Poetry Friday and RDP: Carousel of Life

One of my favorite rides at the amusement park has always been the carousel. I think it’s because on the surface, it’s predictable in it’s movement but not in where or when it starts and stops. I like routine and predictability so I am drawn to this ride. I also like the artistry of the carousel, which is embodied in the ornately painted animals and lively music played as you ride up and down and around and around. So, no matter which amusement park we’ve visited, I’ve gravitated towards the carousel.

The poem I’ve written for Poetry Friday was inspired by the daily prompt for the RagTagDaily Prompt (RDP) today – the word carousel. The carousel lends itself to be used metaphorically in my piece, as well.

A Carousel in Greece Ridge Mall. Rochester, NY. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019.

Carousel of Life

Round and round you go,
Where you’ll get off, nobody knows.

Will you pick a stallion with a mane so black; 
Or a unicorn, so unusual, your jaw will go slack?

The ride starts the minute you arrive,
Hop on or you’ll miss your life’s drive.

Round and round you go,
Where you’ll get off, nobody knows.

The music starts up after a couple of spins,
Making the ride more likely to lift your chin.

Lights blink too if you’re lucky enough
To have a fancy machine take you through all kinds of stuff.

Round and round you go,
Where you’ll get off, nobody knows.

Crowds of spectators stand by to watch,
Spinning and spinning, it’s really topnotch!

Mothers, fathers, siblings, friends and strangers, too
All there to watch and protect you from the dangers that might come due.

Round and round you go,
Where you’ll get off, nobody knows.


On this carousel ride, there are ups and downs.
The only thing certain is that the end makes you frown.

It’s over all too fast,  you see.
Choose your animal and ride, wild and free! 

Round and round you go,
Where you’ll get off, nobody knows.


© Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2021

Today’s Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. Thanks for hosting Margaret! Please take a minute to stop by her page to see an awe inspiring poem and photograph done in collaboration, as well as links to other poets/writers.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt can be found, here. If you like words and need inspiration, it is a great page to add to your arsenal. Thanks for offering the opportunity to participate to anyone!

15 thoughts

  1. The only carousel I’ve seen and ridden on lately is at our zoo, of course with zoo animals. A long time ago I took my own children to one way out on the prairie where one many has built this carousel & re-furbished cast-offs. It was so lovely. I never thought of it as a metaphor for life, but it fits this year doesn’t it? I’m glad to be “off” this ride, if even a little bit. Thanks for the ’round and round’ poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally, I love the zoo animal carousels and the zoo animals. Thank you for reading. There is a carousel in Story County Iowa that has been refurbished….I need to go visit that one when I see my son in Ames. Where is the carousel you mentioned?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have a historic carousel in my hometown that I grew up riding on every summer. Your introduction had me nodding “YES!” all the way through. The metaphor of a carousel of life is perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ooooh! Thanks for the tip to RTD. And, I know that mall where that carousel is. You’ve written such a clever poem with the wonder of looking at a carousel and wondering which beast to pick out for a ride. We never really do stop choosing do we…do we?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome for the tip! The RDP has some fun prompts. I had other photos of carousels but instead of searching, I knew I had that one on my phone from a visit to see my folks in 2019. Glad you could relate!

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  4. You’re right – there’s no predicting where you’ll get off the carousel! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lately I’ve been learning that life is like a spiral staircase, round and round with a better view each time–but the ups and downs of a carousel horse works too. I wonder why I always want to pick the oddest possible animal to ride? : ) Thanks for pointing us to the RDP.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carol, that is a great metaphor. I love the repetition of “Round and round you go, / Where you’ll get off, nobody knows.” It somehow makes me appreciate today a little more. I like your reminder of the artistry of the carousel animals. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one, and I agree–they are fascinated artworks. Love the reminder of carousels–real and metaphorical.

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