The bi-polar brain is…

a three-ring circus on caffeine;

incredibly entertaining as long as

you can keep the wild tigers in their cage.

In the first ring, imagination’s clowns

and their colorfully-costumed dogs

perform fantastically frisky tricks.

Random elephant thoughts

plod tails-in-trunks in the center ring;

going round and round under hot spotlights.

In the last ring, fast ideas on noisy

motorcycles race recklessly within the

locked, metal-meshed sphere of the mind.

Rising upward, visions of long-legged,

feathered women twirl dizzily from tethers

until the human cannonball is shot high into the air.

Unexpectedly, the glaring mania of lights

dim to reveal the surreal threats of a

thousand glowing souvenir light sabers.

The mood suddenly trips over an

empty cotton candy cone and tumbles

head-over-high-heels down the steep steps;

Rolling from the upper nose-bleed section,

plunging past shocked spectators to crash

into depression on saw-dusted floor of arena.

Ladeez and genteel-men, may I have your

attention pleez:  be sure to take your medications

or risk falling from the sky with no safety net below.


28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. memadtwo
    Sep 21, 2018 @ 13:10:04

    We do need a safety net for those highs and lows which you so vividly describe. (K)


  2. Frank Hubeny
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 11:25:45

    Well described. This line accentuates the height: “until the human cannonball is shot high into the air”


  3. Singledust
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 07:06:43

    being on some medications and then spiraling when off can seem like a circus going on in the brain, so well written that drove home the intricacies of the mind.


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 03:44:34

    The circus metaphor for a bipolar brain makes the struggle very clear for me… maybe the medications and other tools are like the ring-master keeping it all under control…


  5. kim881
    Sep 19, 2018 @ 01:41:36

    As someone whose brain has a ind of its own and wakes me up at night with an internal conversation, your ‘three-ring circus on caffeine’ is completely familiar. I love the contrast in the phrases ‘fantastically frisky tricks’ and ‘Random elephant thoughts’!


  6. rothpoetry
    Sep 18, 2018 @ 22:00:04

    Nice Lynn… Good advice for all. You have described the condition so well.


  7. anmol(alias HA)
    Sep 18, 2018 @ 17:46:12

    Oh, this is powerful in its portrayal of a bipolar shift — the many kaleidoscopic images in their brightness create an evocative experience of being on the high with the fall awaited without a safety net. This heck of a ride is wonderfully worded.


  8. Beverly Crawford
    Sep 18, 2018 @ 17:25:50

    An intuitive poem aptly describing the highs and lows of the bipolar brain. Well done.


  9. V.J. Knutson
    Sep 18, 2018 @ 16:30:04

    Wow – each description speaks volumes about the ‘ride’. I have seen this spin with loved us living with bi-polar disorder.


  10. Susan St.Pierre
    Sep 18, 2018 @ 16:28:18

    Wow! Well done!


  11. sarahsouthwest
    Sep 18, 2018 @ 15:46:02

    Thanks for sharing this tonight. What a great extended metaphor. I particularly like the mood tripping and falling – mood swings personified.


  12. carolsuzanne
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 22:22:52

    Good connection. Like the poem…I can hear the “Ladeeez and gentler-men”. =)


    • lynndiane
      Apr 22, 2013 @ 16:01:15

      Thanks, Carol…I woke up during the night (guess my brain was over-stimulated?) and scribbled a draft. Sometimes it’s surprising where poems take you 🙂 Enjoyed being with you and Lincoln to experience his first circus!


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