Childhood memories

The lights mirrored in the eyes of a child,
Reflections of crayon color brilliance,
Hearts beat faster as anticipation becomes real.
With a harvest moon glow the shadows soften,
Straddling canvas tents and Kewpie doll shacks,
The noise is deafening, loud and mesmerizing,
A cotton candy air mixed with manure and diesel
Invading lungs, firing the hunger to see it all,
It is a magical potion, a delirious digesting of night,
Where there was peace and oneness, there is now
Calamity, a fractured desire that will end, tomorrow
As this county fair carnival folds into itself,
Packs its rag-tag bags in dilapidated trailers,
Disappearing with it excitement, thrilling wonderment,
Passing down the road in a flurry of exhaust fumes,
Leaving the children memories, to contemplate next year.

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour

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9 thoughts on “Childhood memories

  1. Wonderful capture of childhood’s special memories and excitements, Donald.

    I especially like these lines:

    Where there was peace and oneness, there is now
    Calamity, a fractured desire that will end, tomorrow
    As this county fair carnival folds into itself,

    Which you chose to envelop in the total experience, leading to anticipation of future fairs rather than dwelling on the loss of the ephemeral experience.

    Well done, Donald.

    Like

  2. Hi Donald,

    Looks like we’ve both been regressing! I love ” a delirious digesting of night” and
    “A cotton candy air mixed with manure and diesel” only maybe not quite so much as the first!!

    Like

  3. Donald, this wonderfully captures the details of a county fair/carnival and mixes in the child’s perspective with a dash of wistful understanding. I like how the anticipation and pleasure of the carnival of itself becomes the knowing realization that things end, that in a sense the magic in the magic wand is proved only by its losing its charm:

    A cotton candy air mixed with manure and diesel
    Invading lungs, firing the hunger to see it all,
    It is a magical potion, a delirious digesting of night,
    Where there was peace and oneness, there is now
    Calamity, a fractured desire that will end, tomorrow
    As this county fair carnival folds into itself

    This is a very deft turn in the poem. But then I like how you don’t beat us over the head with what comes next, how the poem slips back into the charm and pleasure of what really did (and does exist) even if finite, how the cycle of endings, ultimately has some other beginning.

    Like

  4. I was even able to imagine the soft colorful feathers of the Kewpie Doll! =D Thank you for including that! I love the emphasis on reflection at the beginning and the cyclic nature of the traveling carnival, returning every summer. This was a very enjoyable read, Donald. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  5. enjoyed you words again Donald….funny how those childhood days are so clear…..and and and…duh….what was i going to say…..anyways cheers

    Like

  6. I love your description and word usage in this piece. Must say that my favourites were the “delirious digesting of night” and the “county fair carnival folds into itself”. Nicely done.

    -Nicole

    Like

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