The Wrong End of the Rainbow

This one weird trick's enough to bring you wealth;
But minds beyond the bounds of mortal ken
Its weirdness calls — a scent as sweet to them
As rotting flesh, to flies that plunder health.

The bankers hate it — have done since the Change.
When first they found this boundless well of gold,
They funded firms, to pump all they could hold,
And stained their souls forever with the Strange.

The madness struck before they knew its name,
And bathed the empires they'd built in blood.
The outcasts, and the young, escaped the flood
To face the horror that their kin became.

The well is sealed, but nothing cleans the stain.
Those souls will break, if it flows free again.

The Rose of Wonderland

I went to see the “Rose of Wonderland”.
“A flower fit for princes,” I was told,
With yellow hue as bright as burnished gold,
And sized to fit exactly in a hand.

The pamphlets all extolled this floral gem:
“The bush is truly grand,” did one declare,
While others praised “the sweetness … on that stem”,
Or told of “lasting beauty, past compare”.

I paid my fee to walk within the wall,
And found that tree-filled garden held no rose.
It took some time to find the flowers: small,
And far to high for scents to reach the nose.

I left betrayed, and only now I know:
Sweet, rounded fruit from apple flowers grow.