Cotton candy is, yes, is angel hair
spun out while merry-go-rounds whirl full-speed
with satisfaction fully guaranteed
in the local splendor of Blake’s Prairie Fair.

Surely the most pageant-magic carnival
since ’17, when Carrie Nation broke
whiskey bottles, and poor old Bryan spoke
silver-tongued on Charles Darwin’s downfall.

The world was bigger. Ferris wheels were taller,
in all those lost Blake’s Prairie days, my dear:
You fueled your laughter with a nickel beer,
and bought a plot in heaven for a dollar.



Bob Schildgen is a poet and environmental writer who was managing editor of Sierra, the national magazine of the Sierra Club from 1997 to 2005. For 15 years he was author of a popular column and blogs, “Hey Mr. Green,” and published a collection of the columns in 2008.  

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4 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson


    This was fun, and pretty close to what I would call exemplary form. The ideas were very open-ended, and I can’t complain about that.

  2. Peter Hartley

    The unusual construction of the first line drew me into this poem and it kept my interest despite my not wholly understanding all its American allusions. It makes a welcome change from The usual iambic pentameter.


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