Fantasy Science Fiction poetry poem Merlin Nimue


By Lorraine Schein
Jul 8, 2019 · 298 words · 2 minutes

Illuminated rocky cavern

Photo by Ksenia Kudelkina via Unsplash.

From the author: A poem about Merlin the magician, from the King Arthur tales.



                                          Every day I eat a clock,

                                          excrete a clock.

                                          Time jewels around me.

                                          Blue diode digits flash in my eyes.


                                          In my cave, I liquefy the crystals--

                                          make them seethe and blaze.

                                          I text spells that writhe on the pulsing quartz walls,

                                          answer invisible psi phones from the future.


                                          Piles of hoarded sundials, solar cells,

                                          pendulums, balance wheels, church bells,

                                          wristwatch gears, faces and hands,

                                          broken hourglasses and their sands,

                                          from too many distant lands,

                                          surround me.


                                          Sapphire chips, alarm chimers,

                                          and yellowed daytimers.

                                          Paper calendars,

                                          atomic oscillators, and

                                          marine chronometers.

                                          Mainsprings, bezels, windup keys,

                                          as far as the eye can see.


                                          Chronographs, escapements, and star charts,

                                          rock, water, electric, and cuckoo parts--

                                          everything with a tick or tock

                                          heaped around me.


                                          I am a time bomb, set to detonate

                                          into an unknown future.

                                          A Druid terrorist,

                                          waiting for his moment.


                                          She planted me ticking here—

                                          my co-conspirator, mad lady bomber.


                                          Snared with my own spells, beguiled and caught by her

                                          like photons, we are quantum-entangled forever.





This story originally appeared in Strange Horizons.

Lorraine Schein

Lorraine Schein writes sff, poetry, satire and odd unclassifiables.