The Circus Series
When the curtains opened,
Light as a puff of air
Chipper as a songbird
Hand woven around the strings of his puppets
As he forced them to dance.
His workings were products of perfection;
He was the master,
The mechanic behind this well-oiled machine
He had never known anything other
Than formulas and scripture;
For order, rules and beliefs were always enough
To keep the parts working.
He was the architect
Who wavered upon the structures of his creation,
Fists clenched and brow moistened;
He had scribbled draft plans and slaved over calculations
But his world was not a mathematical equation
He could derive meaning.
Adaptability was barely an acquaintance;
The unexpected stung.
Failure, to him, felt like wringing out a soaking rag
That he could never dry.
Wetness pooled at his feet,
Licked at the soles of his shoes
Smelt thick and marinated in the fluid of his lungs,
For breathing was hardly an option
Now that he had stared defeat in the eye.
As Lady Macbeth,
He could not wash the stains
That arose from his rigidity:
Leading consisted of jumping through calculated hoops
In hope of emerging unscathed
And he was not quite prepared
To allow himself to stop.
The Lion Tamer
He was the face of a Warrior.
A man with a snarl
With the incredible ability
To suppress every last piece of
Uncertainty that somehow found itself nestling in his gut.
He loved life through his liver,
Sipped on glasses
To loosen the grip he had on his trembling heart
For there was nothing to repress or swallow
If he couldn’t recall what he had to fear.
They called him a peacemaker,
The glue between two opposing walls:
Two forces that would otherwise crush everything in its wake
Had he not wedged himself in the middle
In the line of duty.
But being stuck in the in-between,
Tasked with the responsibility
Of taming an impossible beast
Or allowing it to prowl unguarded,
Felt himself peel away
As the mighty roar
Slithered slowly up walls of his throat.
How could he survive
If he had to play the part of the predator
Rule a land that did not belong to him
Govern a writhing, unwilling animal
For the sake of the public?
He felt more like a thrush
Yearning to speak truths
Whisper hidden secrets to the unaware
But he fell prey to his own impulses
And found himself trapped in the motions once more.
He tiptoed on the string of what had passed
Or what had never begun.
His eyes glued to a distant forest
Where the trees whisper of new chapters
And promises of success.
He was a bird
That had nested on security
Sat upon the comfort of
Knowing that he had the ability to soar
To feel the sun’s heat on the back of his neck
And hear rumble of seawater against rock
But the taste of his Mother’s feeding was enough
To convince him to stay.
Life was spent relishing the idea of flight
And he knew that
To reach the other side
One foot must simply overtake the other
Yet the thought of moving forward
Even a single step
Was enough for him to perch in place.
He teetered with indecision
As he gazed at what ifs
And what could be.
Life was a great balancing act,
A battle against pressure and the slapping of wind
And though his sole mission
(His soul mission)
Was to reach the other side
To realize his potential and take flight
The danger of falling was too great.