One Poem by Alun Robert

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

End of the Line Parade

Was late January a Thursday, how I remember,
been raining for days     gale howling with only
the yellow and blue big top standing on site as

the mighty Wurlitzer had sung its final march with
floodlights dismantled, switched off for good
and bleachers removed as crowds far gone,
ticket booth prone     red cash box empty for

big cats, camels, elephants long departed
leaving horses, forlorn donkeys distraught they say,
paint peeled from poles and load bearing beams,
weather-bleached canvas mended now re-torn,
trapezes à la terre splattered with mud in puddles
that the seals would have relished     even adored,
clowns’ tunics and shoes in boxes marked trash with
make-up down in jars as remnants of laughs while

the ring master’s coat thrice darned at the cuffs
consigned to moth balls for preservation at best
off to a museum in Baraboo or Sarasota Springs
or Hulme Hall flea market     Sunday, I guess

it was the journey end, not just the end of a season
our parade to the station was a straight walk after
meanderings as niche for decades or more fighting
against trends while treasuring theatrical tradition
imbued in circus families     embellished by artistes
carrying dreams, memories of romantic frolics along
avenues of fulfilment, dark passages, dirty tricks
never quite winning, never quite achieving though

I sighed, I cried it’s over     the end of an epoch when
circus was muscle, sinew, was blood through the stone as
the yellow and blue big top remains only in my mind.


Alun Robert is a prolific creator of lyrical verse. Of late, he has achieved success in poetry competitions and featured in international literary magazines, anthologies and on the web. He particularly enjoys ekphrastic challenges. In September 2019, he was Featured Writer of the Federation of Writers Scotland.

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