Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Tuesday Poem: "An Old Clown Disremembers"

In sawdust memories,
my oversized shoes trip.
Honked in my ear,
the hand-held hooter shatters my equilibrium.

I miss
the roar of the greasepaint,
the smell of the crowds,
adoring adults
and cynical kids.

The elephants have joined the dole queue,
their unicycles left to rust in the shed.
Recession tamed the lions faster
than the leather lightning of the Great Alfredo.

Maria’s behind the checkout, emitting price check sighs,
a pair of gold trapezes still swinging in her eyes.
On their night off from Arthur Murray, the bears
meet the poodles at the pub to relive their halcyon days.
And me, I am a yellowed page,
run over by people pushing their own barrows,
but, carried on the aroma of hot dogs,
the sauce-splattered children enter my Big Top heart.

Framed by multi-coloured light bulbs,
a young face returns to the mirror.
White face, red nose, blue hair,
laughter by layers.

With music blaring, I ride out on my tiny bike
to dousings and fallings and slapstick whackings.
I hold aloft my bucket-stuck foot for their gleeful approval
and we connect through candy-sticky claps.

A battered hat
crowned by a wilted flower
lies centre ring
in the silent arena.

I miss
the roar of the greasepaint,
the smell of the crowds...
cold wind creeping under the canvas,
blowing the magic away.

The poet wishes to acknowledge The West Australian in whose pages this poem first appeared.

1 comment:

  1. Liked this one, Andrew. A nice mix of fun and nostalgic.