For fourteen days now

The tiger has prowled

His container home;

Two paces forward, stop

Two paces back, stop

In between times he bares his teeth

To applause behind tungsten bars


Around him, candy-stripe tents

And shabby eight-wheelers

Cluster the green,

Whilst pint-sized piebalds

Lacklustrely sniff flattened grass

And stray dogs move silently

Between guy-ropes and giraffes


The carnival is over;

Clowns without their faces

Mingle with the roustabouts

Just an extra pair of hand now

And the Three Amazons are exposed

As jaded blondes without their trapeze trappings


The nondescript retinue pull the final peg,

Collapse the big top

And lock away the magic…

And still the tiger prowls.

taken from my new book of poetry, ’67’,  now available @




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