The Caves of Ismaron
by Deb Hawken

Deep are the caves of Ismaron
where the Hoogles and Floogles have already gone.
They’ve stolen the map and shredded the guide;
if you don’t know the way then you’re sure to arrive.
If you do know the way then you’ll only get bored
and miss all the signposts that should be ignored.

It’s vital your knowing just where you are going
in this place where the under is over the ground
in time without measure in search of a treasure
which never (was) hidden so can(not) be found.

The folks you encounter will measure your worth -
if the Hoogles are picky the Floogles are worse -
they’ve negative standards and punitive means
and nothing is ever quite not what it seems.

For the faint-hearted fool can be fooled by the wise
and the wise can be fooled by the Ismaron’s lies.
If the wise and the foolish are one and the same
then you’ll need to know some of the rules of this game.

You were conceived in a mist and then born in a fog
and kissing a prince only gets you a frog.
The light that you’re seeking has never been seen,
but it is where you are and it was where you’ve been.

So if you’ve the courage and if you’ve the nouse
(and if you’ve the key to get out of your house).
If you’re willing to finish what wasn’t begun
and to wander at night by the light of the sun,
you may well discover the Ismaron’s lair,
which could be a fable and may (not) be there.

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