The Village Clown



“Everyone hates clowns,” Otis said. “Even other clowns hate clowns.”
― Rick Riordan


The clown pictured above

does not wander around during the day

terrifying children

nor does he creep through the shadows at night

terrifying adults

he stands


on the mantle

over the fireplace

in the bar

of a local restaurant

he plays a silent tune

on the brass instrument

which he has held for so long

that it is now a part of him

and keeps his gaze


from all the other clowns

he sees passing by

getting tipsy

sharing their talkative tunes

in the circus

of social interaction

he’s stopped waiting

stopped watching

he is not here

for your entertainment

he is




“Damn everything but the circus!”
― E.E. Cummings



when I saw him

I laughed

not with mockery

but with love

of a memory

as a child

my father took me

to what seemed like

a hundred circuses

big and small

in one season

he was inspired

to paint

the colours and life of the big top

(his cirque series opened to rave reviews

with only a few dissenters

the collectors who wished he’d stick to only painting girls on the beach

and the critics who criticised him for being too commercial

for only painting girls on the beach

who had to find a new way to critique him)

he always painted himself

as a clown

(his other self portraits were when he painted children)

he claimed in his bio

that he had run away as a teen

to join the circus

I’ll never know if that was true

or something he wanted to be true

he has passed away

but his spirit

like that of the clown

lives on

some candles never burn out

or melt away


“When you put on a clown suit and a rubber nose, nobody has any idea what you look like inside.”
― Stephen King