Carnival – Alyson Faye

jugglers juggle, tumblers tumble, stilt walkers stumble

Alyson lives in the UK, writing dark fiction and poetry, which has appeared on the Horror Tree site, in anthologies – DeadCades, Women in Horror Annual 2, Trembling with Fear 1 &2, Coffin Bell Journal 1.Her poetry has appeared on Words for the Wild, the charity anthology Indra’s Net, The Five-Two, Stories from Stone and as part of an ‘exquisite corpse’ poem on space and time magazine. She performs at open mics, teaches, edits and lives with her family which includes 4 rescue animals.


Under the canopy of stars

garish side stalls huddle,

jugglers juggle,

tumblers tumble,

stilt walkers stumble.

Its beating heart – the carousel’s stable 

of peeling painted steeds 

froth and rear.


Candyfloss lips, sugar cane steps,

miniature Charlie Chaplins dance 

eating liquorice shoelaces gripped in grubby fists.


tug, rip their tethers

stippling amber sky

in primary palettes. Pop guns burst, 

hot dogs and liverwurst.


Behind black lace veils

Esmeralda, Palm and Tarot Reader promises

a long life, gentle dreams, 

no savage losses, rich with Hope –

A Depression’s richest currency.


The carnies toss up guy ropes,

paint their faces, mutating

into clowns, gurning for the crowds.

Spinning their web of penny dreams and lies, 

laying a patina across the dusk.

 Alyson Faye

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