Thursday, October 29, 2009

Circus Siren

Read Write Poem gave us a picture (go check it out) of rides in motion at a fair or carnival or circus and this is what I came up with. See what other folks had to say.

Circus Siren

The circus came to town just once,
bringing tents and rides,
and more excitement than one
girl could contain.

We went, of course, everyone went.
The grass near the school was transformed.
I ate pink cotton candy off a paper stick and
I remember a large snake in the side show.

Half-way up the tiered seats in the tent
we watched horses, and acrobats,
and clowns and dogs, and
I ate salty peanuts from a paper bag.
The ringmaster in his colorful suit
announce more acrobats
that spun in the air and walked
impossibly thin ropes above our heads
and I couldn't hardly believe it
was finally over.

Then we headed to the rides,
large metal arms spun in all directions,
blinking their siren lights at us and
teasing us closer. I was tall enough
and boarded with so much excitement
I must have been vibrating.

The giant beast slowly woke from hibernation
and crept in a circle, then it whirled
faster and faster, until
all at once the inner section started spinning
too and my stomach spun in a different
direction and my hands desperately
gripped the bar with white knuckles
and my eyes wouldn't focus and my family
asked the attendant to stop the ride,
and he didn't and I was whirling and
green and unconnected.
And the ride finally slowed and stopped.

I tripped a bit as my feet reacquainted
themselves with an unmoving ground,
and my stomach kept spinning and I
threw up into a trash barrel.

I lost the cotton candy and my excitement,
and prayed no one I knew had noticed.
The tinny music sounded sad
and the bright lights no longer called to me.


Paul Oakley said...

I was struck by these lines:

I ate pink cotton candy off a paper stick and
I remember a large snake in the side show.

The experience of losing that thrill into a trash barrel and the accompanying embarrassment is very well written.

Anonymous said...

I like the honesty in this, and the child's perspective, how it widens the range of the carnival's madness, and includes a dimension of fate and sadness, disillusionment, to go with the pleasure and thrills. One gets the sense of a subtle wisdom and maturity that comes from such experiences, and the unavoidable tragedy of having to "learn the hard way".

Linda said...

I enjoyed the child like voice that narrates this poem. The images are so fresh and larger than life. Then comes the reality of "too much of a good thing" and into the trash goes the food, the confidence and the joy. I loved this line,
"I was tall enough
and boarded with so much excitement
I must have been vibrating." Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem, Sister AE.

sister AE said...

Thanks, Paul. I'm glad you caught the echo.

Hello, david. sort of a "spin" from one emotion to another, no?

Hi, Linda. I'm happy you like it.

rallentanda said...

I like the way you conveyed the terror and dizziness of that ride.
I knew it would be like that..that's why I never got on for fairy floss( that candied pink cotton wool)..every child should experience this at least once..celery and carrot
sticks dont seem as much fun!

sister AE said...

thanks, rallentanda. i still can't resist cotton candy (floss) at a fair!

Anonymous said...

I was whirling and
green and unconnected.

A perfect description of this feeling...

Cynthia Short said...

Took me back totally to my own childhood, (I threw up too!)
I love how you described it as "losing your excitement"! Good job!

sister AE said...

Hi, Donna. Thanks - I am too well acquainted with motion sickness...

Hello, Cynthia. I wanted to show how all that stored and stoked energy drained right out. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It's all so matter of fact until you get on the ride. I remember this and that, and I think: yes, so do I, and then the monster wakes....and it becomes the (young)lady and the tiger.
I loved that vibrating excitement.

Wayne Pitchko said...

this is wonderful..I can realate to sickness on the roller coaster and a few more stupid rides....thansk sharing this

sister AE said...

hi, briarcat - i tried to write the ride part as fast and unstoppable. i'm glad you caught it.

thanks, Wayne.