The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.30.16

The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.30.16
“Everything starts as somebody's daydream.” ~ Larry Niven ••• The Mad Gallery ••• “Saint Francis at Northpark” (above) by featured artist Maria Valentina Sheets. To view more of Maria's beatific works, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Gallery at! ••• The Poetry Forum ••• This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we wet dry thoughts[read more]

Mad Swirl Open Mic : 05.04.16

Mad Swirl Open Mic : 05.04.16
Join Mad Swirl & Swirve this 1st Wednesday of May (aka 05.04.16) as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our mad micness home, Dallas’ badass The Underpass Bar! This month we feature poetry editor, poet, playwright, actor, musician, mad co-conspirator, and all-around top-notch soul…MH Clay! Join MH & musical guest Earthlinger as we[read more]

The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.23.16

The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.23.16
“Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful.” ~ Prince Rogers Nelson ••• The Mad Gallery ••• “Hard to get a signal – John and the ladder” (above) by featured artist Maria Valentina Sheets. To view more of Maria's beatific works, as well as our other[read more]

Chatting to a spirit in the garden

I can’t hear you
calling my name anymore.
It used to be as fresh as dew
from my breath;
a stream
dried up in silence now.

The panics have gone.
I sleep nights without sudden
sprung awakenings.

Forgive me,
I’ve moved my wedding ring.
Who would want me
with mind and body unfit
and with no capacity to provide?

Lucy puzzles me.
She didn’t seem to recognise you
in the home where you passed.
She’s missed you before;
on your long infections absence.
She’s only a dog.

What would we be doing
now it’s summer again?
selling up?
living in Morocco,
drinking gallons of mint tea in Marrakesh?
Joking, my parents wouldn’t bless that.

Incidentally, I didn’t go to church today. I might
have fallen out with them again.
I’m trying to accept
we all share this destiny,
but I’m only forty-five.

We’ve had a robin and a wren
nesting this year. I sit outside
watching the parents.
They fetch grubs.
I wish you could see them.
Maybe you’re here
a second ahead?

You’re listening.
For the first time
I don’t feel odd about being alone:
hope it’s Okay,
I’ve got a “Bestie” on Facebook,
like a sister you understand.

I’ve still got my problem with work:
honesty. I can’t present
a mask, it leads to pain.
Love should ALWAYS trust.
It’s not easy when everyone
is happy to kick sand
in your sun-blistered face.

Robin keeps landing on the washing-line;
a silhouette against a cloudless sky.
Even planes leave no trace.
He’s been eighteen inches away
once or twice.

Robin must love.

Recently Published

What Does A Vertical Line Form

the morning
is snow white,
only snow.
grass blades
are as dead
as her skin,
converge at the corner
of the nearest road;
other roads
have merged
with the dense forest.
measure me
from the nearest road.
i[read more]

Haikus 1 & 2

Haiku #1

Thunderous clouds
Flashes of lightning
God taking selfies

Haiku #2

Leaves gossiping
Breeze spreading rumours
Storm in a tea cup

– Shirin Hasrat[read more]

Dark fortnight

Is hindered
In my garden.
Waxed by winter
Freezing so pale.

A furrow…
Did plough
In the ocean of my heart
And the current
An electric shock…

My eyes are blind
Meteor from the[read more]

In Vino Veritas

In Vino Veritas

I hit the bell boy up for breath mints and on the way up to the bar in the lift and finger combed my hair and repeated my drunken mantra which I believed would allow clear speech: A proper cup of coffee from a Proper copper coffee pot A proper cup of coffee from a proper Copper coffee pot A proper cup of coffee. I hit the bar and ordered myself a bracer. She didn’t take much locating: she was the only woman in the deserted bar. She sat by herself at[read more]
Serpent’s Tale

Serpent’s Tale

My eyes are like diamonds, finely cut in the mirror. The outlines of my face waver, melting into the cracked walls behind me. My tie represents who I am. Neat, perfectly-strewn, nice. Together. There is no image in my head as I drive through the night. No faces of my dead mother or vanished father, just the recurring voice of that waitress. You want fortune cookie? Today is my birthday. I have celebrated alone at this restaurant. There is no family riding in on the trains from out of town, no friends decorating[read more]


The way I see it, Diane, you know, I did her a favor, the way things were going I hate to say it, but I would have needed to kill her, reporters flying in from New York and Los Angeles to interview her and write her up in magazines, she got her colored picture in Gentlemen’s Quarterly, couples we knew were dropping by asking advice on their troubled marriages, all the lesbians in town thought she was some kind of sage superwoman, oh everybody loved her in 1976 and she[read more]