NaPoWriMo #5: The Travelling Carnival

The Golden Shovel is today’s challenge. Take another poem, and use each word as the last word for the lines of a new poem. I took a segment of Alexander Montogomery’s “The Cherry and the Slae“, which some believe to be the origins of the far more famous “Hey Diddle, Diddle”.

Bored shoppers shuffle through old mall, but
In the lot’s a carnival, set up since
August when the popcorn smells enticed you
To walk its crowded corridors. And think’t
That things both change and never change. Such an
Odd assortment; skee balls, duck ponds, easy
Going carousels. A metal, ornate thing
Hauled town to town on a truck convoy to
Roost near the movie theater. Kids mount
Aged cars with peeling paint, swung above
A crowd of worried parents. Nearby, the
Ferris wheel looms like a rusting spoked moon.
And “creak!” — The loud grinding, high-pitch squeals of…
Happy children? Mechanisms? Gears? Your
Eyes fix on the “Graviton,” with your own
Childhood recalled, guts strung like a fiddle,
Vomit held in just long enough to take
A puke on the Midway.  At sunset, a
master switched is flipped, and all the rides spring
To life as blinking, spinning neon, and
The giant octopus rises to dance
With eight round black half-empty cars. And when
It stops, you wonder why you feel down. You
See creaky skeletons the rides all have,
Must magic stop when childhood’s all but done?


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