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Below are poems written by poet Terry O'leary. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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The Circus Is In Town

Come join the unraveling circus
quite soon to be passing our way,
with the clowns in a clamor to twerk us,
come along and they'll lead us astray.

At the entrance the elephant Trumpets
agendas of aberrant acts
while the donkey is dunking the crumpets
and twirlers spin, twisting the facts.
The big top is open to breezes
and the pundits are spreading their wings
to convince us to tread the trapezes,
for it's they who'll be pulling the strings. 

The merry-go-round is amazing
(black horses bound, chasing the cart)
and the promise of change wanders, dazing,
till coming right back to the start.

Well, the moldy old model of Ptolemy
(at the hub of this three ring domain) 
stirs the marvels of budgeting alchemy,
churned in bowels of the mastodons' reign.

The tamer, adorned in fine Trumpery
(pate embellished with fiery mane),
has promised to wall the ring's boundary,
keeping millipede migrants in rein.

From the tower the Trumpet is blowing
gassy messages, fetid but full,
and as long as the cattle keep lowing,
he'll continue by serving us bull.

With the promise to call in the cavalry,
the hearts of the crowds are athrob
and in spite of the struggles and rivalry
the Don is still leading the mob.

The Empress on bareback's Hilarious
while parading her asses and mules,
with her fabulous tales (mostly spurious)
waging only the naive and fools.

Chasing ponies in circles, she Rode 'em
from fields to the back of the stalls
with the rats wrapping rings 'round the totem 
and seals bark while balancing balls. 

The pretending defender of females
is actu'ly one of the hawks;
secrets hidden in spills of her emails
means Pillory, stuck in the stocks.

The sow in the central arena 
(enveloped in fat of the throne) 
starts to dance like a wee ballerina, 
throws the rest of us all a big bone.

Though the Ray Gun is really outmoded, 
the gall'ry's avoiding the bans,
and the NRA gang has reloaded,
shooting shit in the face of the fans.

Meanwhile, Bozo is Cruzin' for bruisin',
with cards that were Trumped by the Klan,
and (compelled to resign the race, losin') 
decamps in a crimped caravan.

Yes, the pack is supplied by the PAC man,
who's wolfing his way through the maze,
while fey fables are hawked by the packman
to canvas our eyes with a glaze.

One day when the circus has folded
and the sawdust has drifted away,
with humanity freed and remolded,
we'll sail with all anchors aweigh.

Copyright © Terry O'Leary | Year Posted 2016


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  1. Date: 7/12/2016 4:56:00 PM

    Oh the circus will indeed fold, and soon - Daniel 2:44 Bible. Meantime, nice satire
  1. Date: 7/10/2016 3:55:00 AM

    Will words still be needed or will no explanation be needed. I will hold some back just in case. Like the cut of your jib. I think your boat may be safe for a Kiwi to jump on board. Glad to make your acquaintance. David from NZ
  1. Date: 6/24/2016 6:55:00 PM

    Does one need tweezers to remove Polly Ticks from under the skin, or should they be fed then mushed with the left over crackers?
  1. Date: 5/28/2016 1:24:00 PM

    Sheesh, Bozo's big red nose would surely cling to the candy floss? Fans would end up seeing angry eyes glaring past a paper cone beak.:( Outstanding imagery and metaphor to depict the atrocities of this travelling circus. Kudo to you, Terry! Mikki
  1. Date: 5/27/2016 6:16:00 AM

    Brilliant my dear terry. May the trumpet be muzzled in November. Love you.
  1. Date: 5/26/2016 7:02:00 AM

    I am in awe. I don't know how you can put all this together, but it says a lot for where we are. We are in some trouble, aren't we? Some of us see it, but not enough. Yet. As you say, one day, perhaps.