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Passions in Poetry

The Last Carnival

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Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


0 posted 11-15-1999 12:15 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It was just a two-bit carnival, the kind you see around
That travel through midwestern states and plays in one-horse towns.
Some sad sack clowns, a bearded gal, two-headed dog and such,
A ferris wheel and carousel that broke down way too much.

Some petty games to win a teddy or a faded doll
And those who won received their prize but not without a scowl,
But there weren't many - games were fixed - most everybody lost.
A carnival needs money, man. You gotta cut those costs.

Why did I work there? Who can say? The owner was a jerk
But, in the hills of Tennessee, a man don't find much work.
So there I was. I did it all. Sold tickets, played the clown,
And fixed that blasted carousel each time that it broke down.

'Twas in the spring of '98, in some forgotten town,
A small event took place that helped me turn my life around.
The town had looked dirt poor but I could hear the owner say
Those folks could use a break from life and he was sure they'd pay.

So up the tents went - dirty canvas, broken poles and all,
That carousel I loved so well again stood straight and tall.
The clowns slapped greasepaint on their jaws. The word was sent around
To 'grab the wife and kiddies 'cause the carnival's in town'.

My job was that of ticket seller. I took in the loot
And anyone who tried to sneak around me got the boot.
The owner told me any shorts would come out of my pay.
My pay was small enough. I wouldn't lose it in this way.

Well, toward the end of afternoon, the crowd was pretty light
When two small boys and one old man approached in fading light.
The boys were gonna walk right in until they heard me holler,
"Just hold on there, you little pups, unless you got a dollar!"

"Oh, we don't have to pay", one boy said, with a little grin.
"My grandpa knows the owner. He said we could go right in.
My grandpa's an important man", I heard him say with pride.
"The owner told him it's ok for us to go inside."

I almost laughed. The owner wouldn't let his Ma in free!
I turned to face the little man, eyes blazing angrily.
He stood there very quietly. He didn't make a sound.
He had his hat held in his hands. His eyes stared at the ground.

I turned to see the boyful grins, pride showing in their eyes
And what I knew I had to do was really no surprise.
"I'm sorry, sir," I said. "I didn't see you in this light.
Go right in ,boys. Enjoy it. What your grandpa said was right."

The boys ran past me, whooping wildly, toward the colored lights,
Enthusiasm rampant for the carnival delights.
The old man shuffled past me, eyes still down and didn't speak
But, as he passed, I saw a tiny tear slide down his cheek.

The carny lights shone bright. I was amazed how bright they shone!
I felt an inner peace, the likes of which I'd never known.
I reached inside my pocket and pulled out a wrinkled bill,
The smiled out to the waving boys and dropped it in the till.

I left the carnival next morning - hopped a nearby train.
I knew I'd learned some fact of life that I could not explain.
My life may not be rich but I will do the best I can
And always put a helping hand out for my fellow man.


[This message has been edited by Balladeer (edited 11-15-1999).]
© Copyright 1999 Michael Mack - All Rights Reserved
WhtDove
Member Rara Avis
since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


1 posted 11-15-1999 12:21 AM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

Balladeer this was so touching! Sometimes that's all it takes in life, reach out to someone in need and wonderful things happen!
Thanks!
Lucie
Senior Member
since 06-20-99
Posts 1123
Houston


2 posted 11-15-1999 12:24 AM       View Profile for Lucie   Email Lucie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lucie

This touches me Balladeer.. at a time when I am having problems.. I swear when I find someone to extend that hand.. I will never forget them.
John Yaws
Senior Member
since 10-09-1999
Posts 865
Texas


3 posted 11-15-1999 12:26 AM       View Profile for John Yaws   Email John Yaws   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit John Yaws's Home Page   View IP for John Yaws

Well, I guess I'm jealous. :-) But that's not so bad, I read once that jealousy is the child of love, but envy the child of hate. I love your work.
Marge Tindal
Deputy Moderator 5 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Empyrean
since 11-06-1999
Posts 43042
Florida's Foreverly Shores


4 posted 11-15-1999 01:34 AM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Balladeer, this is simply a heart-rendering addition. You are such a master weaver of the tale. This may well be a favorite of mine. I remember the carnivals of my childhood so well. Guess they don't make 'em like that anymore. Or perhaps we just see them with grownup eyes. I like this so very much.

------------------
~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
noles1@totcon.com
Seymour Tabin
Member Empyrean
since 07-07-99
Posts 32119
Tamarac Fla


5 posted 11-15-1999 08:25 AM       View Profile for Seymour Tabin   Email Seymour Tabin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seymour Tabin

Balladeer,
Bulls eye, right on the mark. Love your stuff.
Toerag
Member Ascendant
since 07-29-99
Posts 5839
Ala bam a


6 posted 11-15-1999 08:32 AM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

The master strikes again! Your life has to have an interesting history. It's either that or you've read a zillion very good books. Even if you do have this "history" to fall back on, it takes quite a mind to put it into verse the way you do....

[This message has been edited by Toerag (edited 11-15-1999).]
Sally S.
Senior Member
since 06-07-99
Posts 887
Ohio


7 posted 11-15-1999 08:37 AM       View Profile for Sally S.   Email Sally S.   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sally S.

What a great story..with a great message. You are the master storyteller.
JTF
Member
since 08-09-99
Posts 325
France


8 posted 11-15-1999 08:38 AM       View Profile for JTF   Email JTF   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for JTF

A superb piece and a great message ... Bravo ...
Iloveit
Senior Member
since 09-02-99
Posts 1168
NM


9 posted 11-15-1999 09:27 AM       View Profile for Iloveit   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Iloveit

love your writing, just love it, it flows so smoothly, the story, the beauty, you almost forget you are reading a poem
hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


10 posted 11-15-1999 09:28 AM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

Master story teller at work...do you have a sign that says that when you are writing, because you most certainly need it. Well done
suthern
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Seraphic
since 07-29-99
Posts 20770
on the threshold of a dream


11 posted 11-15-1999 10:30 AM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

I could hear the midway and smell the cotton candy... well done, once again! *G*
RSEvans
Senior Member
since 10-23-1999
Posts 1187
Tulsa, OK, USA


12 posted 11-15-1999 10:34 AM       View Profile for RSEvans   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSEvans

A touching piece. Again a bow to the master bard.

------------------
Once I was brilliant, now I no longer shine, but the twinkle in my eye speaks of another time.
Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


13 posted 11-15-1999 11:45 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Once my hands are done slapping each other in acclamation of your profound work, I will again reach out to touch someone as I can.

Bravo, Sir 'Deer!
RainbowGirl
Member Elite
since 07-31-99
Posts 3167
United Kingdom


14 posted 11-15-1999 01:42 PM       View Profile for RainbowGirl   Email RainbowGirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit RainbowGirl's Home Page   View IP for RainbowGirl

Bal: This touches me with pleasure, same as your heart and hand..

HUSG

------------------
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
Michael
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Member Ascendant
since 08-13-99
Posts 6333
California


15 posted 11-15-1999 02:08 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

Helping your fellow man...what more could be expected of you. Wonderful work, as always, Balladeer. Very touching.


Michael
Marilyn
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since 09-26-1999
Posts 2646
Ontario, Canada


16 posted 11-15-1999 04:16 PM       View Profile for Marilyn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marilyn

This touched me deeply Sir. Wonderful story.
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


17 posted 11-15-1999 05:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Passions is also a carnival, difference is that it's made up of only class acts. My thanks to all of you!
Severn
Member Rara Avis
since 07-17-99
Posts 8273


18 posted 11-15-1999 05:44 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

You know what I like about your verse Balladeer? - The fact that you assume so many different voices - I think that is quite hard to achieve. Awesome work.
K
Kevin
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Senior Member
since 11-02-1999
Posts 752
Torrington, Ct, Usa


19 posted 11-15-1999 05:53 PM       View Profile for Kevin   Email Kevin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kevin

well ive said it before,
i dont get into a lot of works
but this one had my eyes scrolling down the page before my mouse could react!

seriously good stuff
and what better way for you to extend your hand to us balladeer

bravo
Denise
Moderator
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002


20 posted 11-15-1999 08:53 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Oh what a masterpiece. *tears rolling down my face* Honey on paper again! Thank you for this beautiful gift!

------------------
Denise

 
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