Today's poems are by Paul Hyland

Trapeze Artists

We swing like careless children, but sky-high:
work ourselves up, let ourselves go, and fly
or feint and seem to fall to make them gasp
and greedily gaze upwards as we grasp
pendulums that precisely intermesh
while, in the pit, drums roll and cymbals crash
swelling, as one, the public's appetite
like a fat spider in the safety net.


I condescend to give away balloons
then dwindle like a spire. Lofty buffoons
and elephants must lead the grand parade
to show off the dimensions of our trade:
your usual one-two-three, and less, and more,
down-at-heel freaks, athletes, fools on the floor.
Proud and precarious, we build big nights
while stray balloons cluster above the lights.

Copyright © 2004 Paul Hyland All rights reserved
from Art of the Impossible
Bloodaxe Books / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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