Serious Clowning


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


20 thoughts on “Serious Clowning

  1. Like Sarah, I thought this had a surreal quality–what an odd, interesting place you lived in. I don’t know if I’d be scared or intrigued. I really like the haiku and how it tied together the essence of this strange encounter.
    Good luck with your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a curious little incident. There’s a surreal quality to it. I can see why it stuck in your head. I love the contrast between the salt marsh and the brightly coloured clown, and his seriousness as well.


    1. Hi Frank, I like your comment. I’ve just been editing my upcoming book of haibun and come to the conclusion the whole thing is very strange indeed – it will keep people entertained anyway. 🙂


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