The Circus Came to Town – a poem by Dee

The Circus Came to Town. Photo of big top
The Circus Came to Town. Photo by Marja van Bochove
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The lights, the signs, the tents, the price
All meant to lure us and entice.
We watch those beautiful animals cringe
when the whip is cracked
and they feel unhinge.

They dare not show what they really feel
lest they risk not getting a meal.
What we see has nothing to do
with what is happening behind this rouse.

Those beautiful beasts who once were king
and ruled the jungle and all living things
have now been reduced to a cowardly lot
Caged, abused, and likely to rot.

They bear the scars of being beaten
Heaven knows when they’ve last eaten
They live in a hell where they have no choice
It’s up to us to be their voice.

Post your own signs aside of theirs
Take their power
and don’t give a care

It’s not good enough to just stand around
And let the circus come to town.

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14 thoughts on “The Circus Came to Town – a poem by Dee”

  1. That’s a beautiful and touching poem Dee.

    Those wild animals endure miserable lives and it’s a crime that in the 21st century we still allow circuses to exploit them in this way. The trouble is until the public boycott them, they will continue to exist.

  2. When I was Kid .I went to the circus and the zoo.I had no idea what went on with the animals. Havent been to a circus in 50 years and no zoo in 30 years. the poem made me cry.

    1. Sorry Dee I meant circuses, I was in an unholy rush to let Walter outside, should have waited and taken my time. Anyway as well as hating zoos I hate circuses, I despise our present government for failing to legislate against wild animals being used for entertainment in circuses despite promising to and I hate the people who encourage the use of animals saying they enjoy it and telling us how well looked after they are. I also hate theme parks where animals are on show for crowds to gawp at, I know that things have improved a lot since I last visited a zoo which was around 40 years ago but my abiding memory of that visit is a miserable elephant in a concrete enclosure. Your poem is sad and evocative of the stark misery those animals must endure.

      1. Babz, does your local council not enforce it’s own ban on circuses with performing wild animals?

        My local council in Bedfordshire has had such a ban in place since at least the 1980’s. I was never interested in visitng the circus as a child, but as an adult was persuaded to see a very, small family run circus visiting from Europe. It was mainly human performers, so you can imagine my surprise when a man did a “big cat” act with 6 moggies. Those cats were besotted with the guy and I couldn’t believe how happy they were to sit patiently on a stool awaiting their turn to perform with him. After the show I went backstage to meet him and he explained they were all rescue cats and he just based the show on the games they naturally liked to play. This is the same principle that Yuri Kuklachev used to found the Moscow Cat Theatre.

        1. No I don’t think so Michele, not that long ago I was asked to go and help demonstrate outside of a circus that was in a nearby town, protesting against their use of animals, I couldn’t go unfortunately but a small crowd gathered, and sadly was ignored while families happily took their kids in to witness the poor things being exploited and laugh at their “tricks” and applaud.

          1. Oh that’s a shame Babz. With an election coming up and lots of potential door-stepping from local candidates, perhaps you can raise this point with them.

            I know I’ll be asking them about their animal welfare policies. Those are what matter most to me since it makes no financial difference to me which party is in power. I’m too poor to be of interest to the Conservatives and not quite poor enough for Labour to be interested in me either 🙁

  3. Nice work Dee. Thanks for letting me publish it. Your poem reflects my sentiments precisely. I wish there were no zoos and no reasons for zoos. If we had a better attitude towards all wild animals we’d leave them alone and leave them room to live.

  4. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    Brilliant Dee, your poem says it all, you capture the fear and despair of the animals perfectly.
    It breaks my heart that circuses exist, that animals who should be living wild and free are abused into behaving unnaturally to entertain gawping idiots.
    Circuses should be in the history books by now.

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