I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

11 January 2016

Sawdust and Screens

I hated cartoons. (No TV back then; Saturday matinees at the movies.) Everyone laughed when the cat fell over the cliff, or the roadrunner squashed the coyote under a weight. I cried – strange child, no sense of humour.

Same with the circuses that came around. Shivering through animal acts in the sawdust rings of my childhood. Tough-looking men cracked sudden whips, making me jump with those reluctant beasts.


Cirque du Soleil, that’s magic. In my own living room the clowns dance. They are jugglers, acrobats, flyers. Their bodies writhe and slide, twisting serpents of light. As they soar, one sings. A tightrope cyclist jumps a man, and lands precisely. Flames leap up and swirl. The arena is strafed by stars.


If this seems familiar, it might be. An earlier version has become this prose poem.

Submitted to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #285

19 comments:

  1. I think compassion is far from strange... it should be natural, maybe the cartoons teach children how to laugh at losers... Prose poetry... I love that.

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  2. It's true.. some of those cartoons do appear a little cruel and heartless!!

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  3. i guess i was somewhat fortunate in being born in Mexico and not really watching television till i was eleven insulated me from being inculcated with such.

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  4. at my age, i am still watching cartoons.(okay, maybe darker ones)
    i liked the minimalist/casual style of the prose. as if hearing an old friend talk. :)

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  5. A nice progression of ideas from first to last.

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  6. Really not a fan of circuses today! Enjoyed your thoughts....

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  7. Such a thoughtful prose poem :D good to see you again :D

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  8. The conditioning starts at an early age, desensitizing.

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  9. Have to confess, have never been to a circus, but believe I'd have had the same response as you. Like prose poems and this one is very solid.

    Elizabeth

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  10. As others have said - not strange at all - strange are the minds who think such things are funny..stars and magic in our own living room sound quite delicious!

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  11. You were and are a creative and compassionate soul!

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  12. I'm with you about cartoons and circuses, kiddo. LOVE Cirque de Soleil - magic!

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  13. Never enjoyed circuses, but cartoons, I liked some. :) To each, their own, I guess.

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  14. I was the same "strange" child… we are compassionate, it is the way we were born and it is a blessing.

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  15. everyone's different. glad to know that you enjoy Cirque de Soleil...they do have very amazing technologies and artistry. :)

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  16. A very cool read: a somewhat unique twist on the concept of empathy, Rosemary - as well as what is considered to be entertainment, I think. I almost felt it setting up for one of your delightful haiku(and then, it would have a third transformation into a haibun ... smiles) I enjoyed this post!

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    1. Interesting! I'm not sure it's finished yet, and was thinking myself that perhaps it could become a haibun. (Smile.)

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  17. Ah, I love Cirque de Soleil! When last time we watched their performance 1.5 hour by standing, in Quebec I literally was channeling the article - so high vibrations I got that magical time... ~ I love your tradition to revisit written poem/prose.

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  18. i loved reading this. i share with you that strange-child phenomenon. i have always heard that artists and poets feel too much. perhaps it is that compassion that makes us so strange.

    cirque du soleil is amazing! i have several of their shows on dvd!

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