Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras

[I wrote this over forty years ago, while still a teen; no idea why.
But given the title, I reckon I'd better post it today or nevermore.]

Violins and trumpets!  Children in the streets.
Balloon men and circus gongs  and peasants selling sweets.
Tall man in a top hat, smiling  walking by.
Old dog on a hayrick, in the sun, he’s sly.

Here comes the mayor, with him  the city band.
Dancers turn and gaily wave;  sailors lend a hand.
Everybody’s celebrating;  no-one is ashamed.
No-one but the old dog, sly eyes, leg lame.

The village band strikes up a tune, the dancers take it up.
Mice and aunts and children prance, spry cat and young pup.
Buttons in their buttonholes  and music in their ears.
The old dog slips from the hayrick and disappears.

The village fool sits on the stool, and gives the folks advice.
Gently gay they take it, and everything turns out nice.
Children gobble cherries and fruit ice from the golden bowl.
But the old dog is in the alley now, on the prowl.

The evening follows afternoon,  the happy dancers yawn.
It’s home to suppers and sleepy beds, to dream until the dawn.
The sun stares down upon the earth, with swollen bloody eye.
This is the time the dog likes best.  He’s sly.

Sleep pretty, tiny pretty ones.  The nighttime loves you best.
Aloft awash  on a sleep of dreams, in down and nightgowns dressed.
For the old dog  screaming at the moon,  bitterly insane--
he cannot harm you from the hill;  you cannot share   his   pain.

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