Jan 302015
The bear in the circus
A rollicking shambles
Dances in cages for afternoon crowds
Between bright lights and bullwhips
With a rolling drunken gait
Among cheers grown fantastically loud.

Muzzled and mated and tamed
He whirls balls on the end of his nose
Between peanutshells and sawdust 
Whipcrack and organ-grind
For crackerjacks and fist-given meats
Until crowds rise out of their seats.

The bear in the circus
A tutued buffoon
Dancing among spotlights and blackness
On a turnedover tub 
Twirls for hotdogs and popcorn,
Burst laughter and plummeting hands

Until the ringmaster bows goodbye
And night unbundles 
Down the swinging tent eaves
The spider-dropping dark of shutoff light
With a sound as round as seasurf
Rough and lovely;

And the bear shuffles off in his furs
Returning untamed to black forests
White pines and wine skies
Wild stars pricked trim as pinspots
Past cage stale straw and old water
And shambles on into dream.

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