State Fair



State Fair 

When the days shorten

         and the nights lengthen,

          the yellow lotus leaves

         rain on the patio day and night.

And in this time, the Naked Ladies

         ask to be called Amaryllis Belladonna

         and quit blooming.

This is the time of the harvest bounty,

         beautifully displayed

          in the Farmers' Market.

Backpacked students

         trudge to school.

Thus starts the black mourning

         for summer.

Winter's first feints are mild

         and merely telegraph

         the knockout punch.

Then a bribe to avoid black panic.

The State Fair is offered as

         a comma between bright and bleak.

A bright smorgasbord        

         of entertainment

         to make 45,000 people

         smile and live for the day. 

For 50 years, not a missed Fair

         each year always the same.

First stop, the Merry-Go-Round

         where there is never a frown,

          and children smile

          in appreciation and anticipation.

Parents laugh

         as cameras snap.

Up and down

         and round and round.

No one is ever sad at the carousel.

Miles and miles

         of kitchen gadgets.

Mop the floors with no effort.

Shine your glasses and shoes.

Chop your vegetables

         and cook with no water.

Buy a belt, a hat or

         a solar panel.

Sign up for this or that.

Everywhere the prattle

         of the barker.

Same merchandise, same spiel,

         new barker.

Practice at loud deception,

         a perfect vita for

         TV news positions.

 Double gold, best-of-show wine tasting.

Once in a life-time,

         so buy, try and enjoy!

Vet students' animal nursery,

         laughing children

         and sleeping sows.

Goodbye to this happy Brigadoon

         with a ride on the overhead trolley.

Down there on the ground --

         45,000 smiling faces.

Forgotten for the moment,

         cancer, foreclosure, death

         and divorce.

The coming winter can be tolerated.

Doug Minnis

November 2008 














What is the attraction to bring me on a very hot day to see what I ahve seen every year for the past half century? I am sure the reason is not rational