Great Bastion Mountains being watched-over by the Great Heron, a Kingfisher, and Halycon. They wait for Merlin to wake from dream whereupon Great Heron will ‘preside’ judgement over him and either allow him to continue his defined journey or not. Having returned from bonding the wizard’s Philosopher’s Stone a golden seed was plucked from his throat by Kingfisher. Such an object encouraged Merlin’s companions to believe they know where the Great Wizard’s dream may lead.

Inside the sarcophagus Merlin continues-on, floats-on and dreams-on drawing ever closer to the source of a distant humming guiding him forwards in his dream…

~~~

~ The Great Fairy Fire (206) – Sifted and Drifted (Continued) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

Tailor worked quickly with dexterous ease,

Weaving light-fibres wherever he pleased,

Betwixt 23 discs and vertebrae of Merlin’s spine,

From top to bottom he pulled new lines:

His craftsmanship was impeccably fine.

~

With light-fibres stretched, stitched and sown,

Tailor left Merlin to float on alone.

He turned to a worm-hole and slid away,

Whilst Merlin continued on his way,

Towards a song sung within dreaming play.

~*~

What appeared at first to be a string of pearls:

Distant to his eye amongst peppered starlight,

Three luminous spheres shining bright, but yet,

Not jewels at all! For by some curious miracle,

Merlin beheld the empirical, a spectacle made spherical.

~

What was seen went beyond believing:

Beyond his dreaming: further beyond belief!

Three Islands floated in dramatic relief, each

Raised upon semi-spheres of precious-stone:

Whilst two were moons, one were a lone home.

~

Two silk-soft isles beneath canopies of mist,

Each a wilderness of gleaming sand:

Landscapes of undulating cream piped and twisted,

Shuffled, rippled rolled towards rising peaks,

Swept softly onto lucent bays, lambent creeks.

~

Between two hoary isles, heavenly-bodies both fair,

A third island emerald green, hung in space there,

Resplendent it dazzled with an intense gleam:

An incandescent luminescence, a lustrous brilliance,

Like none ever seen, to his eye ’twas scintillating.

~

No-less a misted canopy of shimmering cloud,

Less a shroud more a veil reflecting-back light,

Completed the sphere through which Merlin caught sight,

 An Apple-orchard blossomed about a magnificent tomb,

On an isle of its own baring gold-roses in bloom.

~

Towards this small isle Merlin drifted in his dream

But still set-down upon solid ground.

He stood bemused, confused, amused gazing ahead,

To where steps led to the sepulchre: golden in colour,

Ornate with exquisite relief.

~

Merlin stepped with a lightness of foot:

‘Twas almost as if he floated in a dream, but yet,

Redolence of sweet roses, scent of apple-trees:

His sense of presence remained very real indeed,

Indeed even bloomed on the isle in his dream.

~

Not gold at all nor made solely from stone,

‘Twas rippled through with amber:  how it flared,

Refracted light with deep orange flame, to bedazzle

Merlin’s gaze again and again: ’twas as if he were scrying,

So soon he were crying – for lying here was King Arthur.

~*~