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“Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts.”
Blaise Pascal

featured poems

you don't need gloves, i know which hands are yours

remember when the altitude spoke for us ...
sitting in a park, the trees drugged us with the quiet
you put your hand on my knee and told me
you would let me down–
it was the first time you looked me in the eye
without smiling, the first time you felt your initials
scarred into my bones
you didn't even know–

your thumb was nervous there ...
skimming the dent where i became a child again
and i didn't know what to say to you
because my words had not yet graduated
like yours; they were still in a sandbox,
digging for something that glistened–

i told you i didn't feel like swimming,
escaping the subject at hand, your hand
still on my knee cap, not sure what to do next ...
it was a fantastic grip, one i would write about later
while listening to thunder
through my bedroom window, calling off any
sadness that thinks it belongs in my room.

you said it was not a good day to get wet
and moved your fingers to the grass
where a dandelion stared at us both, cheering
us on with its stretched spine and billowy face
–you snapped it from the root and placed it
in my lap

i could hear laughter by the swing set
so i got up, the weed already decaying
as it hit the ground– i raced to that sound of
privilege filling the air, remembering
a tickled tummy with every upward soar
the motion sickness of falling back, eyes closed
hours of being able to breathe

you asked if you could push me–
i said you'd done enough,
then bravely kissed your cheek.
a storm was leaning against the hills,
already packed
waiting for take-off.

- Mandolyn

(1 poem added 07.22.14)

editor's note: Staying dry, her toes to the sky, promise to let down, offer to push high; playground love. (We welcome Mandolyn to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this poem. Read more of her madness on her page.) - mh

Young Love

Blossoming from a minute spark,
It dances with passion—
Igniting a host of naked flames
That surround untouched bodies
And unexplored emotions,
Waiting to start the Catherine Wheel
That's masquerading as a beating heart.

Explosions of deep, new-born connections
And overbearing crescendos,
All maintained in a catastrophic reality
Balanced with a serendipitous mirage
Made real with every moment,
Every second and every memory that's born,
Defining two people as a hopeful truth.

- Christopher P. P. White

(added 07.21.14)

editor's note: Fun with fireworks, all sparkle and flash; treat the burns after... - mh

A GIRL UPTOWN I KNOW

There’s this girl I know, a complete lush by all accounts
She thinks poems should rhyme but I got no truck with those old ideas
She loves the way my old poems sound in her head; garnering negative
reactions from audiences
Wherever they were read; a night at an organic gastro-pub renders
people speechless over their locally sourced vegetables
Then there was the time we got so drunk I couldn’t actually read to a
crowd of blue-rinsed Daily Mail readers
On one of those first shows, when the nerves took hold, I have vague
recollections of falling off-stage

She will say she’s broke until I see her in town; quaffing absinthe no
less and with absolutely no shame
Occasionally I will send her a text to see about a drink and no matter
what it so often seems this way
I’ll end up buying, being pleased to get out, and she’ll promise that
next time it’ll be her turn
Until next time which is so, so long when it happens all over again
We’ll arrange to meet and I’ll end up buying and before we leave
she’ll suggest some point later that week
Only to then ignore my texts and leave me hanging again; and then when
we do she’ll ask why we don’t do this as much!?

- Bradford Middleton

(1 poem added 07.20.14)

editor's note: A stand-up poet falls for a fickle femme groupie; trying for free verse while she wants rhyme. - mh

ZEN – each day the hour

Each is the whole
As we touch a wave the sea
The atom’s heart the cosmos soul
To see beyond the trees
Where you were there before
A window staring in on us
A brilliant light each suicide
Which is a precious gift
Condemns a world already dead
A darkness born inside its head
A deep blue sea that sets you free
Truth that has been forged from Time
Each star its own unique black hole
Beyond each leaf that is the tree

- Derrick Gaskin

(1 poem added 07.19.14)

editor's note: Constant contemplation; peace to find in this life we live on our way towards death. - mh

Bed of Roses

Life is not a bed of roses.
But who would even want that?
I thank the lord
that life is not a bed of thorns
or a bed of nails,
or a bed pan.

Im really rather happy
that life is not anything bed.

A bed of roses really seems
more like a thing for the dead.

- Alex L. Swartzentruber

(1 poem added 07.18.14)

editor's note: Name perfection without pain. A thorny subject... - mh

A Fistful of Nothing

my nine year old
socked another boy
in the nose and
made it bleed,
they weren't fighting,
he was just playing
too rough,
lacked the impulse control
I talked to him about
keeping his hands to himself,
"don't make a fist,"
I told him
and i thought about
how ridiculous
that request was,
how we come out of
the womb with fists
ready,
gloves at the ready,
featherweight,
welterweight,
or heavyweight,
it doesn't really
matter,
we are ready
to go the distance
looking for our corner man
we have fistfuls
of nothing

- Melanie Browne

(1 poem added 07.17.14)

editor's note: We fight from bell to bell and never want to hear the man say, "TEN!" - mh

Wreckage

Your smile
belongs to a demented clown,
Full of secrets and buried bodies,
Your words,
Genuine as a sideshow huckster
selling tickets to the two-headed goat,
Your remoteness,
A calculated game to ensnare,
Absinthe for my soul,
Fueling an obsession to make you mine,
But I refused to see,
Until one deft move after another,
I picked the lock,
Threw open the treasure chest,
And watched broken trinkets
and glass rubies
dribble through my fingers.

- Linda Haltmaier

(added 07.16.14)

editor's note: The challenge is the treasure; the hunt exceeds the having. - mh

Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum

welcome to the Mad Swirl poetry forum. we have collected poetry from the maddest poets from the maddest corners of the world and have showcased them here in the forum just for you. this page is in flux, living and breathing, evolving and changing constantly... so please come and come often for the latest submissions. if you would like to submit poetry for the forum please see our submissions page.

staff poets

MH Clay
Cheyenne Gallion
Paul Koniecki
Tyler Malone
Johnny Olson

contributing poets

Haris Adhikari
Ann B-D
Jhon Baker
Claude Barrett
Amy Barry
Gene Barry
Hem Raj Bastola
Gary Beck
Gayle Bell
Mike Berger
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Sheighle Birdthistle
Alan Britt
James Brown
Heather M. Browne
Melanie Browne *
Sissy Buckles
Arun Budhathoki
Francesca Castaño
Kanchan Chatterjee
Ralph-Michael Chiaia
Virginie Colline
Michael Corrigan
Rina Angela Corpus
Laurie Corzett
Hal J. Daniel III
Holly Day
P.K. Deb
Joseph D. DiLella
Paul Donnachie
Jesse Doughty
J.K. Durick
Rob Dyer
Joseph Elenbaas
Neil Ellman
Michael Estabrook
Joseph Farley
Zach Fishel
Ryan Quinn Flanagan
Peggy Flora
Ralph Freda
Taylor Gall
Rafael Andrade Garza
Derrick Gaskin *
Silas Gorin
KJ Hannah Greenberg
John Grey
Jake Grieco
Tobias Griffin
John Grochalski
Kenneth P. Gurney
Alan Halford
Chris Hamilton
Zachary Scott Hamilton
Charlotte Hamrick
Dawnell Harrison
Paul Hellweg
R.A. Hernandez
Michael Holme
Paul Hostovsky
A.J. Huffman
Clinton Van Inman
Genevieve Jenkins
Ivan Jenson
Jeremy W. Johnson
Randall Johnson
Jericho Joyce
Santosh Kalwar
Carl Kavadlo
Michael R. King
Kay Kinghammer
Craig Kurtz
Nicole Kuwik
Michael Atreides Lair
Elissa Landrigan
Pd Lietz
Robert D. Lyons
Todd Macaulay
Mandolyn *
Donal Mahoney
Ally Malinenko
Louis Marvin
Silva Zanoyan Merjanian
Bradford Middleton *
Steven Minchin
Rose Aiello Morales
John Najjar
Gina Nemo
B.Z. Niditch
Chiranjibi Niroula
Maurice Oliver
Lisa Olson
Stephen Page
Jeffrey Park
Irena Pasvinter
Lilly Penhall
Robert E. Petras
Patty Dickson Pieczka
Timothy Pilgrim
Douglas Polk
Nalini Priyadarshni
Christopher Raley
Sam Rapth
Gayle Reaves-King
Roderick Richardson
Luke Ritta
Sy Roth
Walter Ruhlmann
Gianni Sacco
Opalina Salas
satnrose
Paul Sexton
Lisa Shields
Ray Sharp
Roger G. Singer
Kayla Siobhan
Christopher Smith
Willie Smith
Desmene M. Statum
Alex L. Swartzentruber *
David Thornbrugh
Melani Grace Tiongson
Paul Tristram
Kufre Udeme
Victory
Mel Waldman
Anthony Ward
Sheree La Puma-Watson
Bill Wolak
Brian Wood
Changming Yuan
Chris Zimmerly

* new entries (07.16 - 07.22)

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