Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The greatest show on earth

by the supermarket, Lynchburg, VA

'Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
Come be AmazED
we have not 3,
              not 4,
              but 6 rings
that go round n' round
           round n' round'
(the wheels on the bus go...)

'Music, please!' there's always a busker
or the universe would not be complete,
or at least
        a teen with their ear buds too loud
providing the beat - HISS/SQUEEK, stop
start/jerk(ily)

Take your seat, take your seat---
near the front---on OXYgen, she sits
eyes large behind bottle bottoms, but boys,
she's got stories & ain't afraid to use them, you'd think
she knew Harriet Tubman personally,
leading all them people to freedom

Sam, (says so on his shirt) a few seats back,
with a twitch, might be too much coffee or such,
reads the whole ride and feels each sentence,
just watch his face, the faces he makes, across the way,
underneath all those grocery bags is a person peeking out,
her kids--- the clowns---every circus has them & these
are acrobats, over/under benches, grabbing ankles
& squealing (perhaps i should not wiggle fingers
at them, encouraging) wicked grins, a haggard
chap in a stocking cap coughs wet & reeks
of his last five packs, in and out they spin,
one man that won't stop talking, but only to himself
or God, or maybe he is God, some fast, some slow,
but on and on the show must go---sideshow acts,
quirks and quacks

spit politics as if the elections not over,
spouting secession, where's the lion tamer
when you need them---& the two young lovers
in the back acting like we're not here
WE ARE!!! until our stop, that is & don't try
looking out the window, put your paper away
no 3G, 4G anGry birds---nONoNo
you'll miss---you'll mISS

THE GRRRRREATEST SHOW
        ON EARTH!

written for Poetry Jam

59 comments:

kaykuala said...

No.#1
What fun!

Hank

the walking man said...

Ya got love public transportation--until you have to use it.

Mary said...

Ha, I agree with you, Brian. Riding the bus can be a real circus. The performers change daily, but you can always expect a unique show!

kaykuala said...

All the goings-on can be quite hilarious. Bus travelers are good actors. Quite 'astounding' acting prowess. They didn't realize fun to others.

Hank

Daniel said...

I've been on a few in my day. Glad those days are in the past though!

Pat Hatt said...

Now you got that song in my head
Oh the dread
Many a bus travler can be fun to watch
Although sometimes one may want to reach for the scotch
Angry birds can be grand
Still so glad I don't have to take a bus ever again in my land

Hilary said...

No better place for people watching.

DJan said...

I ride the bus every day, and I too enjoy the show. But I'm not as talented as you at capturing them all. Loved this one, Brian! :-)

Betsy Brock said...

Thanks for taking us along. And the sign? Um....

SueAnn Lommler said...

Ha! And it is too!!
Fun ride for sure!
Hugs
SueAnn

Laurie Kolp said...

Thanks for the crazy bus ride... I especially like the 4th stanza.

Margaret said...

perhaps i should not wiggle fingers
at them, encouraging

or maybe he is God...

Ha this whole poem is so enjoyable - a testament to your ability to observe! I need to try and do this. I wonder, do you jot down notes as you sit there or is it truly just in retrospect?

G-Man said...

I've ridden the bus literally THOUSANDS of times. I've actually been thrown UNDER the bus a few times as well....
You observe well Grasshopper.

Susan said...

Yes! As if a movie cam circling in to turn it inside out as a warning: don't miss this! I like the pic too as the rules turn off all the show--or would if observed. What a world. After the acrobats clowns and storytellers, I love
"spit politics as if the elections not over,
spouting secession, where's the lion tamer . . ."
But mostly, I love the voice you choose here, as if young and observing the show for the first time: enthusiasm without (much) satire.

Brandee Shafer said...

I'd be so busy watching the clowns (my kids) that I'd miss the rest. :)

ReBelle said...

That you can elevate what passes for mundane to most of us is outstanding. Enjoyed reading this.
Good capture of the circus barker.

Valerie said...

Loved this, Brian. I must have got on the wrong buses, there was never such a superb show as you witness. I think I should emigrate.

Six Feet Under Blog said...

Love your insight of that ride. lol

Daydreamertoo said...

LOL.... Wooo hooo what a ride!
The greatest show on earth. Joe public.
Ab Fab write.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I LOVE THIS!!!!!! Bus ride as circus - absolutely perfect!

Myrna R. said...

This reminded me so much of riding the subway or bus in N.Y. when I was young. I was an avid people watcher. Others read, but I watched and made up about the people. Indeed, the greatest show on earth.

Nice write as always Brian. I love how your mind works - transforming everyday things to provocative poetry.

Claudia said...

haha...nothing better than the everyday madness in a bus or subway...who needs 3G anyway then..or a tv..or a book...just cool enough to watch the people

LadyCat said...

Reminds me of the Joan Osbourne song...
"What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home"

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Wonderful! Really well done!

Peggy said...

I totally missed that this is about riding the bus until I read the other comments and went back. And yes it is a wonderful description of riding a bus! Quite the circus indeed.

Tara Miller said...

aahhh life....new and amazingly different every day. This was fun!!

Mary Mansfield said...

This is brilliant! Really reminds me of one of the few times in my life that I've ridden on public transit for sure. Nothing like bunching strangers together in a confined space to bring out that crazy circus spirit!

Alice Audrey said...

It might be the greatest show on earth, but it's also the same show as yesterday and the day before.

Dolly@Soulstops said...

What a lively show as I read your words...praying God will comfort you as you minister to others...take time to let Him comfort you/ wrap arms of love round you tight...read your comment at Emily's...so sorry, Brian...

SaraV said...

You completely nailed this! Used to ride the bus all the time and it is the greatest show on earth (though I kept my nose in a book to avoid being "hit on") Really enjoyed this :-)

Poet Laundry said...

Ha! You epitomized that 'so much going on at the circus' feeling with this write. Definitely so much to see...great write.

Goofball said...

:) I can see it

Helen said...

Planes and trains and automobiles ~~ oh yes, the show goes on!

Maggie May said...

I've spent many a journey people watching!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

lori mcclure said...

Ha-ha, this is awesome. I think you've captured the circus well, and what a circus it is sometimes. This would be a fun one to hear aloud. Love it!

One of my favorite bits:

"one man that won't stop talking, but only to himself
or God, or maybe he is God, some fast, some slow,
but on and on the show must go---sideshow acts,
quirks and quacks"

Friko said...

We only have one bus a day in the valley, and that’s no use because of the time it runs. everybody uses the car. I am not sure that I don’t prefer it that way, if your bus ride is as colourful as your poem says it is.
On the other hand, it would be perfect for people watching.

Grace said...

You took me along with you ~ I specially like the way you describe Sam ~ Have a wonderful day Brian ~

Mama Zen said...

Marvelous write, Brian!

Paige said...

AMAZING. your mind is soso creative and you are wonderfully observant of mankind, brian.

Tracie Skarbo said...

Such great fodder for characters and story excercises. Not at all wonderful for a great sense of olfaction however! :)

RMP said...

talk about one great show! that was definitely a fun trip...glad I didn't close my eyes or I might have missed all the fun.

farawayinthesunshine said...

I love your keen sense of observation of your human companions...I miss riding the bus...a great show it was indeed :-)

Cloudia said...

"Stop the world - I want to get off"



Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Annmarie Pipa said...

right before our very eyes, the truth stranger than fiction.

Tabor said...

You never seem to miss your life. No angry birds distract you from the reality that is your television. In the moment is a wonderful place to be.

Dave King said...

This cracked me up more than once. Esp. lines like:-
spit politics as if the elections not over,
spouting secession, where's the lion tamer
when you need them---

A delicious write. Totally so.

Sue said...

It is kind of a circus, isn't it?

;)

Eva Gallant said...

I felt like I was on that bus with you! Great stuff!

Rachel Hoyt said...

I feel like I was on the bus / at the circus with you! Love your poems. I definitely think we need a Lion Tamer about now... but I'm not keeping my scooter off the sidewalk. Ha! :P

Raven said...

I lived within this moment ... perfectly captured!

Dana Dampier said...

Yes... public transportation is a lot like the circus. You never know what's going to happen next, but you can count on it being entertaining!

Thanks again for checking in on me. Life is tough right now, but nothing I can't handle. It sometimes doesn't allow me time to write though.

Victoria said...

I have to ask...do you ever share your poetry with the kids you teach/counsel? So much wisdom here.

Syd said...

I really haven't ridden the bus or the train in a long time. But I can imagine that it is an interesting slice of America.

poeticlicensee said...

Plenty of bus duty under this belt...

Lolamouse said...

Yes, you do see some of the best acts by just people watching! Great poem, Brian!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing the upside down sign..."by the supermarket, Lynchburg, VA"
I must say you have captured in your very descriptive [poetic] words the circus that can [sometimes] take place on public transportation.

deedee :)

ayala said...

I love watching people...great write..getting around to reading all your posts that I missed. So sorry about your students...tough week. Hugs.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Makes me almost miss my days of taking public transportation everywhere. Every ride I met someone interesting!

my heart's love songs said...

people watching always reminds me of being at a circus. {smile}