dVerse Poetics: Amuse Me

Today is Poetics at the dVerse Poets Pub. Lillian is prompting us to write about amusement parks, rides, etc. Come visit the Pub to read these poems at: https://dversepoets.com/2017/03/14/amuse-me-take-me-for-a-ride/ Hopefully, they will make you smile.

For Sale
The rides are silent and still
the games are shuttered
and the food booths are empty

Trash blows about the Park in the winter wind.

The carousel has some heads feet horns
broken from the magical creatures
that lost their magic an age ago

a tattered piece of red balloon
hangs from a lone dart stuck
in the back of the Darts! Game booth.

rat wanders into a deserted food stand, sniffs and leaves.

A tattered For Sale sign hangs
cattywhampus on the fence
that closes the place off from the rest of the world.

Our tattered dreams blow about the Park in the winter wind.


Image result for closed amusement parks public domain

public domain photo

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lillian
    Mar 14, 2017 @ 21:56:49

    Oh this is so haunting…..Riverview Park in Chicago closed in, I think, 1967….we drove by the empty lot a number of years ago and that, in itself, was haunting. The images you give here, the life signs now dead, and the rat that walks away dejected with no spoils….haunting indeed.


  2. whimsygizmo
    Mar 14, 2017 @ 22:41:09

    Oh, man. This makes me think of abandoned theme parks and midways and piers, everywhere. Haunted, really. Wonderful work, Toni.


  3. maria
    Mar 14, 2017 @ 23:29:16

    Aww.. I echo your thoughts Toni. One of the saddest places to be. Sigh.


  4. rosemawrites
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 00:12:47

    oh. oh this clenches the heart. a happy place became one of the saddest. -_- love how your descriptions showed the transition.


  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 01:42:03

    Love how you picture the deserted fairgrounds. I can hear the echo of laughter that’s gone.


  6. frankhubeny
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 01:50:51

    The amusement parks in winter lose much of their charm.


  7. kim881
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 04:33:25

    I love the Gothic feel of this poem, Toni. It reminds me of that Ray Bradbury story and the fairground in Silent Hill (a game my husband used to play and which completely drew me in – it was actually quite scary). There are three lines that sum it up so well:
    ‘a tattered piece of red balloon
    hangs from a lone dart stuck
    in the back of the Darts! Game booth’.
    and the rat! Even the rat left!


  8. therisa
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 04:36:26

    Felt like crying, as your poem describes, the end of innocence that these parks and piers, represent to us. As the harsh reality of everyday life, rears its ugly head. To paraphrase, Frank, the winter of our childhood.


  9. paul scribbles
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 06:29:17

    Perfect. I was tempted to tread this path but was pulled elsewhere. I’m glad I didn’t though. This says it so well.


  10. Just Barry
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 12:34:55

    Wow. An amusement park where even the rats have given up on it. Such desolation in stark contrast to the joy and wonder this place once championed for kids. I’ll echo the haunting sentiments already mentioned by others. This is a great write.


  11. Glenn Buttkus
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 13:18:30

    Yes, bang on, fantastic & nostalgic. Many of us remember POP in Long Beach, Playland in Seattle–& the list goes on & on. Just the traveling carnivals & annual fairs left now. In the 50’s, every weekend one could take a date to he nearest amusement park–all just slipped away, like phone booths & drug store soda shops.


    • kanzensakura
      Mar 15, 2017 @ 16:46:29

      Ahhh, but I know where there are several drug store soda shops still in operation and still dishing up the same grub they did 65 years ago. And three of them are within a one hour drive of me. My husband and I have a weekend planned to go to one of the towns and eat lunch at the drug store along with doing other things in town.


  12. Misky
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 16:50:23

    There’s something very unsettling about a deserted fairground. It’s spooky!


  13. Beverly Crawford
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 18:44:54

    What a haunting picture of a defunct amusement park. We had one in my city which sat deserted for years, and finally was cleared and is now a community of middle-income houses, all traces of the old park gone. Your poem brought back memories. Thank you.


  14. Imelda
    Mar 15, 2017 @ 21:32:53

    There is a haunting beauty to this and this reminds me of the ghostly beauty of abandined places.


  15. Bekkie Sanchez
    Mar 16, 2017 @ 12:10:09

    I like the nostalgic feel of this piece and the dark undertone.


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