The Bread-Fruit Clan

Once, in a land of simple folk
           Untouched by Western ways,
They tended modest vineyards
           The long, hot summer days.

The harvest season hardly slowed
           The bread-fruit trees they grew,
Which pruned and loved and mended
           The harvest would renew.

In green-thatched huts of wattles made,
           They raised their children free
On bread-fruit cake and bonefish
           Beside a coral sea.

On feast day, to the bread-fruit King
           They sang a song of praise
And danced about the sacred groves
           In bread-fruit-flower leis.

They hearkened to a bread-fruit code
           As sea and season bid
And knew no sin/salvation creeds
           Nor dreamt that any did.

And when they died, on bread-wood pyres
           By smoke and ash and air
They joined the gentle, bread-fruit King
           With glad rejoicing there.

And scattered in the sacred groves
           They kept their children still
And sang with them the harvest hymn
           From every bread-fruit hill.

But wise men from across the sea
           Brought Western codes instead,
And in a generation,
           The bread-fruit tribe was dead.

O, never ask if creeds be "True"
           Of Christian, Jew, or Turk,
Of Bread-fruit Clan...of any man.
           Ask only, "Do they work?"