Under the Big Top
The Circus
Red Skelton

The circus!  The magical city
That appears and disappears
With the bat of an eye.
A cathedral for children and adults,
Made of canvas and trimmed with red wagons.

A sunburst of wheel, pink lemonade and cotton candy.
A temple housing the unity of man and beast...
All performing for the good of their fellow man,
With shouts of glory.

The performers'only reward is the echo of the applause
And laughter of children.
It cradles them to sleep,
As the red wagons roll from city to city.

A lesson in humanity,
Where man and beast risk life and limb
For the meager reward of applause.
How sad it would be if my youth would pass away
And not see the beauty of the big red wagons
And taste the rare vintage of pink lemonade!

Oh, keep me young,
Without prejudices, without haste,
So that I will be young,
So that my heart will be filled with glee,
Next year, when the big red wagons roll in again!

This poem was written by Mr. Skelton as a tribute to his dad, Joe
Skelton, who was a circus clown.  They never met, his dad died two
months before Red Skelton was born.
There is no greater picture than that of 10,000 smiling children.  No brighter music than
their clear-ringing laughter.  That I, with my small amusements, have created such
precious art is my life's proudest achievement.  
-- P. T. Barnum

We're all here for a spell, enjoy all the good laughs you can. -- Will Rogers
The Big Top
Joyce Kilmer

The boom and blare of the big brass band is cheering to my heart;
I do like the smell of the trampled grass, the elephants and the hay;
I take off my hat to the acrobat, with his delicate, beautiful art,
And the motley mirth of the chalk-faced clown drives all my cares away.

I wish I could feel as they must feel, these players brave and fair,
Who nonchalantly juggle death before a staring throng.
It must be fine to walk a line of silver up in the air,
And to cleave a hundred feet of space with a gesture like a song.
Man could direct his ways by plain reason and support his life by tasteless food,
but God has given us wit, and flavor, and brightness, and laughter to enliven the
days of man's pilgrimage.  
-- Sydney Smith

The world of reality has its limits, the world of imagination is boundless.
--  Jean Jacques Rousseau
~When I grow up, I want to be a little boy.~ Joseph Heller