Rat Race on a Horse

They live a merry-go-round life
maniacal calliope music
spinning circles, senses blurred
chasing what could lie ahead.

Blue horse, her mount
golden mane rich in gilt
cold cylindrical pole
clutched in lust.

Two steeds behind
eyes wild, hair disheveled
desperately out of synch
he up-downs as she down-ups.

Desire fuels the chase
bolted to spinning floor
moving unmoved
money, sex, fame
forever around the fluid bend.


I’m hosting dVerse today, the virtual bar for poets, asking folks to think about amusement parks, fairgrounds, carnival barkers. Write a poem that somehow uses an image from that scene – or captures a memory one has from going to such a place. Bar opens at 3PM BOSTON time, in the midst of Boston’s blizzard today! Come share a poem of your creation or just imbibe some words from poets around the world.

44 thoughts on “Rat Race on a Horse

  1. Glenn Buttkus March 14, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    Perhaps an allegory for my first (practice) marriage–but being out of synch with so much in life lacks levity. Health issues keep me bitch-slapped & out of sorts these days. Old age is just not for sissies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:09 pm

      Ah Glenn…..our Aunt Flo who was a Commander in the Navy during WWI and worked with Admiral Nimitz, always used to say in her later days, “growing old is not for sissies..” Smiling in memory of her here. Glad you’ve found your love….first time practice can be tough.

      Like

  2. Bev March 14, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    What a lyrical depiction of the merry-go-round. I loved it!

    Like

  3. sarahsouthwest March 14, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    Oh, I like this. The merry-go-round as metaphor, the out of synch ups and downs, the impossibility of ever catching up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 3:57 pm

      Thanks Sarah, glad you enjoyed! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  4. therisa March 14, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    Will never look at the merry-go-round, in the same way, after reading your poem, Lillian, my poor innocent eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 6:24 pm

      Exactly — forever chasing the gold ring and never satisfied with what is….merry-go-round metaphor.

      Like

  5. welshstream March 14, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    Great metaphor embraced here in a delightfully succinct and evocative poem. Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Singledust March 14, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    great word association with trials of life and the colours that entice but dull the ride

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 6:25 pm

      We are far too often caught up in the rat race of a fast paced life, always thinking the grass is greener on the other side…and in this case, riding that merry-go-round round and round, never getting ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Singledust March 14, 2017 / 6:27 pm

        i can relate to that especially living and working in a city, it really gets so monotonous even with the city’s bright lights and active life.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Walter J. Wojtanik March 14, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    Special one here, Lillian. Merry-go-round was one ride that no matter the circumstances always brought joy. The calliope music seals it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Angela March 14, 2017 / 7:11 pm

    What a very poignant description of that cyclical race so may get stuck in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 10:00 pm

      oh yes….far too many in the rat race…many of them in their own choosing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Just Barry March 14, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    You sure you’re not describing my life??? LOL

    This resonates with me… the merry-go-round of working for the weekend’s relaxation/debauchery/etc.

    I especially liked this part:

    Two steeds behind
    eyes wild, hair disheveled
    desperately out of synch
    he up-downs as she down-ups.

    Desire fuels the chase
    bolted to spinning floor
    moving unmoved
    money, sex, fame
    forever around the fluid bend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Glad you enjoyed. I think many many folks find themselves in a rat race…and for too many, the end is elusive.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. kanzensakura March 14, 2017 / 9:41 pm

    Ah that round and round and round…always going in circles and getting nowhere. Excellent metaphoric poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Thank you! So appreciate your kind words here ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  11. maria March 14, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    Gasp! I did not see this coming. Wow! Love the metaphor ๐ŸŽˆ

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 11:30 pm

      Glad you enjoyed — and liked the twist. Crazy rat race indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. whimsygizmo March 14, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    Yay! Mr. Linky is finally showing up for me, so I can make my rounds. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the sound bump in this: “maniacal calliope music” especially.

    Such a fun prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 14, 2017 / 11:29 pm

      Hurrah for Mr. Linky! (who ever decided on that name????) Glad you enjoyed the prompt and the post. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  13. kim881 March 15, 2017 / 3:54 am

    I finally got here – the morning after! The on-line chat was very productive but also exhausting so I went to bed! But I’m back to read now.
    I love the sounds and action in this poem, Lillian, with the ‘maniacal calliope music’,and spinning. I like the way you’ve played with the ‘cold cylindrical pole / clutched in lust’ and that wonderful line ‘he up-downs as she down-ups’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 15, 2017 / 8:13 am

      Glad you enjoyed the prompt. I’ve really had fun reading folks’ posts. Lots of memories revealed. I did go a different way with the prompt….although I was really tempted to write about Riverview! Maybe for an OLN. ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you’re enjoying your online course — and yes, those chats can be exhausting!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. paul scribbles March 15, 2017 / 5:42 am

    Fabulous prompt Lillian. Thank You. This is so good. The metaphor is perfect ( could be the sun chasing the moon ll over again) That endless chase to nowhere in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 15, 2017 / 8:15 am

      Glad you enjoyed the prompt and my post. Your post has inspired me to, sometime in the future, do an oral reading of my post and put it on the blog to accompany the words. Have you ever been to a Poetry Slam? I’ve never been but have often thought about going just to hear it.

      Like

      • paul scribbles March 15, 2017 / 8:23 am

        Never been to one…have heard live poetry from single performers…slam has to be on the bucket list though.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Misky March 15, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    Perfect metaphor choice, Lillian. And by the way, I loved to ride on merry-go-rounds as a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 15, 2017 / 4:59 pm

      Glad you enjoyed. I have a Twiglet ready for you…probably won’t get posting til Friday. Rushing water — good one

      Liked by 1 person

      • Misky March 15, 2017 / 5:04 pm

        I’ll look forward to reading it, Lillian.

        Like

  16. Bekkie Sanchez March 16, 2017 / 11:24 am

    Loved your lines “cold cylindrical pole, clutched in lust.” That describes life to me. Things are often out of sync like your merry-go-round horses. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 16, 2017 / 11:25 am

      So glad you enjoyed, Bekkie. Many thanks for your comment here.

      Liked by 1 person

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