Green Hills Literary Lantern

Serpent and Wheel


The serpent is a kind of crazy ride –

The topmost part looks something like the wheels

Malefactors would lie broken on in some

Brueghel – but huge, golden, wooden, descending

In coils and one half the height of the giant

Ferris wheel

                        (which viewed from one direction

It stands before but not as close as the track

On trestles that seems to cut the wheel in half).


Stand here with your back to the sunset and watch

The serpent, the big wheel, the track lines like

A grid all bright lights, enjoy a vivid sense

Of the excitement of these old time road-

Side attractions without having to get

Sick to your stomach yourself or too dizzy,

Think of the scene as inside a handmade frame:

Think of it as the consolation of art.





Gregory Jerozal is the author of Time and Place, the 1998 winner of the Palanquin/TDM Prize. His verse has appeared in Pivot, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Ship of Fools and many other print journals. Online, he has been published by Little Brown Poetry, LOS, and RIO among others.  He lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania until he died unexpectedly, from heart failure (age 57), on March 25, 2006.