That first night, stowed below,
Under ship decks, wet and cold,
A shivering Poepi lay prostrate,
Amazed at her good fortune’s fate,
And marveling how, from scrape to scrape,
She and her friends had made escape.
But she also felt despair,
And loneliness, and wondered where,
Out in the world, Perlameen,
Her little sister might have been.
She felt the metal of her bangle,
And the smooth cut blue gem, dangle,
Safely hidden betwixt her breasts,
On the chain around her neck.
And next to her, her body armor,
Lay covered up, in hidden splendor.
Quiet and slow, without a peep,
So not to wake her friends asleep.
She quietly tried to estimate,
What might be her coming fate.
These heartfelt thoughts, in mid undress,
Chilled her bruised cold nakedness,
And every scratch and bump and spot,
Black and blue from river rocks,
Felt stung by cooling salt sea air,
Up her back and through her hair.
Through porthole, she looked long outside,
Where in the dark, the skies were wide,
And full of stars without a moon.
Orion and the dipping spoon,
Shone down upon the fish boat’s mast.
Reflecting on the ocean’s glass,
She felt the gem around her neck,
Standing quiet beneath the deck,
And touched the circle of her bangle,
And held it up, and watched it dangle,
To match the porthole’s round shaped angle,
Beneath the night sky’s starry spangle.
On the horizon, a lone star fell
And then another, and more as well.
Counting each star falling down,
She bowed her head and bit a frown.
In her heart, she felt her hatred,
For Kamal Kamock inflated,
And for the giant, and her parents,
Whose fectious greed, and lack of sense,
And betrayal, and dissonance,
Had her adrift, in this expanse,
Naked to the whims of chance.
Tears ran down in dour despair,
From her eyes, reflecting there,
The emptiness in front of her,
And loneliness in eyes ablurr.
And not a gull, or other bird,
Broke the silence that she heard.
“Where are you Perla?” In mental whisper,
She asked her lost and missing sister.
“Are you in danger?” like a curse,
She followed what she had thought first.
“How will I find you?” she wondered after,
Half expecting Perla’s answer,
To reach her ears from over seas,
On windy winds and briney breeze.
Poepi inside felt all broken,
And drifting fish boat seemed a token,
A Symbol of her agony,
All alone on open sea.
How could she rescue Perlameen,
When Poepi was still just nineteen,
And stranded out here under decks,
While hunted by the mad Humrecs?
And for the time of very first,
Poepi feared the very worst.
A gloomy cloud of thickening doubt,
Filled her and would not come out.
For more than twenty ugly days
Adrift the lonely fish boat stayed.
And not one fish was netted in,
To the Captain’s grim chagrin.
He’d hoped that Poepi’s friends would work,
Gutting their catch, and swabbing the deck,
But since too few fish filled the nets,
Beyond their basic sustenance,
Most days were spent baked in the sun,
Dragging while the captain spun,
Curses up to sky most groady.
The nights were though, a time of beauty,
With Poepi and friends watching the sea,
And sometimes discussing their malady.
Poepi liked their doing that,
Venting where her mind was at,
Always she talked, true her heart,
With all of them, in splendid dark.
They’d walk the deck and watch the stars,
While smith explained that battle scars,
Take time to heal, some short, some longer,
Most times one becoming stronger.
But hearing blacksmith’s soothing words,
Poepi thought them ill observed,
For she remembered standing there,
Amid the jeering village square,
A vicious, callous, headless beast,
Her friends the subject, of its feast.
These thoughts made her stomach sour,
And turned her visage cold and dour,
“One day, they’ll pay, their jeerings cost!”
Poepi thought, her love all lost.
Her friends asked also, about the bangle,
Its history, its arching angle,
But she kept that to herself,
Saying it came from a shelf,
Back in the painter’s gallery,
Among his works and guarded debris.
Beyond that more she would not say,
Letting secrets stay that way.
The painter himself was quite serene,
Since his tools were safe and clean,
Having survived the water fall.
Sometimes if Poepi he should call,
He’d tell of olden days, and more,
Of what those days were like before.
But mostly he just seemed obsessed,
With painting all that had transpessed,
And spent the most of his time sketching,
Scenes for paintings and for etchings.
He cared not if his work annoyed,
The elves and Blacksmith, under-joyed.
To him recording Poepi’s strife,
Made the mission of his life.
But as the days drew on and on,
Poepi found her patience gone,
And said one day, feeling sterile,
“Perla is in dire peril!
“The longer we stay with these strangers,
The longer Perla is in danger!
“Why do we wait? Why don’t we leave?
I’m ready find her, while I believe,
You, the elves and the crazy painter,
Let urgency grow ever fainter!”
“Poepilandia!” The blacksmith said,
“Your mind is right, but think ahead!
The Giant knows we are following Perl,
And hunts for me, two elves and a girl!
No better place we could have found,
To hide as news of us dies down.
While for Perla we pursue,
Your parents, kingdom, subjects too,
Are counting, counting, upon you,
Beyond every task we do,
To redress the giant’s wrongs,
And take your proper place along,
The forbears of your lost country,
The rightful place where you should be!”
But Poepi frowned at what Smith said,
And disagreeing, shook her head.
“I love you dearly, second father,
Yet the future, that you proffer,
As my fated destiny,
I no longer care to see.
I’d cross the giant’s power and wealth,
I’d slay him gladly by myself,
And risk my own life’s injury,
To save and set my sister free.
However, these past weeks from earth,
Escaping twice now deathly dearth,
And sailing in this fishless ocean,
I understand now, that my action,
Is to save my sister from,
Both the giant’s prisondom,
And from Bar Kamal Kamock.
When we finally reach the dock,
That is the clear path I’ll pursue.
As for whatever else I do,
Down with the people of Islegrove!
And let them taste the giant’s love!
I saw their jeering in the village!
Let them be lorded, plundered, and pillaged!
Then they’ll learn the consequence,
Of treating bad their true princess!
I honestly no longer care,
What happens to those people there!”