Tattle is part 2 of a poem inspired by a first meeting I had with Merlin the Wizard and follows on from Prattle, which precedes this post. Prattle found Merlin’s quill-seeking protagonist being merrily led through underground passages by a darkly Raven in a bid to reach Merlin’s fabled ossuary. Having tripped the light fantastic along a mirrored corridor, the two have arrived at the foot of a stone staircase. It is here the Raven revealed herself and urged the protagonist to make haste…
~Tattle ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~
”Run you fool!”
Pressing silence shatters as an echoing haunted cry
splices the air like a whipping-boy’s flail!
Amidst panic and swirls and black feathered twirls,
Black Raven takes sudden flight from the wail!
She’s steeped in craggy shadow on a far lonely ledge,
amongst deep darkness skulking away.
“Never well!” her shriek rattles with ominous edge.
“Tis never well meeting Morgan le Faye!”
With razor-sharp glint to the nap of her sneer
chiselling rock walls in our cavernous space.
I hearken to hear the wizard’s voice cry out,
to dispel craven fear from my face!
“Seeker” she soothes from her remote pitchy stay,
“Your destiny isn’t yet given!”
“Choose either to meet with Merlin the Worm,
or join me, Morgana-the-Raven!”
“This epic journey you fashion is of superficial care,
a mere folly on the veneer of life’s short flight!”
“Answers don’t lay beyond the stars!” she cackled,
and then continued to mock my plight.
“Only the foolish voyage the uncharted higher realms
anticipating all their dreams will be found!”
“Only the fearless would follow a black-feathered fiend,
to where death and shadow are bound!”
“I will show you the ways of darkness and night,
grant you immortality, power and dominion!”
“My seer’s second sight prophesies infinite might
and reign over the Underworld Kingdom!”
“Come now” she cawed, “you must abandon this place!”
“Be set free from Merlin’s illusory tower.”
“Come now,” she cooed, “you must make haste,
and join me on a path to great power!”
Seducing my thoughts with a web of dark threads
She’s chastened my stride on ancient stone stairs.
“A doorway to this future stands open,” she purred,
“To spirit you away from Merlin’s dark lair!”
“One step further to a wretched realm” she pressed,
“darkened by suffering, pain and despair!”
“Or one step further towards a kingdom of gold,
with you as Dark Prince and King’s heir!”
Bewitched by darkness and her spellbinding guile,
I’m uncertain upon which end to now gamble.
Enticed by the allure of her black feathered smile,
my conviction is starting to crumble.
“Run you fool! Run!”
Bursting white light searing vibrant cordite suddenly
stirs me from my befuddling haze!
Hidden stairs emerge from within a cave to my right.
offering safe passage from Morgana’s gaze!
“Run you fool! Run!”
Encouraged I spring forth and leap steps 1 and 2,
and make 2, 4, and 6 an impetuous race!
But between jagged seams, stairs 8, 9 and 10
Impede progress to a much slower pace.
From stair 11 I’m clear and flying once again,
bounding steps 12 through to 15.
I leave sweet 16 as a passing pipe dream
and stride on to narrow stair 17.
Tightening rock seams as I reach stair 18,
have me crowded within a trim furrow.
Behind in the snap of my closing rock crack,
Morgana’s scream fades with her sorrow.
I cannot pull free from the rocks assured grasp
nor push past the wily embrace of stone.
Cunning enchantment still bedevils my course,
will it be here I shall die all alone?
Slowly pressed in the compress of charmed stone,
I surrender breathless in the embrace of 19 and 20…
When of a sudden, from on high in my tomb cavity,
comes sweet birdsong reciting Merlin’s vast gravity!
Hovering at height in dark cinnamon folds,
‘else perched on a Horned Owl’s high banister.
From the brim of a scrape in a flurry of words,
Archimedes sings of the Sage Calligrapher!
“Merlinus charms the eyes of many men,
or else might awaken whom he will.”
“Lailoken! Myrddin! Ambrosius! Silvestris!”
All are legends scribed with One Quill!”
“The Physicians of Myddfai, The Red Book of Hergest,
both are marvels in folklore and fable!”
“Romance and Grail and Vita Merlini,
all were once penned at his writing-table!”
“Nor least we forget Empedocles, Nennius, Darius,
Ostanes, Plato, and Pythagoras!”
“For each their feathers were unwittingly shaped
by Merlin the mythological Magus!”
”Archimedes!” “Enough of the tattle and fly on over yer!”
Came a disambiguated voice with Welsh flare!
In the silence that followed my surprised final gasp,
Archimedes flew to the last stepping stair…
~~~~~ + ~~~~~