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“All poetry has to do is to make a strong communication.
All the poet has to do is listen.”
Stevie Smith

featured poems

Sitting on a lonesome mountaintop while drinking tea with Jack Kerouac

TEA!
Strong Assam with wild tigers
Murky Green and an old lazy panda
Refreshing Darjeeling while watching a movie by Wes Anderson

Delicate Jasmine with the rising sun
Sweet fennel, mediating afternoons
Powerful peppermint in a foggy hilltop town
Sitting on a lonesome mountaintop while drinking tea with Jack Kerouac
TEA!

- Luke Ritta

(1 poem added 09.22.14)

editor's note: Delightful sips for six days o' bliss. Pick a seventh; Keemum, Yunnan Golden or Silver Yin Zhen Pearls - see who comes with... - mh

 

Dips and gathers

Love dips and gathers
in a silent shroud

of turtle doves as
the sun glints

on the dust of their wings.
The edges of the sky

peel back and uncover
its blue and purple heart

in a mid summer's
talcum twilight.

- Dawnell Harrison

(1 poem added 09.21.14)

editor's note: As summer dwindles; a watercolor rendering to remember in winter. Thanks, Dawnell! - mh

 

For the sake of heavens, for heaven’s sake

“The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

The world bleeds around this most chronic ill
The mother of all conflicts
For such little space, a tiny area on the map
The history of hatred is mind-boggling
The central issue, the bottom line, is NOT ENOUGH LAND,
LAND which the World can help create over the sea
Or little some the expansive neighbors can graciously add

If Abraham was to come alive today
Would he not gather his entire family and probably say
“Do it over, do it better, step it up.”
“Come on people, get your act together, enough is enough.”
Albeit
Would his say in this day still carry any weight?

Moses, Jesus, Muhammad
How do I feel they are faring up there?
How do you think they are holding out?
Content, ecstatic, full of joy?
Or disappointed, dejected, thoroughly annoyed?

You are so wrong, I am so right
And together we create
For the sake of heavens, for heaven’s sake
Unending bloodshed, this never ending plight
Never pausing, never thinking
That at the end of the day
It is the same genes, the same blood on both sides of the aisle
One Big Unhappy Family
Where misery is shared and so is the destiny

- Arif Ahmad

(1 poem added 09.20.14)

editor's note: 50 days of violence for the sake of someone's heaven; resulting in heaven forsaken. Nobody wins! (Arif joins our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this poem. See more of his madness on his new page.) - mh

 

PEACEFUL

She carried out my execution.

She was dressed in red.
I nearly ate my heart.
There was something about her.
I slipped into nonexistence.

She was dressed in red.
Perhaps it was foreshadowing.
I nearly ate my heart.

I was speaking in tongues.


She filled me with anxiety.
I could not move to save my life.
I was speaking in tongues.
She made me disappear.


I walked in green pastures.
I laid down in a meadow.
I found a peaceful end.
I disappeared without a trace.
I tired of myself.

I could not blame her.
She was kind enough
to end my misery.
I felt her hair brushing on my face.

I found a peaceful end.
I ceased to exist.
It was useless to resist.

- Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

(1 poem added 09.19.14)

editor's note: Ethereal, external executioner to carry out our self-sentence; assisted suicide. - mh

 

THE LUCKY SEVEN

We sat in a circle in folding chairs,
the lucky seven,
I was wearing a party dress that showed my curves
forgot to wear panties, so kept my legs together.

Paul spoke. For the first time I liked him.
Not because he used to be a radio D-J or
his mother was dying of Alzheimer’s in a nursing home
but because he banged his head against the wall
when his daughter hung up on him.

The newcomer was diagnosed two days ago.
He knew nothing about his illness.
He was 22 and had led the life of a gallant well-
dressed pimp
but now guilt pressed him flat in his chair
- a run-over worm.

I stared at him. Nice contrast of
ebony skin the color of a Chinese lacquer box
and peach-colored palms he clenched on and off
in his lap.

He began his confession,
looking down and talking staccato.
I touched his shoulder. Keep some
secrets for yourself, I said. We don’t need to
know ev-ery-thing.

The dam began to leak and
Harry, who worked for a drug company,
talked about his rampant sexuality when manic,
laughed when he talked about the women he made love to,
a few men too, the wife taking off with the
house and the kids.

The newcomer nodded.
You mean it happened to you, too?
he asked Harry.

It happened to all of us, I say.

Harry told about writing a hundred pages of gorgeous
notes only two months ago during his last mania.
Hypergraphia, I said, mouthing the beautiful syllables of a
new word I’d just learned.
Mine, I threw away after 20 years hidden in the attic,
useless horseshit.

The newcomer wanted more symptoms.
I handed him a brochure. Everything has a
name, I said. Whatever you did, they’ve already
named it. They’re pretty smart.

Well, if they’re so smart, he said, why can’t they
fix it?

Well, they’re not that smart, I said.

The newcomer was guilt-ridden over his
sexual escapades. Used the word ‘evil’ to
describe himself.
C’mon, I said. Something big comes over us. We
light up. We glow. Arrive with a halo for godsakes.
We’re like lightning bugs in the dark.
We blink.
Think of the evolutionary possibilities if you’re a
man. Populating your side of the island.

Paul, the guy I finally liked, talked about his old
man shooting his brains out.
Oh no, I thought, now we’ve gotta explain
we kill ourselves to the newcomer.

Derek, I said, turning toward him, there’s
something you need to know.

I know it already, he said. I was 9 when I first got
out the rope.

Hallelujah, brother, I said, slapping his hand.
Well, that’s just fine, Derek. You know everything now.
Relax and enjoy yourself.

- Ruth Z. Deming

(added 09.18.14)

editor's note: Group Dynamics 101; prerequisite courses - Basic Bi-polarity and Manic Hypergraphia. - mh

 

Cat Fight

Look at this dirt on my shirt,
the hot pink tank top
I wore when I got
dragged across Commerce St.
screaming your name.
I tried to climb the transformers
to get on the studio roof.
I’ll never write another
poem to you.
I love all my bruises,
busted ribs, my
sprained shoulder.
I’m still a dancer.
Your friends are scum,
except one- the one
who painted the devil
on the wall, but he
wasn’t there to say
calm down, it’s okay-
only people who laughed
at my pain and recorded
the show on their phones.
I thought I was a lover
not a fighter,
but now I know I’m a little cat
who’ll break her arm
to be free- a little cat who
loves and fights at the moment-
a little cat who loves her enemy.
The fur went flying that night.
The cops said you weren’t
worth it. Now it’s just dirt
on my shirt-
dirt on my shirt that won’t
wash away.
This is your last poem today.

- Trier Ward

(2 poems added 09.17.14)

editor's note: A shirt, dirt poem; wasted on the not-worth-it. She can't help it and the cops don't care. (We welcome Trier to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this accepted poem. And, not just this one; she has another mad missive on love and law enforcement on her new page - check it out.) - mh

 

From The Shoe Box

Expired vicious sharp tongued
-still staring through the key hole,
Waiting to pounce.
Fury green mould never stood a chance,
Old hag.

You hid buried,
In depths of yellowing pages.
Amongst spit fixed stamps,
Undisturbed dust, dried flower heads,
Forgotten valentines, Seeped in black ink,
Faded slight.

Like you,
Reeked stale.
Stale in compassion;
In life
In dreams
In all less perfect,
Perfect for you.
Even from your old scrawl
My hands felt your sting,

Years of verbal lashings
Dousing in vinegar,
You left a bitter taste,
After placing your thorny crowns.
I thought only Christ haters did that.

But you a lover of the cloth!
To grottoes you flocked
On knees you rocked
Mouthing your praise,
In practice you mocked
As the cockerel crowed three times
You drove the nails into my
Cross over and over.

Now in my own glory,
I sup the finest of wines,
Diluting your bitter taste.
Queen of my throne
While you fade at the
Bottom of the forgotten box.

- Polly Munnelly

(1 poem added 09.16.14)

editor's note: A keepsake only for the sake of keeping? A lose-sake, ready for discard. (We welcome Polly to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this poem. See more of here madness on her new page - check it out.) - 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 Adhikar
Arif Ahmad *
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
Bhargab Chatterjee
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
Randall Johnson
Jericho Joyce
Santosh Kalwar
Peycho Kanev
Carl Kavadlo
Michael R. King
Kay Kinghammer
Craig Kurtz
Nicole Kuwik
Michael Atreides Lair
Elissa Landrigan
Pd Lietz
Todd Macaulay
Mandolyn
Donal Mahoney
Ally Malinenko
Louis Marvin
Brendan McCormack
Silva Zanoyan Merjanian
Bradford Middleton
Steven Minchin
Rose Aiello Morales
Polly Munnelly *
John Najjar
Gina Nemo
B.Z. Niditch
Chiranjibi Niroula
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
Pere Risteski
Luke Ritta *
Sy Roth
Walter Ruhlmann
Gianni Sacco
Opalina Salas
satnrose
Paul Sexton
Lisa Shields
Roger G. Singer
Kayla Siobhan
Willie Smith
Desmene M. Statum
Alex L. Swartzentruber
David Thornbrugh
Melani Grace Tiongson
Paul Tristram
Kufre Udeme
Victory
Mel Waldman
Anthony Ward
Trier Ward *
Harley White
Bill Wolak
Brian Wood
Changming Yuan
Chris Zimmerly

* new entries (09.16 - 09.22)

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