an undercover clown in circus town

there’s an undercover clown in circus town
the ringmaster snarls, they gather round
the high wire hustlers
the chainsaw jugglers
the pony riders, the white dove smugglers

an undercover clown in circus town
they’ve heard the rumours flying round
bar to bar like acrobats
giving everyone heart attacks
the girl with the knives, the guy with the axe

an undercover clown in circus town
ready to tear the big top down
but wait for the signal, everything’s ready
he’ll run in the ring looking crazy and sweaty
and THAT’S when we’ll spill his goddamn confetti

aftershow

The travelling circus is leaving town
a circle of yellow grass flattened down
no flips and tricks
but slow litter picks
and a clap of pigeons where the high wire ran

Its giant tent is loaded and gone
a blurry sun where the spotlight shone
no flying and tumbling
but a squirrel jumping
from tree to bench and back again

The flags and banners are folded and packed
the trailers hitched, the bleachers stacked
no knockabout clowns
but a dog chasing round
the reversing lights of a council van