Creating the paradise is easiest:
Usually you pick a place everyone else overlooked,
That goes against the current fashion,
Has some very special things: unspoiled beaches
Filled with shells, a great big sanctuary
For animals, birds, trees and man
To be as close as they can ever be
And a beautiful bridge to get you there.
Then you pick out your spot and build on it
For far less the cost you hope
It will someday be worth,
And you revel in the restrictions and the limitations
You would never have put up with elsewhere ---
Government telling people what to do
To keep other people from pouring in
And ruining your Eden.
Maintaining the paradise is harder:
The place is discovered, it's hot, everyone wants it,
The price of land and houses, everything, rises
Like the Australian Pines you want to topple;
Builders burst out of their woodwork
Like beavers before a flood,
Demolishing and replacing the bungalows
Of those who loved paradise first ---
The battle to contain them rages
And you choose the side of necessary ordinance.
Travel magazines put you on their covers
And Fodor crowns Sanibel:
Number one place to visit in the world!
Everyone's renting and buying and suddenly
There are never vacancies and the whole world,
It seems, wants to taste and drink
The milk of your paradise.
Leaving the paradise is hardest ---
The anaconda snake of pick-up trucks, campers and convertibles
Slowly choking Periwinkle
A tiny space appears between two SUV's
And like a wild animal set free -
You make your left turn.