We two escapees from
a fastnacht on the Rhine
watch King Neptune lasso
girls with Nehru chains
and Shanah the belly dancer
clouds the eyes of men
from her Arabian float
gliding down Canal.

Balconies are crammed with friends
urging the Queen to join them
before the drunken bacchanal.
Her court has worked all year
gilding and beading the swan
on which she enters Royal Street.

Will the drunks destroy her
or let her progress through the realm?
Children are stamping their feet
for candy kisses she throws
staving off insult and pain
from snakedancers who come
to worship Dionysus late.

Strippers stand in doorways
waving to fakirs who wink
from rolling beds of nails.

We are not invited to the ball.
We walk with urchins
in the street
wearing our masks
rattling our moose watch chains.

2 responses to “MARDI GRAS

  1. Marianne Smith

    April 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Poems from Janet Marks
    are always a treat!

    Marianne Smith

  2. Debbie Markell Hartley

    February 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Dearest Janet ~ such a lady you are. These poems are amazing; you should be so proud of your work. I know Harry (a.k.a. Daddy) would have loved and would have read them them many times over and then quizzed you on them! Thank you for this collection of deeply esoteric poems, with so many layers of story embedded within your carefully chosen words. I look forward to receiving my copy from Amazon ~ it’s already ordered. Much love from a cousin many times removed! Debbie Markell Hartley.


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