The steadfast dial in the great clock swings true
Ceaseless seconds and the faithless hour anew
Luminous tiers aloft thwart the starlight gleaming
Cast shadows across the midway teeming
Wishing well in the cobblestone square aflame
From ashes forlorn a logo unnamed
Languorous chant in the mutated dawn
Smoke thick and bounteous mirrors the curtains have drawn

Sedated crowds parade to a sentinel beat
Heedless murmurs keep count but never speak
Beguiling aroma a sugary scent
In swirls unseen a flagrant content
Dismal dreamers seize the clench of fate
The wary steal furtive nearer the gate
Banners soar heinous in glorious flight
Prophets forgotten make off into the night

Secret eyes in the tower vigil never slumber
Fade peculiar in and out in restless plunder
Watch with delight from windows ever veiled
The show their guard and patrons their jailed
On the grandiose brink and triumphant after
A circus revealed in benighted laughter
Where nothing quite real and all a lie
And the show must go on neath the blue canvas sky

The grand stage adorned in big top jewels
Sanctioned imps on the dais toss pestilent stool
Robots march kindred with batons spinning ready
Bridled dogs strike mad when the bell tolls steady
Jesters buffed shiny with noses that grow
Garish ribbons tucked neatly wrapped in a bow
Croon in the limelight a jingle off time
Barren words ring wily a comforting rhyme

The crystal orb fades sudden a ghostly dim
And the gypsy leaps back with eyes open grim
Tailored faces of crimson foreboding appear
Coming merrily to a grandstand near
To fall befitting in scripted defeat
And endear the enraptured together they keep
For without the wicked there can be no story
For without peril there can never be glory


The theaters less where curtains stay open
A constant marquis in light never broken
Fallacies of present in cunning design
Capture the fleeting with willful malign
Fables of all things past rendered with aim
Portrayed on a stage unfamiliar with shame
The set reconfigured but nothing has gone
No need for concern as the show must go on

They gather many at the house of pretend
Parcelled horde from the doors does orderly trend
Disparaging faces glare back in dismay
Scorn a drifter wondrous lively astray
A signal approves and tethered they jaunt
Ahead to the jolt of a cerebral prompt
In uniform passages of sundry light
Listless eyes come to life in wonderful blight

Copious colors in strife on walls of shun
But one must believe or they fade to one
Through the lofty dome an outlandish production
Midnight moon dips low in frivolous seduction
From the baseboard chasm the serpent looms
Striking those who fear most its venomous doom
Indeed one may have all things dread
Indeed one may have anything said

A dashing spectacle in the midway tide
The nimble wizard draws his shutters wide
In white linen robe he ponders the gate
Curious wand in hand he placidly waits
To turn the wretched a king and the noble a tramp
The thoughtless righteous and the wise a scamp
The meek a treasure and the daring bane
False a jubilation and truth inane

Zombies break dizzy from the fluster of cluster
Praise the grand tower over the midway luster
In scarlet light the owners huddle in scheme
Ancient eyes sparkle still a youthful gleam
Watch the ageless machine forever strain
Press circus tokens into impalpable chains
The jangle midway ajingle in the jolly dawn
Where all the world a great circus and the show must go on


In the gypsy tent eerily forsaken
Shadows stretch higher as twilight awakens
When the smoky orb seethes ghastly and smolders with zeal
And at last in angst does plainly reveal
Beneath the pose of the frequent soul
Lingering precarious in everlasting whole
Lunacy waits always in hesitation
Never but a soft nudge from realization

Golden gods abreast in the vanquished sky
Guileful angels amass in the sacred halls awry
Traitorous boots afoot in the streets of surrender
Vile prophets abound at pulpits of engender
Silence in the park near the riverside place
Strangers once neighbors pass swift in disgrace
Ducklings in cages where eagles once tread
Cherished words on withered pages that mourn their dead

A child bewildered in the cobblestone square
Tattered card in hand in the tremulous air
Turns it over again in burgeoning fright
Discovers no change in the altered light
Solemn he wished the cryptic dial along
When beyond the moat wall a meadow came strong
And a voice carried slight on a pensive breeze
Then vanished uncanny in fog thick from the trees

Those who know much about things insincere
Chuckled primly and swore it was never clear
The mute in the house of pretend held bay
Admitting nothing that might upset their day
The baffled wizard grinned wry and did fairly contend
A fool easily made is not well to mend
And with a staunch shudder his shutters he closed
Then the show must go on was all he supposed

Yet scarce on a breeze that once passed in haste
In the infinite mist there remains a trace
A forbidden voice speaks faint its undying word
Not meant to preen the feathers of a weeping bird
Nor charm rosy dupes cradled in unblemished glass
For the hour now late and that time has passed
In the meadow it waits beyond the moat wall
Where the free search long for its beckoning call