Monday, October 12, 2009

Balloon Man




Thought I'd join in TFE's weekly challenge.



The Balloon Man



This is no ordinary man.
His head is the eye of a flower.
He is held between the fact
of pavement and the fantasy of helium,
between the cash in hand
and the need to let go,
between the inhuman sheen of polyester,
and a dripping nose, no hand for hankies.
More than that, though, he is cursed.
His message is implacable.
For ten pounds he will divine your lives:
the hours bumping against a ceiling,
the long years shrivelled and burst.
At night when the streets are tar black
he will float home on a bubble of gas,
and spend the time you’re asleep
making thousands of thin smiles.

16 comments:

Titus said...

Huzzah! You're on the bus.
Obviously the week hasn't been busy enough. And why did you have to pick the same photo as me?

Loved this.

And I'm on track to see you tonight. Day can't get much better.

Titus said...

Except I forgot it's the school holidays.

Wigeon said...

Hey, we've both taken up the TFE challenge at the same time. Must be something in the air in this airt.
I really like the way you describe where balloon man 'is held' - brill.
I hope your PD session went wonderfully well tonight. Sadly I couldn't get a Wigeon sitter, a last minute hiccup here, so couldnae come with her still being so young. Trust you had a great PD.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Really like this poem.His head being the eye of a flower gets the attention from the start and I love the places he is held, particularly between the cash in hand and the need to let go.Tis the last four lines that clinch it though

'At night when the streets are tar black
he will float home on a bubble of gas,
and spend the time you’re asleep
making thousands of thin smiles.'

Which manages to be real and surreal, poetic and poignant, all in one go!Love that. Nice.Tanks ye!

Dominic Rivron said...

Good one. I also wondered if he had pockets full of lead shot to stop him floating away. (How many Tiggers, Piglets and Spongebobs would it take, I wonder?)

Poetikat said...

Lots to love about this:
His head is the eye of the flower.
no hand for hankies.
the hours bumping against a ceiling (oh,the futility!)
the thin smiles.

Really extraordinary vision you have.

Jeanne Iris said...

So much truth in that balloon man, isn't there? Love this.

Emerging Writer said...

"and spend the time you’re asleep
making thousands of thin smiles"

made me smile thinnly too.

Sorlil said...

Oh I love this one. Particularly:
'his head is the eye of a flower'
and
'making thousands of thin smiles'.

Argent said...

Oh, this is delicious! "He is held between the fact
of pavement and the fantasy of helium" I just love the contrast there. This is a great poem.

hope said...

This was one where you hooked me from the beginning with the image of his head in flower....and made me laugh about dripping nose and no hand for hankie. I can relate to that all too well this past week!

I heard you handed out balloons yourself...did you have that many to dispense? ;)

Karen said...

Very, very nice.

shug said...

titus: Remember what Ken Kesey said, you're either on the bus or off the bus

Wigeon: sorry you couldnae come,good time was had bt all- especially titus

TFE: Thanks very much indeed- it fitted in with my latest theme. I'm trying to do a wee collection about fairy stories/creepy thangs

mapstew said...

Oh for the 'fantasy of Helium'!

What fun.

S.L. Corsua said...

Hands down, this takes the spot as my top favorite among your poems I've read here. Every line is a heavyweight in terms of content, especially of description (ditto on all the praises above). ;) Cheers.

shug said...

Thanks for comments folks. I think I'll put this in the pop-up book.