balancing and vanishing acts face the
cotton candy-striped grandstand
phantasmagoric pantomime
acrobatic bric-a-brac
ringmaster magic
trump on tramp
bouncy balls
slap jack
black jack
cracker jack
fast framed fun
gimcrackery ballots
***Cast Your Vote***
side show attraction of the
freak show lit on fire juggled and
swallowed swag in bearded fat lady-liberty


©2018, Amaya Engleking

Circus is in town over at dVerse. And fun fact/God-humor while we’re on the subject: unbeknownst to us, the town we just moved to was a major circus hub back in the day. Just can’t escape the absurdity, no matter how hard we try.

Image source:



  1. sarahsouthwest · September 18

    This is great to read aloud, and I like your word choices. Gimcrackery is a great word! And of course, I like the dig at the Clown in Chief. Thank you for sharing. I got to it through your link, though, not sure if it’s made it to Mr Linky yet?

    • Gospel Isosceles · September 18

      Your prompt inspired the slam in me:)
      Linky says I’m #12.

      • sarahsouthwest · September 18

        Ah, yes, there you are. Our internet is so slow tonight, I’m mostly just sitting watching a little arrow spin round…

        • Gospel Isosceles · September 18

          Is there any reason today’s Poetics was published early today? I just want to make sure I’m not missing anything.

          • sarahsouthwest · September 18

            I think I thought I was scheduling it for 3pm in America, but actually scheduled it for 3pm in England. I’m sorry for any confusion. I shouldn’t really be allowed near a computer.

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) · September 18

    Just like at a circus any laughter is mixed with shame and sorrow… I love the parallels between the circus and politics… our politics is more like kids in a sandbox.

  3. Beverly Crawford · September 18

    Well, aren’t you the clever one!! I loved the gimcrackery of it all, and the tongue-in-cheekiness!

  4. Frank Hubeny · September 18

    Nice alliteration here that rushes one through the fun: “fast framed fun”

  5. V.J. Knutson · September 18

    Love your use of words, the shape of the poem… the atmosphere of a circus

  6. Blogging_with_Bojana · September 18

    The circus it is.
    I like the rhythm and use of onomatopoeia for a remarkable imitation of reality (politicians or clowns?) and amazing literary effect.
    Outstanding, girl.
    (Ok, done here for the day. Back to bottles and diapers. Later…)

  7. Glenn Buttkus · September 18

    So sweet and killer clever. You had my at /trump on tramp/ Showtime hss a political show that sheds light on Trumpland, and it is called THE CIRCUS.

    • Gospel Isosceles · September 18

      Didn’t know but sounds about right. I don’t watch tv and I’ve never even been to the circus. It’s all kind of redundant, you know? You know:)

  8. merrildsmith · September 18

    I love the energy and rhythm of this–and of course the political jabs. 🙂

  9. Rick · September 18

    Nicely written, I wanted popcorn! God does have a great sense of humor! Welcome to the big top where the memories perform! I really liked the whimsy!

    • Gospel Isosceles · September 20

      Great to have you here, Rick. Go grab some kettle corn and stay awhile:)

  10. revolutionarymusings · September 18

    This really is a nice poem;a lot of imagery. Thank you

  11. anmol(alias HA) · September 18

    I like the “phantasmagoric pantomime”. The way you interplayed circus and politics is well done — also quite a creative vocab in this one, making it a fun and humorous read-it-out-loud.

  12. Dorianna · September 18

    Love the shape, the rhythm and the crackery words, lol

  13. Singledust · September 18

    your poem reminds me of a TV series called Carnivale – the bearded lady and other oddities. we laugh at what we don’t understand and made to believe it is funny, we don’t have the circus in my town like this anymore, other oddities have taken centre stage

  14. nosaintaugustine · September 18

    Yes! I’m feeling this. Someone stop this ride, I didn’t even buy a ticket!

  15. rothpoetry · September 18

    Seems like there is almost always a side show freak show…acting out in real time.

  16. rothpoetry · September 18


  17. kim881 · September 19

    Politics in the UK can be a bit of a farce sometimes but it’s never been the complete circus we’ve seen on the other side of the pond recently. What a pace you’ve created with the line lengths, the half-rhymes and repetition, Amaya! ‘Cast your vote’ is like a version of ‘Roll up, Roll up!’ I love the sounds in::
    ‘phantasmagoric pantomime
    acrobatic bric-a-brac
    ringmaster magic’
    ‘gimcrackery ballots’..

  18. lillian · September 19

    Loved it. Went back and read it aloud and loved it even more. And….I think you’ve created the oval of the ring, as the ringmaster is standing in it looking out….the shape of the poem! 🙂

  19. Frank J. Tassone · September 19

    Exsquisite use of figurative language, and I love the concrete image your poem formed!

  20. Brendan · September 20

    The circus (in America, at least) has been disrupted by the Cirque, but the sideshow has gone center stage underground, in the White House, the media circus, the constant brutality of the top-of-mind profane, the presidential afflatus and bouncing balls. What was freak show became reality TV became the fate of our country. Yikes.

  21. memadtwo · September 20

    Circus does indeed describe politics these days. I love that the shape of the poem is curved too. (K)

  22. Josh Gross | The Jaguar · September 21

    The whole U.S. is one giant, self-destructive circus.

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