Piercing light of the big top,
To which I’m pulled through,
The welcoming sides of the tent.
The conductor dressed in white,
Shouting into the microphone...
“Come one come all,
For the show is about to begin”
A world opens wide,
To my newly born eyes,
I let out a cry,
To its overwhelming awe.
Cirque the element of life,
Viewing clowns hobbling round,
“Peek-boo” they say,
To which I smile,
Bumbling around the tightly packed crowds,
I the viewer feel quite at home.
Fed with each spectacle,
My feelings grow,
And I know that as the merriment,
Of the show continues,
In time I’ll get over the unease of the alabaster,
Faces that I find in so many.
“Attention ladies and gentleman,
I hope you will enjoy tonight's entertainment!,
And now the lion tamer!”
Two lions birthed from the cage,
One is passive the other in rage.
Crack of the whip,
As the angry lions growls,
While one roaring about,
The other passive aloof licking its paw.
The audience thrilled with terror,
But a twinkle in the eye,
For both lions it seems.
“May I alert you to look high above the lion cage”
A foot and then a leg on the wire,
Balancing is the dangerous desire
Two lions look up at the tightrope walker,
As precarious as any decision,
Dip to the left,
Or the right,
One false move,
And the performer would tumble down.
As the show continues I feel the urge,
To explore the rest of the arena,
When I stumble over,
Bang my head on a rail,
Under a skirt,
Tumbling outside the tent.
I look outside and lo and behold a path,
A small rocky path,
With vines crossing, up ahead,
A dim light,
I walk into the woods,
To a clearing,
With many small buildings,
A signpost upon it inscribed:
“Greetings kind sir”
Says a shadowy figure,
In his hand a piece of chalk,
To which I look puzzled,
“Don’t worry you aren't to be marked,
He opens the creaky gate,
So I limp along,
Looking at another sign,
“Man eating chicken”
The little man smiles at me,
And the small sentinel says:
“Your money is no good here, enter”
I go inside and look,
No doubt a man eating a leg,
“Perfect!” I laugh, in life,
Often the jokes on you.
I look at each room,
The siamese woman,
Who captures me,
by saying “One of us” she whispers,
The duality of it all,
With the light bulb flickering above,
I leave her combing her hair,
As my eye catching the flashing light upon her,
In strobe fashion each movement jitters,
a kinetoscope of motion,
her two smiles being the last thing I see.
a strongman bustles past,
"sir" he says in a rush,
I look again,
it wasnt the strongman at all,
that was the bearded lady.
the pinhead twins,
a scaly woman,
each in wonderfully grotesque nature,
and then the carnivale master himself,
"glad you could join us, follow me"
inside his abode,
he sat in a dusty chair,
"you been a gone quite a while"
puzzled as to all this,
not knowing what he is alluding to.
"You hit your head, you dont remember?"
and then he led me to a mirror,
"look at your injury!"
my head deformed,
the injury superficial,
but my head!,
"what am I ?!?"
I screamed with such a fright,
that the master fell backwards,
and I ran!
my vision slowly darkening,
I fell down,
I woke up just below the rail I hit,
what a dream I had,
I go back to my seat,
and enjoyed the show.
"ladies and gents the jugglers!,
acrobats and hoopers"
unsettling as it is the show changed,
but all the more interesting.
throwing up the rings with might,
dodging and catching their flight,
what rings we go through by day,
what objects will rest at night?,
in dreams shall I fly,
as the acrobat oh my!
time goes on the show wraps up,
and now the conductor is now in black,
the lights dim,
the show is now over,
but for others the show must go on.
Circus my life, Carnival my soul
Michael Valdez 29 June 2017