“The pictures are there, and you just take them.” ~ Robert Capa
••• The Mad Gallery •••
Our newest featured artist, Jennifer Lothrigel hails from the west coast and she brings us some photography that really rocks our Swirl world! With the ever-present contrast of light and dark – daylight seeping through the windows of an abandoned building, a giant piece of an old ship against an otherwise clear, grey beach – stirs something up inside of us that we can’t quite explain. As if the scenery itself wasn’t enough, there’s a female figure in every image. She’s turned away, anonymous – like something straight from a dream, the kind you can hardly piece together once you open your eyes the next morning. Needless to say, Lothrigel’s work does a lot for us. But mostly, it leaves us curious, compelled and hungry for more. If you too are prone to mad curiosities and are feel compelled to get your visual feast on, you’ve come to the right place! ~ Madelyn Olson
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we wound a woman in earth, or earth in a woman; we quested for questions, OK with no answers; we were hard to see; we were hard to be; we sought relaxation in transformations; we twined two for too late; we muddled through the math to balance love’s equation; we brought past moon to calm the present beast. Start to finish, we grow, not diminish, when we let the poem be. ~ MH Clay
I want myself back, my crescent moon by Haris Adhikari
My crescent moon, I was like you
Many, many years ago — idyllic, and free
Of dirty treads, of wounds and pain.
You’d beam bright upon my being
When I’d be down in disturbed liquors,
Pull me closer to you, my crescent moon, you’d
Create havoc in hell and heaven,
Calm me down, my crescent moon, you’d
Wake my soul up from extreme exhaustion
And I’d see you riding on dinosaurs,
Up and high in spirit to win the world,
My true warrior, you’d show myself
Calm and compassionate in the beasts’ eyes;
Oh! I want myself back, my crescent moon.
editors note: Yes! Bring back the days when the Man in the Moon was you! – mh clay
Math, you, and I by Samantha Hawkins
If all the world was a pie chart and all the people
merely percentages of a greater whole number
then you would be a three-dimensional, fuchsia-colored slice
And if life just consisted of sterile integers and barren digits
you would be the picture worth a 1000 pixels squared
I would be the nervous wreck of a train going 90 mph
barreling for nowhere in particular, too soon, too fast
Because some equations never change
no matter how many times you divide and multiply
Divide and multiply, divide — oh you get the point
If the value of you is me to the infinite power
then the value of me is x times the square root of your love
I told you once you were my favorite digit
I lied, you are my favorite improper fraction
so very top-heavy, and by that I mean brain-wise
Compared to your numbers, I am wanting
When simplified, our least common denominator is 1
before you I wasn’t even a prime number
wasn’t worth a notch on the number line before or after 0
I was a textbook manic, a black splotch of a decimal
introducing a most resplendent series of 9’s
And you solved every one of my word problems in short form
But if I could be less than binary with you for a minute
more transparent, and screw the math altogether
I’d tell you that no amount of factors or multiples
will ever lead me too far away from you
Because our differences plus the ratio of your 2 lips to my 2 lips
are the sort of statistics dreams are made of
editors note: Love in (rational) numbers. (We welcome Samantha to our creative congress on Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay
Two flowers by Sakazaf
Two friends, two days,
Two ways, two lives.
Too late to be like two flowers.
Things were said,
Said was thrown,
Hurt was gifted.
Too late to be like two flowers.
Two friends, one day
One way, one life
To become two flowers.
Dried out roots,
Trampled under dirty boots.
Too late for two flowers.
editors note: Indifference? Betrayal? How fragile our bonds can be… like these two flowers. – mh clay
Transformations by Stephen Page
The weight of grass is heavy
Upon my shoulders; lift it,
Scythe is, mow it, let the cattle
Feed that I may walk again.
I sit upon a log in the shade
Of Wood. I sip mate.
I visit Buenos Aires and lie
In bed all day and watch cartoons.
I just want to sleep in
One Saturday, One Monday.
I want the Field Crossers
To stop trampling the grass,
To stop walking across my back
When they think I am napping:
Don’t they know the padlock turns
Are all numbered and recorded?
Editor, Advisor, stop planting corn
When I want my fields clovered.
I want again my daily strolls
In the quiet of Wood,
To watch for hours the bumblebees work
And lock eyes with the mockingbird.
editors note: Clover over corn? Yes! (This poem is a fine one of the mad many included in Stephen’s new collection, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River, published by Finishing Line Press. Get it here.) – mh clay
A SONNET OF LOGICAL POSITIVISM by satnrose
above the mainly positive is known
so let there be discussions and the Name
proponents of the member language shown
before the circle turns around again
consensus joins to vet the written word
the advocates speak in a language plain
but opposition makes it seem absurd
and still Vienna begs to be explained
the doctrine of the standard proposit:
to add it up you must include your toes
it’s rational as long as it has Wit-
tggenstein assume an a priori pose
epistemology is well and good
but what is what if you’re misunderstood?
editors note: Yes, precisely… What? (Read another of satnrose’s mad rants on his page; fear, assuaged in beer. – check it out.) – mh clay
Numb by Goirick Brahmachari
The dust I have acquired over the years
has hid my eyes from all that is before me
And I rust, disappear a little from your memory
It has been a slow ride
And now the hills have turned their back
And I am not exactly sad
Or happy, I can’t see very well.
editors note: No definition, no disappointment. – mh clay
Not Forgotten by Bob Burke
So it starts
With a star explosion
Giving light to billions
Giving life in the form of minions
The architects with blood of Prometheus
Crafters of stars and protectors of the origin of light
All things are already learned
They just learn them again for cosmic kicks
Learning that they are their own creation
For that moment of salvation
Sun born galaxies rise and are left in their wake
Leaving the sparks of their imagination to light the night sky
Limits are set
But are not real
We believe what we perceive
Boundaries placed by what we can see
The Galaxies surround us unseen
Eyes closed by the infinity of space
They do not see, there is no limit
Above the horizon of their night sky
Where dreams are formed
And new realities born
Who am I?
What is this?
Do I belong?
Have I longing?
Who ignited so many stars?
And why do I see only a glimpse of their life span?
What we are
They once were
Lost to be found
With only questions
Hold them still without answer
Invite light not words, ignite stars not wars
Some questions serve better unanswered
But not forgotten
Left in the presence of being
With their own destiny to fulfill
editors note: Learn to leap limits as luminaries for long-lost lookers. – mh clay
When the sloping Earth… by Bhupender Bhardwaj
When the sloping earth within the latticed wooden perimeter
Of the duck pond cracks open in spaces from the fierce heat
Of the tropics it not only yields the anatomy of the wilted
Blade of grass but also the snapshot of its glowing core
That rotates non-stop. The plaited nightgown of water flows
Smoothly down your woman’s curved body of monolithic
Stairs landing into the pond. The paper-white ducks freighted
With the foreknowledge of future wade thoughtfully; the impending
Drought showing itself in their buttoned up eyes. Through the
Stiffened leaves lying scattered the wind steals like a thief and
Raising dust that settles on eyelashes, dictates the essay of stoniness.
Yearning with its cargo of incredible visions and perfumed ponderances
Enters the world through two pillared gates and Bells tinkle sonorously in
The ears of timorous hope.
editors note: Earth breaks forth with its own agenda. (We welcome Bhupender to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Need-a-Read? Mad Swirl has just the one to feed your need with.
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about “Planet”:
“We want to be echoes, we want everything to last or outlast us. But when nothing’s left, everything’s left to start over.”
Here’s a bit to slip you into the mood:
photo (above) “Our Place” by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter
“This one is located twenty light years away. The planet should be habitable with the right gravity and pressure as is revolves around its star very comfortably in the goldilocks zone”
“Does it have water?”
“It did long time ago, may be a million years. Look at the lines over there. Water had been flowing in there once.”
“I see. Could it have supported life? Like aliens?”
“Definitely. If there was water, there should have been life. Million years ago, but not now”
“Not sure. Maybe a meteor in the past millennia.”
“If it was a meteor, there should have been a crater on the surface. Nothing like that shows up in the picture.”
“Maybe the aliens must had exhausted all the water and oxygen and made the planet a raging hurricane of useless gases and acid rains.”
“I see. Let us send a probe and do some basic research on the surface. What are the coordinates for the planet?”
“Galaxy is Milky Way, located very close to Zodiac Star Cluster and is the third planet to its star.”
“Done. Give it a name now”
“Earth. It shall be called Earth.”
The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin’ on… now… now… NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in Mad Swirl’s World? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We’ll be here…
Short Story Editor