October Poetry Carnival – updated 10/17/05

October 15, 2005

Way out on the other end of town sits an abandoned grass field. It used to be a fairground, but when the factory closed down and the meat-packing plant closed its doors, the fairground ran into disrepair. When you walk through the abandoned field, you hear the echoes of voices long stilled (Poet Bill Kenney gives voice to the image of the field in his poem “Path”):

overgrown path

leaves drifting to the earth

they will become

The field only comes alive once in a while. Then, with color, lights, rides, and spectacle, the fairground explodes and reveals itself in all its glory. The barkers call out, the games tempt, the aromas of food mixed with the subtle whiff of sugary sweet fried dough beckons.

The Carnival has pulled into town!

Carol sums up the invitation that the carnival offers here:

Or perhaps the attraction is a little more mundane (here as expressed by Mark in a poem he composed only for this carnival — and not on his blog):

in the carnival

of poets, i am the guy

in the dunking booth

Walk on into the field. See in front of you the wildflowers, worn down by the passing of many feet. Erin Monahan says (in her short poem):

The lilies have wilted, weighted

by the dogwood’s scarlet berries

and red-tipped leaves –

one pitiable death born

in the beauty of another.

Death and the reach of those from beyond the grave has a long history as part of the carnival. The words and presence of those who have come before comfort us:

Cold cemetery

the long sleeves of your old coat

warm my fingertips

even from beyond this grave

you manage to comfort me.


A carnival brings together all kinds of people. Some may come with a somewhat irreverent sense of humor. From Doris comes this submission to the Carnival:

Maybe you are a late arrival to the carnival, working your way through the line of cars in the parking lot. Andrew Nichols (also known as Dan Weasel) submitted “Car” on this point:

She carries me from

pain to pain; rarely braking:

safe. Accelerate.

The carnival appeals to the child’s soul, but also speaks to the “big” questions. Adam Graham raises one of these questions in his poem “Why?”:

Knowing the answer,

Understanding why,

It is the human quest

The word we think will restore,

But the answer to the question

Often wounds more than it heals.

The sun falls and the carnival lights flick on. The glare of white light contrasts with the presence of “white space” in our lives. The multimedia group of the World Haiku Club used the theme of white space as a recent exercise. Lary collected these submissions into a web page listing them (one poem by soji is highlighted here):

In the night time, whimsy makes itself known. Flights of fancy continue in the evening carnival. All rules are suspended (even the rule that says you had to write a poem of six lines to be featured in this carnival). From Poet Billy Jones comes Six Lines:

Six lines, but Sir, you surely jest.

Six lines, but Sir, I must protest.

Six lines, all right I’ll give my best

and do it with but four.

The end of the day approaches. For some, the carnival has been a time of enjoyment and frivolity. For us, though, the carnival has taught lessons not soon forgotten. From Presbypoet’s “Poems From God” comes “Being Corrected”:

Thank you for ripping out my heart.

Leaving it bleeding cut to ribbons.

Thank you for teaching

how little I know.

Thank you for showing

what I was too blind to see.

At the end of the night, the lights of the carnival go out and sudden darkness returns:


a sudden vastness

between stars


The carnival pulls out of town. Where will it set up next? Who will be part of the mad funhouse? What abandoned field will next be enlivened by its frolic and froth?

And what of our abandoned field? All left alone again to rest and reflect? I end the carnival with the 13th featured poem (we all know the power of 13 and carnival), an original of mine called “Empty Field”:

Empty field

silent in the moonlight . . .

carnival moved on

And now for a “Mea Culpa” — I missed one poem!! Renee Wagemans submitted a poem from her blog, Words to Go With, entitled “Dance in Memory Lane”.

All I can say is “Mea Culpa”, and here is the poem:

Thanks to everyone who submitted a poem for this month’s Poetry Carnival. Thanks especially to Andrew Nichols (aka Dan Weasel) for the invitation to host this month’s carnival. For future poetry carnivals, visit Dan’s web page!



  1. carnival was great
    gotta get gum off my shoe
    and shelve this stuffed bear

  2. Nice work on the carnival. Loved the idea of a theme. I just wish they were all blogs, or at least that I could leave comments to them all!

    Regardless, great job!

  3. Great job! We have linked to your edition of the poetry carnival at the blog carnival archive.

  4. i thank all you wonderful poets for giving me an introspective and enlightened tour of your poetry carnival – i enjoyed the ride and read – thank you for sharing!!!

  5. I always forget that there’s an actual Carnival of Poetry. Of course, my work is more haiku doggerel than serious, but I did use a linked haiku (hyperlinked, that is), as the introduction to the first Asian History Carnival

  6. Thanks for your MEA CULPA
    it is accepted to the maximum
    It looks great

  7. far beyond
    moon leaps

    far beyond moon frog leaps

    onto full

    PLASH !

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