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they asked "Merlin" Mervin:
"Who Is Gemini?"
©1999, Rudy Mervin, All Rights Reserved.


At puberty took his hands
Off his Taurean father's plow
And ran off to the town
To become scribe to the king,
For he had a way with words
His father couldn't appreciate.

He took up an apprenticeship
To a scribe in the town,
And his twin brother
Became an itinerant pedlar,
Visiting the farmsteads
In quicksilver conversation,
And on Market Day
Taking a stall in the Town Square,
Playing the shell game
With ambidextrous dexterity,
Teaching the slow-wits
The value of quick thinking,
And he could con anybody
Into buying his wares
- And if not,
A cruise through the crowd
And quick hands into slow pockets,
And his profit was made for the day.
And no slow-wit ever caught him out,
Though he was once accosted
By a fiery Sagittarius
Who had seen enough of the world
To know when he was cheated
And had contempt for words
That only played at being wise.

But they were both travellers,
Though Sagittarius wandered farther,
And reluctant respect was garnered
As campfire tales were traded,
And Gemini gathered information
To impress the yokels highly
While Sagittarius gathered wisdom
From the stories that were told.

Cancer was his future.
One day he'd settle down
And cease the endless movement
In a home within the town
And there were children, two,
But the future was not now.
The nurturing of Gemini
Was the nurturing of the self
With words that would endow
Immature wisdom and superficial truth
With a patina of intellectuality.

Gemini found himself at odds
With Pisces and Virgo.
Pisces said he understood exactly,
But was an obvious liar
Because he couldn't put it into words.
And it was an affront to the pride of Gemini
To have an amateur liar
Assume he could fool a professional.

Not only that,
But the man didn't even have a trade
- No ambition - just a squawky old fiddle
And an insubstantial look to the eyes
Holding his hand out for unearned money,
Trying to make Gemini feel guilty
With sob-stories.
And he'd even tried a bit of thievery,
Though he wasn't fast enough
For the quick eyes and hands of a professional,
And Gemini sent him packing, in tears.
The nerve of that weakling
Trying to steal from a Gemini!

And as for Virgo, there was another
Always irritable when asked to serve,
Though God knows, that was the trade he'd picked.
The man was a good craftsman,
- Good with his hands,
Though more precise than fast
And could read and write
Though his airs of intellectual superiority
And, oh yes, the way he would correct
Gemini's flow of words
Made Gemini feel like shouting at him.

Now, Libra and Aquarius
Those were true intellectuals
Who understood the value of words
And word play, and puns,
And jokes with a double meaning
- Both very enjoyable company.

Take Libra for instance.
The man could even put words to rhyme
And when he bought something
It was in obvious good taste,
Though because he could never make up his mind
He generally ended up paying too much.

But he was diplomatic
And had saved Gemini's skin
When Sagittarius had laid hands on him,
By pretending to be even-handed
And persuading Sagittarius
That it would not be justice
To settle the score violently,
Giving Gemini time to mollify
With insincere apologies
The anger into humour.

And Aquarius
Always friendly, and as quick of mind
As Gemini himself,
Was always interesting,
And his concepts of brotherhood
Though impractical in today's world,
Might be of some use
In that far-off future
Aquarius always talked about.
Sometimes, he would disappear
For days at a time
Off by himself, so he said,
To think and meditate
- Though Gemini couldn't see why anyone
Would want his own company.

Aries and Leo had Gemini's respect,
Not for their intellects,
But because they were dangerous to cross.
Something like that Sagittarius
But closer to home.
Aries had a quick temper
And a hand too ready for sword,
But he didn't hold a grudge,
And if one day he lost his temper
And was ready to kill,
The next day he was his affable self,
Though you would never get his apology,
Even when Aries was wrong,
And he was easily disarmed by conciliation
If he thought you were sincere.
He was forthright and predictable,
And could be handled, not through confrontation,
But by opportunity for action
On his own behalf.

Leo had Gemini's ungrudging admiration.
Here was dignity and presence
And natural leadership.
Gemini's pride was his intellect
Which wasn't threatened by Leo,
And he had been well-paid by that king
For information well-gathered,
Particularly about Scorpio
Whom Leo detested and mistrusted,
So there was a natural alliance
Against this powerful opponent.

Scorpio made Gemini uncomfortable,
While not directly threatening
- Power held in check
Against a strategic future,
A time for his revenge
- An inner ruthlessness
Which could frighten even Gemini
Who sensed his glibness as
Not enough protection against a secretive gaze
Which discerned beyond
Gemini's wordy camouflage.

Gemini found Capricorn irritating
With his restrictions on trade
And dissemination of information.
He held his position
Not through a commanding presence
Or natural leadership qualities
Like Leo,
But step-by-step
From humble beginnings to power,
A planner like Scorpio
And almost as secretive.
Cold, but pretending affability.
Not as ruthless, and more overt.
Irritating to the King, but valuable
Because of organizational abilities.
Gemini resented being treated
Like a common messenger,
His information more valuable than himself,
As if he were the slow-wit,
Rather than Capricorn,
Unlike the treatment by Leo
Who showed his appreciation
With a gift.

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