Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Tightrope Walker

 Tightrope Walker by Everett Shinn

The poem I've worked on (actually there's two of them) is supposedly a poem of a character I'm working on for my story. I've mentioned this before and I gave it a thought, whether or not it's worth putting on my blog and realized, it is. Not because it's great, but because I want to. And so I looked up a photo of "tightrope walker" and stumbled on this haunting painting from the 20s by Everett Shinn with the same title. Though my tightrope walker (also the title of my poem) is performing for an old American circus, probably sometime in the 40s I'd say, this painting is definitely a beautiful representation of what the poem could paint in your head. And of course, just look at it, it's an amazing painting. So, I just had to use it for this entry...
Anyway, here it is, my The Tightrope Walker...

The Tightrope Walker

I'm balancing a long, bending stick in my hands
as I shake along with the rope.
If I do break a sweat, I would-but I have so little of time to bother.
Behind me the setting moon...up front, the rising sun.

I'm a tightrope walker, the world my audience.

I keep mum, try my best to keep balance,
to be strong and guarded from the winds...
But you grab me from the crowd and for the first time,
I've felt a walker for one...

Still the sun ahead and the moon in the past,
I'm walking for you now, despite the world watching,
despite time flying...

My fear now is not so much of falling,
of failing to meet the sun while it's still there.
I fear that when I do fall, that when I do reach the sun, you'd be gone---
Bored out of your wits.
I'm sorry it's taking long, I'm sorry I've been here for ages,
but don't you see that I'm balancing,
and pushing
for you?

I'm way past the middle, you're still in the crowd and the world gasps...
Will I make it before you leave?
And will you find me in the crowd when this tent's down...
When we're all just ordinary people
instead of tightrope walkers and spectators? 

---G. Gotladera

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