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Whit Howland Oct 6
and no net
as they swing
under a striped tent

grabbing reaching
for other trapezes
lifelines
       hanging
                swaying like knives

audience
breath baited
waiting for the big shoe to drop

it never does


Whit Howland © 2019
Word Picture. Imagistic.
ryn Aug 2014
Step right up and get in line
Produce your ticket, your seat I'll assign
Down the steps, then left to your row
Best you hurry, lights are dimmed low

Take your seat, settle in, be comfortable
The show will begin at the blow of the whistle
I'm your ringmaster, behold the spectacle
Welcome to your life, your very own circus carnival!

Be awed, be mystified, be entertained
Be ready to witness the life you've gained
You'll see fate defying feats and high wire decisions,
Emotion driven acrobats and will bending magicians!

First up, we have a duo, we have a pair
A man and a woman, whom you've learnt to care
Armed with big hearts along with hardened whips
Here are your tamers, they're yours for keeps

They'll attempt and try till their very last breaths
Keep you riveted, as they toy with death
Love with their hearts and their whips do straighten
Teach you lessons with firm handed affection

Stay put, you ain't seen nothing yet
Seen it all you think, but not this I'll bet
Bespectacled, they work alone but part of a guild
Pen juggling and book flipping, one aim to build

To impart all they know across varying disciplines
They'll get it done through different ways and means
Sit tight, do well, for you'll be rewarded
After their routine, you'd have learnt, your life you'd have charted

Put your hands together for next in tow
No my friend, it's not the end of the show
Let's welcome the one you'll soon come to seek
Dons a suit, you might see him five days a week

For sustenance, it is him that you will search
Hurls tight deadline projects from his obscure little perch
Equipped with a bow and bolts in his quiver
Shoots assignment laced arrows, makes sure you deliver

This last act would be the best
It could be true, no! It's no jest
Feast your eyes on your evening's temptress
With curves that could **** and garbed like a sorceress

Tease your heart aflame with wild raw magics
Render you submissive with her sensuous feline tricks
She could be the one, for whom you would have bled
She could be the only, you might want to wed

This finally marks the end of our night of nights
Night abundant with reflective imagery and titillating sights
Hope you've the enjoyed the performances we've lined
Hope we've lit the spark in your body and mind

Before we part and go on our own separate ways
Before the sun rises for the rest of our days
Allow me to leave you with one final say
"Life will be the ultimate circus; whether or not you choose to play".
Terry Jordan Nov 2018
Language is the raw material
Transformation into art
Leaping through Alice’s looking glass
Breaking metaphors apart

Is it dark inside a poem
From whence it first sprang
Deeply repressed panic
Without judgment rang

Bringing pressured speech to light
Images of love and pain
Through clearly heightened senses
Uninhibited refrain

Where verbal acrobats spiral
Words on a poet’s page
That remind us and disturb us
In desperate outrage

With the pathos of a clown
On a winding rocky path
Reminders of death’s nearness
Terror spinning with a laugh

Pictures painted with premonitions
An atmosphere heavy in despair
Remnants of previous poets
Are blinding the reader in its glare

Quatrains moving merrily
Using images and tone
Making shapes with language
Shaping irony unknown

With tones bright and beautiful
Its matrix darkly savage
Through visual impressions
The reader’s heart is ravaged

Freedom of imagination
From whimsy to terror can bring
Surprising facetious word-play
Delivering irony’s sting

A psychological awakening
The tenderest love infused with dread
Blazing pathways joyous and dangerous
Irrevocable loss lies ahead

A telling detail without warning
Takes us to disturbing turns
The risky business of being born
Poets’ authority burns

It brings you to your senses
Through supernatural realms
Exploding realization
Its resonance overwhelms

Allusiveness to brutal honesty
It may sometimes misconstrue
In an abyss of isolation cries,
“What else can a poem do?”
Exploring the dark side of poetry, how poets are inspired to write, and how we're all standing on the shoulders of poets who've come before us.  Also in honor of my oldest brother, Dan, who left me one poem before he died called, "Is it dark inside of snowballs?" which I've posted here before.
Pretty snowflakes swirling and spiralling through the air, softly landing
A myriad of different shapes and sizes
I laugh as one lands on my nose. My breath hangs in the air like a small cloud.
Snow to the knees, we sink in it as we walk and leave deep footprints. I try to step in your deeper footprints.

Overnight, white Winter, with cold heart has touched the land with her icey fingers and left a wonderland behind.
The stream is covered in ice, and translucent hard pointed jewels hang where once the waterfall cascaded.  The bare arms of the trees are painted in white as Winter brushed past in her rush to cover the land.

Wrapped up warm, we enjoy the winter scenery as we sink in snow making our way home. Because of the cold and snow, home feels extra comforting. It’s a pleasure to warm our hands before the fire, snuggle up with mugs of piping hot tea, through the window watch the snowflakes tumble like little lacey acrobats.

14/01/19 JG
Jonathan Moya Aug 31
I like America’s Got Talent,

especially when they have dog acts.

I love dog acts.  I cry at dog acts.



I wish dog acts would bark and chase

those young kids and aspiring adults

who sing opera every year and

get into the semifinals off the stage;

chase the pretentious dance troupes

and acrobats; half-funny comics;

the children who sing lustily in adult voices;

the seniors with fading contralto dreams;

the day glow CGI artists who

illustrate on a big, dark canvas;

the magicians with their card slight of hand,

even the ones who just do regular magic—

right off the stage with a bark and

a push of their snouts.



Dog acts are pure.

They sit.  They heel.

They stay.  They obey.

They even sing, dance and draw too.



All acts should be dog acts.

All dreams should be dog dreams.



Every million dollar winner,

mongrel or pure bred,

should have a 100% canine heart—

even though they would trade it all

for a pat on the head, good treats

nice walks with you and belly rubs.
Turoa Feb 21
Night Circus

A black tent stands in front of you
red flags, chilling wind
welcome to my night circus
you found my red curtain door
I’ve been waiting for you
so step right in

Put this mask on, bizarre but
soon it’ll be clear
there are no faces,
no faces,
no faces down here,
No faces no light,
your mind misty, unclear,
and you don’t know it yet
but you need to be here

I hear whispers in your head
they are sounding
your heart’s beat in your ears
it’s pounding
warped mirrors, evil seen
is your reflection shattering
the person you knew
is gone, curtains drawn
my wicked dream
it’s magnetic, riveting,
astounding

Cold blood will course through your veins
look away
but all around you, look, see
you’ll reel from their stains
you say you’ll leave
but where
how did you lose the way
you came here, you entered
there’s a price you’ll pay
there are no refunds
no second chances
..and oh the games
we will play

You knew it hurt, but went back
every time
through a once white skin door
until your own skin matched mine
the colors of pain,
my black, red decor
until now
you’ve always asked to endure,
to taste just one more
you did this to yourself
bought the ticket
now settle your score

Bring the reflection of yourself
behind your mask in the crowd
my curtain’s pulled back for you
step through
not a sound

No one here will see you
cry as before
no one here will silence you
or muzzle your roar
as you end the life
of the person you knew
of the self that was you
who you were before

So welcome to the show
you arrived just on time
The Rules
don’t lie, don’t touch,
and don’t waste my time
You came to my circus
my tent,
you entered my mind
now you’ll hear and you’ll suffer
the ringleader’s rhyme

You feel strange down here,
yes, at first
thinking you’re alone
Ha ha guess again
check the stands
every second
look and see how they’ve grown
faces you can’t see
but there’s an army within
wondering
why did they come
you see, there’s few ways out
endless ways in
held by nothing but curtain
in this place created by pen

I hold a lighter
to this cigarette and
I can show you the way
you've found my hell, child
so come take my hand
fangs glistening, lets watch,
watch your own show begin

Join the legion here,
seeking belonging, refuge
lost and alone, savages
behind masks
here we all are people
monsters
creatures like you
but this is your trail
you’ll see it through to completion
don’t fall to the side
perhaps you can grant to me,
grant an end to my own story
my own obsoletion

I live this circus
every act, done them all
the show of the ******
my kingdom written
in red, every seat
in black, every wall
this is my world  
my guest
you're welcome to know
a little about me
take in the sights
with my ember in darkness
the hope I have
as you go

I was born here
somehow caught and strung up,
the first exhibit
the freak show,
a forcibly twisted, stiff contortionist,
a broken puppet's
head hung low,
clowns hammer to the head
that drum-roll cadence you hear
thumping, ringing,
a bearded lady singing
my art's crescendo,
each act slowly, chipping away
each step bringing us, closer, today
I’m the no-net trapeze artist
who wildly swings
while mad jugglers toss
swords across strings,
the magician who saws
his woman in half,
the strong man crushed
beneath the weight on his back,
the tamer pray to his lions
bones not whips crack,
the disfigured clown who hopelessly fails
every attempt to make you laugh,
I'm the fire-breather choking
hearing cheers for his burn,
the acrobats diving into a cement empty pool
each gracefully standing waiting their turn
I was the tigers
who brought
the elephant down
and the helpless escape artist
chained, humiliated,
destined to drown
And now here I stand
your host
Ringleader
your showman
maitre d'
you're welcome to join
mais j'espere, tu ne reviens jamais
jusqu'au port de mon coeur
Le Cirque de la Nuit

-A bow without applause-

You’ve hosted your show
feel free to do more
but this tent will be bigger
each time you perform
I belong, some are trapped here
but you, you are not
the choice is still yours
so when you decide
you are free
to the world
I’ll release you
but let you be warned
wherever you go
the key you carry within
your night circus
your shadow behind you
is waiting
hungry
so don’t fall back in

— The End —