A heavily trimmed rewrite of an early piece.

The Showman

‘Come take your seat, when you are in, we will begin!

Hurry now honoured guest, we wait not for the rest,

this show is for you alone.

This spectacle seen by few, is reward long overdue.

On the bill of fare, are the times you wouldn’t dare.

We have chances missed and love never kissed,

roads you didn’t take, decisions you didn’t make.

Words you could’ve said, those spoken instead,

the doors you left shut, and cloth you never cut.

For you we’ve spared no expense,

so now let the show commence!

But by curtain fall, you must peace achieve,

or be trapped in the show and never leave.’

10 thoughts on “SHOWMAN

  1. Thank you Nigel for posting this both entertaining and deeply questing poem.
    I hadn’t seen any earlier version so am freshly entertained and impressed.
    Clowns are considered quite sad deep inside but use the entertaining format to tell
    us truths.
    Did we live life to the full? Did we dare? Did we fail by omission to be on the safe
    side and not be judged by our peers.
    Maybe the clown wouldn’t let us in? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And thank you Miriam, you read it the same as I do, the last bit is about accepting your failures, not dwelling on them, banishing regret, because if you don’t you’ll never be able to leave the big top/past. If you’re interested anytime Marian, Sonnet 10- when labours cease, is one of the poems I thought was on a similar theme to your latest. There are two versions, the original was just ‘when labours cease’ but I wondered if it would lend itself to sonnet form, so did a 2nd version.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I went back to the original piece Nigel. The original in the way it was set out and the font, seemed to read faster and give the impression of being in the circus and watching a fast performance. In this amended version the words and pace feel a lot slower and reflective. Both are good pieces of poetry and feel in some way like separate pieces. I would be interested to know some of your thought behind the changes. I ask this because earlier in the week I had some time with a published poet who gave one of my poems a good haircut. It was a bit uncomfortable to start with, but having had a few days to reflect and redraft the poem the new piece seems very different and more what it was intended to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a ‘classic’ circus steam organ sound-clip for the spoken version, and I take your point entirely, it rollicked along, like the music, I could ‘see’ the artistes parading. But when I revisited it Davy, I thought, there’s a sinister edge, a warning, mind magic. As I re-read the opening, the words ‘for you alone’ grabbed me. So as I read that line it opened a different door. Behind this one was just the audience of one + the ringmaster, still the music & lights, but no acts. which gives it a sinister tinge from the start. The original was then not right for the visuals I’d just seen. I often trim them, not just to do a different version. I start by cutting ‘fillers’ and, then, was etc or sentences that don’t do anything but add a line. Sometimes I add ‘fillers’ for flow & rhythm .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for this Nigel and it all makes perfect sense. For some reason I have now got an image of the clown Dave from The League of Gentleman. He was sinister. It is an interesting conversation about whether poems should come with a short synopsis to help the reader, or should they just be left to their own devices?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember how much I enjoyed the original. Both versions stand strong on their own, Nige. Love the flow of this timely rewrite and how the questions – the doubts, regret, missed opportunities, and being able to achieve peace through all of that – provoke such deep thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

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