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Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Moment that Never Was

For Poetry Jam's prompt, Under the Big Top, this is a complete rewrite of an earlier Poem, (see here)
To publicise the big top on the green,
clock high  above the square,
town hall to church, a cable stretched,
pulled taut, on which a small clown rides
a penny farthing bicycle. ( In truth, more like
a ha'penny farthing fairy cycle than
the real McCoy.) Across the handlebars
a bendy pole, a bucket at each end.

The  crowd below looks up and holds 
its one collective breath.
And then: a sudden gust.
A gasp.
Explosive, for
the vicious blast has  scattered leaves. 
He's stopped.
Sways wildly for an endless  moment --
as if time's flow has stopped.
He sways, leans left, leans right. Repeats.
Retreats -- reverses half a yard,
then stops again. Another wave.
Such grand insouciance! As though
there never was a thought,
a possibility that he might fall...

He waggles for a second his long pole,
splashing the buckets' contents on
the upturned faces of his audience.
A final wave and he resumes his ride.
The moment gone that never was...
except we thought it so.

18 comments:

Brian Miller said...

ah...he def gets our hearts going...but it was never an issue for him...or maybe it was...ha...we will never really know just how close it was...smiles.

Mary said...

I read this a few times, feeling the suspense of the moment that almost was.....but wasn't! In any case, a memorable event. I can't imagine anyone bold enough to attempt such a feat as this.

Helen said...

Hi Dave! I wonder how many brave souls just like your 'small' clown actually do fall? Love the bicycle description in #2 - you made it seem real.

Dave King said...

Brian
Absolutely! I recall being taken to the circus as a small tot and wondering if he really was in danger, or was it all "pretend", like at the Panto.

Thanks

Dave King said...

Mary
Thanks for this, Mary. Just the sort of response I'd hope for to a poem of this nature.

Dave King said...

Thanks Helen.
Truth is, I was quite chuffed with it, too. Not at first, but it grew on me! Good to have your comment.

Lisa said...

How many times we go through such moments and never know that there never were. The scene reminded me of the movie Back To The Future.

Hello Dave, this is oceangirl, dropping by to say hello.

Leovi said...

Impressive, do not know why, but it makes me think of leaves as they fall.

The Weaver of Grass said...

This paints such a lovely picture Dave

Daydreamertoo said...

LOL I remember these acts and... holding my breath at them too.
Clever write Dave ;)

Mametz said...

Really great feel to the poem, you have certainly captured the moment. It made it feel lie it lasted forever. I was there with him.

Poet Laundry said...

Great story Dave, nicely done, suspenseful. Enjoyed it!

Cloudia said...

a vivid moment.


Aloha !
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

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Arron Shilling said...

hey David

a vivid background setting leads us to the centre of the man on a wire tension of possible tragedy.

becoming part of the suffocating crowd as i read and imagined with ease the scene created.

cheers Dave


haricot said...

A taut string between a scarcely balanced man and the audience...

Dave King said...

Lisa
Indeed, I take your point. Interesting thought. thank you and welcome!!

Leovi
Mmm, the image does seem relevant, though I don't know why, either! Thanks.

The Weaver of Grass
Thank you. I find that a very encouraging comment.

Daydreamertoo
Yes, and the clown was always up to some trick or other.

Mametz
Hi! Welcome, thanks very much for the kind words.

Poet Laundry
Thank you so much for your comment. Very much appreciated.

Cloudia
Thanks. Good to know you thought so.

Arron
Thank you for your interest -- which was full of interest.

haricot
Oh, well said indeed! Love it!


A Cuban In London said...

Ahhh, I bet he enjoyed the suspense... :-)

Greetings from London.

my heart's love songs said...

a wonderful take on the prompt!!!

thank you for participating at Poetry Jam!