Three Circus Poems by Tanya Bryan

The Applause

She loves the gasps
From the audience below
As her lithe body
Falls through his grasp
Defiance of gravity
Held up by silks so smooth
Rough hands would rip through
But hers are soft
As she lets herself slip
To the firm ground
She tosses her mane
Of hair as she accepts
Her reward: the applause.

Knife Thrower

Pinned to a spinning board
Like a human butterfly
The blades come so close
They whisper in her ear
About how death is near
Before they penetrate
The wood all around her
Knifepoint roulette
Life wins tonight

Once Upon An Acrobat

The acrobat is poised in the centre ring
Turning from a statue to a sword
A weapon against gravity
Speaking in leaps and somersaults
A language and story of agility and skill
The acrobat takes charge of the mat
Tumbling as words on a page
Footfalls precisely rehearsed
Striking the ground like typewriter keys
Ending not with a period
But an exclamation point


Tanya Bryan is a poet, writer, and photographer living in Toronto, ON, who is currently working on a novel set in a circus. She can be found on Twitter @gnomeyg where she posts haikus, short fiction, and observations of the weird.