I’ve only been to one circus in my life. It was when I was a young child. The whole thing bemused me. I felt sorry for the animals and I didn’t like the clowns. While I wouldn’t say I am afraid of them I’ve never really overcome the feeling that clowns have a pathetic, even tragic, quality.
Here’s a haibun I wrote about an encounter I had with a clown as an adult. This haibun is included in my e-book of haibun that will be released next week.
On a quiet Saturday afternoon a clown in a campervan pulled up in my driveway. At the time I lived in a lonely house on the edge of a saltmarsh. It was a place of shifting mists and lengthy silences. Misfits, artists and ferals lived thereabouts and sometimes came to visit so when the clown jumped out of a campervan I wasn’t all that surprised.
He’d lost his way he said and was late for an engagement at a children’s birthday party. I gave him directions then, curious, asked where he’d come from. He told he’d driven down from the city some three hours away. He’d worn his clown clothes complete with orange floppy wig, red plastic nose and full clown makeup the whole way. He was a very serious clown and didn’t seem to think there was anything odd about that.
Out of the blue
with no rhyme or reason
– serious clowning