July 16thGrowing up in Buffalo, there was a beach up in Canada that was purely beautiful with its white sands and crisp blue-green water. It was attached to an amazing amusement park, which bore the same name, Crystal Beach. So kick off the sand and take a stroll to the park. Don’t forget to grab some cotton candy, or a Loganberry (Loganberry drink and Crystal Beach suckers were famous) and write your favorite amusement park adventure. (Sadly, Crystal Beach – the amusement park, has long ago been torn down and replaced by condominiums .)



July 15 – Tides

July 14 – Picnic

July 13 – Lighthouse

July 12 – Starry, Starry Night

July 11 – Lakes, Oceans, Waterways


  1. Another older one of mine, originally written for “Across the Lake, Eerily” and posted there Feb. 13, 2010.


    “Trolly Park,” back in The Day,
    No admission fee to pay.
    Once-sought park was Youngstown’s pride
    Railway’s ending on South Side.
    Greeted by Jack Rabbit’s hills,
    Promises of coaster thrills.
    Wild Cat’s three-minute ride,
    Acclaimed in “Top Ten” nation wide.
    Lost River, Carousel,
    Kooky Castle, Wishing Well,
    Rocket Ride, and Kiddie Land,
    Laffin’ Lena’s Loony Land,
    Helter Skelter Bumper Cars,
    Picnic shelter, monkey bars,
    Cheyenne Shoot Out, Wacky Shack,
    Of course, the CP Railroad Track,
    Porky Pig the Paper Eater,
    Ferris Wheels that rock and teeter,
    Candied Apples, Caramel too,
    Painted face and fake tattoo,
    House of Mirrors, Tilt-a-Whirl,
    Dip your fries in ice cream swirl.
    Ballroom, built in 1910,
    Drew in famous acts from then.
    Dorsey, Tommy; Miller, Glenn;
    Truly Big Band anchor men.
    Tough times hit the park, and hard
    Fire left it scarred and charred.
    Sheet and Tube went belly up
    Leaving Youngstown near bankrupt.
    Once, Idora Park had shone;
    Sadly, now a vacant zone.
    Ticket Stand is all that’s left,
    From demolition, fire, and theft.
    Rats now roam where once we played,
    No midway rides; no penny arcade.
    Yearly visits, gone astray,
    Revisiting my heart today.
    (1895-1984, R.I.P.)

    © Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2010


    When I was a kid my mother would tell
    of the things that kids did when she was a kid,
    and when she recalled them she pealed like a bell
    for the joy that came back from the things that she did.

    The trolleys were running in that bygone day
    and on one all the daredevil riders could reach
    down into the waters that formed Braddock Bay
    as the trolley sped westward to Manitou Beach.

    In the years of my childhood my mom had it hard:
    she went off to work, and came home, with the sun,
    But her little-girl laugh would erupt every time
    when, recalling that trolley, she said, “Ooooh, such fun!”

    copyright 2013, William Preston

    • Bill, it is the concrete details here that just grabbed at me. You always do a great job with form and meter, but you’ve managed to reveal both the difficulties your mom endured with the joys that lightened her load, the “little-girl laugh”. This touched me. Thanks

      • You’re welcome, Jane, and thanks for the comment. From your other works I know you were close to your mother, and I understand. So was I.

    • Lest anyone think I was kidding about reaching into the water, here’s a page that shows the trolley trestle:

      Sometimes the trolley would stop, and it you were in an open car, you could do it when the water level was right. Braddock Bay is on Lake Ontario, and is affected by its levels.


    I turn so high and I can see
    the whole world. Waiting at the top,
    the very air seems bright and free;
    I turn so high and I can see
    cares receding away from me.
    Hoping this joy will never stop,
    I turn so high. And I can see
    the whole world waiting at the top.

    copyright 2013, William Preston


    Climb slowly;
    whoosh away cares.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  5. I have never been to an amusement park (and have no idea what they’re like or how to describe them) so I think I’ll sit this one out. Good luck, and smiles to all of you! 🙂

  6. You definitely have that spark, Marjory! I just remembered the one time we went to the fair, and this is how it happened…

    Summer Reading (L’Arora)

    We begged and begged
    Mom to take us to the fair;
    Little child promises were made:
    We’d be good (well, we hoped),
    And not argue so much (yeah right);
    But Mom was a busy lady,
    Seven children, the oldest not ten,
    She didn’t need to be driven crazy;

    But we kept on begging,
    And finally, she gave us an ultimatum:
    If we each read a certain number of books
    (The older ones, not the babies),
    She’d take us to the county fair;
    Mom was, and still is, a big fan of reading,
    And we all learned at a very early age,
    So we happily agreed, and started reading;

    All that summer we read and we read,
    The pool was forgotten, and so were our chores;
    I always loved reading, and sitting under a tree
    With an apple in one hand, a book in the other,
    Was definitely my idea of fun;
    We made a huge chart, that covered one wall,
    In the shape of a tree, and each new book
    Was an apple, taped up where it wouldn’t fall;

    And finally, the big day came,
    Sunny and warm, as September days are;
    All the books had been read,
    We were all ready with our lunches and shoes;
    The entire day was spent at the fair,
    And honestly, I don’t remember anything;
    What stayed with me, was our goal we made
    And all that lovely summer reading!

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013


    You were so damn obnoxious,
    in your cage and uproarious.
    You in your glorious, hideous
    dress and babushka tied tightly,
    you were rightly annoying.
    I never knew what was so darn funny!
    “Laff In The Dark” was your home,
    and someone thought it would be
    downright hilarious to plant you
    near the entrance. You scared
    the hell out of me. The parents
    would drag us past the “Magic Carpet”
    and games of chance just to glance
    at your lacquered face, a trace of malice,
    you were no Alice in Wonderland.
    But, I would stand at a distance
    and curse you. And that purse you held
    never even matched your shoes!
    Still, all these years later I have the blues.
    My Crystal Beach is gone and it hasn’t
    been funny for years. It brings me close to tears.
    And forgive this confessional gaffe: I miss your “Laff”.


    The lilacs in the park
    smell good from dawn till dark;
    their beauty, sweet and stark,
    would charm an old skylark
    if one should miss its mark
    and wind up in the park
    from flying overseas
    despite the fervent pleas
    of fellow larks from Leeds
    who fly at normal speeds
    and nest in English weeds.
    But lilacs’ odor bleeds
    into the atmosphere
    and proffers scent so dear
    it causes one to veer
    and turn away from mere
    spring blooms whose scents are queer
    compared to all the cheer
    that lilacs bring, I fear.
    Their scents precede the rose
    and titillate the nose,
    causing a stretching pose
    as folks get close to those
    much higher. Such sights,
    from dawns to nights,
    and even under lights,
    are Rochesterians’ rights
    when springtime brings the flights
    of warblers to the trees,
    for lilacs always please:
    their odors never cease
    to bring the crowds to these
    low hills. It’s no surprise,
    therefore, to scan the skies
    and see, in every guise,
    the songbirds of the air
    and hear, perhaps, up there,
    despite some wear and tear,
    a skylark singing fair.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

    Rochester, New York, has had amusement parks. In fact, it still has one: Seabreeze. However, the most famous park hereabouts, I think, is Highland Park, where Lilac Time occurs every May. I wrote this mainly to try that Skeltonic form, though. I’m still not sure where my inspiration is John or Red.


    it pleases me
    to repair to a show
    where most of the stars sleep and have
    four legs.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

    • You are on a roll (er coaster) today, Bill. Every one of your poems is rich with detail and humor and good sense. Talk about thrilling…I’m dazzled, man.

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  11. Two Poems for an Amusement Park

    Amusing Times

    Amuse me. Sooth
    me on a carousel,
    on top of a horse, white
    with a course long mane.
    Walk me down Lovers’ Lane,
    stealing a kiss, and I’ll
    wish that you kneel down
    on one knee, and beg
    for a bite of my
    pink candy floss.

    ~ ~ ~

    But Seriously

    Amusement parks give me the quivers;
    give me the shakes and shivers. What
    sort of fun is there in organ grinders,
    monkeys dressed as tiny people,
    bearded ladies, ducks to shoots and flame
    eaters, sword swallowing, rollercoasters,
    spinning teacups and heat that melts
    the soles of your shoes – amusement.

  12. Pingback: Two Poems for an Amusement Park | The Chalk Hills Journal

  13. Crystal Beach Fantasy

    On Crystal Beach, the people sauntered by,
    idyllic children played at water’s edge.
    A warm wind blows its foam into the skies;
    my swimming fins sink quickly from this ledge.
    And, lo! my body, buoyant by the salt
    forgets; my mind has slipped it’s bony cage.

    Free floats this spiny blob as fish; default,
    as once defined some centuries before:
    I’m orca; thus denied a human thought.
    Suspended, I am Pisces, lost to shore.
    Steered by fins, these eyes are rounded fish lens;
    spun forth, no more aerobic carnivore!

    But suddenly, Old Triton blows his horn:
    Gone is that Crystal Beach; that fish, unborn.

  14. And They Call This Amusement

    A drenaline is the word of the day
    M ercilessly pumping in the brain
    U nder and over, around and through
    S haking every bone in the body
    E rratic, unpredictable, unexpected
    M anipulations of bodies in mass
    E very imaginable twist and turn
    N earing the brink of insanity
    T orture voluntarily self inflicted

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

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  16. Spirit of the Wood
    To amuse meant park oneself on the dock
    soak in the summer sun till your hot to the touch
    and then plunge headlong into the freezing seawater-
    try and catch your breath between frigid waves,
    marvel at the way your skin tingles with fresh
    and how it adjusts so readily as you swim laps in kiwi green.
    To amuse meant park oneself in the kayak,
    paddle out to the stone island that’s only inhabited by birds-
    sit on the broad speckled rock face and watch,
    take in all the happenings of the busy distant shores.
    Gather in this slice of silence broken only by the voice of fowl,
    enjoy the ripples and reflections that dangling legs, feet and toes create-
    wait till the moment when you sense the wind shift before you leave.
    To amuse meant park oneself on a mountain bike,
    pull on a helmet and push with every ounce of strength that you can conjure;
    rise on gravely tides of tar and white stripe…ply your way through forest-side
    and arrive just where you intended to on the buggy bank of the town quarry.
    Strip from self sweat-sticky shorts and tank and gain entrance-
    swiftly enter the crystal water of the much endeared frog pond.
    To amuse meant park oneself on the plush rug of one’s room in the afternoon,
    listen intently to the sorrowful yet faithful song of the mourning doves
    calling to one another emotively from opposing limbs-
    a vocation to sooth one’s soul
    sounded daily in the trio of apple trees alongside the driveway.
    To amuse meant park oneself richly in the magic of everyday;
    follow your feet and heart with the spirit you feel in nature,
    fill up every pore of your being with the goodness of this land-
    breathe deep, wake up and do it all again with eyes and energy renewed.
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

    Probably have some split lines…I was long-winded today. 😉

    I’ll be back to read my friends.

  17. The HD Coaster

    I have a true love of roller coasters
    The bigger and faster the better
    I can’t remember turning on down
    Even in inclement weather

    But many are so far away from me
    The budget doesn’t allow much travel
    So I’m thankful for shows about coasters
    In full HD on the Travel Channel

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  18. Something from the past:


    The parking lot is oh so large
    But we arrive early
    No tram for us
    I see the ball
    Towering over the park
    Majestic, silver, shining
    A landmark of sorts
    A sign of what’s to come

    So, I gather my backpack
    Camera and hat
    And walk to the gate
    My pass I display
    The gatekeeper smiles
    And in we go
    To see the world
    Without leaving Florida

    We check for our picture
    Engraved in metal plate
    Somewhere on the “walls”
    Reserved for the visitors
    I find it quite easily
    It’s me and my wife
    Smiling at the camera
    Smiling for the world

    And we smile all day long
    From France to Canada
    Mexico to Japan
    America to China
    Morocco to England
    Italy to Norway
    Back to the U.S.
    And all points in between

    Then we Soar through California
    Take a test drive with friends
    Rocket on to Mars
    And see what our land can grow
    Fight a few fires
    Play a few games
    Drink worldly sodas
    And belch if need be
    We see here and there
    Mickey and Minnie
    Donald and Pluto
    Goofy and all the crew
    Eat at the French bakery
    Lunch in Japan
    Snack in Morocco
    And dine in Rome

    Then when we’re worn out
    We find a place to sit
    To watch the fireworks
    That close out the day
    The pyrotechnics fill the air
    With synchronized music
    That ends all too soon
    But well worth the wait

    Then we hear o’re the speakers
    The park is closing down
    So we saunter to the exit
    Amidst a wave of humanity
    We pass out the gate
    And look back at the ball
    We can’t wait to return
    To see the world again

  19. Making Do

    On quiet beaches, lazy strands
    with no amusement parks nearby,
    I make a Fun Slide of your hands;
    aboard our Skydiver we fly.

    Together we’re an Octopus,
    entangled on a water ride;
    we Rollercoaster, Olympus
    a giddy height to which we glide.

    I feel my senses Tilt-a-whirl;
    you are my spinning Ferris Wheel.
    Who needs a park? I am the girl
    to wring a thrill from what you feel.

    We’re not too old to Carousel.
    Amusement is what we do well.

    • Oh, I love this. Just love it, and the tetra-sonnet, if I can call it that, works right.

    • I feel my senses Tilt-a-whirl;
      you are my spinning Ferris Wheel.
      Who needs a park? I am the girl
      to wring a thrill from what you feel.

      Love that!

    One Naani, plus more memories.

    Friends gather for the day
    cotton candy, caramel corn
    dogs, ice cream
    down the coaster ride we scream

    Excitement in the air with,
    the smell of the sea,
    special feel, sights and sounds,
    Music … friends … memories.

    Dating years of teens and twenties,
    sunny days, starry nights
    bare feet in cool sand
    hot boardwalk o’er waves.

    Dressed monkey with coin cup,
    Organ grinder.
    Fortune teller’s tent,
    Puppet and side shows.

    Sharing corn-dogs on a stick,
    bottled pop, dripping cones,
    sunbaked skin.
    Growing, carefree times.

    Reaching for the golden ring,
    Darts sailing, balloons pop,
    Ring toss, duck shoot.
    Pink bear won for me.

    As the sun sets,
    Ferris Wheel climbs to the clouds,
    no one can see
    that you are kissing me.

    Thanks for the memories….
    (Greater LA Area)

    • This is utterly wonderful. I presume you’re recalling (the earlier) Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, the pier at Malibu,. and who knows what else. Your last line recalls for me the old song of the same name, and extends the memories to candlelight and wine, castles on the Rhine, the Parthenon, and moments on the Hudson River Line.

      • An A-Park in Long Beach is the main one, but I hit the others in that area with family and various dates and friends. 🙂

  21. Euclid Beach

    I have written several times before
    · Of this park that graced Lake Erie’s shore
    The scarey rides that took you to
    The top of the world and what a view
    The twists and turns and the might drop
    Of rides that took you to the top
    And down you came with screaming wild
    With shakey legs, both father and child
    Agreed the ride was worth the time
    That they had spent waiting in the line –

    Oh, people, people everywhere
    For several hours they forgot the care
    Of working to win a war that some
    Of their family was fighting, gone
    Far away from that happy park
    To where the world was dangerous, dark
    But here the music played loud and gay
    For a while cares were hidden away
    The bands played on and people danced
    Young and old remained entranced
    Making memories of happy days
    That nothing could ever take away.


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  23. Ferris

    It takes us up, up, up, stops
    over nothing but blue
    blue above and blue
    an ocean stretched out
    spilled loose and cobalt clear
    over the horizon. You lean
    in and I wonder if
    this is it –

            first kiss

    here with my cotton
    candy sticky lips
    and the boardwalk blaring
    and all this ridiculous

    You lean in and only
    whisper, soft and true,
    “I’m yours, you know.”

                     And I do.


  24. Coney Island

    Never been a “ride” person,
    though my dad claims
    he took me on the cyclone
    at Coney Island when I was
    five. You’d never get me
    back on, dead or alive.
    But amusements?
    Bring’em on. Fortune tellers,
    muscle men, shoot a balloon,
    and win a prize. Skee ball
    arcades, laughing fat lady,
    and–avert your eyes–the ever
    popular, Dunk A Freak.

    And the food! Nathan’s
    still stands, waiting for
    grubby hands to grab
    hot dogs, and paper
    cones of thick salty fries.
    Clams, soft shell crabs,
    and frog legs, that’s no lie.
    Hot knishes, soft custard,
    funnels of cotton candy–
    and that was only the boardwalk.

    For the fearless, ride the
    parachute jump, giant ferris
    wheel, or to make your heart
    thump, stand up in a locked
    cage, to be swung upside
    down, it was all the rage.

    Sure, things have changed,
    but the memories in my head
    are still sharp. How strange.

  25. Idlewild Park

    I remember every year Mom,
    D ad, and the five of us girls
    L oaded into our car and
    E scaped to a wild and
    W onderful place,
    I dlewild Park. We gulped down a picnic
    L unch of fried chicken and all the trimmings, then
    D arted off towards the sound of the train whistle. We

    P layed all day—toured the petting zoo,
    A nd we fished at the fish pond, winning worthless toys.
    R ode the Paratrooper, Tilt-a-whirl, Caterpillar and more. We
    K ept it up all day. And the chocolate ice cream tasted better there.


    Clack, clack, clack, clack, clack,
    the excitement builds as
    the cars go slowly up the hill
    and we all anticipate
    what is on the other side.
    Then the grandest of all feelings
    as we go over the very top
    and see the fantastic drop.
    Our bottoms leave the seats
    and our stomachs reach our hearts
    and we are weighless.
    But only for a moment
    for soon the ride is over
    and we are once again earthbound.

  27. Amusement Parks

    Up and down
    on the Merry-Go-Round,
    animals on parade.

    Rides galore
    screaming for more,
    cotton candy on my chin.

    The day was fun
    but now it’s done,
    shuffling home in the dark.

  28. Pirates of the Caribbean

    A favorite ride of ours,
    Just enough coaster
    Smoothing over darkness.

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