Sad Clown

Emmett Kelly as his iconic clown character ‘Weary Willie’

The crowd won’t laugh,

they are far too jaded.

Don’t look at the pavement

the stars have faded

and tears sting the clown’s eyes.


His pratfalls are dangerous

and his gimmicks backfire

and when he jokes with the children

they call him a liar.

Look  down at the pavement,

the stars have faded

and returned to their place in the sky.


Now he only performs

by sheer force of will

and he’s reached his peak:

it’s a low, rolling hill.

He laughs, lest he weep

at the restaurant bill-

it looks small from his perch

on the low, rolling hill.


He performs on the street,

in the consumers’ court,

and they can’t spare him change

but they spare him a thought;

“Sad. So sad. It’s really too bad.

Life’s quite  hard these days.

No! Look at the pavement,

his star has faded

and we daren’t  meet his gaze.”


Clowning is a solemn art,

not that the punters care,

it’s hard not to be serious

when one has the king’s ear.

The jester laughed at the golden throne

and chuckled with mad King Lear

but the third act ended,

and the King looked around,

and the fool was no longer there.


The clown looks at the pavement,

his star has faded

and the harsh sun scorches his path.

He begins to move forward,

he stumbles and falls

and the crowd begins to laugh.

In my head, this poem is a  sort of companion piece for Broken Vessel Blues (Pillars of Fire and Cloud) .

via Daily Prompt: Faded


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