Send In the Clowns

The child:

What is that little man?
His nose is red.
He makes funny faces.
He jumps and turns and rolls away!
He makes me laugh!

The adult:

Why would someone make a fool of himself?
They always do the same pranks.
They look like they’re going to fall apart.
I could never do that.
Not in a million years.

The senior:

They act funny but it’s all, just that, an act.
They must be covering up their sadness.
For the children it’s O.K.
They don’t see the difference.
I’m too old for that.
Like Pagliacci.


for Antoine
(1928 – 2011)

I finally went back to Carrabelle
As we very often did
And I walked as far to the end of the beach as I could
Because you always would.

I was not alone, for your image was with me
And a few good friends who understood.

I walked in the water to test its warmth
And thought how you would do the same
While you dallied to speak to the women and girls
And I smiled at your flirting game.

Then I lay down to dream on the sand
Remembering that you would walk still more
But when I awoke you had not come back
As you always did before.


Through the Window

Sixty degrees in the land of Black Hawk.
In January. Not good.
But a mother and child walk to the library
and the city-man empties the parking meters.
The world is coming to an end,
yet the sophisticated woman lurches
forth in boots and a short skirt,
earphones and coffee.
There’s drizzle and sickness
and a gray loveliness to notice.
In the meantime, there’s work to do.

Inspired by this Daily Prompt.

Poem to Consider: Delusion Angel

daydream delusion
limousine eyelash
oh baby with your pretty face
drop a tear in my
look at those big eyes on your face
see what you mean to me
sweet cakes and milk shakes
I’m a delusion angel
I’m a fantasy parade
I want you to know what I think
don’t want you to guess anymore
you have no idea where I came from
we have no idea where we’re going
lodged in life like branches in a river
flowing downstream
caught in the current
I’ll carry you you carry me
that’s how it could be
don’t you know me
don’t you know me by now

David Jewell

Milk Shake

In one of my favorite scenes from Before Sunrise, one of my favorite movies, Jesse and Celine encounter a homeless poet as they’re walking along the Danube. The poet makes the following offer:

I’d like to make a deal with you guys. Instead of just asking for money, I’ll ask you for a word. I will then write a poem in which that word will be used. I’ll write it in English. If you like it, if you feel it adds something to your life in any way, then you can pay me whatever you feel like.

The word given was “milk shake.” That’s our prompt for 1/21/13. Write a poem incorporating the phrase milk shake.

Check back on Thursday for the poem offered in the movie, or simply click the link above for the poet’s recitation of it.

Lake Ella

My feet slap the cement path…
Fingers petting dogs bark on trees,
Feel the breeze.

Spanish moss gives us weeping willows
even in the winter.
Fountains form rainbows
as flapping seagulls fly low
over a moving mirror
And anhingas repose.

Black Dog Café pours perfume
of coffee and pecan pie
Into this synesthetic drink.

The melody of squeals and squawks and mothers’ calls
Dots the harmonic hum of trucks and cars
And an occasional guitar.

A walker calls to me:
“How ya doin’?”

Doing fine.

All That’s Left

Sometimes, I have poems, and sometimes I don’t. This week, I didn’t. I sat at the desk trying to make something, and nothing happened. Then, I started wondering why I was trying. Why write? Why does it seem to be such an important thing to do? By coincidence, I came across the following quote by Alexandra Fuller and thought, yes: that’s why.

“What is important is the story. Because when we are all dust and teeth and kicked-up bits of skin – when we’re dancing with our own skeletons – our words might be all that’s left of us.”

Here is an article by Fuller about life for modern-day Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Poem to Consider: The Silken Tent

She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one’s going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightlest bondage made aware

— Robert Frost via PoemHunter