down the islands

the shine of emerald from steady growth

hides from us the smiling face of hell

we have the sunshine and the shadow both

the odour of fresh roses and the smell

of  rot and dung and none is truly hid

from those who want to look but none will tell

any large truths although if any did

there’s none who’d care or have a thing to say

since honest folk have fallen from the grid

and cultivate their gardens for the day

that they have left before the storm appears

out of the sea and sweeps the waste away

making things clean for one or two brief years

until the forest can return to place

and under branches we see the old fears

laughing and dancing and seeking embrace

of their old kingdom and their ancient arts

while on the hill some old fool says disgrace

and others tell false stories of their parts

in different dramas on this very scene

and in the process corrupt many hearts

twisting and turning away from the mean

those who had come out of the chill of night

and taken joy in the clear morning green

knaves leave their streaks wherever there is light

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