To me, this poem deserves a page of its own...because I love it!
A fine balance
The flea was on the tightrope on the night the big top fell.
He was half way across
The dental floss
And all was going well.
The audience of hundreds clenched their teeth and held their breath,
And watched as the flea,
Attempted to cheat death.
Then a mote of dust from way up high came floating to the ground.
The audience gasped,
And suddenly grasped
Just what was going down.
But the flea remained oblivious to the danger he was in.
With his arms akimbo,
He remained in limbo,
Balanced on the string.
“Look out,” a man in the second row said, but far too quiet to hear.
“We cannot watch!” some children cried, “Mum, why d’you bring us
And the ringmaster looked on in horror, and cried into his hat.
The strongman cuddled the bearded lady, who cuddled him right back.
The clowns all took their wigs off and then painted on some frowns.
The performing sea lion forgot to breathe and very nearly drowned.
The elephants balanced on top of each other to get a better view.
And the escapologist got all tied up deciding what to do.
The band kept with the drum roll, so they didn’t miss a beat.
But the fire eater dropped his fire and set light to his feet.
The magician disappeared into his magic box of tricks.
The lion jumped onto his tamer, knocking him for six.
The horses threw their riders and attempted to break free.
And the human cannonball climbed inside, afraid of what might be.
The Kazinskys sat on the edge of their seats way up on the trapeze.
But no-one feared the impending doom like the acrobatic fleas.
And then it hit. That little bit
Came floating through the cage,
And landed on that fearless flee
Performing on the stage.
The flea he wobbled left, then right.
He almost made it, brave young mite.
But, alas, the rope was far too tight,
And so the flea went down.
He bounced upon the safety net and flew out of the cage.
He landed on the lion, and the wild beast roared in rage.
The lion bit his tamer’s hand.
The tamer tried but could not stand
The pain it caused, and ran to get a bandage from backstage.
As he fled past the ringmaster he knocked him out the way,
And crushed his hat. The ringmaster turned red in pure dismay,
Then shouted out, “You stupid fool!”
And scared the seal within its pool,
Who broke the sea lion’s only rule and threw his ball away.
It bounced across the ring and crashed into the magic box.
The magician stumbled out and suffered several nasty knocks.
He rolled up to the water tank,
In which the escapologist sank,
And tipped the whole thing over, breaking each and every lock.
The water raged across the stage and soaked all of the clowns.
It shrunk all of their outfits and then washed off all their frowns.
And one of them, an old bank robber,
Was recognised without his clobber,
By half the band who dropped their brass and chased him round and
The sound of trumpets falling and of drums all going thump
Turn elephants stir crazy, and the top one tried to jump.
First they bobbled, then they wobbled,
And finally the whole stack toppled,
Spilling jumbos downwards into one great jumbo lump.
They fell upon the strongman’s foot who howled into the air,
And threw the bearded lady upwards, pulling out her hair.
The now bald lady gave a cry,
And barely flew into the sky,
And hit the main Kazinsky guy, sat high up on his chair.
The great Kazinsky fell just like the elephants had before,
Screaming like a banshee from the high wire to the floor.
He landed on a cowering horse,
But facing back to front, of course.
The stallion bucked with so much force and headed for the door.
The fire eater stood there in the centre of it all.
He’d remained unharmed, slightly alarmed, when he saw the elephants fall.
He kicked off both his smouldering shoes,
Which landed on a nearby fuse,
Which wasn’t very welcome news for the human cannonball.
As a silence fell over the circus,
The ringmaster rose to his feet.
He grabbed hold the hand
Of both wild beast and man,
And then bowed to the crowd in their seats.
But, before the first hands started clapping,
A small boy in the front row said, “Hush!”
And everyone heard
A slight sound like a bird
Rustling nervously ‘round in a bush.
Then the smell of the sulphur took over,
And the man in the cannon cried, “No!”
But already loaded,
The cannon exploded
And signalled the end of the show.
The audience stood and applauded
As the big top collapsed to the ground.
And on top of the pole,
With a final drum roll,
Bowed the flea to a rapturous sound.
© Copyright Mike Lucas