Under the Hallowe’en universe
dressed wide in well travelled canvas
down where the calliopes cry
a crowd mills and gathers
like Leviathan
collecting for
some pending

real animal crackers reel with life.
Elephants rain tied tail to trunk.
One wheeled riders loop and spin
High wire men flirt with fate
while the whale net is
prepared and strung
for the great

And while all this happens all at once
alive with fanfaring splendour
there in the ring of three
rings loud and clear as brass
harlequin vies for
our favour, tries
for laughter
while all

others write their own mighty legends
popping eyes and ears with fine feats
Harlequin plays for laughter
like a peasant scraping
crumbs from a banquet
plate well emptied
plays for

And the man with lions mouths his head,
the rocket man flies like fury
and the high string men beat death
just to make us feel good.
Dazzle us to make us
feel we too could
tease with tombs
like them

granted the
chance to try our
hand and just when we
are stirred almost even
to the point of trying for
ourselves the show is done and we
are gone on home to become alone
our dreams.

It is here
in the empty
abundance of
silence   where bravado
retreats too quickly that
clowns climb to heroes’ proud heights.
the marvellous men let us forget

selves for
short a time we
tread on death’s thin line.
But, now we are gone from
the mass. We have laughed with clowns
and that makes it easier to
forget that for a while we forgot.

Ian David Arlett