Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fall Fair

photo of the Midway at the Fall Fair
by Lisa Duncan, Heart of Vancouver Island

I took my favorite poet to the fair.
There it was: the crowds, 
the greasy small bags of deep-fried doughnuts,
the noise of the hurdy-gurdy,
the ferris wheel, circling,
like the Clock of Time,
mesmerizing and relentless,
and a bit queasy-making
in its descent.

I observed from a bemused distance:
the people screaming in ecstatic fear 
on the Salt and Pepper,
the chubby toddlers in their strollers,
pushed by corpulent parents,
eating their way through the fair.

Sweet-eyed calves, soft rabbits,
and one old, tired, patient bull,
his horns honed and formidable,
stood about, confused at this strange
pasture, with its noise and smells.

The sky lowered itself down 
to meet the horizon. 
The edges of everything softened,
and there it was: that moment,
when I lifted off and saw 
the entirety of the fair's tawdry beauty,
softened and blurred, and full of light.

"Sometimes I need only to stand
wherever I am,
to be blessed." *

*Mary Oliver, Evidence: Poems

for Ella's cool prompt at Real Toads: to combine our local fair with our favorite poet, in some way.


  1. Cool quote and you chose a terrific poet. And this line of yours " I lifted off and saw
    the entirety of the fair's tawdry beauty,
    softened and blurred, and full of light." wow

  2. The reality blurred with the magic-is so well painted here in your fair. I love the soft rabbits and the chubby toddlers and corpulent parents. Yes, the Clock of Time says it all~ Well done~ Thank you for taking me there!

  3. This has a great perspective, Sherry. A single vantage point reveals all the sights and sounds of the fair.

  4. Yay! It came alive for me--the fair and the moment.

  5. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous. You brought that fair to life! :-) Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  6. Excellent - my poem had a similar revelation, but I liked yours more! Corpulent parents -great image!

  7. Oh!! You surprised me with your choice of quote! I love Mary Oliver and this was the perfect choice to bring in your poem's closing....packs such a punch. I love the shift in tone, too when you speak of the animals...I always feel compassion for animals at places like this...confusing pasture, indeed. ♥

  8. The Clock of Time gonged by the strong man's mallet!


  9. so many wonderful images in this one...a lovely share...

  10. Wonderful images and capture.

  11. You're on a roll, Sherry! I love this!

  12. I knew what poet you'd pick! The last line fits in perfectly and sounds like something you would write! Just beautiful.

  13. This is magnificent. I love your description, the rythm of your words made me feel the fair. How nice to chose Mary Oliver I love her.

  14. Ha. That would be a cool exercise. It requires us to try to see the fair through their eyes. I rather like the lifting off, as seeing all of the fair laid out from on high is a pretty cool perspective.

  15. I agree your closing lines were stunning, killer; and it does close with a bang putting your quote in as epilogue. This is so good, it inspires me to give the prompt a shot.

  16. Why Sherry in the ordinary fall fair, you took my breath away! Really a wonderful piece!

  17. I felt like I was at the fair too!

  18. What a cool, perfect way to come to the words of your poet -- to assay the whole place, watch the sun set and sing Amen. Great job, Sherry.

  19. oh yes the glitz, bells and noise when first i experienced the fair. yet the rides i experienced not till later as an adult because of my wanting to say i did that. but the picture characteristics you paint of some of those fairs i've whitnessed here in the raw nature of humanity in the midwest of the U.S. you've so well depicted. corpulent parents pushing chubby toddlers in barely fitting strollers. parents eating sugar coated elephant ears while the toddlers face is covered in chocolate ice-cream while the rest is meltin down the folds of his arm. ah yes, 'those were the days my friend i think they'll never end'... oooh that would be a good beginning of a song. wait, there already is one.

    gracias for this recolllecting journey, mi amiga

  20. I think I was touched by your description of such an ordinary event, one that might have delighted children, and you were a child again, yet you spoke from the prespective of an adult, you saw it all, with clear eyes, and even if it was not as you saw it as a child, you saw it new, fresh and you helped us to see, in that same fresh way. A wonderful...wonder - full piece, even the eyes of the animals, and you told us how they felt...if only we could aproach each piece as you have done in this one.

  21. Sometimes we just have to stand there observing.. we have to find that view-point for inner peace among the calamity around us... strangely enough I have felt most at peace in a crowded subway for instance.

  22. This is a wonderful visit, Sherry! I especially like the "ecstatic fear", "corpulent parents eating their way through the fair" and "the tired old patient bull".


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