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Star Weaver

Star Weaver
by Maia Jacomus

Star Weaver

It was late one day in summer
In the middle of the meadow
In the midst of tall green grasses
In a glaze of sunlight yellow
In the camp where yearly passes
Fervent beats of steady drummers
When Hokulani wove the stars.

She gathered all of nature’s silk
From all cocoons abandoned long,
And with her fingers rolled them fine
While singing softly summer’s song,
Until the silk to thread did twine
As smooth and white as cattle milk
To wind around the shuttle rod.

She strung the loom with hemp-plait strands,
The loom of iv’ry deer bone made,
Of sacred deer the spirits blessed
When all the tribe to them had prayed
That night their chief was put to rest
By warring neighbors’ evil hands--
The tribe of Mana from the east.

Then Hokulani tied a knot,
The knot that soon would be a star--
The antler point upon a stag,
A guard for peace to shine afar--
For this she made the shuttle drag
Across the loom to join each dot,
But only during nightly hour.

She fell asleep, and when she rose,
The loom was gone from where it sat;
A hunter of the tribe, her friend,
Had found a feather on the mat,
A black-hue feather of the trend
Of Mana hunters prizing crows,
As Ikaika knew too well.

That night, they saw up in the sky
A pattern new with fire bright
In stars that shaped a beast of war:
A vicious bull with vicious eye,
With sturdy feet and horns of might
That struck into their very core
The deepest fear and darkest doom.

The woe that came with morning shine
Was brought by horrors that they saw:
Their crops were dry and brown and dead,
No water from the well would draw,
Mosquitos plagued each tribal head,
And dead cattle numbered nine.
The warriors fell sick with pain.

But Ikaika knew the way
To find the Mana to the east
And Hokulani followed him
Beneath the gaze of dreaded beast
Into a forest ghostly dim
With rustling branches bent to sway
In howling winds which whipped their skin.

A wolf attacked them in their path
With teeth displayed and claws full bared
But Ikaika’s arrow shot
To pierce its leg, and thus impaired,
The wolf escaped with limping trot,
The pain abating all its wrath.
In safety, they traversed the wood.

They climbed along a mountain steep
Where caverns leaked with water pools,
But as they knelt to get a drink,
A bear appeared with growling cruel;
But Ikaika did not shrink,
And plunged his dagger in it deep
Until it moaned and ran away.

Into a valley low they came
Into tall grasses swaying slow
In which a lion crouched in wait
And kept its yellow eyes down low,
But Ikaika knew to bait
The creature into manner tame
With rabbits caught not long before.

They saw the tent of Mana’s chief,
The tent Akamu dwelled within–-
It sat atop a hill alone
With fire smoke up stretching thin.
Then nervous fear struck ev’ry bone
Of Hokulani, only brief,
As Ikaika led the way.

He challenged great Akamu strong
And both began a battle vile
With striking hands and feet and knives
Which all intended to defile
The pride of both warriors’ lives.
So harsh the battle was, and long,
And bleeding into sunset’s red.

Then Hokulani found the loom
And took it out beneath the sky.
Though it was strung, all thread was gone
And all cocoons had long gone by.
She appealed to a spider throng,
Whose webs were shining in the moon;
They gave their webs to her to twine.

But what to weave into the stars
To battle bull and tribe alike?
The wolf and bear were strong with might,
And lion easily could strike.
But only one could face the plight
And overcome all evil bars–-
Only one could rise above all.

With one great thrust, Akamu fell
And Ikaika triumph gained.
And looking up outside the tent,
Up where the evil bull once reigned,
There was a hunter, bowstring bent,
Bestowing peace to evil quell.
And Hokulani smiled wide.

It was late one day in summer
In the middle of the meadow
In the midst of tall green grasses
In a glaze of sunlight yellow
In the camp where yearly passes
Fervent beats of steady drummers
When Hokulani wove the stars.

* * *

Maia Jacomus is 23 years old, and recently graduated with a BFA in English (Professional Writing emphasis). She enjoys writing poetry, short stories, novellas, novels and plays. Some of her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Gail Carson Levine, Tamora Pierce, and William Shakespeare. Aside from reading and writing, her hobbies include painting, playing Nintendo and World of Warcraft, and theatre.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

Ideas for my stories come from everywhere, and most of the time, when I’m not looking for them. My inspiration for “Empress Regnant,” for example, came from watching the smoke rise from my incense burner. Sometimes, I also like to listen to instrumental music and conjure a story from the mood and rhythm of the music.