Our people are like sand
This I have been told,
For sand is rough yet smooth, hard yet soft,
Earth-brown and yet sun-gold.
And life, it is a desert,
For if you could hold the land,
Remove plants and trees, towns and walls,
All that's left is sand...
Sernon chewed on the end of his pen, rubbing the flax parchment gently between his fingers, feeling its finely woven texture. He was having trouble thinking of a third verse; the words simply wouldn't come.
Perhaps this is meant, he thought. Maybe the poem needs no more words.
Dragging his mind out of its reverie, he inspected his surroundings, searching for a hint of inspiration. He sat cross-legged on the shore by Leva Bay. The gentle in-and-out breath of the sea provided a pleasant background sound, along with the calls of the hawkers at their stalls a little further inland. Sernon had taken to spending his days here, when the weather enabled - and in the blistering heat of the Motara Desert, it nearly always did. The combination of the sea breeze on his face and the sun on his back was one that Sernon found delightful.
The Toa of Stone stretched, and then got slowly to his feet, depositing his pen and the roll of parchment into a pouch on his hip. Strolling leisurely towards the stalls of the salesmen, his mind wandered back to his time on the walls. Watching. Waiting. Wondering when the Rahkshi would come. Having to hold his ground when they finally did. Those days were gone though; the island had moved into a state of ever-watchful, suspicious "peace". The new Akiri wasn't the Matoran Sernon remembered, that was for sure. Po-Koro had once welcomed all save the Rahkshi.
Simpler times, thought Sernon. We merely had to watch the walls, not our backs.
He was interrupted from his thoughts by someone calling his name. Returning to full consciousness once again, he realised his walk had taken him through the stalls. A familiar face grinned behind one of them. Smiling, Sernon approached the stall and tossed a couple of widgets to the Matoran behind it.
"The usual, please, Mahon."
"Oh, no different than usual. I got something written, at least."
"That's good, I suppose. You going to show it to the Akiri?"
"Hewkii's got no interest in my work."
"He might come to his senses eventually. After all, if you're to be the Koro's official Chronicler, it'll be him that appoints you, surely?"
Sernon accepted the cup of fruit juice with a grateful smile, leaning on the counter. "Chroniclers are concerned with writing the histories and events of each Koro. I've no desire to keep account of our petty squabbles."
Mahon shrugged. "Better than all-out war."
"You think it'll come to that?"
"We get all sorts in here. Traders, warriors, people trying to find the Koro. I can tell which way the wind is blowing, that's all I'm saying."
"And right now?"
Mahon grimaced. "Due Mangaia."
"I don't see why everyone's getting so worked up about a door."
"Well, you wouldn't." chuckled Mahon with a wry grin.
Sernon fixed him with a stare. "And what is that supposed to mean?"
"Oh, you know. We couldn't make you give a karz about current affairs if we made you Akiri."
Sernon laughed, straightening up. "Oh, you're right, as always. About everything. Anyway, I'd better head back."
"Better not forget that, kiddo. Shall I signal back?"
Sernon glanced at the ugly communications apparatus in the centre of the traders' square. "No thanks, I know the way."
"Safe journey, then."
Clapping the Matoran on the shoulder, Sernon turned and resumed his easy pace. He chose his direction without really needing to think, and began heading for home.