Circus Sham

He spun a sugar-coated tale.
Bright lights and sequins,
adoring crowds.
Come join me and be a star!

So I went.
Believed that sweet talking ringleader . . .
and his beguiling eyes.

Spot lights fell on sawdust stages
again and again in tawdry towns.
Love is blind – too late I saw.
Following him, I lost my way.

He prances about, cajoles the crowd.
I traipse ’round makeshift bleachers
sans sequins, sans fame.
Get your cotton candy here!

I am the busker
for his spun-sugar tale.


Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets.  Today Sarah hosts and wants us to go to the circus! Pub opens at 3:00 PM Boston time. Come join us!

27 thoughts on “Circus Sham

  1. annell4 September 18, 2018 / 1:58 pm

    I like this tale, even the disappointment of the busker. You tell it well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 18, 2018 / 2:04 pm

      Thanks – so glad you enjoyed! 🙂


  2. sarahsouthwest September 18, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    A great extended metaphor for disappointing relationships. Who hasn’t found themselves seduced by cotton candy, and then found it’s nothing but sugar and hot air? Great write, Lillian.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. V.J. Knutson September 18, 2018 / 2:50 pm

    This took me back to days when I sold soft drinks at our local race track – definitely not part of the dazzle.


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 18, 2018 / 3:05 pm

    I really found the metaphor of what a relationship can be… in the end someone has to bring in the dough by selling what you can… and that man prancing about.


  5. Beverly Crawford September 18, 2018 / 3:14 pm

    Uh oh! That cotton candy can be misleading … so sweet, so quickly turning sticky!


  6. Frank Hubeny September 18, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    Nice lines: “Love is blind – too late I saw.
    Following him, I lost my way.”


  7. Glenn Buttkus September 18, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    A sparkling circus tale, with a metaphoric conclusion. In the 50’s running away to join the circus was still a viable dream.


  8. merrildsmith September 18, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    Nicely done. I like this cautionary (spun-sugar) tale and metaphor about relationships.


  9. Jane Dougherty September 18, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    Smoke and mirrors, spangly tights and lost illusions. You caught a slice of life for many there, Lilian.


  10. anmol(alias HA) September 18, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    Oh, this is a very well done metaphor — I like the way you waded through the grimness of this relationship through clever phrases like “traipse ’round makeshift bleachers” and “spun sugar tale”.


  11. Dorianna September 18, 2018 / 7:20 pm

    As much as this is probably metaphor for a relationship, in reality this was my first marriage, running away with the carnival and a new husband at 19 so I really related to your words…nicely penned.


  12. rothpoetry September 18, 2018 / 10:57 pm

    A great lesson to be learned. Watch out for the slick smooth talking man. Nice work.


  13. kim881 September 19, 2018 / 1:56 am

    I agree with Sarah – a great metaphor for a disappointing relationship or for being tempted by something or someone not as they seem. I love the phrase ‘spun-sugar tale’.


  14. Paul Sunstone September 19, 2018 / 4:14 am

    Curious how we so often lose our way when in a relationship. I wonder what that’s all about.


  15. Singledust September 19, 2018 / 7:34 am

    its the lure of attention that was this person’s fatal flaw, pink and fluffy can never be trusted!! loved the tale in the form of poetry


  16. Frank J. Tassone September 19, 2018 / 1:12 pm

    A cautionary tale, indeed! I like the contrasts between anticipation and realization between the opening and closing stanzas.


  17. mhmp77 September 19, 2018 / 3:36 pm


    He spun a sugar-coated tale.

    Brilliant opening Lillian when you matched it with the image of the top of the cotton candy. It felt like a letdown to be presented with entertainment amidst caged animals It was a joy for youngsters as the sensitivity of animal cruelty had not reached them yet.



  18. Suzanne September 19, 2018 / 6:48 pm

    I really enjoyed your poem and can relate to that feeling of becoming the background support in some charismatic man’s circus.


  19. Gospel Isosceles September 19, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    At first it looks promising with so much substance. But alas…


  20. memadtwo September 20, 2018 / 12:31 pm

    In entertainment, deception is welcome, but not in relationships! (K)


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