I am continuing to blog a series of short posts penned by Jake Sweeny a long standing friend of Merlin and Archie who will now be travelling with the Fellowship to Camelot. Jake is presenting small snippets of news and gossip arising on our travels,, his personal perspective and commentary on the journey, poetry, short anecdotes, and details of any random/funny moments occurring en route to our destination.
In the meantime I am taking first steps setting out writing Book 2 of The Wizard of Wands (WoW). It’s a slow start whilst I take two steps back to hit the ground running but I’m pleased to report enthusiastic endeavour and progress. Curiously, for all the careful planning and consideration of the story my first impressions with the writing would suggest the tale is taking its own course and leading where it wants to go rather than where I had intended. I am not discouraged nor impeding the flow: I will be happy if the paths being laid-down carry the story to arrive at the key moments I had planned, but if not then I suppose that is a challenge to rise to and overcome. I am comfortable following the muses lead: the story must go on.
~ The Wizard of Wands ~ Jake’s Journal ~
~ 23rd June 5 A.D ~
~ Growing Pains ~ By ~ Jake Sweeny ~
Midnight with the lost and found.
Midnight upon this ancient mound.
The witching hour, or so they say.
When cast all around abound the spellbound
And those Earthbound spellbinding.
I’ve realised our camp is on Iron-Age ground.
Set upon the grave of a Villanovan Queen.
I can hear her breathing in the womb of her tomb
When my ear in sleep listens to her dream.
It’s profound, her breathing, the sound I mean,
stirring in that she weeps.
My heart fills with her sadness and woe.
Fairly aches with dark secrets she keeps.
For the record, I am an empath.
Near clairvoyant in fact.
It’s a gift, a hindrance too.
In that I have to use tact.
You see, I get to see, almost immediately,
what is found within a heart.
Not the intimate details you understand, more
the motion of emotion, at least in part.
For example I will know why a heart feels woe,
but not intricacies of all involved.
I get fleeting impressions vague visions passing,
clues and riddles to be solved.
It’s how I scrounge and do well trading,
my craft is hidden in the unseen shading.
Between the space to know and know too much,
in a place they call The Fading.
You’ll understand me better for having mentioned,
my naturally occurring ways.
It’s reason why I seek solace, space alone
to be with people means busy days.
However Master Scribe is a curiosity to me.
He has heart and soul that can’t be breached.
I think it wise he be blessed with this shell,
I wonder if his mind is more easily reached…
Master Scribe is sat mindfully contemplating his navel again. He calls it meditation, I call it chin-stroking over self-indulgence, but we agree to disagree, he is the Soothsayer after-all and I merely a ragman with a pen. He tells me it’s what all poets do so to open up and be receptive to inspiration and finding words. I understand little of what he calls ‘metaphysics’ (another new word he taught me), but from what he describes, a decent flagon of mead seems to do much the same thing: it slackens my shackles and the tongue of my nib and gives impetus to writing my drivel.
Master Scribe is lost in his world. His countenance: the 1000-yard stare he wears, the blissful glint in his eyes suggests he is somewhere I have no knowledge of ever being whilst sober. He’s not noticed me at all being here for the past hour. I’ve even lit a small fire and have a rabbit dripping fat on the spit to serve as cold cuts tomorrow lunchtime.
I wanted to ask his thoughts about Fair Lady Veritas: to ask what he considered to be the essential nature of truth itself. She is someone I would dearly like to meet, greet, shake hands with and sense a little of her emotional inner world. I have progressed from squalor, lived in sin, wrestled with Gods and purified my skin…yet still I feel a need to ask, ‘Lady Veritas, when did truth begin?’ Master Scribe knows the answer, but will never describe her highest virtue through and through and Merlin has never met her. Archie has far too few clues to offer and remains tight lipped with gossip anyway: he is never one for tattle.
“Ah Jake, what a pleasant surprise.”
“Why not sit and join me?”
“There’s room for two on the crest of this rise.”
“Come and see what it is I see.”
Master Scribe was relaxed blissfully vacant
in the zone ‘on the Wizard’s stay’.
“Accuracy, certainty, precision” he stated,
sounding like an echo from far away.
I relinquished my spot next to the fireside,
gave-it it up for a Scarab beetle.
I found safe ground to rest my ash
as we sat to watch a Golden Eagle.
My ash I should mention is a pipe-smoker’s term.
A bad habit I’ll never shake.
I should’ve quit long years ago,
long after my last prison break.
But hey, a fella is permitted one mild extravagance,
at worst perhaps just two
But having any more than three or four, even
a scrounger would be rotten through and through!
“Master Scribe,” said I, “see how she flies.”
“She is Queen of the skies, of all she surveys.”
“What delight! Soaring at height in searing sunlight!”
“See her polish, her glaze, her feather tips blaze!”
“Why Jake you have entered my world after-all.”
“Merlin said it would take a few days.”
“I know you have sensitivity to almost ‘see’,
that you intuit another’s inner ways.”
“He told me I was protected by Fair Lady V.”
“That I was shielded magically.”
He said, “it’s needed to protect all that you know.”
“Merlin spoke quite emphatically.”
“Master Scribe,” said I, “you are a Soothsayer now,
a depository knowing truth of every born soul.”
“No other mortal shares that knowledge with you…”
“Full access to one’s Akashic scroll.”
Master Scribe sighed more loudly than intended,
paused to let it linger in the air.
“Whilst you’ll never know what lies within,” he said,
“Your stare is a stare to lay me bare.”
“You see what is unapparent, “the Soothsayer continued,
“What is hidden to the human eye.”
“I can’t deny knowing truth weighs heavily with me,
despite having these new wings to fly.”
Said I, “the gift you bare bares no weight of Grace.”
“It is your perception that needs to change.”
“I’m not sure I know what you mean,” said Master Scribe.
“My friend,” said I, “it is all about range.”
“Range?” he asked, “do you imply reach or scope?”
“No,” I said, “I mean the end of your rope.”
“You have a duty, a task, you are sailing full mast,
but must find focus with your ‘telescope’.”
“If one adds lenticular vision to your microscopic sight,
to the truth you know and to your insight.”
“I glimpse why you are overwhelmed by a loss of light.”
“It comes with knowing a soul’s darkest night.”
“It is as you describe Jake: their vulnerability, their plight.”
“Their fears, their dreams, their circumstances, their blight.”
“I pass beyond their darkness and onwards to their light.”
“I pass through many layers to watch their soul take flight.”
“I see the truth within them, their glorious splendour,
I see their Eagle caged behind bars.”
“I see everything they have ever been.”
“Since their first day born from the stars.”
“Focus,” I said, “on the matter in hand,
on the rationale for the destined meeting.”
“You must learn quickly how best to conclude,
why any encounter requires completing
“Merlin might say ‘fashion a mind that rises!”
“He is always one for witticism and tag.”
“He means you’ve to avoid unpleasant surprises,
by flying above the silt and drag.”
“My friend, you already know the truth within,
the revelation one’s heart keeps close.”
“It is not necessary to digest the entire soul,
only differentiate where it suffers most.”
“Master Scribe you prescribe for Veritas.”
“You are subject to a higher level of truth.”
“You’ve no need to dwell on the superfluous within.”
“Focus your mind on being the sleuth.”
“Sleuth,” the Soothsayer soothed out a sigh,
“Truth,” Jake replied rather subtly.
“I only need see what must be resolved,” he said,
“not what is growing old and dusty.”
“Exactly,” I said, “I knew you’d get it!”
I added, “being Merlin’s prodigy,”
“Thank you Jake,” said the Scribe facing me.
“For providing me with insightful company.”
“And Astrology, psychology, pathology, methodology,”
He paused for a smoke on his pipe.
“Also a nip of theology, borrowed terminology, and
friendly help with a moan and gripe.”
“Merlin is a great man Master Scribe.”
“Hg is simply out of this world.”
“But don’t imagine it was easy for either of them,
when their fledgling feathers were unfurled.”
“One forgets they started out by not ever knowing.”
“Yet arose as icons of legend and fable.”
“It is a matter of perspective my winged friend.”
“You must sharpen your focus as you’re now able.”
Master Scribe was moved by our timely chat.
He sat staring through me to the other side.
Beyond the hypnotic gaze, the penetrative stare,
There was only happiness in his eyes.
“You are a good man Jake,” he said to me.
“A good man through and through.”
“With solid foundations for your charming rogue.”
“And for the emerging nature of you.”
“Your question for Lady Veritas, when did Truth begin?”
He paused leaving me waiting for something more.
“Twas when you offered up your place by the fireside,
to the Scarab Beetle on the floor.”
Photography/Artwork by Dewin Nefol