454px-The_Beguiling_of_Merlin_by_Edward_Burne-JonesThe place where I found to rest was thick
With chamomile. I lay my head against its spongy,
Fragile stems and closed my eyes to the ants
Intoxicated by the scent, climbing toward heaven,
Or what an ant can know of it.

Soft, soft. Come now. Leave the door ajar.
Nimue, Nimue . . . you are not swift enough
You linger, come away. Leave it.
Leave the door ajar.

The air so alive with cold
All I could know

I drank the wine and listened.

You are too young to know but listen
Listen to each word. Then
Come away. Leave the door ajar
Learn to find the secret jolt.

Swimming across frozen water, chunks
Catching in my hair, my feet whales
Stuck again and again, my arms logs
Weighted by soot, dark and swirling
In the whirlpool my body was creating

Like powder
The smell of a rich woman ready
For her lover
The chamomile woke me
My limbs were stiff with dawn

I had barely began to walk the soreness out
When I found him.

–Shaun Perkins


Merlin at Lessons

merlin-and-arthurHe rarely listened to what I taught
but that is the way. A true teacher learns
early that insisting the student listen
is the surest way to uninsure it.
I would be deep into Lao Tze’s treatise
on warfare, and he would be drawing crude
pictures of what he imagined women dreamt he
might do to them. Fart jokes besides Poetics,
impromptu themes justifying the ways of God
to amoeba in terms only amoeba would understand. Continue reading “Merlin at Lessons”