Elixir Vitae is Part 3 of my Taliesin-reduct relating the time I encountered Merlin the Wizard. Part 2, Tattle, had Merlin free my underworld protagonist from the bewitching Morgan Le Faye and guide them to the top of a stone staircase. It is here that they are currently being held in the grip of enchanted stones and sleeping deeply. Archimedes, the Wizard’s Owl, stands upon the last stepping stair, mere yards from the protagonists reposing form. It might appear the end is nigh for Merlin’s quill-seeking guest, but perhaps all in not quite as it seems…
~ Elixir Vitae ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~
Night’s raptor, my captor, extends out wide
his titian tailored wings.
And gazing out through lantern eyes
has scathing words to sing!
“Fool!” Screeches he, with ferocious zeal,
standing taller as if to admonish!
“If you’d never erred at Morgana’s sugared words,
there’d be one less Kelpie to vanquish!”
“Come, come Archamedies, you pontificating foul,
high virtue never suited your swagger!”
“My heart might once have been with sweet, sweet Nimuhe,
bound in her forest of thorny daggers.”
“You’re the Seer who sees, but I cannot believe,
how you’ve taken so many wrong turns!”
“Harder to conceive as ‘your Eminence Grise’,
is why we’re bound in this infernal tomb!”
“Ah, yes, indeed, attending Kingly needs,
had me lose sight of my Wizard’s Wave.”
“Yet ‘twas for Love’s sake, our Lady of the Lake
forged the One Quill for Arthur’s enclave.”
“Ynys Afallon,” sighed Archimedes fondly,
misting over memories, fable and fantasy.
“Insula Avalonis,” sighed Merlinus lovingly,
“Do apple trees still blossom in Arthur’s cemetery?”
“Lonely in darkness under those fragrant boughs,
I’d yearn my heartache away.”
“Lest I miss the request from beyond earthly rest,
granting Arthur’s return to the light of day.”
“We’d long for darkness beneath Empress skies
to sit and gaze upon glistening stars.”
“I recall his delight, one night, correcting my sight.”
“’That’s Venus” he chuckled, “not Mars!”
“An undisciplined imp with disrespectful wit,
there’s not much more to him than that!”
“A trickster, conjurer, poor king-maker’s neophyte!”
“A fabled Monarch sadly gone from sight.”
”900 years since his untimely passing,
and still such scold for his mischief-making?”
“Dear Archie, I love the way you remember him,
Ingraine’s fair haired boy we raised as King!”
“Merlin,” Archimedes coughed and wiped away a tear.
“There’s wizard’s work still left to be done.”
“We’ve another buccaneer in dry dock over here,
seeking fellowship back to the Sun.”
“Quite so,” agreed Merlin, “ we really should begin,
our guest tires of being so tethered.”
“I’m intrigued to know where he’s seeking to go,
on a journey questing Golden Feathers!”
“A fellowship you say? Adventuring starry skies?
“Trail blazing providence far away?”
“Ah! Such energy within, to speed off voyaging!”
“Path finding the entire Milky Way!”
“Archie, please remind me again, it’s been a while
since I last cast with Magic words.”
“You’ll recall the spell, you’re an Oracle,
and wisest of all the birds!”
“Solvite Corporea et Coagulate Spiritus”
Archimedes chanted as if an Alchemical Art.
“Indeed! Dissolve the Body, Coagulate the Spirit!”
Merlin implored my insentient heart.
Fleeting, flowing, fading form slides
deep darkness from my dreams.
Dappled pools of light and shade
amass between moonbeams.
Grey gives way to mottled cream,
inward dreams are magnified.
Projected in the cavernous glow,
as flickering lantern slides.
Pulsing upon the screen of cream
a light does shine like none I’ve seen,
Piercing shards of lightening white
emanate outwards blinding my sight, but…
…solidifying slowly, fluorescence finds form,
compressing to swell outline and brim.
I sense unearthly company materialise before me,
Spirits manifesting in mirror’s margin!
Magic mirror of dreams unfolding such scenes,
revealing beings distilled from pure light!
Suddenly I feel so feathery light, as if I just might,
take swift flight across to the other side!
”I think he now sees,” Archie quietly suggested,
moving aside to let a figure pass.
In glimmering silk parading celestial spheres,
Merlin approached the looking glass.
His figure is silhouetted against a sweep of stars,
wrapped in an aura of scintillating flare.
Light sparks and arcs and spirals around him,
as he reaches the threshold stair.
“I’m Myrddin,” declared a voice behind an arm
extending a hand in ancient tradition.
“You are welcome here, and will come to no harm,
whilst we seek to fulfil your intention.”
”My precocious feathered bird impatient to screech,
flies under the call-sign Archimedes.”
“He possesses elevated reach, and faculties to teach
precious wisdom where ’tis most needed.”
”There’s one other here you’ll know quite well,
an Adept of both speed and flight.”
“I believe you’ve encountered my Mercurial friend,
chasing vapours of silvery light.”
“He’s often here quickening trips and journeys,
travelling with souls in his role as Hermes.”
“I’m told he’ll sequester you following your return,
to share a secret for only you to learn.”
“Formalities aside, I’m here as your guide.”
“A life-long friend if you’ll permit me to be?”
“There’s a little farther to go, deeper paths below,
along smooth passages to set you free.”
Sweet melody and euphony, trickled with vitality,
washing words over me, his magic stirred so potently,
such power wielded nobly,
that I was held spellbound!
to enchantment, to Myrddin’s healing draft,
to his realm I was here occupying.
This was my dream finding his island mid stream,
this gateway between living and dying.
For those lonely years spent soulfully wandering,
hoping for the one great way.
For those long journeys now come and gone,
were fading in the grey.
For those long hours spent alone and wondering,
reaching for the one higher stay.
For those lonely nights now come and gone,
were dawning upon the day.
“Come now” said He, “we’d best make haste,
there is little time for delay.”
”This confounded ectoplasm burns so quick!”
“And you must be on your way.”
~~~~~ + ~~~~~
~ Part 4 ~ ‘Copper Door’ ~ to follow shortly ~