When the traveling circus finally closed its tents,
all of the animals were left to their own destinies.
Some went forth into the forests and, once away
from the snares of men, were able at last to exhale.
Others, having been inspired by their human owners,
entered into politics and quickly became compromised.
A few considered penning sad memoirs of their time
in captivity, but few among men would understand.
If one only sits in the gallery eating treats, how can they
know what it’s like to be driven on by a cracking whip?
Another kind of whip is cracking over our heads now.
If you doubt it, look into your body and notice the fear.
We are all circus animals, performing at the behest
of uninspected programs, ambivalent motives,
conditioned cravings and aversions.
They lead us around by the nose from birth to death
in a perpetual vicious circle, so we never come to rest.
There once was a time when wishful young children
used to dream of running away to join the circus.
Be that rare one who dares to walk away from it.