Thread, Tread and Weave is the second Act in a three Act poem written under the title Copper Door. Copper Door is the 4th chapter in a narrative poem telling of my encounter with Merlin the Wizard. This poem follows on from Act 1 – Spiel, Spool and Spell, which precedes this post. Copper Door has been divided into three Acts, with Act 3 – Stitch, Stash and Stow to follow shortly.
Spiel, Spool, and Spell, told how our questing hero, the Buccaneer, stepped through Merlin’s magic mirror and into the darkly realm beyond. Here he was met by Merlin and Archimedes, and in a feast of showmanship and spell-casting, introduced to the Red Lady, Dalbergia Sissoo, Merlin’s rosewood wand. With formalities set aside, the Buccaneer and his two magical companions now stand upon the threshold of adventure and journey to Copper Door.
~ Copper Door ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~
~ Act Two ~
~ Thread, Tread, and Weave ~
“Where’s Myrddin?” I asked, with quiet timbre voice.
“Has he already fled?”
“No, he’s taken a flume to a different room,
to prepare for our passage ahead.”
“Each chance to glance, I glimpse and gape,
and yet Merlin’s nowhere to be seen!”
“It’s almost as if he could never exist,
without this fool, with eyes to dream.”
“Buccaneer,” said Archie, “I need to explain,
our questing is guise for clandestine intention.”
“We trail a tale to restore lost kingdom’s past,
for Camelot we are contesting.”
“What do you mean, pursuing furtive gain?”
I was feeling unexpectedly besieged.
“We depart this day for realms far away,
to reclaim King’s crown wrongfully seized.”
“One thousand years of Mordred’s wicked reign,
has blackened the legendary Kingdom.”
“Through desire it was lost, through Lancelot’s lust,
and with it, Chivalry’s worthy wisdom.”
“Legends of bold, speak of great Kings of old,
ruling enchanted empires of fable and fantasy.”
“No King was as bold, no tale better told,
than Merlin’s telling of Arthurian history.”
“His myths of old, speak of Knights of bold,
galloping steeds, gallanting deeds, slaying flame and fancy!”
“No Knight’s tale was more boldly told, than
Lancelot and Guinevere’s sinful treachery.”
Archimedes flew to settle upon a nearby stack,
to conclude Lancelot’s misdemeanour.
His tale only whittled my whittled worries more,
whilst waiting for my unwitting misadventure.
“A Knight’s virtuous path tells of Devil’s darkly glass,
tempting fire from Light and King’s flavour.”
“Beneath Queen’s banner rose, daring Knights rode,
slaying Shadows, wearing Knight’s shining armour.”
Lancelot’s ventured path, tells of Devil’s darkly glass,
teasing fire out of sight with King’s favour.
“Beneath Queen’s banner rose, daring Du Lac rode,
Slaying Guinevere, with Knight’s shining amour.”
“So why do I share this despicable tale,
as we start along new passageways?”
“You see Buccaneer, a true Knight must prevail,
to seek enlightenment beyond courtly slays.”
“Legend recalls, twas Du Lac’s unruly sway,
which brought about the end of days.”
“Civil War ensued and beloved Camelot fell,
to Mordred and his dark raven ways.”
“His thousand years with Morgana’s wicked vein,
has blackened our once fabled Kingdom.”
“Yet, hidden away, are those who have stayed,
loyal to King’s crown and Merlin’s wisdom.”
“Archimedes, why do you baffle our friend as you do?”
“With all your flannel and flummery?”
He’s not here to listen to fallacious fribble,
or an owl’s felonious frippery.”
Said Archie, feeling a little sore.
“I shared your woe, and my woe more.”
“Huddled for warmth upon Glastonbury Tor,
with distant Camelot aflame and burning.”
Archie continued, still feeling sore.
“I felt your woe, and my woe more.”
“Huddled for warmth upon Llyn Ogwen’s shore,
with distant Avalon aflame and burning.”
“Times once were, when Camelot’s enwalling haze,
would stir a wizard’s glazy daze,
to write in playful melody,
and idly wax lyrically,
or jest and jape figuratively,
and with flourish and frivolity,
find face and farce and comedy,
in weaving wizard’s poetry.
But alas, good days are gone,
“Archimedes” Merlin interrupted the owl’s sad lament.
. “Have I mentioned before, how you sound so sore,
when evoking your yore of sweet yesteryear?”
“Well, I’ve sympathy for their loss,” I casually quipped.
“Both Archie and erroneous Lancelot.”
“Tis miserable indeed, losing a cherry sweetheart,
never mind losing cherished Camelot.”
“Your Grand Questing,” I said, “what’s it to do with me?”
I was most anxious to receive an answer.
“I’m here to journey to Copper Door,
not peruse history’s errant Lancer.”
Archie flustered and fluttered his flapping old feathers,
clearly annoyed his teaching hadn’t sunken-in.
My ignorance and fear were greying aging quills,
and he was already ashen plumed and thin.
“Serving Justice with Prowess and unwavering Loyalty,
In Defence, with Courage and honest Humility.”
“With Faith, Largesse and honourable Nobility,
is a Knight’s Code of Chivalry sworn eternally!”
“Enough,” Merlin interceded with sterner projection.
He was impatient, and packed, eager to go.
One bag, one staff, one dark hooded cloak,
each suffused in deep crimson glow.
“We‘ll not weep or wail, or wince or whine,
or dwell or delay, or discuss any further!”
“We’ll not whoop or warble, or whimper or wither,
or wail at our woe, weaving weepy webs hither!”
“We’ll neither stall nor stay, nor still and stale!”
“Neither snape and snipe, nor groan and gripe!”
“For all that once was is no longer our end,
but a platform from which new legends ascend.”
“Buccaneer, I’ll help, not hinder, halt, or hitch,
the thread of your tread to Copper Door.”
“I’ll steer Seer’s pathway towards what’s right,
to perfect, perfect nature’s, perfect law.”
“You chose to seek the prattling old ghoul,
who hides in my theurgist’s bones.”
“You chose to unwind on the spinning spool,
and slip between mirroring stones.”
“You chose correct path beyond shimmering gleam,
and stepped inside this wizard’s dream.”
“Yet now at beginning of heroic new start,
there’s uncertainty in your once plucky heart?”
“My melancholy mariner!”
Far West is best for settling to rest”
for retiring old fears and tears!”
“Far East is best for setting your test,
and embracing triumphant new years!”
“We’re treading onwards, threading downwards!”
“Along dark passages through ancient seams.”
“We’re travelling far beyond edge of perilous ravines,
following noble fate towards grander dreams!”
“Our prize, our goal, our elemental certainty,
is restoring Camelot’s rightful sovereignty.”
“With wizardry, with craft, our honourable fraternity,
will be harbingers heralding a new destiny.”
“We journey to join paladins jousting for justice,
rousting for revolution, ruthless for rebellion!”
“Tis time to reclaim our righteous kingdom,
put end to Mordred’s wicked dominion!”
“When we leave today, should you walk our way,
you’ll be guided by our enchanted company.”
“Though none can say what terror will waylay,
we cannot step-out half-heartedly.”
“Buccaneer, of all you’ll ever choose to be.”
“Of all you’ll ever choose to do.”
“We’re offering you such a glorious end!”
“But the choice is up to you.”
I took seconds to dwell upon Merlin’s words,
to understand his adventure was my Fate.
Then looking deep into the wizard’s eyes, I said,
“Merlin, we’ve a Kingdom to liberate!”
“Indeed! “Agreed!” “That’s splendid!” he said,
and turned sharply on his heels.
“Are we all now all now set to go?”
”If seems an age has past already!”
“We’re leaving late, to head-out t’wards Copper Gate,
or is that heading-out, towards Copper Door?”
Dalbergia’s piercing light lit our journeys’ way,
casting crimson gleam through the gloom.
Merlin led, Archie flew overhead,
as our fellowship left mirror’s magic room.
Stepping through hollows in ruddy redolent hue,
beneath urgent press of vaulted stone.
I strove to stride at Merlin’s hurried pace,
as he strode fearlessly towards our unknown.
Upon staff’s jewelled tip, a lantern spun,
rosy thread upon Merlin’s flowing cloak,
I lost sight twice as he hastened ahead,
leaving trails of amethyst smoke.
It seemed our perilous trip had scarcely begun,
when from afar, an eerie rumble grumble.
A feint echo bringing halt to our tread,
and sudden standstill to my stumble.
With urgency my Seer’s sanguine beam,
slipped frantically inside a sedimentary seam.
Into darkness fell my tunnel’s gleam,
into blackness plunged my whispering ravine.
“It’s a thrill,” hissed the begriming shade,
to hold you in my enlightened snare.”
“To sense fear as you cower in my colourless façade,
blind behind your unsuspecting stare’
“Deep in the darkness of my bothersome tarn,
within pitchy pools persuading you to wonder.”
“Stirred are dark fears, which huddle in your tears,
to walk with you wherever you wander.”
“When blackened screams spill from wicked seams,
when death plans darker schemes far ahead.”
“There’ll be no brighter gleam, no safer dream,
than one heartfelt and intuitively led.”
“Feel your way through fear’s darkest hours,
when uncertainty steals your sight.”
“And in the shadow of your redeeming soul,
you’ll find courage within the night!”
A rash of rouge dappled the abyssal ravine,
and stole away my unfathomable dream.
“Dragon!” cried Merlin, and fled tunnel’s yawn,
“Caudicalis Draconis! Wild, huge, overgrown!”
In rapid succession, unfortunate events,
unfolded at mercurial pace.
As Merlin harried Archie to different ground, he
carried Sissoo away from my space!
Back into inky night with no crimson light,
without fierce flame to fake my way.
I hunkered down, embraced the ground,
fearing I’d be dragon prey on this day!
From tunnel’s gape crept a groaning sound,
haunted by some abysmal misery.
Stricken by darkness, I envisioned far worse,
than hell’s lizard born o’sorcery!
I huddled in silence upon the ancient floor,
with sweat pearling upon my brow.
Breath held, I listened for the slightest sound,
certain death would come quickly now.
Hitherto no hum beyond my thumping heart,
did flee from shadow’s clasp.
Yet within my heightened state of mind,
dreadful terrors prolonged their grasp.
At length, silence became an oppressive regime,
the cloying claustrophobia, closely confining.
Blindly I crawled from my haven floor space,
heading in the direction of our arriving.
I hugged hewn walls and followed miner’s course,
fearful at every uncertain stride.
Should I slip and fall, it was a mile or more,
straight down, on one last ride.
Perhaps it was after long unrelenting hours,
perhaps it was long after far more.
When I sunk back against the tunnel wall,
to rest wearily upon the floor.
My hand reached to slow my sliding slump,
and touched something on the ground.
Something cold, coiled and uncannily wet,
something fleshy yet unnaturally found.
In blind panic I turned from the heinous thing,
and sidled away three paces or more!
In terror I screamed when my foot found thin air,
and I stepped off the edge of the floor!
My sudden flurry and flail failed to grasp, nor
flaying foot find fixed hold in the gloom.
Headfirst into the fearful unknown I fell,
knowing this would be my doom.
For long moments I shook with unspeakable fear,
in trepidation of my end to come.
I realized this was to be my last breath,
the one final beat of my drum…
When sudden impact upon a yielding floor!
Fluid racing to silence my scream!
I plunged deeply within a watery grave,
deeper still into death’s drowning dream!
Shocked near to dying, my screaming mind crying,
for ancient impulses to struggle for life.
I rasped, retched, reached out in hope,
of forestalling my fast sinking strife.
When to my hand came a sturdy stem,
gnarled and knolled and saving!
I pulled and pulled for dear life’s worth,
to escape the end death was craving.
Gasping, I broke surface, and grasped harder still,
scrabbling upwards from my watery hell.
But barely had I climbed two feet or more,
when there came an ear-splintering roar.
So absolute was darkness I couldn’t discern,
from where the fetid dragon howled.
So absolute was horror I couldn’t decide,
from where the gnarled beast growled.
I froze in dread, went limp, played dead,
and clung to my knotty wood tuber.
A long deep groan, a throaty grumble,
a rushing current, a rampaging rumble!
I sensed the rising behemoth stir and swell,
felt tidal flow force me to shore.
I heard the ruffle of unfolding wings,
heeded swift silence before next roar.
With sudden fury came the whip of a tail,
tearing flesh from my tearing face.
With sudden rage came the bite of blades,
as talons shredded me like lace.
Ripped and ragged, tattered and torn,
close to drowning, with all spirit gone.
I heaved myself higher on dangling dowel,
defying death’s reach from beyond.
Snatching at rock, at earth, at dust,
scrambling to flee my flaming fear.
Grabbing in vain only to wince in pain, but
reaching again, praying, to never die here.
At long, long last, firm foothold held,
and bore full wet weight of me.
I lunged with force, with inhuman strength,
to be free of the wrathful sea.
My ravaged root, my stout saving stem,
tore free with me in its limpet hold.
And thundering down upon the bruising shore,
into a flailing throng I rolled.
Each threshing and thrashing of unholy spite,
beat me down upon my knees.
When in my hand the torn timber cried,
“tis time to fight or cease to be!”
A berserker’s frenzied ferocity,
flowed fluid as fanned fire within!
I stood to stare! To stand! To stay!
To fight to live another day!
I swung that branch with venomous zeal,
determined to cast all asunder.
I wielded that staff as if murderous steel,
delirious, with red mist and thunder.
Dull roar of battle upon sheer edge of life,
screams splintering dreams of my titan foe.
Shrill holler of war upon sheer edge of life,
screams forging dreams of my inner hero!
Hell’s welting rain descended again,
whipping my flesh with tongues of fire.
I wouldn’t long sustain such unbearable pain,
before the life in me would expire.
I buckled to one knee beneath a crushing blow,
felled by foul beast’s greater might.
But with wrath, with rage, with hope for life,
I struggled to my feet for one last fight!
Wielding my staff I assailed the dark night,
struck out viciously with deadly force.
Yet without sight I was a hapless knight, and
my scything of dragon-flesh, off course.
Sudden thunder slammed against my splitting skull,
with power to lift me from the floor.
I struck solid wall, senses darkened, went dull,
and I barely remember much more.
I slipped silently beyond all sense of despair,
became one with impenetrable night.
I departed within my heart’s deepest dream,
and floated upwards towards the light…
~~~~~ + ~~~~~