Wednesday, April 17, 2013




Watching the blue darkness,
mer-thing in a tidepool of dreams,
the sparkling shrill moon is a huckster
passing the hat, glued  with
the glitter of carnival lights,
spotlighting the main attraction
down a littered midway of stars.

Slithering through the tents on my scales
I'd be the rube from downstate, more
freakish than any of the acts
in my silver tail and cotton candy mind, 
snaking painfully over the gravel
from stall to stall still
looking for you,

not sure just what you do these days:
barker blindfolding the crowd with words,
sad-eyed urchin picking their pockets,
carny lopsidedly leering, milking the bottle toss
or the bored skull-sleeved punk
at the sticky-railed tilt-a-whirl
who'll take my dollar 

one more time.
Better to stay where I was born
in the dance-dream of turquoise foam,
going home with a breaching dawn,
where sky pours the world
plain, clear water
for the jug of living.


~April 2013

Images: Tents,  top. Carnival, bottom
from the set Fake Junk Camera, by Petteri Sulonen, on flick'r


  1. Beautiful - that final stanza is breathtaking.

  2. Wow, Joy Ann, what a plethora of images you have going on here. Especially stanzas 2 & 3, they do give the feel of a carnival. And yes, the last stanza is quite beautiful.


  3. My comment keeps getting eaten, so I will keep it very simple - the carny feels very carnivorous hee, though I go back to moon and little mer creature who feels almost like a fetal or primoridal thing daring to give dreams a chance. (Or birth). Beautiful combination words making up verbs and adjectives - the blindfold barking and the skull sleeves esp I though. i don't dare say more for losing all. k.

  4. This is so complete in the way it envelops the reader and so beautifully, darkly crafted . . . just, wow. Hedge this is extraordinary.

    Just because I'm a geek, I have to ask; do you remember The Pirates of Dark Water?

  5. No, but I looked it up and it sounds very cool--that was after the times when I watched TV either because I was a kid, or because I had a kid.

    But to prove my geek cred,I do remember the Regnan Pirates of Might & Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven. Does that count?

    Thanks for reading, MZ, and stay safe tonight.

  6. This tremendously satisfying poem reminds me of why I couldn't get enough of Carnivale ~~ the HBO series from several years ago. I was entranced by your words today ........ and the image.

  7. the watery aspects you envelope and ride are both disconcerting and comforting. Moon brings comfort with a watchful eye. I am not disappointed when the slithering one returns to/stays in the dream foam. Jug of living is a perfect ending and Midway is a terrific metaphor. Your images illicit surreal sensations. How you manage to do this on a daily basis amazes me. Each of your pieces this month has been full. You inspire!

  8. Enchanting! Especially loved "Mer-thing through a tidepool of dreams," la mer, the tide, such clever wordplay.

    Your comparison of the lights of the midway to stars above accentuates every child's belief that the circus is heaven and carnies are the luckiest people in the world. Then we grow up and see their grease-stained hands, watch them move back-breaking loads... and we know.

    Love your work this NaPoWriMo, Hedgie!! Amy

  9. This is excellent, especially the second stanza. Sometimes the glittery and the garish isn't worth the price of admission, though how can we know that when we are the rube, just looking for a little excitement and fun? It stings to be a mark, or to find out the smiling huckster doesn't really give a damn for his audience, but the wisdom gained is there at the end of your poem; plain may be much sweeter and better than we gave it credit for.

    and...laffin at you and MZ with your geek cred!


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats