One Poem by Edward Alport

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

The Roar of the Greasepaint

Another town. Another muddy pitch.
Another flood plain even the flood rejected
Booked long in advance, pretending we’re unexpected
Bone poor, pretending that we’re rich.

There is a secret line that runs around the Top
A foot from the ground, invisible to the crowds.
Above it, gleaming canvas mountains reach the clouds,
Sequins glitter, lights gleam, and clown feet flop.

Beneath the line is all the showman sees:
The greasepaint stains, no matter how hard one scrubs
The mud; the shit; the discarded ticket stubs;
And tarnished sequins sticking to my knees.

Join the circus! Live the life that’s free!
Dear God! I wish I’d run away to sea.


Edward is a lecturer and writer, mostly on business and politics. He often posts twittaku (double haiku in 140 characters) on Twitter, plus the occasional political limerick.

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