Emerald City (The Jungle)

Vines hang from the trees like power lines.

Above, a leafy canopy blots out the sun, but for narrow splashes. There are too many kinds of tree to name. Some palms have pointy leaves; others are like gently swaying fans. Mossy deciduous giants tower, tall as skyscrapers--hundreds of years old.

Yellow and brown monkeys drop from the branches like falling fruit, leaping and bounding along, tails curling as they search for food. Red macaws soar overhead as they flock to the cliffside apartments where they roost in rocky scarps.

The jungle has a mighty nightlife;  as the sun goes down, birds screech and insects click, while caiman lurk in darkened waters and glare at passing shadows.

On the leafy jungle floor, ants move in orderly columns, while giant butterflies rest on mushrooms blossoming out from rotting logs. Wild pigs snort and scowl, rustling through the undergrowth--protected from jaguars by their repulsive clouds of stink.

And always,  of course,  there are the silly tourists, threading through town in little groups, following the advice of local "guides," (local indeed; they weren't even born here). The visitors keep to safe neighbourhoods, hardly glimpsing the real jungle, the one that's wild and hot and ragged. They spend a few days on the fringes, then go back to their strange concrete forests--with tacky souvenirs like tans and mosquito bites.

Some stay a little longer (perhaps a lifetime or two)--and the jungle laughs there too, because these silly bipeds think that moving to the wild makes them city folk.

But no matter what the humans hunt or build within the trees, the green metropolis remains vast, and dark, and filled with things that bite.

And the folk who come to visit? 

They are welcome for a while.

But if they stick around, the green will eat them too.