Chapter 5 Act 3 of Natura Naturans is called Love (Part 1) and will be presented here in two parts for ease of reading. I trust you’ll forgive my dilly-dally and dithering in reaching the end of the poem, it is not by way of laziness or indulgence. It is more that Merlin stopped to tell a story half-way through this episode and time just passed me by. I believe he was speaking with the Buccaneer and deliberating a mute point still further but as usual I was writing all he said down and barely got chance to actually listen. Perhaps I’ll read it back through to myself later.
Act 2 of Natura Naturans left the adventuring trio torn, twisted, barrelled and rolled, and dispersed throughout the underground labyrinth. Barely had they fought off Morgana’s shady brood and Darkly Sparkle when the three journeymen were flushed-away to soggy ends by a surging tidal flood in their cavernous maze. Having been tossed and turned and borne by stampeding water their racing torrent launched them over the edge of a beautiful waterfall. It was here that if not for good luck, quick wits, wishful thinking and a little aeronautical bravery offering semblance of chance to evade death, the Buccaneer and his companions would surely have all perished in the cascading tumult…
I hope you enjoy this instalment.
There’s enough ink in the pot to spill another spell before the well runs dry. Love (Part 2) will therefore follow shortly. Thank you for reading.
~ Chapter 5 ~
~ Natura Naturans ~ Act 3 ~
~ Love (Part 1) ~
Flash and flicker lit tips of tallow tapers
flaring feeble flames to warm the shade.
In despairing gloom inside a miserable tomb,
darkness plagued where he sat and prayed.
Worry weighed heavily upon Merlin’s mind,
deep grief pressed for room to mourn.
They had journeyed so far to lose so much,
yet now their fellowship was torn.
He sat lost to the touch of Sissoo’s torn sleeve
knowing inside she’d died and gone.
Unto final end she’d been his phoenix queen,
until last song when she’d sung a swan.
He’d seen Archie stall airlifting their fool
having almost remained airborne.
He’d watched ‘em both fall and some other as well,
something black and Hell-born.
Merlin had followed ill-fated raft to the floor
still tethered to splitting oak beams.
The raft took full force striking river’s course
and splintered away on slip-streams.
Flotsam and jetsam had bedevilled his jaunt
passing through the waterfall pool.
Left bruised and battered to a cave he’d ventured
seeking sanctuary from Morgana’s ghoul.
With neither wand nor staff Merlin indulged the dark,
barely half the wizard of fable.
In his mind he knew his journey went on,
but in his heart he didn’t feel able.
Forlorn and dejected his thoughts turned to Zee,
another friend lost from a triad of three.
He missed the mischievous wispy Sprite
with his cheerful flame and frippery.
Soft blooms of light slowly warmed his heart
as he sat despondent on the rocky ledge.
Reaching slowly down he fumbled around
and set a light by water’s edge.
He lit the tall taper and let it tilt
with its flame to the crystal flow.
Then placed a leaf upon the gurgling stream
to see which way it would go.
The lonely leaf rushed silently away
hastening its pace on its way to the grey.
“Good,” said Merlin, “a little luck on my side,
I’ve still a fast rushing tide to ride.”
Options were few but he’d decide what to do
whilst he travelled through the ravine.
“Safer to keep sailing,” he assured himself,
and made ready to head down-stream.
When to his eye fluttered a fleeting glimmer,
a sheen quickly seen at water’s edge.
Stooping to the floor he discovered something more
and sat-back aghast on the ledge!
Where water whirled beneath tapers glow
a whorl now swirled within river’s flow.
It spun a wispy spiral of silvery light
with a glimmering glittering show.
Merlin dipped a fingertip into the fulgid eddy
and holding steady the hoary thready
brought it slowly to his eye.
With absolute delight he had been right,
it was indelible Ink-Stone fluid!
In the silence of his subterranean hide
Merlin thanked the mercurial winged-druid.
The Ink-Stone had become soluble,
as was its intended trade.
Spinning a thread of soft silky words
from one’s mind onto the page.
In water the ink would neither dissipate
nor ever dissolve away.
Where water would slowly evaporate
indelible ink would stay!
Merlin watched the ink coil and curl,
watched its playful helix burl and twirl.
Watched it spin and turn and twist and purl
and watched the silken threads unfurl.
The grey inky flow spun slowly away
and flowed to cavern’s yawn.
In its wake it left afloat a written note
in a hand so elegantly drawn.
“Follow me as I flow along river’s ravine,
‘tis not so far to tunnel’s end.”
“And there at rest by tunnels’ stream
is where you might find your absent friends.”
“Carbus Minibus!” exclaimed Merlin out-loud,
“Dear Mercury, you do have some style!”
“Thank you my fine swift-feathered friend,
you do have such guile to beguile.”
With meagre load stowed upon makeshift raft,
with tapers tied to a twiggy bough.
Merlin cast out for unknown shores
tailing an inky-trail at her prow.
Serene in gleams of taper’s soft beams
they floated upon ravine’s rushing stream.
Beneath weight and press of mountainous mass
they sailed through ravine’s dark seams.
Wherever Mercury’s inky-flow decided to go
Merlin steered the raft to follow.
Threading tunnels long deep and wide
and those both tight and narrow.
He’d retained his bag with contents intact
and reached-in to rummage through.
A certain potion had teased his mind and
he was unsure if it were lost in the flue.
T’was a spell he’d cast only once before
long ago on a distant adventure.
On a whim he’d brought the vial along
with little pre-thought or conjecture.
For some reason it felt of comfort to him,
an assurance that remained undefined.
Yet still it prevailed as a passing thought
pressing gently on his mind.
He flipped the small vial back in his bag
and returned his gaze to the bow.
Ink slipped and flowed and found its way,
Merlin followed its after-glow.
One last lit taper slowly dwindled its flame
and dimmed to a sparking demise.
One moment when darkness darkened dark night
then sudden light appeared in new guise.
“Indelible ink is luminous!” chuckled Merlin
delighting in what had been hidden.
“Good words ought be brought to the light of dark,
‘tis why good words are written!”
The channel thinned to a narrow squeeze
with passage onwards into darker frieze.
More slowly now…without gouge or gorge
Merlin steered with crafted ease.
At furthest extend of tunnel’s tight end
the channel split into two.
Ink ceased its flow and purled a pool
made a choice then shot on through.
The river rushed and streamed fast and true
as tunnel’s width grew and grew.
Ink and raft were hurried through and through
and into a misted lake they slew.
Merlin chased the ink as it made a turn
and pursued swift course to the shore.
He imagined it was to avoid the mist
but deep down he knew far more.
He sat lower upon raft’s gnarly top
and squinted beneath the misty veil.
Soft luminous glow reached into shadow
but warmed only rock and shale.
When between snaggy crags and craggy snags
a shoreline lit his view.
T’was here the slippery silvery ink
spelt out the words “For You.”
With darkness extreme the inky gleam
barely reached the shore, but
with faith in his stride Merlin leapt the tide
in his haste to discover more!
Had it not been for woeful blubbering, choking
and coughing and incessant snuffling,
Merlin wondered if he would ever have seen
his two friends lost on the shore!
With untold delight he rushed to reunite
their ship-wrecked team of three!
With glee with glee with merry merry glee
to have restored their company!
T’was the Buccaneer’s pitiful weep and wail
Merlin had heard as he had arrived.
“Ahoy!” He called as he followed the howl,
“Merlin!” Came a voice in surprise!
Embracing was bracing and came with tears
as two friends rejoined with delight.
“Where’s Archie?” Merlin asked with moist eyes
still holding his prodigy tight.
Pointing to the floor with a few tears more
the Buccaneer gestured to his side.
Within raggy wrap and torn-off scrap, Archie lay
with sprained wing and pride.
“I think he’s asleep,” the Buccaneer suggested,
“He’s been like that for hours.”
“Tis nothing we can’t restore a little further more
with time and healing powers.”
Merlin lifted Archie from the soggy ground.
and stepped away towards the raft.
“Come,” said he, “brave hearts indeed,
we’ll rest in tunnels’ shaft.”
Aboard once more running silent and true
following their silver-ink trail.
Merlin, the Buccaneer, and Archie their Owl
slipped quietly beyond the pale.
~ + ~
“I have so much to tell you,” the Buccaneer said,
“one wonders quite where to start!”
“I recall our ravine my twisted dreams
and the pain in my aching heart.”
“But such bountiful beauty have I also seen
amidst my anguish and deep suffering!”
“T’was Nature’s emerald Isle my fairest Queen
gently woken from her slumbering.”
“And a pathway of sumptuous gild and gold
and light streams upon which to unfold.”
“And colours! Oh Merlin, t’was a rainbow of joy,
such vivid sights to behold!”
“Through glades glossed with glimmering light
beneath a sky of azure blue.”
“When I happened upon an exquisite pond
brushed in Nature’s dreamy hue.”
“To her edge I ventured and then gazed across
to where a beautiful Rose did grow.”
“My heart was unbounded my spirit ungrounded!”
“Before Morgana-the-Raven did show!”
“She stole my light, blinded my sight
to leave me burnt to my core!”
“But Merlin, I flew, I flew, upon dark wings I flew
across my pond to the other shore!”
“Morgana led me through deep darkness
and into a moon-struck hall.”
“Dance,” she said, “take flight in my light,
but she let this foolish fool fall!”
“Fascinating!” exclaimed Merlin, “an adventure indeed!”
“A dream found deep within a spell!”
“My fine Buccaneer it does truly seem
as if all with you will now be well.”
“I have much to tell and much to explain
and much to reveal to you.”
“But so little time when there’s so much to gain
on this mission we must pursue.”
“Buccaneer,” said Merlin, “I think you now see
the depth of Morgana’s treacherous villainy.”
“You were the fool she so easily enticed
by the allure of dark sorcery.”
“Feathers are graced and placed with great care
and never charmed by wishful thinking.”
“Such is your desire to have wings and fly
you forget to do any thinking.”
“Thinking?” I asked, “what on earth do you mean?”
“I had wings on the mindful side!”
“And so you will again,” Merlin assured,
“once you lose your foolish pride!”
“VITRIOL carries the soul to the Edge of the Void
with the promise of finding true Love.”
“Yet it seems dark seams were revealed in dreams
in the guise of your darkly dove!”
“Morgana’s attention was to lower your intention
pull you further from your highest goal.”
“Her promises and lies were cleverly disguised
yet all were found within your soul.”
“To your heart’s desire she was so readily drawn
to flighty dreams of being airborne!”
“She fooled your fool in her sorceress pool
and gilded your flowering thorn!”
“Tis not a sin nor foolish pride
to hold fast to one’s deepest dream.”
“But a Wizard’s way is stay without sway
to remain above our darkly gleam.”
“You saw and feathered your dark mystery
else amused the Shadow held within.”
“T’was not all a dream but possibilities unseen
of a power held beneath you skin.”
“You mean I can fly?” The Buccaneer asked,
sounding overwhelmingly confused.
“Why of course you can!” Merlin chuckled,
when both your heart and mind are used.”
“Her pool revealed deep desire in your heart
her sorcery manifested that intention.”
“Moon‘s illuminating beam shattered false dream
to save you from Morgana’s dimension.”
“Did Morgana set me free?” I cautiously asked,
unsure if I wanted to know.
“Perhaps” replied Merlin, “or you awoke the fool
and made your own choice to go?”
“But she reached for my heart then let me depart
in the fall of a single moonbeam!”
“I fell so far having flown so high
in the illusion of a beautiful dream.”
“She said to me…
“The sweet rose that grows in your rosy eyes
will root you to the floor.”
“But the rose that grows in my darkly eyes
will lift you for evermore.”
“She has a serpent’s tongue and wicked words
to twist your heartfelt intent.”
“Beware the sensuous Sorceress in dark feathered trim
her power doth tease and torment!”
“Have I failed you Merlin to reach a higher stay?”
“Or did I fall and leave the Wizard’s way?”
“No,” said Merlin, “darkness was Her chance to see
the true depth of your loyalty.”
“You fell Buccaneer but were not taken below
because your truth will never hide.”
“Morgana has now seen only purity within,
to her darkness you’ll never be tied.”
“You were born to fly within Sun drenched skies,
‘tis where your heart’s intended.”
“You were born to fly within infinite skies,
‘tis where your mind’s extended.”
“I’ve heard that before!” I cried-out excitedly.
“Whilst waiting on Isle’s sandy shore.”
“Beneath crimson light I was told it was right
to find heart in Merlin’s lore.”
“But when at the Herm where I paused to dwell
and considered my pathway ahead.”
“I wonder now if the choice I made
were the wrong path upon which to tread.”
“In the stream of my dream I saw colours gleam,
felt their energy flare my flame.”
“Yet now as I awake from slumber’s tale
I feel nothing but qualm and shame.”
“Do not dwell upon such withering doubt
nor consider your healing fell short.”
“Destiny will be found whilst still Earthbound
when you reach for her highest-court.”
“What do you mean,” I asked once again,
even more confused by his riddling.
Said the Seer, “Buccaneer pause to think some more,
weren’t you once charmed by a Rose glistening?”
“Did her sweet blush not render your heart
with the flush of her gilded Rose?”
“Love lifts and inspires takes flight and aspires
but one’s mind must discern her prose.”
“Natura Naturans.” He continued choosing words
to deepen my waking trance.
“Nature nurturing Nature, “ he enlightened,
‘tis one’s chance to dance with Romance.”
“But do not forget your discerning mind,
nor fail to pierce Nature’s veil.”
“Her eternal devotion is a driving emotion,
always reaching for the light of her grail.”
“Elevate your mind let your psyche take flight,
as did Nature use wit to form her feather.”
“From shadow she grew to her beloved she flew,
always reaching for the end of her tether.”
“And now so must you fashion your mind and
grow with her wit and woo.”
“Where one feather grew to fashion your wand
with her Love you will soon wear two.”
I was dazed and confused and equally bemused
as I sat listening to Merlin’s words.
So far from Her Isle yet borne by Her smile,
and the memory of those flame-licked birds.
“Both Love and Passion were revealed at my pool
and shared wisdom of her rose!”
“But had it not been for Morgana’s ravening
I’d know from where her Love flows.”
“But you do Buccaneer,” said Merlin the Seer,
“for Her heart beats as one within you.”
“Is your mind still blind to the Love you’ll find
blushing your spirit’s infinite blue?”
“Love swells your well to brim and lip,
drives your passion with loving fire.”
“But ‘tis your mind that finds the creative spark
to fulfil your heart’s one true desire.”
Merlin chuckled a little and squeezed a smile,
certain the Buccaneer was drowning!
“You must twist both flames to gild your rose
and raise her to her crowning.”
“Perhaps,” said Merlin, “I should share a tale
and demonstrate an analogy.”
“A classic story so often told
in the annals of antiquity.”
“So would you care for calming words
or thoughts of daring-do?”
“Or would you dare for dashing words
and thoughts of Love’s red hue?”
“Buccaneer,” said he, “let me take you back a way
to a time before time begun.”
“When to our Earth a flower was born
kissed by the rays of the Sun…”
“One day a spark from Thought brought forth a whim
proposing possibility within a space.”
“Fair Lady Sophia accepted this idea
and created potential inside that place.”
“Her name was Gaia, a sweet natured child
with kind tending heart and manner mild.”
“Perfect in dimension for her timeless intention
of creating paths for thought’s ascension.”
“Tendrils of light kindled Gaia’s loving toil
shining affection upon her grace.”
“Pearls of life dewed warm sensuous soil
spilling braid upon green lace.”
“Hands of Gaia tended her seedling sire
providing spirit with loving embrace.”
“Curiosities’ flute teased Gaia’s peeking shoot
encouraging growth with nurtured haste.”
“Youthful pleasure pinked spring’s budding frills
chancing to good luck in her chase.”
“Wild fervour unfurled sepal’s fledgling folds
and parted her pursed petal case.”
“Fiery passion deepened her puckering red bloom
igniting a fuse of green lace.”
“But only true Love would ever open her flower,
to reveal the blush on her face.”
“Sleek slender sharp and sassy she arose a Rose
reaching upwards for her highest tier.”
“From lofted crown she surveyed her realm
as might a queen gaze-out from her tower.”
“Her flower-crested isle lay surrounded by seas, but
her Rose was guarded by Jacaranda Trees.”
“On sultry nights in the swish of a breeze, came songs
of Honey-Creepers, Wood-nymphs, and Bees.”
“With the allure of her flower She wielded Love’s power,
a power to inspire grace or devour.”
“From her stems high mount Aphrodite shone out
enticing butterflies to her Rose bower.”
“Word had gone forth to Kingdom’s far edge
Aphrodite had come of age to marry.”
“T’was Thought who decreed only worthy should succeed
and set a challenge pre-matrimony.”
“To each suitor a quest was fittingly found
tailored to suit their merit.”
“To each a challenge was duly bound
cut for the fit of their spirit.”
“There was one winged-suitor whom I seem to recall
was a little different to any other.”
“It was late in the year some time around Fall
or perhaps it was at end of Summer?”
“T’was a day very unlike the day before
with not one cloud to spoil the sky.”
“When to her Isle there happened along
a most enthralling guy.”
“Tall was he and of athletic build
with cascades of silvery hair.”
“He cut a dash with elegant appeal
with his splash of debonair.”
“He was suited in black with a Raven’s blue hue
and a hooded cloak of metallic grey.”
“Magical mystery flowed from his robes,
when finery flared the light of day.”
“Upon his darkly back the Raven in black,
wore wings of silver feathers.”
“Said he these are not the frill’s of a common man
but quills that define my measure.”
“Neither striding nor gliding he swayed his way
across her white-sandy shore.”
“And passing betwixt her supplicants
knelt down upon her floor.”
He gazed upon Aphrodite’s radiant red Rose
at Her elevation above the heather.
“My Lady,” said he, “ thou art truly divine
finding you is my absolute pleasure.”
“I have travelled so far from distant realms
to feel the passion of your flame.”
“Tis a journey I’d make through Hell and back
to see your Rose again.”
“But first please allow me to introduce myself,
I am a Messenger of the Air.”
“A fleet-footed Flyer with quicksilver pace
flamboyance panache and flare.”
“My Lady I am he who is also three,
Thoth, Hermes, and of course Winged Mercury,
an Aviator of unimpeachable descent.”
“I am Herald and Harbinger, Magician and Mage
and a Lord of the Firmament.”
“I have no gold to swell your royal chest,
no kingdom for you to treasure.”
“Tis my heart I offer in service to you
and my wings of silvery feathers.”
“It is my pleasure indeed to welcome thee,
my most esteemed Lord Mercury.”
“We are unexpectedly graced most certainly,
meeting one of the Dii Consentes.”
“The delight is mine,” Mercury assured,
“your luminosity is unsurpassed.”
“By harmonious degree your rapturous beauty
is clearly from Heaven cast.”
“My Lady if I may quickly cut to the chase
and ask more about my quest.”
“I believe there is need to fulfil a task
before one can lay and rest.”
“Indeed Lord Mercury I’ve a deed for thee,
a trial with proportionate suitability.”
“Tis not a consideration of your capability
but something to test your versatility.”
“”I am at your service,” said winged Mercury
with a flourishing sweep of his arm.
“I trust my lady your task demands daring-do
with high certainty for harm?”
Aphrodite smiled and blushed a little redder,
Mercury it seemed was a fine brave fella.
“My Lord if you possess such elevated pedigree
you will complete the deed without difficulty.”
“My Lady,” said he with chivalrous inflection,
“it would be my gracious pleasure.”
“To compete for your hand and win your heart
should require full use of my measure.”
“Indeed,” said Aphrodite flirting a smile and
rouging to a tender sweet flush.
“Tis a matter of great importance to me,
success in your task will mean much.”
“Declaring one’s self an adept at speed and flight,
is quite an accolade.”
“I know of many who would hasten to suggest
‘tis the stuff of which dreams are made.”
“Please listen to me well my Lord Mercury
for I shall reveal my quest for thee.”
“I have reflected upon your flighty might
and have a task I feel is perfectly right.“
“Long have I held a fascination for the stars,
with their shine at end of day.”
“For your first task you must harvest a star
from the boughs of the Milky Way.”
“To complete your second labour of love,
assuming your first was a success.”
“I ask that you steal my weight in gold
from Hades dreaming wilderness.”
“A loud gasp flowed from the gathered crowd,
a rippling of surprise and woe”
“Then all eyes turned to the stranger with wings
to see if he would go!”
“Lord Mercury stood and lifted his gaze, and
stared deeply into her strawberry haze.”
“My Lady,” said he, “I shall return for thee
before first light of day.”
“One question Lord Mercury before you go,
there’s something that I’d like to know.”
“They say my flower is a butterflies dream,
but am I the fairest rose you’ve ever seen?”
“Undoubtedly,” he said, “you are truly blessed,
Earth’s sweetest most radiant petalled Goddess.”
“There is no other whose beauty compares to thee,
whose brilliance shines with such majesty.”
“Within sight of your exquisite light
I feel a demi-god newly reborn.”
“Fairly floating am I without need to try
and I hope this feeling will go on.”
“To the wow of the crowd he unfurled his wings
and rocketed into the air!”
“A sudden flash of Sun and then he was gone,
that Messenger with mercurial flare!”
“What happened in Hell?” Archie unexpectedly asked,
freshly woken from distant slumber.
“My head is swimming it won’t stop spinning,
I think I’m going to chunder!”
“Love stories,” said Merlin, “they leave him queasy,
feeling uneasy and a little out of sorts.”
“Archie it’s delightful to have you back from sleep,
I’ll look for safe place to port.”
Merlin chuckled a little and mused a smile
recalling the story he’d once heard told.
“What happened to Mercury in the Underworld
is indeed a story to behold!”
“Perhaps at journey’s end,” said Merlin the Seer,
“I’ll tell you more and bend your ear!”
“Suffice to say it was one Hell of a day
involving a dog hot fire and a Lyre!”
Finding an alcove with sufficient room for three
proved to be an impossibility.
So high were they on tidal rise
searching further seemed futility.
But when to an opening the tunnel extended
and continued to a widening hollow.
There they chased the fleet-flowing ink
and into the cavern did follow.
A rocky shore bore an inlet with anchorage
and one small step to firmer ground.
Whilst Archie raced to wretch and reel,
Merlin’s story continued to astound.
“Lord Mercury’s return all-but silenced the throng,
those gathered for a tall tale told.”
“A flash of light so bright so white and
Mercury appeared amongst the fold.”
“My Lady,” he said, “should I be blessed to return
to once again behold your fire.”
“Tis your beauty and grace that has given me pace
and the will to never tire.”
“Upon this morn this inspired copper dawn
I bring great word of my victory!”
“To distant stars I have flown to Hades far below
through time space and mystery!”
“From Heaven’s high bough I plucked you a star,
‘tis more deeply red than Cinnabar!”
“From Hades black fold I purloined your gold
and a copy of old Black’s Grimoire!”
“The crowd erupted in a cacophony of cheer,
their gallant charmer had prevailed!”
“Where others had tried and lost their way,
Lord Mercury had never failed!”
Aphrodite shimmered as She unfurled her flush
and gazed upon her Winged Knight.
“My Lord,” said She, “please present for me
the spoils of your questing flight.”
“A silence settled upon the gathered crowd,
a hush to hear a pin fall.”
“My Lady,” said he, “tis pleasure indeed
to exhibit your cherished haul.”
“But first,” he pressed, “may I seek a small space,
your cache requires an introduction.”
“T’was no mean feat to accomplish your task
and fulfil your expectation.”
“Why of course fine Sir,” Aphrodite replied,
“I am most keen to be pleased by your tale.”
“Lord Mercury,” She said, “Might we start with my star
and a story of epic scale?”
“My Lady,” said he, “where better else to begin,
than with romancing your heavenly jewel.”
“Tis fair I share the beautiful grace of a blissful place
embroidered within Empyrean’s crewel.”
“I climbed a steep arc as I flew from the Earth
and accelerated hard for the stars!”
“I rode slip-streams ignited moonbeams
and topped-out far beyond Mars!”
“In search of your star I turned to the dawn
and raced light across Earth’s sweeping curve.”
“As she lifted her face to the morning I paced
with rose flush dashing my verve.”
“Sweet Star of Dawn high above she shone
as gift from the highest realm.”
“Her star thought I would charm your blush
but allow your beauty to overwhelm.”
“Within reach of my grasp Venus asked,
“To what do I owe this pleasure?”
“My Queen,” said I, “to your glory I was drawn
upon solar-winds and silver-feathers.”
“Tis with urgent heart and urgent appeal,
I petition your ear to hear.”
“Herald’s fabulous flower, my flagrant fictive Queen
by whose light I am endeared.”
“My heart is stolen by a most beautiful rose
with gild of scarlet lace.”
“Tis her flower, her grace, I seek her embrace
and the Love in her eternal prose.”
“I am charged with returning a heavenly star
harvested from the Milky Way.”
“For her heart I must compete, a task to complete,
to take her hand upon this day.”
“Lord Mercury,” said Venus, for she knew his name,
“I see her shine upon your eyes.”
“Tis sweet Aphrodite of whom you speak,
‘tis her love upon which you rise.”
“I am Heaven’s Herald held tight in God’s heart
and hewn by her Loving hand.”
“Below is the glow from Earth’s emerald star
and the warmth of her vibrant land.”
“I wake each morn to Gaia’s tender form
and gaze upon Aphrodite’s red rose.”
“Heaven honours Earth’s exalted flower,
‘tis through her heart our Love flows.”
“I cast my shine to polish her bloom
to share a moment in her embrace.”
“My light might flush her crimson wash
but could never blush her face.”
“She arose a rose upon this very morn,
as ever a spectacular flower.”
“In her gaze towards morn’s dawning skies
a twinkle did escape her bower.”
“I am gently moved by her stunning shine
for her Love is deep and true.”
“Her desire is not the stars she wonders at
but longing for Mercurial you.”
“My lord I am blessed to witness such Love,
to have sense of your sacred fire.”
“May your sweet love shine and burn divine,
may your hearts never fail or tire.”
“I’m honoured to have your blessing my Lady,
to know our love is well received.”
“May I extend my pleasure whilst in your favour
for an item to be retrieved.”
“Wouldst thou share one drop of Love
to adorn my beloved flower?”
“Wouldst thou spill one tear of Love
to illuminate her every hour?”
“My Lord her radiance casts a brilliant glow,
upon the hearts of all.”
“If pleasure were measure of Love’s true treasure
then ‘tis joy to have one tear fall.”
“And so it was Venus poured her Love,
into my crystal vile.”
“Starlight star-bright ‘tis a star just right
to veneer my Lady’s smile.”
“Lord Mercury,” said Aphrodite fluttering a grin,
“I am moved by your flattery.”
“With suave you charmed sweet Venus above.
with panache you’ve captivated me.”
“I witnessed your dash across Heaven’s sky,
saw your trail inflamed by stars.”
“When you chased the Sun, crested the horizon
did I hope my dream was ours.”
“Yet my Lord to your final task we turn,
seeking tale of your daring-do.”
“Should I not see bags of gold on thee
if your jaunt through Hell came through?”
“My Lady my Queen my rosy red dream,
would I fail a promise to keep?”
“But…dare I share the woe and weep of Hades deep,
or steep your flesh in doleful creep?“
“Merlin! The ink!” “It’s flowing away!”
Came Archie’s warning cry.
“What say we dispense with your hearty tales
and follow the inky dye?”
The Ink had indeed coiled and sprung
and woven a silvered trail ahead.
“At a more convenient time I’ll finish last lines,
for we’ve thread to sled instead.”
“What I will tell you before we go,
Mercury succeeded in his journey below.”
“Yet t’was not gold he prized his bride
but a diamond-studded cameo!”
Said he, “My Lady,”
“Neath star-shine your Rose is wholly perfected
when brushed with Heaven’s light.”
“Within this jewel your Rose is eternally reflected
and always worn in Heaven’s sight.”
Merlin chuckled and paused and chuckled again…
“Okay”, he said, “we’ll skip to the end.”
“Aphrodite consented and the two were wed
with much merriment and jubilation!”
“Thought was delighted his Rose was united
with a Messenger of such elevated station.”
“Merlin…are we all now all now ready to leave
or remaining here for chapter two?”
“I hate to halt your storyteller’s flow
but there’s something we must really do!”
“Indeed,” said Merlin winking at the Buccaneer,
“when you’ve boarded we’ll get started!”
“It wouldn’t do leaving twit or twoo
in our haste to be departed!”
Archie ruffled feathers and scrambled aboard
and muted his muttered mutter.
“Merlin,” said he, “skip to the very end
and forgo the lyrical clutter!”
“Indeed agreed,” conceded the Buccaneer,
“I am already so very confused.”
“You’d do well to dwell on latter verse,
than leaving me somewhat bemused?”
Merlin paused briefly to consider their request,
then eased a curious smile.”
“If I relinquish my style you’ll miss the beguile,
and trial awhile in this watery aisle!”
“But,” he continued, “I shall dally no more,
and dispense with my playful rhyme.”
“Perhaps it is true and the hours so few,
to allow me to take my time.”
“Buccaneer,” said he, “tis mystery to me,
to know what you’ve learnt so far?”
“So if I may allow you centre stage
and room for your repertoire?”
“Where to begin?” The Mariner asked
“when so much has happened this day?”
“How to begin?” he mindfully pondered
“when my thoughts have been far away?”
Merlin let soft silence fall to fool his fool
adrift on his raft made for three.
“Why not start in the tunnel my Buccaneer friend,
when you took leave of our company.”
“You left me!” hollered the pitiful Buccaneer.
“To the wrath of a fearsome fiend!”
“I lay dying within amongst blood splattering,
then almost died once again as I dreamed.”
Swirling Merlin returned his gaze and
saw desolation beneath his downcast haze.
“I’d not be the Wizard of legend and fable
if I left you now all withered and feeble.”
He chuckled behind a satisfied smile
and looked down upon his charge.
“Tis dry-dock despair from dry-dock repair!”
“A last shadow to pass as a dirge!”
“I call it Jeremiad’s Lament,” teased Merlin
with a twitch of a mischievous grin.
“One returns in new skin to a haunt of violins
playing out our memories and chagrin.”
“Fading ghosts and ghouls idle follies of fools,
mere milestones of dreams long past.”
“Now amassed in new skin are you free to begin
sailing on beneath a full mast.”
“Now,” said Merlin, “about that second death,
you should really look into it a bit more.”
“How far did you fall in a moonlit beam
when stepping upon Morgana’s floor?”
“Well I don’t readily recall the end of the fall,
merely the start of my flapping end.”
“One moment I was there the next I was gone
and into darkness I had descended.”
“I awoke on the shore to find dear Archie torn,
split feathers across sand and stone.”
“I thought he had gone that I was alone, and
you’d been devoured by a Dragon!”
“Hmm,” said Merlin, “a riddle indeed how
you fell twice but were miraculously saved?”
“You had long since gone when we stumbled upon
your battered body in dismal caves.”
“Restorative charms worked ancient ways
your beaten body healed in a couple of days.”
“But your mind it seems revealed two streams
and from one you were lifted away.”
“Hmm,” said Merlin, his second pause in a row,
“we must turn back the hands of time.”
“You fell in the fall of a waterfall swell
but were never pulled in to her brine.”
“Twas Archie who saved your worthless hide!”
“Without him there you’d surely have died!”
“He severed the tether betwixt you and raft,
set you down on the riverside!”
“Think nothing of it,” huffed Archimedes,
“It’s what us Owl-types do.”
“We’ve broad wings to lift those that fall, and
talons for those who may slip through.”
“With second sight we are born of Night,
into silence with death passing through.”
‘We’ve precognition in flight to know what’s right
before it ever happens for you.”
“Merlin had seen the heinous evil being,
pulling you through the veil.”
“When I reached and grasped to take hold of you,
it was at first to no avail!”
“Morgana had hold of your aching heart, in her
poisoned pool and darkly glass.”
“I ripped you away from the Ravening ghoul
without Sorcery blackening fresh grass.”
“Poison and tethers?” “A new skin for night?”
“Morgana offered me both before inaugural flight!“
“But now you say death darkness and sight
and feathers to fly are all alright?”
“I recall my fall and the face of her fiend.”
“But wait! It was the cruel face of me!”
“My wretched self with wretched eyes, and
wretched in feathered misery!”
“Indeed agreed,” said Merlin,
“the Rainbow of Iris will never lie.”
“Your need for speed whilst lusting for wings,
it nearly had you die.”
Archie ruffled his feathers and extended one wing,
the other was strapped at his side.
“Buccaneer,” said he, “tis your mind that soars,
and your heart that powers your glide.”
“Hmm,” said Merlin stroking his beard,
“we’ll leave him to think it all through.”
“When the rose that grows catches his eye,
he’ll let go of his myopic view.”
“If you quibble your dribble unmuddle your middle
and better your dabbling ways.”
“You’ll scribble your drabble unscramble your ramble,
and discover your dreams missing phase.”
“Enough!” commanded the Buccaneer…
“I just don’t have the reach and sway,
to understand your wordy play!”
“What middle? What riddle? What dark missing phase!”
“I’ve been with Morpheus for several daze!”
“Hush now!” Said Merlin, “use your self will
and take a moment to quietly still.”
“Take a moment to steadily fill your empty heart
with memory of her loving thrill.”
“And another thing,” interrupted the Buccaneer,
“there’s one answer I need to know.”
“From the day we set out I never had doubt
of where we were intending to go.”
“You are the Seer it’s clear with gifts to see,
with loving eyes you watch over me.”
“And yet I know there is still something more?”
“Merlin…what exactly is sweet Copper Door?”
“Copper Door,” the old Wizard said at last,
“Is not merely another way.”
“Tis an entrance to a realm far far beyond,
beyond a place you’ll long to stay.”
His smile a crease between beard and ‘tache
spread to kindle kind old eyes.
“Buccaneer,” he continued, “what is found ahead,
is a most beloved prize.”
“Behind Copper Door lies an ancient form,
an entity born at the flick of a quark”
“In darkness she sleeps with innocence untouched
at the very heart of every heart’s spark.”
“When to Her dreams comes a spirit of light,
one sweet drop of a soul so pure.”
“For the seeker who wakes her ancient repose
waits a Love that will always endure.”
“Merlin,” said Archie, “Can we please dispense
with both lyric and repertoire?”
“Our fast thready eddy our slinky trail
has steadied to stall on a sand-bar.
The ink was dimming pooling and puddling and
stilled on the creep of a grit shore.
Their brief glimpse of land ebbed slowly away
but not resolve to head on some more.
“Wait” said Merlin, “before we leap clear
let’s watch what the ink might do.”
“After all,” he suggested, “it has led us here,
perhaps there will be further clues.”
Scarcely glinting barely stirring viscous ink
slipped slowly to water’s edge.
One thin finger of one ink-stained stream slid
quickly onto the sandy wedge.
It followed no path nor obvious route
as it ventured further away.
Yet it was clear to all who stood in awe.
the ink somehow knew its way.
Up slope where dim light failed to reach,
a tall shadow whispered a call.
And bent to lay down an ebony box
upon the sandy shingle shawl.
He stood to watch three bedraggled souls
find good sense to step ashore.
And waited for the ink to safely return
back to its dry-stone store.
The shadow placed two silver feathers down,
both planted upright in the ground.
Then turning away he folded into the dark
and disappeared upwards without a sound.
Merlin was the first of their company ashore,
his first step first print on new ground.
Archie stumbled a little but dug in claws,
the Buccaneer landed in one bound.
Towards slope’s gravelled summit they slowly paced
leaving a wake of footsteps behind ‘em.
Darkness so complete each stride a new beat,
each step an echo on a dry drum.
Merlin tarried a little to look back at the raft,
a mere blip of grey amidst the gloom.
It remained firmly tethered to a staked out line,
still amidst still spilling spume.
When ahead of him came a sudden loud cry,
a startled shout to lift his dim view.
“Merlin come quickly I’ve a find to declare,
something I literally bumped into!”
Whether by luck or chance, fate or fortune,
t’was the Buccaneer who knelt for feathers’ prize.
Who stood and held two silver stemmed quills,
wide eyes wide with a child’s surprise.
Merlin helped Archie reach their jubilant charge
and cautiously took a feather in hand.
“My, my,” said he, “tis magnificent indeed
finding feathers firmly fixed in the sand.”
Tall slender and slight of a weight just right
to give height to flight in full sunlight.
Sculptured silver with white a feather just right
to excite sunlight in full-winged flight.
It teased darkness with the warmth of its glow
as might a mirror reflect black light.
In seeing a little further ahead,
two feathers displaced plight with delight.
“We are close to our end but not our goal.”
“Yet we are cared for at every stride.”
“Buccaneer,” said Merlin, “is your faith now restored?”
“Do you follow this sign left by our guide?”
Said the Buccaneer caught a little off-guard,
“Why two feathers and not just one?”
.”Is this another choice to be made perhaps
when one choice has just begun?”
“Why not leave with both?” Archie asked,
“It would be the right thing to do.”
“Feathers so prized should not be left behind
when two were left behind for you.”
“Indeed agreed,” Merlin decreed,
“treasure them both with immense care.”
“Fine feathers for flight through darkness and light
and beyond upon slip streams of air.”
From within wide eyes on a radiant face
the Buccaneer returned an enigmatic stare.
“Merlin,” he said, “I have no fear as I tread
further into our spellbinding prayer.”
“Excellent!” chortled Merlin smiling,
“keep that thought spinning in your mind.”
“I’ve a sense such strength and mindful mettle,
will yet be more sharply defined.”
“So let’s press on!” Archimedes suggested,
“with those fine feathers to light our way!”
“Else these old legs of mine will need more time
to rest another day!”
“Indeed agreed,” quipped Merlin,
“we all appear a little jaded.”
“Yet resolute are we to answer Camelot’s call,
for her song has never faded.”
“Quite so,” said the Buccaneer,
“to Camelot we must strive.”
“With good fortune at hand
to keep our dreams alive!”
The Buccaneer turned and dissolved away,
treading a thread across sandy coarse.
Merlin shuffled Archie urgently along,
following the Buccaneer’s striding course.
Sand became pebble, pebble became boulder,
back into tunnels walking bolder and bolder.
Ahead led the Buccaneer fanning mercurial light.
With Merlin to his left and Archie to his right
three travellers journeyed on into cavernous night…
~~~~~ + ~~~~~