The Big Top on Fire

The Big Top is on fire
As the Ringmaster runs amuck
Trying to convince the crowd
That he’s not a schmuck

He yells and calls and screams and kicks,
Gesticulating wildly,
Insisting anything gone wrong
Should all be taken mildly

He’s not responsible for mayhemed things
Hap’ning under the gaze
Of his podium in center ring
And the Big Top all ablaze

The monkeys are to blame at first,
The lions and clowns are next,
The tumbling act and 6 foot goat,
It’s not his fault, he’s hexed!

While all around the Big Top
And the rings that he commands
Chaos from his negligence
Falls on fleeing stands

By now the crowd has realized
The danger that they’re in
By staying in the topsy-turvy
Pandemonium and din

Ash and soot from burning canvas
Fall around the crowd
The Ringmaster begins to panic
While still standing there, unbowed

He’s still convinced he’s got it all
Under his control
And somehow he will find a way
To not let things unroll

But the elephants and monkeys
Are climbing o’er the stands
And the tigers sit and pick their teeth
With the bearded ladies hands

The lion tamer ran away
From the lions and their whip
The trapeze artists somehow survived
By falling to the net

At first the Ringmaster smiled and waved
Unaware of the mess and throng
But now he realizes that
He couldn’t have been more wrong

The Ringmaster’s smile is strained
As his frustration levels climb
His world is crumbling round him
But for me this is primetime

I sit atop the Big Top pole
In the crow’s nest far away
Where Ringmaster can’t reach me
No matter what he tries to say

He knows I held the lighter
To the canvas of his tent
And watched his world start burning
Down as I made my ascent

The creepy clowns can’t get to me
And neither can the cats,
The elephants, monkeys,
Side show acts, and not the acrobats

My stake is made in solid ground
While the world around him burns
His threats no longer scare me
Thanks to diminishing returns

I warned him once, twice, long ago
To stop playing stupid games
To straighten up and fly right
He’s got no one else to blame

He banked on being smarter
And more clever than the rest
But his arrogance was his demise
And now he’s feeling stressed

The storied show he’s taken now
From town to town for years
Is crumbling right before his eyes
As his future disappears

It’s fine, I say to just myself,
He’ll reap what he has sown
With no more acts or audience
He’ll end up all alone


This is the second part of the story from My Circus, which was published 13 Dec 2017, and this piece just sort of came about the other day as I was contemplating what the three ring circus would look like after the Ringmaster realized he wasn’t as in control as he thought.

2 thoughts on “The Big Top on Fire

  1. I didn’t see the first one, although this one had all the class of one of yours from the heart. It should have been on an editorial page!
    I’m better. Haven’t meant to be gone so long. All my love and hugs, aunt Joanie 🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

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