Merlin often encourages us all to make best use of our time each day: even here amidst contrived fantasy where time seems an irrelevance we are pushed, pulled, prodded and poked by our Magus into engaging with fruitful activity. Barely is chance available for sustained periods of leisure, but I Jake Sweeny have broken with tradition and Merlin’s purposeful approach to life to deliberately lose time within the pages of a good book. It’s a tome blagged by mechanism of exchange and barter from a chiselled faced ‘pedler of pages’ I met in a small market town some days ago. Titled ‘Out of this World’ the mysterious book describes in detail extra-terrestrial visitations, alien abductions, and other phenomenal stories emerging from the stars and taking place here on Earth. I am a believer in the green and the grey, the blue, the orange, and those alien life forms that evade our eye almost completely but exist amongst us creating carnage. The invisible ones I have seen before albeit a long, long time ago.
You may well ask why I have interest in such things and if truth be told it is timely for me to improve my understanding further as we tread closer to Camelot. These are dark, dark days and darker rumours are rife but carrying great weight are those making mention of strange visitors appearing in ‘the sky’, magical beings manifesting ‘out of thin air’, and those detailing chance encounters with ‘unholy weird things’ frequenting these wicked lands. Whilst this is not entirely unheard of before, the frequency of similar tales now makes me rather curious. So in light of these stories, Merlin has asked me to investigate further, make contact with my network of associates and find out if any truth prevails. He advised acquiring the book I hold long before we got to the market town, no doubt he already knew the book was waiting to be found. He is a great wizard after-all.
In between pages of reading I am scribbling in my journal and diarising our journey for posterities sake…someone other than Master Scribe has to leave a written record of our journey. Should we be unsuccessful in our mission to overthrow Morgana and Mordred, it is inevitable The Wizard of Wands will be lost forever, but Morgana doesn’t know about my diary. Our tale will be told, our truth will prevail, and Merlin’s legend will live on forever.
~ 16th June 5 A.D ~ Dusk has faded to fuse with night….
~ The Wizard of Wands ~ Bloopers and Out Takes ~
~ 7 Nations ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~
I’ve space away from the fireside group,
comfy in the shade of a cosy willow.
By lamplight I sit to cast out my lines,
reeling words back into my hollow…
“What do you see when you look up at the sky?” Merlin asked.
They were sat by the fire warming.
“Endless starlight,” the Soothsayer said,
“And end to all the storming.”
“The rain has long since passed Master Scribe.”
“Gone too the thunderous flash.”
“Now blessed with air so sparklingly clear,
whilst underfoot we splish and splash.”
“A metaphor for life,” Archie added,
“to rise over seas of disquieting emotions.”
“It’s the way a Wizard stays on a wizard’s stay,” said Merlin.
“…we’ve crossed many oceans.”
“I’m lost to the wonder of my new life here,
here beneath this twinkling dome.”
“With you my brave companions, my friends.”
“In a fantasy that feels like home.”
Master Scribe took leave to weave a line elsewhere,
leaving Archie and Merlin alone.
The wayward Buccaneer had travelled so very far,
from a past life long, long flown.
“It needs more onion” said Merlin tasting,
“I say Archie be a good chap.”
“Any chance you’d do the errand run?”
“Perhaps forgo an afternoon nap?”
“Onion,” Archimedes repeated,
reaching for a word beyond the humdrum.
“The trouble with the onion,” he knowingly said,
“Is that it poses a rhyming condundrum!”
“Hmm,” he pondered, “let me see…”
“I could tell you of the onion in the dungeon in London.”
“Make mention of the umber in the umbra in the tundra penumbra.”
“Or speak of random tandems and teary onion tantrums,
and time of illegitimi non carborundums.”
“But after that I’m stuck for words to rhyme.”
“That’s the near limit of my thinking function.”
“Who’d have thought a humble onion so fraught!”
“But we still need another for luncheon!”
“You’ll not be long so whilst you’re gone,
I’ll leave the stew simmering low.”
“It’ll give me chance to practice lines,
those from ‘later on’ in the show.”
Archie opened wide his wondrous wings,
stepped from the branch and set his glide.
Merlin adjusted the fire’s fierce flame and,
moved the crock-pot to one side.
It was the dusking hour when bats not birds
swoop woop whizz and wail.
When insects nip bite scratch and sting,
beneath twilights fading veil.
A curious crow watched from a distant bough,
watched with beady blackened eyes.
Watched and waited clearly fascinated,
whilst dining on gastropoda and flies.”
Merlin enjoyed an audience of birds,
although crows were hard to please.
“Hg would agree, carrion heckle mercilessly,
worse still when they endlessly tease.”
He took a deep breath, puffed out his chest,
made ready to warble a scale.
Barely five notes in when there came tumbling,
soggy remnants of a shell-less snail!
“Hmm, common terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc,” said Merlin.
“Barely a bite’s worth of meat at all!”
“Laugh whilst you can my blackbird friend…
the pie-man’s coming to bake your fool!”
Merlin chuckled as he frequently did,
chuckled again as he read the script.
He’s taken to reading the story ahead,
so his character will be better ‘equipped.’
We mostly think it a foolish endeavour:
the tale still continues to unfold.
Besides it’s no longer Merlin writing the poem,
but the Soothsayer’s tale to be told.
“I’ve heard it said there’s a region up North,
where snails grow nearly 6 foot tall.”
“I suppose I should thank my lucky stars,
it was not one of those to fall!”
“Now then, where was I,” Merlin muttered,
teasing parchment from its bind.
“I’m certain I marked the page with a sign,
but it’s now one I cannot find.”
“But wait here it is,
always the last place I look,
Stuck between pages of my cauldron cookbook.”
“Chapter 33 of the Scribe’s extended tome and,
we’ve still long miles home to roam.”
“Never mind,” said Merlin wistfully,
“I much prefer an open road.”
“It avoids stagnating in a static life,
which must be an unmoveable load.”
“Well now, Chapter 33,” he mused.
“Where I’m attending a press convention.”
“It’s my moment to shine not become confused.”
“A scene needing artful invention!”
Merlin sat to sit and read aloud the text,
I quietly sat and listened.
It was just he and I alone in the glade.
I in darkness as Merlin glistened…
“A great roar arose as he posed behind the podium
arose and arose from rows of rows and arose blooming
as petals roses poses fireworks flickering flaring
tumbling journalists stumbling bumbling
tattling prattling garbling rattling
foil ticker-tape wrapping clapping
crackling to the sound of his inaugural speech.”
“He is not phased.
Not yet appraised.
Fearless facing fear
Flash threat furore.”
“He stands taller on hallowed ground.
Upon this Henge, this ancient Tor.
“He is recently arrived in this brave new world,
newly birthed by a golden dawn.”
“Editors lend stare to photographers’ flare
else glare guess and glean.”
“He isn’t the first Magus this Land has seen but,
they’d all like to ask, where have you been?”
“Yet these are small questions for a moment so fine,
with the World waiting on his opening line!”
Merlin paused to reflect on the starry scene.
“Such magnitude!” he eagerly thrilled.
“A magnificent moment rightfully mine,
a method-actor so highly skilled.”
“Typecast! Typecast! Typecast!” crassed the crow,
crackling the silence cracking a snail.
“Such limited range!” she mocked rocking her perch,
“Not worthy! Not worthy! Of this tale!”
Merlin ignored the carrion bawl,
continued with his curtain call.
He cleared his throat,
braced his shoulders,
put on his face
the one that smoulders.
Turned slowly to face fire’s glow,
found his voice begun to flow…
“Leaders of the Severn Lands of the Celts.”
“Lend me your ancient ears!”
“After nine hundred long and wicked years.”
“A Prophet has returned amongst you.”
”I am the first of a Counsel of Severn,
each a sage from a different Age.”
“The Six to follow me wield great might,
but I am the only Mage.”
“I am Myrddin, here to steer as Druidic Seer.”
“Here to enforce Devolution divorce.”
“Here to endorse unity of course!”
“To Camelot, and Severn as One together!”
“Your sorceress Morgana, she will no longer do,
“She has poisoned, dishonoured and deprived you!”
“Mordred her evil Warlock he burns far too blue,
far too blue to ever again be trusted!”
“There is silence.
No flick no flak no flash or dash
No haste to race or up-load.
Film slowed bytes stowed.
“The Wizard wears a weave toned cobalt and coal.
Preened poised polished well postured.
Composed he poses, his wings unfurled.”
“I am Merlin.”
“He tells a brave New World.”
Artwork/Composition by Dewin Nefol