7 Nations

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!

~

“Oi!”

“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

cameras chit-chattering

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.

Systems froze.

Distilling download.”

~

“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

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10 thoughts on “7 Nations

    • Good morning David,

      How are you? Well I hope and enjoying the seasonally good weather…a treat for us in our green and vibrant land. I thought I might be alone at this reasonably early hour, so its great knowing others rise to type and type to rise with the dawn as well.

      Thank you for choice words and kind comment. I am appreciative and encouraged, the comments are most welcome. Words such as ‘epic’ and ‘old’, ‘saga’ and ‘excellent’ are very warming, thank you David. I hope I can do such magnificent words justice, or at the very least go down with the Argo trying 🙂

      Where the first poem chose to write itself, I am trying to be a little more structured in my approach this time around. The story was never intended to expand as it has and I am now finding it necessary to make notes and blue-print vague ideas for future recall. It’s a new approach to writing for me and like all new activities it has yet to feel comfortable, but I am persevering. Book 1 was completed without use of notes, which would have been of help when returning to the keyboard after periods of absence, so I hope working more methodically on Book 2 will be time-saving as well.

      In truth there is a considerable amount of new learning to take on board whilst engaging with the whole writing thing: I had not anticipated it being so demanding, both in terms of time and effort. It is a very involved pursuit, a wholly rewarding labour of love and hugely entertaining….I just wish I had more hours in the day to write fulltime. I am a complete novice at the writing game who is simply enjoying the freedom to indulge in creative enterprise…I will trip up and fall down many times before the end of the story, but I hope to be wiser and feel more confident in my writing by the end of the entire experience. It is a journey to look forward to 🙂

      Thank you again for straying by and staying a moment to read and comment. I trust all is well further up north and you are all in fine fettle. Best wishes for Monday and the new week ahead. Take care of one and all.

      Namaste and Hugs 🙂

      DN

      • Hello Dewin, not in any particular order, I am well (ish) and currently enjoying the weather in our Country. All is well in this far North close to the English border, and I doubt my fettle has ever been finer. As for uninterrupted periods, there aren’t any. I generally only sleep two to three hours a night, but had it not been me, I guarantee it would have been someone else.
        I genuinely mean hat your post reminded me of an old Icelandic saga told by the Vikings. I’m having to take their word for that, not having been there myself.
        Whether it’s your decision to work methodically or not and allowing the story to expand as it has makes me doubt you’re such a novice at the writing game but you’re right that it’s demanding and you may well offer to see your soul for more hours in the day before the book is done.
        I wish you the very best of luck with it and also the joy I know will happen when you get that first copy in your hand.
        Hugs

  1. Hey David,

    Almost lunchtime already for those of us that live the dream during waking hours and regret the hours lost to sleep – I am a little similar to you in terms of my overall sleep patterns – evermore so when one knows it is time lost to writing for the mistress…the muse who whispers at all hours. She is a complete task master who has touched my heart…or perhaps that is just a line from the Sister Act (1992) song I am listening to as I type. But I shall take heed of your words and take care of my soul when the muse hands it back at journey’s end, in pieces 🙂 Thank you for the advice my friend.

    Hmm, the Viking saga angle is interesting and equally as fascinating. I am pleased to know the post gave rise to such a notion, thank you. My knowledge of Icelandic myth falls a little short – the reference is appreciated thank you – and I shall research a little further. I wondered if mention of the date 5 A.D in Jake’s journal entry suggested at an approximate timeline in which to place the story…with the Roman Army leaving, Great Britain was open season for Saxon invasion and Viking marauders….and influenced your thinking? If so you’ve a sharp eye. I tried to fashion in Photoshop a simple bone-like buckle for the leather binding on the book in the image. Reflecting on that now it seems to work in conveying a sort of historical context to the piece.

    It is possible Merlin’s speech will make it to the final edition, but Merlin isn’t writing the poem anymore and anything could happen between now and chapter 33 🙂 I know he feels it is his destiny to deliver these monumental words and would have enjoyed featuring in a leading moment much earlier on in the poem. As it is, if this makes it to publication, it will require a grand performance. I trust Merlin will be masterful in his polished delivery. Only time will tell.

    ‘I wish you the very best of luck with it and also the joy I know will happen when you get that first copy in your hand.’ Thank you for kind best wishes…I and the cast and crew of WoW vow to press on and will continue to do so aided by encouraging comments like yours and my anticipation of that ‘first copy in the hand’ moment, which I imagine is my ‘green hill far, far away’, waiting to be conquered. Happy days indeed 🙂

    Well my friend, I have luncheon on the go – comfort food, pizza and chips and a can of fizzy pop – and will bid thee ‘au revoir’. Enjoy the remainder of your day….happy scribbling with the muse amused and musing. 🙂

    Namaste 🙂

    DN

    • The muse deserted me for pastures new just over four years ago. She may or may not be related to yours so if you should see mine hanging about tell her all is forgiven and I’d welcome her back.
      Comfort food for me today too, chips with curry sauce, a yoghurt and a drink of Pepsi max.
      Hugs

      • Hey David,

        (If I understand you correctly) I am sorry to hear of a partnership coming to an end. Love and loss are always difficult emotions to accommodate: the human capacity to love and be loved often leads me to conclude it is as beautiful as it is daunting,. I admire those fearless enough to even try it 🙂

        My Muse is a figment of the imagination my friend, a haunt of the mind, the creative spark at the hearth of every heartbeat. She is not a real person in as much as she does not exist in the flesh. She embodies the fiery spirit of creative enterprise, she is the flame that encourages, supports, and drives a man to personal betterment and creative ends. She is the impulse to engage with the creative act and sustain it with passion care, respect and integrity. Her will is the will reflected in the will of the writer yet the height of her flame is dependant on the hand that wields her wand. She is always giving, always whispering, always providing clues and offering means to live out her dreams on paper.

        With certainty you’ll have met the muse I talk about. She travels under various guises, mine I call Synchronicity. I first met her when at university studying Animation. She appeared in a hand-drawn film – a basic human walking cycle. I am not a draftsperson and drawing is not my forte, so I was delighted to see my errors gave more life to the lines of my character. It was especially noticeable around the end of the toe: at the extreme end of the foots forward movement the toe flicks upwards a little. It is a barely unseen movement yet when delineating it on paper, such a small addition adds dimensions to suggesting realism in movement. I learnt that chance is often there lending a hand and will meet us half way when we try our best without her. Since that day I have grown very fond of my muse and cherish her.

        My mid morning luncheon was perfection, thank you, and hit the spot nicely, ‘tidy darts butt’ as they say. I am left happily full and with a slice of pepperami for a snack later. Preferring smaller meals served more often, I like to graze, and pizza is perfect for such practice. I trust you will enjoy your meal equally and be infused with verve and eager to write as a result.

        Pepsi Max…my favourite as well unless its Coke served ice cold in a glass bottle with a straw and a bag of salt ‘n’ vinegar to munch on….we all have our weaknesses with certain foods, crisps are mine. All comfort food is good writing food.

        Should Synchronicity pay you a visit her favourite tipple is PG and she’s partial to red velvet cake. Just letting you know.

        Have a great day up north. Hold the line and protect that border from English invaders. “This Land is our home,” said Merlin lol 🙂

        Take care my friend in all ways always.

        Namaste 🙂

        DN

  2. Hey Dewin!

    An entertaining read; I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    Six foot snails? I hope not! Although I do like the sound of the Cauldron Cookbook 🙂 I loved the audience of crows. Hard to please and endlessly tease, indeed. So true! Fabulous artwork too. The quill is amazing 🙂

    Wishing you the Brightest of Midsummer Blessings 🙂

    • Hey Sammi,

      How are you doing? Did Tuesday tempt tease please else bring hope laughter a smile or good cheer to beam on your face from ear to ear? I hope it did 🙂

      Thank you for enjoying reading Jake’s blurb, you know how he will value your expert eye and opinion. Appreciative comment on the artwork is gratefully noted as to the hope to acquire a copy of the Cauldron Cookbook. I thought you might enjoy adding its magical contents to the cakes and bakes you make and create and leave warming on the riser or place to chill on windowsills so when nearly cool some Jack, Jill, or Joker of Hearts can come along and thieve one 🙂

      Merlin’s Quill…it is only a photograph, a replica if you will, he still retains the original somewhere up his sleeve 🙂

      Ahh, so you know about the tease of Crows? And the riotous roar of Raven’s when they get rocking mocking mercilessly? They are true fiends in the crowd, loud, proud, fustian, Falstaffian, supercilious and condescending, not to mention rhetorical, oratorical, declamatory, portentous, pedantic and orotund. Much like Archie when having a grey day.

      I could continue commenting on the peculiarities of bird types and their heckling characters – the ones I watch from my flat window – but my list would finally degenerate into mentioning the titivating antics of those great and small garden birds best referred to as ‘Chickadees’ 🙂

      Thank you for bright blessings, they are reciprocated. Enjoy your evening – another warm and close one, mine benefiting from ice-cold water, open windows and the cooling waft of a desk fan. It is a perfect occasion for salad….ploughman’s I think, served with chips. Mmm.

      Take care of you, the royal ‘we’, and of course the moggies. Thank you for stopping by.

      Namaste 🙂

      DN

  3. Good afternoon John,

    Why thank you kind sir! 🙂

    Tis reward indeed to know Jake’s journal jingo generated a smile. I thought by including a random view of the story it would help expand the narrative, provide a little backdrop where needed and offer me a change of perspective writing the poem – an opportunity to perhaps consider characters in more detail through the eyes of another. Jake has his own curious story of course (as do we all) and perhaps we’ll hear more about him as the poem progresses: for the time being he can linger longer in the shade.

    Of interest to me: the more detailed I make the narrative blue print the further away the poem is leading from my intended direction. I am going with the flow and hoping the poem will steer itself back and make room for various key events/elements/moments to happen. Fingers crossed 🙂

    I trust your own creative endeavours with pen and ink are progressing positively and with success. Hoping all is well my friend. Take care of one and all on your side of the paddling pond.

    Namaste 🙂

    DN

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