Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Daylight dulls all magic; the carnival sleeps
like a basking cat and wakes at night.
The sun sinks behind smooth plastic ponies
and the rainbow lights on the carousel
make a sky of candy apple stars.

The crisp evening air is stronger:
roller coaster screams ride farther on it,
popcorn smells more familiar in it.
It nibbles cheeks, tosses hair and squeezes
couples closer in their seats.

At midnight, the rides stiffen
like dead flowers, huge skeletal beasts
and dizziness is replaced with loneliness.
We sigh and turn for home, our hearts
empty as the Ferris wheel.

This was written in response to a poetry prompt from Read Write Poem.

Fair Fireworks, by auburnnewyork

        How do you feel at the end of a fair or carnival, when it's time to go home?


Dorkmaster Flek said...

I hate when it's time to go home. :P There's never enough time to ride everything I want to.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to one in so long...I almost don't remember. Bright lights and candy have always fascinated me in more ways than I can explain. I'm sure it was depressing to leave...

Jerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry said...

You are quite the metaphorical talent. And I like how the crisp evening air serves multiple purposes. Hannah and Homer would be well-pleased!

Katie said...

Most of the time I'm ready to go home. There are the special times though when you don't want the night to end.

Ps - Yay! Another poem published!! Congrats. I'm happy I could be a part of your success sister.

Mary said...

Great poem! For me it's really a bummer to go home however after a full day of theme-parking I'm usually super tuckered out. So it's bitter sweet. I loooove roller coasters though. Halloween Haunt rocked my socks :)

Paul Oakley said...

I like the way you go from image of inactivity to image of inactivity, framing frenetic carnival activity:

the carnival sleeps
like a basking cat and wakes at night.
the rides stiffen
like dead flowers, huge skeletal beasts

Anticipation as a sleeping cat. Disappointment at carnival's end as a dead flower, a beastly skeleton.


Anonymous said...

I like how you begin with the carnival in its dormant state, with the magic gone, and then begin. It allows the day to cycle like the ferris wheel, so that when the end comes, and dizziness is replaced with loneliness (great line), one knows it is ultimately temporary.

Linda said...

Getting your feet out of the space where the carnival lives is always with heavy empty steps, even when you know you will return someday. I like your observation about the stronger air, "roller coaster screams ride farther on it,". This is a wonderful carnival poem, thanks for sharing!

Irene said...

The waxing and waning like the moon up there.

Wayne Pitchko said...

nicely done with so very good lines...especially like dizziness replaced with lonliness

Anonymous said...

I always watch it from a distance, guess that means I never have to leave, and never have to see behind the illusion.
You really did that well: at midnight, the rides stiffen like dead flowers.