There’s eye-popping going on
When mermaids, midgets, pachyderms parade
Through the gaping American mind.
The Escape Artist waits
Until tickets are sold.
Then chains fall limp,
Handcuffs clatter into cash.
Clowns mug through wanton crowds
So line up on benches,
Let the canvas unfurl!

PTB stands aside, laughing.
Father of the fabulous humbug,
PT Barnum- Phineas Taylor- is the
Moneymaking mogul when mummy’s the word.
Delusions, impositions, quackeries, deceits:
Behold the Swedish nightingale.
Make way for the walnut carriage and
Tom Thumb’s miniature breath.
This Temple of Fortune amazes, delights,
Picks pockets with exotic purchase.

The friendly hokum is deliberate art
Connected at Siamese waist.
Leave troubles outside the flap.
Elect PTB for mayor of marvel:
He is the golden eagle flying,
Lying under cool marble,
Inviting all with coin
To join the great show
Where ball and chain

by Tim Van Schmidt

Read more: http://timvanschmidt.com/poetry/