Note: There is dialogue in this. This is more or less a story told in poetry
In forest paths overgrown with thistles, thorns, and clover
Once roamed a soul, Starsong her name was
Few words defined her mystery she truly was a wild solo.
Every night across the forest floor she walked alone
Her destination a boulder among a circle of trees.
Once there she climbed upon that boulder
To sing a song to the moon her voice they say was that of angels.
This was her song
''Moon, oh, moon, enlighten the world with your mystery
Let your secrets become my own, shine upon my soul
Breakaway the night, mark the way to dawn.''
A new soul appeared right then, in gold dress, intelligence in his gaze
''Your voice is beautiful'' said he ''No, your voice is more than
beautiful-you have the voice of stars.''
He pulled her aside and asked for her name
She told him and asked him for his.
''I am Fireshadow'' He revealed, then beckoned to her
''Come let me show you, wonders beautifully.
Come, let me reveal to you secrets deep.
Come, let me tell you stories timeless.''
He told her tales of meanings deep
He showed her wonders of awesome grace
He revealed secrets deeper then she dreamed
Her heart was entranced with this strange, wonderful soul.
No longer did Starsong sing her song alone
Her voice now joined with Fireshadows.
One night when all the sky lay black
Starsong confessed her love to him.
''Fireshadow I love you with my heart
You've done more for me than any other
You mean more to me than any other.''
And he replied
''If you truly love me in such way don't confess it in words
But prove it in sacrifice.''
Starsong laid before his feet a Black Rose of finest type
''I bring you this'' Said she
''And this'' She went on presenting scars born from roses thorns.
Deep into her eyes, Fireshadow looked and said
''That is not a scar deep enough
Bring to me scars born in offering and a heart refined in sacrifice.''
''What must I do to prove my hearts sincerity?'' Starsong demanded.
''You must figure that alone'' Fireshadow responded.
''But I'll teach you something to help.''
Down untrodden paths, they strode
Dodging needles and thorns
Ducking under Hollybush and Fern
To come to a clearing of leaves
In the heart of which grew a rose of blue
Turned to blue flame by dawn light.
'''Why show me this?'' Asked Starsong
''Love is as this rose with many petals
Courtship be only one of them. The other petals are
Forgiveness, compassion, faith, and sacrifice.
You must understand those four petals
Before our love is true.''
And into the horizon, he disappeared
With Starsong wondering the meaning of his words.
By a river, Starsong sat alone
Her thoughts storming in her mind.
Do I not know forgiveness? Do I not know compassion?
Do I not know faith? Do I not know sacrifice?
What more should I do? What more could I do?
In to the water, Starsong dipped her paw
To watch the ripples rise and fall.
What corruption do I have? Is my love not pure?
Or do I only tell myself that?
How deep must my love grow, before I understand?
Starsong searched the sky, counted every star
In search of answers to the questions in her heart
But no answers lay written in the heavens.
Where do I find answers? She wondered to herself.
Gazing at the ocean of star and sky
That lay within the river.
But not answer reflected back.
Starsong raced to the boulder once more
But could not sight Fireshadow.
In his place, lay a leaf with words
She read them and found herself in tears.
My love and blood
I've been called away to war without out a chance to say good-bye.
This fighting has made me realize how much you mean to me
I wanted to love you but was afraid to give away my heart
But I know bravery now, and I can say I love you.
I fear I may die, but my love won't die with me
You waited for it to bloom and it will not wither.
My Starsong, here are my gifts
A Red Rose for our love united
A Green Rose in hopes for new beginnings
A Yellow Rose for compassion and forgiveness
A White Rose that our love be pure
If I am to die promise me that you will use them
Promise me that you will have faith in my return.
Starsong wept then plucked petals from the Red Rose
And laid them in the river one by one
Feeling as though they were not petals
But the pieces of her broken heart.
''I will wait for as long it takes for you to come home
I know you will.''
Hopeful her words were, but her heart cried a lament still.
''If you can hear me Fireshadow I promise to use these Roses well.
And if you never come, I will forever think of you.''
A screech echoed through the night,
A screech that turned Starsong's blood cold.
She raced across the ground to the sound
And was horrified to see her brother Silverlight
Lying on the earth dead and lifeless.
Over his body stood a soul in black.
Four other souls surrounded him, furious as a tempest
Screeching insults mockeries and threats hard as hail.
Fury raged through Starsong
And she raced to join the screeches
But couldn't say a thing when she saw
The black souls eyes. They were alight with fear.
None of the others seemed to care
Starsong realized she should intervene
But couldn't find the will.
He'd killed her brother she couldn't forgive him.
Then the four attacked the soul without mercy.
Then Starsong recalled her promise
Then Starsong recalled the fear in the souls eye
And found forgiveness in her heart.
She raced in front of the soul and dared to face
A foursome blinded by judgementality.
''Where grows your compassion?'' challenged she
''Does this soul not love like you?
Does this soul not sight like you?
Does he not walk the same grounds as you?
Is he not equal in worth to you?
Don't attack him because of beliefs.
Beliefs that say all black souls lie
Beliefs that say all black souls are immoral
Beliefs that say all black souls are inferior
Beliefs so strong in force
That you persecute those against them.
The mob laughed, scoffed and threatened once more
But left her alone, and departed.
The black soul gazed wearily at Starsong
She gazed calmly back and asked his name.
''Skyshadow'' Revealed he nervously.
''Why did you defend me?''
Starsong thought for a moment then pulled out the yellow rose
''Because of this'' With some hesitation, she went on
''My love gave me this rose to represent forgiveness
So I forgave you for killing my brother. ''
Starsong seemed to see dark hollows of shame in Skyshadows eyes.
He flinched and sunk in the weight of his guilt.
''I only ask one thing'' Starsong went on ''Why did you do it?"
''Darkhearts asked me too.
They said if the others expect me to kill I should
After all, I'm just a black soul
I'm born to serve and not be served.
I've been a member of the Darkhearts some time, you see
I wish I never joined. But I'm stuck there
They'd kill me if I left sooner or later.''
Starsong thought again then said
''If freedom comes in many paths
You should find one of your own.''
Skyshadow shook his head
''I'm a killer now it's who I am.'' Replied he
''But it doesn't have to be'' Starsong rebutted ''I was going to
join the mob who scorned you, yet now I advise you.''
Skyshadow contemplated and mused then said
''I'll try to live off what I was taught, but I doubt I ever will.''
He turned to leave, but Starsong stopped him.
''Take this yellow rose and remember compassion and
Skyshadow took the plant then left.
By dawn light, Starsong rose once more, a new fire in her heart
She headed down to the river and saw a soul beutiful as gemstone
But her haunted eyes revealed the wounds within.
Starsong asked for her name
For a long moment, the new soul kept her silence
Then she replied wearily
''Riverlight . . ''
''You look in need of rest
Why don't I shelter you?''
''No one ever shelters me'' Riverlight responded
''Then allow me to be the first.''
To Starsong's shelter, they walked
Air burning with questions and seething with emotion.
Then Starsong asked
''What is your story?''
A deep stillness settled upon Riverlight as she began
''I come from a land far away
I was once the most popular one there.
Then a great tragedy happened and they blamed me.
Though they knew I was innocent.
But they didn't care about innocence they only cared for cruelty.
They were brutal towards me.
And in the end, they drove me off the land
I've been left to waist, rot and wander the earth since.''
For three days Moonsong gave Riverlight shelter and food then
brought her aside and said
''Maybe it is time you began a new
Build a new life for yourself.''
''I do not think it is possible
Every place I set in foot on in search for peace
Only holds rejection torture and bitter hate.''
Moonsong shrugged and said
''Then keep searching.
You're only broken to rebuild
Learn to bear your scars with courage.''
Doubt shadowed Riverlights gaze darker than night.
''Thanks for your compassion.'' Replied she at last
Starsong gave her the green rose.
''Take this rose and remember hopes for future great.''
Riverlight took the rose and raced into the skyline.
Starsong watched her run wondering if night or day lay in her
That night, Starsong sang the moonsong once more
Deeply thinking on Skyshadow and Riverlight.
She felt she'd learned the meanings of three of loves petals
Then she heard a rustle of bush and turned to see Fireshadow.
''Fireshadow! You have returned!'' Cried she.
Higher then the clouds, her heart danced for joy.
''Starsong how I've missed you!'' Whispered Fireshadow.
''If only you had an idea of what it is like to lay awake at night
Wondering if the love of your life will be alive on my return.
Did you have faith?''
''I did something greater.''
And explained the tales of Riverlight and Skyshadow
She felt assured she had learned compassion.
She felt assured she had learned forgiveness.
She felt assured she had learned faith.
And she had some joyous news
''And I've the greatest news-I'm to have your son!''
Fireshadow said nothing he had no need to
The love and joy in his gaze spoke more than words.
Once again they sang together the song of the moon.
When a ring of souls surrounded them
Fury burning in their eyes. Murder raging in hearts.
Fear crackled in the air, chilling Starsongs blood.
Then in a flash, a war began.
Fought and fought he did but still
Fireshadow lay beneath their weapons.
''Run!'' cried he ''Protect our unborn son!''
But Starsong would not let him die
She wouldn't loose him-not ever again
She would defend him with her life.
Starsong fought with eagles courage
But soon her body lay torn and bloodied.
Before it lay their son, but he lay still with death.
And Starsong knew her breath was leaving her lungs.
''Don't grieve for me'' Gasped she to Fireshadow
''We will meet again-I know that in my heart.
Never doubt my love for you or our son.''
Thorns of mourning gripped her heart
Her son was dead.
She embraced his body and wept.
At the moment her final tears dripped upon him
All breath left her, and her son gulped his first.
Starsong was dead but her son lived.
She had, at last, learned the meaning of the petals of love.
Fireshadow's grief and agony lay too deep for tears
The claws of heartbreak tore deeper than the sea
The hole they ripped wider than the sky.
He wondered if his son's life was the gift of a mothers love.
He wondered if Starsong had died so that her son may live.
For when her last tear had fallen
For when her final breath had left her lungs
He'd come to life.
Buried her Fireshadow did
Then laid the white rose upon her grave
''Starsong'' Fireshadow spoke in grief.
''I loved you in life and I will always love you in death.
Come the future your name will be fade to dust,
But I shall never forget your name nor your memory.''
Over her burial place, he planted a garden
Of roses red, white, black, blue, yellow, and green.
Years and years flew on by, then Moonsong
Was at last wise enough to view his mothers grave.
Thus Fireshadow his father took him there and asked
If Moonsong knew the meaning of the roses.
He did not so Fireshadow explained
''The Red rose means Starsongs love for you.
The Green rose means Starsongs faithfulness.
The yellow rose means Starsongs compassion.
The white means Starsongs love for me.
The Black and Blue as one mean her sacrifice.
But they mean something more
Together the white and red rose also mean selfless love
Alone the green rose also means endless hope
Alone the yellow rose also means nonjudgementality
Together with the Black and Blue rose mean scars born with courage.''
Deep into his sons gaze Fireshadow looked and asked
''Now do you promise as you live
To always love
To always have faith
To always have compassion
To always bear your scars with courage
To always sacrifice for those you love?''
''I do'' Moonsong promised.
And somewhere above Starsong danced.
Those roses lie forgotten now
The forest no one remembers
But love faith compassion and sacrifice
Live on in our hearts
And the meaning of the roses
Now lie within each of us.