Wednesday, February 04, 2009

CIII - The Carnival


Picture Source: Gregory Editions
Laura Jayne at Pictures, Poetry & Prose poses a daily writing challenge.
The prompt for this poem was “Carnival”.

The Carnival


The air is thick with smells and squeals
Of food and kids and Ferris wheels
There are spruikers, dodgems, chips and stalls
Ghost trains, drinks and mirrored halls.
Gypsies who can read your mind
And snake oil vendors, of the finest kind.
From the outside, you can sense excitement
Oozing from every stall and bright tent.

Come in, come in, you wont regret it!
Life will depress you, if you let it,
Look! Over there, performing fleas!

Oh Daddy, Daddy, can we please?

Escape from life, leave the gloom behind?
Come kids, let’s go see what we can find!
But we must be away by ten, at latest.

Yea for Daddy! You are the greatest!

Good Sir, let me read your palms

Your end is written in the Psalms!

Get some donuts while they’re hot!
Or perhaps a beer would hit the spot?

A beer and two donuts, the hot jam ones.
And a sausage in one of those long buns.
Actually, I think I’ll have a second beer.

Balloons, balloons, get your balloons here!
Here kids, let me twist it into a hat
Or would you prefer a dog or a cat?

Hello, big boy, how can I please you?
Come to my tent and let me squeeze you!
Don’t worry, Bruno, here, will mind the brats!

No, thanks. Hey kids, look! Dancing rats!

Oh yuck! That’s vile. How truly gross.
Dad! Dad! Don’t get so close!
Oh, Dad! Can we go on that spinning ride?

Will you keep your food inside?
I well remember the last time, honey;
Dinner was a waste of money.

Hey, show your kids you are a man!
Make the bell ring—if you can!

Go Dad go! Give it a good whack, not a token!
Oh—never mind, it’s probably broken.

Oh look, it’s late, the time has flown,
One last ride then we must head home.
Or would you like to try out the guns?

It’s not fair, we are having fun!
We want to stay until we win a hat.

I knew they were going to tell you that.
Children are the great negotiators!

Repent now, prepare to meet your maker!

Come kids, you didn’t listen to what I said,
It’s time I got you home to bed.


The last folk leave, the night is late,
The spruiker shuts and locks the gate
The stoves are cold, they’ve cut the lights
The music’s gone and the place is quiet
The make-up’s off, the splendor shed
A drink is opened, a paper’s read.
In the caravans around the site
Ordinary people embrace the night.

© J Cosmo Newbery
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  1. Cute. Prologue, dialogue and epilogue.

  2. Very clever and entertaining. ♥

  3. Clever. entertaining. great reading!

  4. A charming poem... I could see it illustrated as a children's book. Lovely dialogue, rhythm, and a great sense of movement that flows through the entire piece. Dancing rats? I perked right up...

    Truly excellent. You are a wonder.

  5. Very well done! I almost see and hear the carnival around me!
    You continue to amaze me, Cosmo.

  6. WOW...that's awesome. I have tried to write about carnivals before but it never approached anything like this...truly amazing. Not just the words but the rhythm as well.


  7. very nice! i felt i was right there ..

  8. I'm really impressed with how you write rhyming poetry. That is so hard to do so that it doesn't sound sing-song. That was a fun read!

  9. What a different type of poem! I just loved it! Felt like I was there! But what is a spruiker?

  10. Spruiker, n: (figuratively) A person standing outside a place of business trying to persuade patrons to enter, or vigorously trying to persuade customers to purchase a their wares (ie. a fruiterer calling out the price of bananas).

  11. very how you built this so well..i was right there...really much enjoyed..and gave me quite a few chuckles along the way...

  12. Clever - and good enough to draw in all the doubters and hesitaters. Well done.

  13. this is so cool...really neat for to your verse breaking it down like a screenplay....i laughed about the preacher a bit thinking of the ones outside the concerts i went fun

  14. Well, you gave me a new word to play with and the poetic form and rhyme of this flowed so nicely.

  15. I loved this! -- the rhyme, the flow, the story. Wonderful!

  16. Ya know, this is probably my favorite of all the fair poems. It really, REALLY captures the father and children experience at the fair! Realistic in its own quirky way!

  17. This is great, Cosmo. You completely captured the sights and color of the carnival. You've especially nailed the slightly frenetic pace of a day at the carnival with the rhythm of the verses, right down to the implied collective "ahhh" of tired people at the end of the day. And you did it all in rhyme! Awesome job, my friend. I love it.


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