The Demon Horse on the Carousel

The Demon Horse on the Carousel

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

The trucks came in with the travelling show

To the heart of our western town,

They set their tents in the twilight glow

And circled the wagons round,

While we, the boys of the neighbourhood

Were watching with minds alight,

The girls in the pearl bikini’s

Who would brave the trapeze that night!

 

The light sprang out of a million bulbs

In yellow and pink and green,

Lighting the booths of the grinning clowns

That you rolled a ball between,

A Carny carolled, ‘A Penny a shy!’

And leered, with his gold-capped teeth,

Like a hungry shark at the fattest Mark,  

But with eyes of a petty thief!

 

And then the music began to stir

Like a grind from an organ song,

The puffing steam of the calliope

As the crowd began to throng,

While horses bucked and lowered their heads

The Carousel went by,

Riding on into the future as

It left us, high and dry.

 

I stayed all night by the Carousel,

Watching the people ride,

Off to a magical future where

No-one grew old, or died,

The organ stuttered its music

And the steam puffed by in clouds,

As a big black horse by the inner rail

Stood wrapped in a sheet-like shroud!

 

Nobody rode that noble horse,

Nobody even tried,

The Barker motioned the folks away

When they strayed to the horse’s side,

But I stood still and hypnotised

To watch as it rose and fell,

Its mane a-stream like the darkest dream,

As dark as the deepest well!

 

I waited until they called - ‘Last ride,

The last ride for the night!’

I paid my money and climbed aboard

And went for the horse - ‘Midnight!’

The Barker stood with his back to me

Was calling the ride aloud,

So I hid beside the great black horse,

Pulled off the enveloping shroud!

 

The ride was off and away, I leapt

And clung to the horse’s mane,

Its head was tossing so high and proud,

This horse had never been tame!

The stars were high in the midnight sky,

The Moon was up and about,

But then the music began to change,

And the lights of the ride went out.

 

The wind blew up and the world went by

And the Carousel spun round,

I couldn’t see past the horses head,

We seemed to be far from the ground,

The horse got rid of its wooden pole

Whinnied, while shaking its head,

Then turned to look at the boy on its back,

And the glass in its eye glowed red.

 

The music suddenly turned around

Ran backwards around the rig,

Just like a mad asylum sound,

It seemed like a whirligig,

While ‘Midnight’ galloped on through the stars

And bucked and pranced in the air,

And I grew sick with a deadly fear

I’d be thrown off its back out there!

 

The ride continued for hour on hour,

We travelled down to the core,

I saw some visions of what might be…

I don’t want to see any more!

‘Just take me back to the town,’ I cried,

‘Just let my nightmare be!’

The horse looked on me with glowing eyes,

I’d swear that he pitied me!

 

The lights came on in the Carousel,

The horse, it came to a stop,

I slipped and fell from the horse’s back,

And the Barker helped me up.

I felt so stiff I could barely move,

The man said, ‘and that’s why…

We never let fellows as old as you

Take the Demon Horse for a ride!’

 

David Lewis Paget


© 2012 David Lewis Paget



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Featured Review

What a splendiferous fashion! The way that you wrote out the Carousel ride made me feel as though I was riding upon the fury of a black horse through a black-starlit sky, filled with wonders . . . then only to emit a chuckle filled with a kind of non-sequitur as I was brought back to the kids ride. Truly enrapturing!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

What a splendiferous fashion! The way that you wrote out the Carousel ride made me feel as though I was riding upon the fury of a black horse through a black-starlit sky, filled with wonders . . . then only to emit a chuckle filled with a kind of non-sequitur as I was brought back to the kids ride. Truly enrapturing!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very nice David. I have read a lot of Poe, Lovecraft, Derleth and Lumley into what influences me when I write horror, and you have all those classical psychological elements that are missing from a lot of today's mass market horror fiction. Bizarre characters and settings, forbidden acts and temptations, and darkly unsettling and twisted endings. And nowhere in this poetic tale did you need to invoke a shred of modern "splattergore" in an attempt to shock your audience, its the story itself that did all the disturbing. I hope students of the macabre, and all the wannabe horror authors, pay attention and take a lessons from how real terror is achieved.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fond memories of childhood. The black horse was my favorite on the ride. When I grew older, I rode a black horse. This brought back memories. Love your style as always.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You are a master indeed! a great story, thrilling and breathtaking language and imagery

I bow to your skills

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

BADASS!!! I LOVE THE RYTHYM .. I LOVE THE STORY, I LOVE THE IMAGERY!>>> BEST POEM I'VE READ TONIGHT>>UPLIFTING!! ..

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

riding Midnight in the twilight of one's life...we bite off a bit more than we can chew sometimes...i am not into really long poetry but this one caught my attention early and kept it.

and it reminded me of something that happened in my youth when i got kicked by a wooden horse.
the july 4 carnival was setting up across the street from where i lived. we used to visit it as kids, explore so to speak.

i lifted up the canvas of the carousel and stuck my head up under to see what i could see...but instead of seeing anything, my head hit the steel foot rest, and it split my head open. quite a bit of blood...my friends walked me home, and when my mom saw me, (pretty funny) she said, "you aren't coming in my house dripping all that blood, so she took the hose to me.

was hard to live that event down..in fact, it still follows me.

thanks for reminding me..ha ha...but in all honesty...this is a wonderful poem...

a ride worth getting a ticket for.

jacob

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Amazing story that really carries the reader into the scenes and this is one of your excellent pieces of work that display your mastery of the art, similar to "China Blue". I like the suspense and excitement here like the gallop of the horse and the end lines really creating a magnificent impact.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

a great mix of fear and humor in this piece. I've always been fascinated by carousels (and horses)
ts mane a-stream like the darkest dream,
As dark as the deepest well!
I liked that line especially. The entire poem has a wonderful flow to it - a cadence that adds even more depth to the story being told.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was a wonderfully imaginative story. The words painted a fantastic and fun story. I enjoyed reading this poem.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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2829 Views
48 Reviews
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Shelved in 6 Libraries
Added on December 19, 2011
Last Updated on June 28, 2012
Tags: show, horses, organ, old

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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