The Greatest Show on Earth


All this is

Is another grand gesture;



A ruse,

a trick,

some slight of hand;

made to make you

think a lie is the truth.


If I can get

you to believe

the words,

then maybe I can

find consensus in

this masquerade and

rather than

having to turn around

and face the horrors

of this burning circus;

I can just

walk away.


Freeing myself

from this high wire

that I myself have made.

Cynical positions,


and a

hypocrite’s distain.


Juggling my many

ill-conceived discourses,

my straw men

and my rage.




of whatever suits

the order of the day.


Get them in the tent.

Watch the elephants;

malnourished and diseased.

Set the clowns upon them,

great molesters

of the mind.

The kind of thing

that makes nightmares.


This is the thing they call,

“The Greatest Show on Earth”.

I cry my accusations,


but the crowd only laughs

and swells applause.

It’s healing in reverse.


No wonder I stand in

the center ring,

a pistol in my hand.

I put it to my head,

pull the trigger

and pops out a little flag.



Guilt and humiliation;

not even lions and tigers

want to play.

Sold off

to feed the freak show;

the only draw

that brings them in these days.


A loser and a charlatan.

I set a fire,

turn and walk away,

or maybe it’s an accident.

Turn the animals loose,

no one wants to stay.


Face all my accusers,

the bleachers full

of faces I’ve distained.

I’ve worn away my welcome,

it was not supposed

to be this way.


Hurry, hurry, hurry!

Step right up!

See the man

who sold his soul

for everything,

losing his mind,

losing his life.

The circus has left town,


he’s the only show around.

The only one we like.


HG – 2018



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