Poppy the clown wore a red-painted grin,

but his face didn’t match for his day had been grim.

He’d burst his balloons on a sharp cactus plant,

and the puppy had chewed a big hole in his hat.

So he walked through the park with his chin on his chest,

and everyone knew this clown was depressed!


On down the line he heard a faint tune

and he knew he’d be passing the carousel soon.

“I’m way much too sad to be cheered up by that!”

and he tried not to hear through the hole in his hat.


But the tune seemed to get tangled up in his feet

and he had to work hard to resist the glad beat.

“I’ll not ride today,” Poppy said with a frown,

“I’m just an old failure, a sad sack of a clown!”


His feet took him closer, then right alongside,

and before he could stop, he was taking a ride!

Up, down and around, while the music kept pace,

and try as he would to remember his place

In the miserable scheme of that dreary old day,

Poppy started to smile and he started to play!


In no time at all his face was in line

with his red-painted smile and Poppy felt fine!

So next time you think the world’s a sad place,

just remember that clown with the smile on his face.

And how he caught gladness one day in the park

by riding a carousel out of the dark!

c.2011, Donna swanson


About dswan2

Poet, author, columnist, lyricist, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife of 50 years. Born and raised in America's Heartland
This entry was posted in EXTRAS and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Genebrother says:

    That carousel will get you back every time.
    I revisit my carousel in the morning rather then the night.
    Good read

    • dswan2 says:

      Would you believe I have not ridden on a carousel since I was ten or eleven years old? Guess that’s why I began carving them. Lucky you to live so close you can visit it daily!

  2. What a fabulous ride that was! Thanks for taking me along!

  3. Of the dozen or so poem I”ve written about the carousel, this I believe is the happiest! I know I wrote it, but I love reading it anyway. If you love what you do, you are a blessed person; and if others love it with you, that is a really big bonus! Thanks, Charles.

  4. Wonderful poetry, it made me smile. Nice, happy and bouncy, thank you I enjoyed reading this poem 🙂

  5. Jingle says:

    just remember that clown with the smile on his face.

    part of life, playful words, brilliant thoughts,
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. luna15 says:

    its clever and fantastic!

  7. Kim Nelson says:

    Oh, Donna! I love this poem. I am already quite happy today– it’s a grandson day — and this had a pick-me-up effect. I shall bookmark it for return on a low, blue day.

  8. ZQ says:

    That’s my Granny!

  9. thingy says:

    I still ride the carousels. I’m not crazy about clowns, but I’m glad he found his smile.

  10. Carousels make me dizzy, but I like the swing. While the carousel may remind us that our existences may be like a circle , without a beginning or an end , the swing tells me that the highs and lows will keep repeating itself. So why get too intoxicated by the upward swing or too depressed about the lows. I’ve begun to smile like that clown.:-) Thanks for the reminder:-)

  11. wordcoaster says:

    I really enjoyed the rhythm and cadence of this–like a verbal ride on the positive carousel. 🙂

  12. C Rose says:

    Lots of great imagery here, very clever and well composed piece! ~ Rose

  13. poetryroad says:

    I love reading your work and so does my daughter!!!

  14. Anna Montgomery says:

    Your well executed rhythm and rhymes brought to mind the wonderful Ogden Nash poem, The Tale of Custard the Dragon. If you don’t know it I encourage you to find it.

  15. Fountains says:

    LOVE the name Poppy for a clown. Your rhymes flow so easily without being cliche. Very Dr. Seuss-like. 🙂

  16. Ravenblack says:

    I will remember this.

    Thanks for this awesome poem and story. 🙂

  17. But the tune seemed to get tangled up in his feet and he had to work hard to resist the glad beat.- lovely line and lovely poem

    • dswan2 says:

      Yes, that’s one of my favorites, too. Along with “And he tried not to hear through the hole in his hat.” Thanks for dropping by.

  18. Sajeevs blog says:

    Oh! how awesome…love it when the carousel appears like a miracle out of the blue and lifts poppy’s spirits.. reminds us that there is a silver lining in every cloud:))

  19. Very cute I love the progression and the contagious joy at the end

  20. Oh I just love that, beautiful!

  21. Stephanie says:

    Just wonderful! I love this poem. You really put a smile on my face and the structure is very good as well. =)

  22. Kate says:

    this is great! so cheerful! xxx

  23. lol, I love this, surreal, indeed, Thank you, much appreciated, WS

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