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Mark Kelley Feb 2019
"The Carnival is Coming to Town"

I've heard the local gossip
I've seen it on the tube
I've heard they want to set up shop
They're looking for a rube
Rolling down the valley road
With their tigers and their clowns
Cloaked in magic's mystery
The carnival is comin' to town

There's a whisper in the moonlight
There's aroma in the air
We've heard about the slight of hand
That plays on love's despair
The tickets for the ferris wheel
That goes 'round and 'round and 'round
Are free to all who rode before
The carnival is comin' to town

We've seen them in the desert
We've seen them by the sea
They're popping up in parking lots
Giving rides for free
They know if they're hear long enough
We'll surely all come 'round
Flags and lights and marching bands
The carnival is comin' to town

They've been 'round here forever
Like spirits in the woods
Hiding in the shadows
Until the the time seems good
For a fee they'll change your world
They'll give you smiles for frowns
Magic rabbits pulled from hats
The carnival is comin' to town

Don't you turn your eyes away
The curtain's risng soon
With elephants and dancing bears
A trapeze 'cross the moon
The gypsy girl will read your mind
Will lift you off the ground
Dizzy, dazzling double talk
The carnival is comin'
The carnival is comin'
The carnival is a' comin' to town
Christopher Lee Mar 2018
There you are!
Don’t you know, you’re the star?
My dear, to stay hidden,
Is just straight forbidden!

The show shall begin,
Your blood, sunlight is in.
Crimson moon, you are mine,
Play the tune, be my crime.

Ring around the carousel,
Send a wish within the wishing well.
Stay with me, for eternity,
You may plea, but cannot leave.

This is fun, don’t you agree?
This is Carnival, doused in gasoline!
Your show is the one that matters,
This is the night the world shatters!

I will break me, to take you,
You are my alluring brew.
What if I told you I convinced time,
Just to be your immortal mime?

Don’t forget, my ****** dove,
That this Carnival is for the one I love.
Endless fun for a small price,
I shall die for you a million times.

Have all you can eat,
Then you may take a seat;
Get your utensils, paint some art,
Let magic course through your heart.

This is Carnival!
Oh babe, this is unbelievable!
You just stay in the hat,
This is where the joy is at.

Can’t you see it?
Maybe your mind is just not fit.
Beautiful light, nothing ever bleak,
Truthful sight, you find my innerfreak.

Without my jacket, hat and gold,
I believe it’s you that is all I hold.
Without my gizmos, wand and magic.
I believe you’ll witness my tragic.

Oh...but baby, it’s your Carnival!
Nevermind the acid rainfall.
It’s just my own catastrophe,
Just don’t ever......leave...

You don’t know it, but I’m your man,
It’s a quite simple slight of hand.
I’ve stolen your heart,
Formed our future, our soon to be art.

Breathe in the fumes of my hell,
No worries! In Carnival, all goes well!
Just breathe in my fumes,
Your dreams are no longer dooms.

It’s just a Carnival, just our Carnival.
Clown town, and the mirror hall.
In this Carnival, it’s our last dance,
Oh dear, never break this trance.
The rides full of adrenaline
The crowd full of laughter
The air full of a variety of smells

A carnival
A place of fun and enrichment

The carny grounds
Someone ends up hurt
Dies on sight

A carnival
Now a place that is closed

An empty place
Full of empty rides
Silent laughter

A carnival
Only a place of dares and bad choices

More death arises
More lost souls wandering
The carny grounds beginning to fill again

A carnival
No longer a place of fun and enjoyment

Screams fill the air in the night
Rides never stop running
A haunting of what was once a beautiful place

A haunted carnival
A place where the spirits roam
Beth Ivy Sep 2014
Dancing at my windowsill she calls,
black bottomless eyes and a jagged smile
tug me from sleep with a broken-glass laugh.
Beckoning, this pixie traces softly across my jaw--
fingertips so slightly ***** the skin.
Wordless but for laughter she pulls at me until
charmed I rise to follow where she leads.

Open evening air greets my night-dressed body
with cool wakening breezes and wild sounds.
Stumbling through rocks and over roots
I chase through the wood behind my manic guide.
Toes grip at undergrowth, slip, falling to arrive
on my knees
scraped and panting slightly
in a clearing otherworldly,
aglow with fey light.

A curious night-shine looms--yet Luna's face is hidden.
All attentions focus now on this central luminescence.
From its core jangles sweet, unearthly music
twisting its way into my heart
teasing at the edges of my fragile mind.
Compelled forward I follow sound--
my waker cannot outstrip me as we hurtle on.
Before our eyes the glow casts shadows
forming structure in this mystifying vision
eyes drink in your very first glimpse:
The Carnival.

Light and shadow compose sweeping tents
striped ebony and ivory, seeming strong as each
element yet smooth, sculpted by a master's hands.
Leaping black flames skip along their summits,
performing their nocturnal dance,
illuminating darkness, engulfing light.

Revelers' song soars and forms carouse,
                                                  lively­--but shadows only--to the eyes outside.

The air bears heady perfumes, enticing scents:            
rich, melting creams and toasting sugar
enveloping baked warmth and intoxicating spice.
Last, encircling all this wonder,
cries of mirth and sights to amaze:
an unadorned, unflinching iron fence.

Drunk with sound and smell and scene
wildly spinning through the breeze,
my rousing sprite whirls ahead
bound as if in a trance
her body flinging against
the forbidding blackened gates--
                                        her laughter only extinguished
                                                         as her delicate form dissolves into smoke
                                         holding momentarily the blue of night
                                                         her wasted shape, lost to the barrier.

But Curiosity will blind
eyes far more chaste than mine,
and Allure sings only such songs
that no heart suffers long.

Heedless mortal as I am, I grasp the solid frame
decay crumbles rough against my palms.
Bodies of other spirits caked by time
or the innocent work of oxidation
I do not pause to wonder,
merely vault myself over the fence
and brush from my hands
the black dust of portentous iron.

Inside the gate, vibrant figures flood my vision
ornately costumed in gowns of orange, violet, green
arrayed in shirts and trousers dazzling in spectrum.
These gorgeous apparitions loop around me
peddling beauty, selling fame.
They mesmerize  the eye with stunning wares:
an emerald beast to carry your heavy burdens
sapphire wine to cool your burning tongue
the music of a thousand crystal seas
kept in a bottle to drown your babbling mind.

                "What do they cost?"
                            "Not a dime, not a dime!
                              Just your Now, just a Moment,
                                                         ­                  only Passing Time."

Wandering deeper into the mysteries of night
a band of revelers swing beside and catch me
laughing, bear my bewildered form in arms
and deposit me into a large tent, wherein I find
a man at a canvas the size of a wall
before which are seven stone bowls.
He dashes his brush before the amazed,
and the canvas remains blank
until my companions urge me closer.
Couching myself upon a cushion shapes appear:
Here is a man who will paint your heart's desires
so vivid you can lose all you have
so intimate you fear to move,
lest any see the embers of your fire.

Spin and turn, the Revelers never stay long,
nor draw too near to any one spectacle,
but only joy for new tents, new delights.
No passion was left to grow cold,
no enchantment to lose its power.

See the girl of flawless grace,
her body painted like the stars--
                                                  the stars the carnival hid
painted like the stars and lithe as the air
ethereal in her arts,
ascending the pole, traversing the rope!
See her twine around stakes and over fire,
dive through hoops and drop
through that needle-loop in your eye.

Step up to the tent of glistening blue
the fountain that gushes without source.
Marvel at its lucent clarity, it's chilling foam!
Fill your goblet to the brim and drink!
Drink deep, imbibe sweet forgetfulness.
Long for nothing, cleanse your heart.

Take the carousel with its living beasts to ride.
Make merry with all on board and erase
any care your heart can hold.
Let the furious pace speed on from you
all that would trouble for a thought.

A honeyed apple pressed against your tongue.
                                         Just a taste! Just a bite!
See the glistening on the skin
made from the dreams of the greatest hearts
unrestrained and unrequited.
Fresh Desire--they're all the more enticing.

The apple glitters golden, its red flesh shines beneath.
Something familiar, a darker red, flecked across the finish.
I bite down and reel--
Something wondrous, but something queer.

Faithful attendants grab me quickly, dance me
into the mouth of a dark velvet tent.
It swallows me as I fall, waiting for the teeth---

        White mist surrounds with a shimmer
         and I have found the ground.
A Voice, deep as the sea enfolds me
gentle, heavy as with sleep--yet all aware.
It invites me closer, sit nearer
rest from the night's fantasies.
Lulled, I make for the figure hooded in brilliant gold.
He leads me to his table.

Heavy, strangely empty I seek sanctuary.
He offers instead a great promise--
power over my weariness, my desires met.
He offers joy unending,
pleasure without regret, without shame.
A haven promised here, mine alone, if only--
--if only I will stay.

But something tastes metallic in those words
promises that cannot be kept.
No tent could hold so much.
This voice, so warm and pleasing,
cannot mask well a lie,
and the gentle hand holds equally a threat.
                                                         ­                                                             run­
                Awake once more I fly from the shroud
bursting blind into the alley.

But back in the tent, left a piece of my heart
and my eye rolls away into a peddler's cup
blistered bits of my soul flake off, scorched
by fire-eaters food. What's left? Who am I?

                             What did it cost?
                               Not a dime, not a dime!
                                          Just a piece of your heart,
                                                                ­  just a piece of your mind.

Retching, the last of my still beating heart
squelches into my waiting hands.
I gag and sob out the gore, disbelieving
this small bit of flesh is all that is left
of all that I have been.

The blood draws the eyes of comrades
now changing from lovely to grotesque.
Ravenous, their teeth elongate
Eyes darken and colors fade
What was vibrant now decayed.
Sweet cream curdles in my mouth.
Rich meats, choice fruits turn sour--
the apple rots.

A hoard unrecognizable
of starved beasts and hideous beings
bears down for my final offering.

But I must know who I am
and what there was beyond this place!

Sprinting barefoot from the mob
clutching the vital treasure to my chest--
though to there it may not return--
I look now for mercy from the black gate.

Elegant porcelain fingers produce monstrous claws.
What once caressed my wondering skin
now sinks in for blood with crushing force.
A hopeless last attempt, a dead man's prayer:
I fling my body on the gate---

                                                       ­                                I am over. I am free--

Iron that once kept me out, now holds them fast within.

Bedclothes torn, all my purchased raiment turned to ash,
I limp, clutching a fragment heart.
Staggering from the Carnival's screams,
its dissonant music now all trick and terror.
Putrid garbage wafts from its walls.
Press onward, never looking back, through the wood.

So long ago--how long?--a little one led me here.
Her death was her own, but could have been
my salvation, a warning dearly paid.
Cheaply received.

My mind swims.
A body with its heart outside cannot last.
There are many things not of the Carnival
that would have my final scrap.

Faltering feet stumble and tripping find
a mere clear and still: a mirror for the moon.
And Luna's face does shine down
all her attendants watching on
as my naked form collapses beside its calm.
I cannot deserve this resting place,
could not discern a trap if one here lay.
All I can and have and am I offer up to Mercy,
and dip what's left of my broken life
into the cleansing pool.
first legitimate narrative piece.
a proof that no one can have an original idea. listening to showbread's 2004 album, *no sir nihilism is not practical.* definitely some inspiration from erin morgenstern's *night circus*, although her book is quite a different and lovelier thing. recently reading *undine* by friedrich de la motte fouqué (translated. i'm not that classy). recently struggling with those things that most often try to ensare a heart.

this is undoubtedly going to be one of those pieces i am never happy with.
Sam  Mar 2017
The Carnival
Sam Mar 2017
Once there was a carnival.

It was exuberant and joyful,
With elephants and lions befriending the penguins and sea otters,
And little fairy-like acrobats leaping and zooming across tightropes,
As if they were walking on solid ground.

There was a faint smell of funnel cake and cotton candy and popcorn,
And the sound of people chatting animatedly about,
"Wasn't that act precious" or "oh, darling, look at that penguin! Isn't he cute?"

And then I got a little older.

And the carnival was still joyful, but something had changed.
The carnival had this joyful facade but it was hiding a darker exterior.
The elephants and lions were growing old, and the ringmaster,
Displeased with their best efforts,
Had started to hurt them.
The fairy-like acrobats had gotten injured over the years,
And wobbled a little bit here and there, with hints of hesitation
Perspiring on their foreheads.
The funnel cake and cotton candy and popcorn smell lingered still,
But it was almost as if people had grown tired of the taste,
And in the heat of the summer day,
The food had started to grow stale.

And then I got old.

The carnival had closed now.
Overgrown with weeds,
Stalls and tents covered in graffiti and muck,
It was now a gathering spot for children to make believe,
That they were the fairy acrobats who had once been so agile and captivating,
Or the animals that had struck terror and awe into toddler's hearts.

The carnival was gone,
but the children would run home to their grandmas and grandpas,
and they would tell them the story of how the lion was this close to biting off their nose,
and how one time the acrobat honestly did a front flip from a horse on to a bear onto a lion, and they were honest to God telling the absolute truth no matter what their spouse would say in the room next door.

The carnival was gone, but the stories would go on in a bittersweet never ending circle of intrigue and mystery and magic.
On the land molded by footsteps and ruled by obnoxiously bleached clowns,
Visited by swarms of neighborhood guttersnipes and the opulent from uptown.

Allured by the traditional Irish circus music and the grinding of rusted gears,
To arrive at dawn and to leave only when the night sky is tired of fireworks and flares.

Skittish and gleaming eyes would roll on the floor, struck by daze and lost in wonderment,
At the marvel of giant steel rides and god forsaken and socially foretoken genetic mutants.

The word of a woman with two faces and the boy with a tail would make any catholic priest run.
Amusing the rational ones, alongside the man with elastic skin and the girl with the forked tongue.

The opera lady with outlandish proportions and tumorous lips sings to break a piece of cheap glassware.
Little do people know,that the magician’s red gloves are actually stained with blood of rabbit that disappeared.

Their noses get caught in the medley of fragrances from the exotic perfumes shop,
Blended with the saccharine tang from the stall that sells candy floss and soda pops.

Indulging over the overly priced confectioneries at the stall of the baker with the forbidding grin.
Try it a hundred times,try it a thousand,you’ll never get the fifth one right in the game of rings.

People will come out screaming from the haunted house,only to laugh about it later,
Little do they know,that skeletons that drove them pale and white couldn't get any realer.

They’ll jostle and struggle to make their way through the crowd to various rides and attractions.
Hustling to navigate through the maze the carnival is, encountered by countless illusions.

And once your body wears out and senses give in,that’s when you've truly entered the carnival state of mind.
Your ears stinging ,nose stifled,tongue baffled, eyes exhausted,and your sense of judgment blinded.

That’s when my masked act begins,the most profitable act at the carnival,
Diving into the heart of the crowd,to draw an act of brilliance lasting an ephemeral.

Slithering across the crowd in a different disguise every hour,concealed by stealth.
Sneaking into every nook and corner and slipping my furtive hands into your pockets for a little bit of wealth.

Only to dine with the clowns and the carnival family at the haunted house at the end of the day.
**And of course, rabbits for dinner,if the baker may
spring's vivid carnival shall soon prevail
she'll be frocked up in the brightest attire
her floral shades so striking of detail

gardens being clad by stunning avail
flowers displaying such a colourful shire
spring's vivid carnival shall soon prevail

every aspect of the rainbow there to sail
glorious blooms that we can admire
her floral shades so striking of detail

the wow factor e'er  innate in her trail
a seasonal dressing of which we'll not tire
spring's vivid carnival shall soon prevail

great visuals she'll pleasingly nail  
on painting in a sensational palettes fire
her floral shades so striking of detail

seeing what the fashion will entail
we'll be gobsmacked with its garb's quire
spring's vivid carnival shall soon prevail
her floral shades so striking of detail
SweetCindy Jul 2012
And, now one and all, step inside!
Make way for the latest attraction:
The greatest & latest new carnival ride
Filled with excitement and action!!

And nobody knew what was in store
as they buckled themselves in tightly.
And it twisted and turned & so much more
as the lights all around flashed brightly.

And they screamed with delight
due to the thrill of the ride
and they came back each night
to go back inside.

and again & again they came back for more
because of the joy it supplied
until the carnival was no more
and they missed the great carnival ride.

© 1997
This is actually a story about a girl who outwardly portrays joy and happiness while inside she is empty and sad.  Her friends love her company but don't know she wants to run away from everyone forever.
Hi It's Haliyah Nov 2014
Are dismal days headed our way?
Or could the blue
Carnival part the grey?

Fluttering red ribbons of the red carnival.
Warm blood
That welcomed in
The oncoming flood.

Spinning whites
The back of your eyes
The toothless grin of a cackling clown
A white carnival of white lies
Jessica Woodward Dec 2010
Carnival girl; exuberant and enchanting,
Scattering feathers and glitter as you sway
Through the swarm of dancing, dilating faces,
Patchwork robes, electric threads and strawberry laces.

Carnival girl; a hurricane of exhilarations,
Swirling and spreading relentless wonder
To all - none deny your splendour,
Your mystical ability to be dangerous and raw, yet tender.

Carnival girl; are you just a test for my desires?
Tugging at puppet-strings, miming my dreams,
A figure for me to fester my fantasies...
Or perhaps jus to challenge the acceptance of my realities.
Aztec Warrior Sep 2016
Life: A Carnival

In so many ways
we are a human freak show,
just a breathing carnival attraction.
So get the ******* your high horse,
look around
be mesmerized,
and wonderized by a world of awe.
Let’s get real,
move a few strands of DNA
from here to there,
drop some chromosomes at the deli
to re-arrange their eating patterns
and we would see that
those mindless amoebas down the street
is talking our language.
Of all the billions of species
populating this planet,
we humans are the most
ignorant, opinionated,
**** for brains fools.
We puff out our stupidity
on a regular basis,
books, movies, music,
TV and social media
there is no end to the
racist, slime eating,
brought out in grand displays
as “experts”
in a single hour
of opinion disguised as “news”
on Fox, or CNN,
a menagerie of fools.

The world is a marvelous place,
alive with diversity,
which we should embrace.
All of us, humans wide,
emerged from Africa,
humanities origins
10's of thousands of years ago.

We humans are a carnival,
a side tent freak show,
all diverse and magnificent.
And to all those idiot
religious fanatics,
USA, USA ignoramuses,
de-evolve your brains,
slither back under your rock,
go back to your ancient,
long gone
humanoid origins,
become like you are,

Aztec Warrior/redzone 8.28.16
Note: yes it’s a rant after watching an hour of Fox
CNN and MSNBC news... I must go throw up now.
Apologies to Natalie Merchant whose song “Carnival”
is embedded below, her song is a much more kinder
celebration of our diversity.. I on the other hand
cannot stay calm in the face of fascist fanatics
pretending to speak for human beings.
....thanks for reading...
the music link is to Natalie Merchant's, "Carnival"
Sean G  Mar 2015
Sean G Mar 2015
if life was like a carnival
and we drove on the road like we were in bumper cars
wouldn't we adapt to live in a place like that?
a place where the cars crash and slide into each other
a place where you shoot a target with a real gun and take it with you as a prize
a place where going into a haunted funhouse could mean the end of your life
should a creepy clown venture close enough?
wouldn't we adapt?
Not my best but I kinda like it. I don't know.
Julie Grenness Mar 2016
Oh, bucolic pastorale,
Dawn brings a carnival,
Golden-pink, sunrise hues,
What a wonder for our view,
Dawn draws back her veil,
Night vanishes, sunlight's grail,
Our skies aflame,
End nocturnal games,
Oh, bucolic pastorale,
Dawn brings her carnival.
Feedback welcome.

— The End —