“Reality is always extraordinary.”
Mary Ellen Mark
••• The Mad Gallery •••
Friendship – Chris Zimmerly
With this one we close out Zim’s feature run in our Gallery. But don’t fret, we got another great feature lined up! Stay tuned…
To see all of Zim’s Mad photographic visions, as well as our other former featured artists (over 50 in total), take a virtual stroll thru Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This past week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we hid the grave of the saints’ enclave; we began at the ends of ethereal friends; we learned to allay our angst in delay; we zen’d at the sight of a doggie’s delight; we bore deterioration without hope of liberation; we walked life’s scene with stars between; we gained love’s surplus, a man repurposed. We start, we finish, we story between. ~ MH Clay
Repurposed by Ivan Jenson
I am wearing her ex’s
bathrobe and slippers
’cause I got caught
in a sudden downpour
meanwhile my Levi identity
and my Fruit of the Loom
and V-Neck what the heck
way of getting by
is tumbling in the dryer
as I sip hot cocoa
by a fire
and I would do it all again
because nothing can keep me away
from this divorcee
a little rain
March 20, 2021
editors note: Gaps need fillin’ by them who’s willin’. – mh clay
KYOTO by J H Martin
I walk with no target
No aim and no gun
For what I see here
Will always be here
All of the
and nights without sleep –
They are my lighter
My rolled cigarette
The rumours of iniquity
The bad reputation
They may burn
But they do not kill
The repeating regret
The compounded trauma
This life after life
Whatever that means
I do not know
I never had a track
I never had a path
I do not lace my dreams
With those things
It will never change
The mind and its machinery
The trick of the light
I stare into darkness
And see only stars
March 19, 2021
editors note: After the start, comes the finish; whatever the path between. Check out those stars! – mh clay
help by Jean Bohuslav
an old lady was seen sitting on a solitary chair in the middle of a large
room continuously calling h e l p
six months later another elderly woman at a different hospital sits on a chair
ringing an old fashioned brass bell for assistance
she is just out of ICU
she has no dressing gown
she is cold
she can’t get up
she calls out for assistance
she listens to the group of nurses talking and laughing outside her door
for twenty minutes
the person who gave her the bell walks past several times without looking sideways
she identifies with the other old lady’s plight
her catheter is removed that day
something is not right
she buzzes the nurse four times during the night
two nurses help
one a male
he tells her not to use the toilet until he is out of the room
she wishes they did not send a male
especially one who finds toiletries offensive
she feels guilty to be calling so many times
back in the quiet of her room
wishing her husband would come to take her
from this place
on the phone next morning she remarks
if I had to go through what I have again
i would rather kill myself
a nurse overhears the comment
a procession of cheery attendees present that day as never before
making her and her visiting husband laugh out loud
later she hears an elderly male desperately calling
will someone please come to help my wife?
she wants me to take her home
March 18, 2021
editors note: A sad affair when liberator is also captive. H e l p! – mh clay
Zen of Eating a Boiled Egg by Jharna Sanyal
His egg days were thrice a week
and somehow he could divine;
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Just at eight, he would crouch near the kitchen,
– a chocolate-puff Chinese spaniel –
meditating on Sartre’s Being and Nothingness.
Sharp at eight, the cook would come out
with the egg, and place it in his bowl.
He proceeded with all dignity, slowly and gently,
sat close to it, legs stretched in a perfect yoga pose.
He drew it to the floor, held it tenderly
in between his paws and kept looking at it
– (we had counted, for two minutes at a stretch) –
savouring the beauty of the little orb.
His eyes, as if they had grown into a tongue, licking it
with all his being. He fondled it, played with it,
– a lover’s besotted craving.
He rested his head on his paws,
his choco brown fleece guarding his boon.
Then came the moment of revelation.
Golden moon emerged from the cloud.
Bingo sat still. A wistful sigh,
– you have to let all good things pass –
and he gulped the yolk
not letting it suffer the ignominy
of an eclipsed moon.
With the utter disdain of a monk
who knows the futility of the world,
he finished chewing on the white nothingness;
wagged his tail and languidly walked back
to his dog’s destined life.
He had left not a morsel behind, except,
as Mother used to say, –a lesson:
the art of savouring your boon!
March 17, 2021
editors note: Enlightened canine carries the “Yes!” Savour! – mh clay
The Delay by J. K. Durick
Delay, delayed are powerful words on their own.
They stop us in our tracks, sit us down, get us to
count the minutes sometimes, other times just
to play with our phones, look out the window to
see the weather for the first time today. Let’s say
our plane is delayed in Detroit, the announcement
slows down our day, gets us to start worrying about
connection, or just gets us to enjoy the alliteration
of our dilemma, delayed in Detroit. Unable to resist
you text your son, “dear Dan, damn, we’re delayed
in Detroit.” Delay is like that, a word that has its own
power, but might be hiding something stronger, like
postponed or terminated, and the people/person
saying delay are just holding off the inevitable, like
no planes will ever leave Detroit again, or American
Airlines has given up flying for some more productive
work. We delay, we are delayed, no one needs to
explain the word to us – we delay telling, we delay
admitting, we delay growing up, we’re delayed in our
quest for perfection, delayed in our delay. We’re
standing on the doorstep, delaying ringing the bell;
delay knocking, delay what we know is inevitable.
March 16, 2021
editors note: The way to allay the angst in delay? Alliteration! – mh clay
Twins by Michael Masarof
Before she was holy, we stayed with an ancient
Italian lady who served potato chips before
pasta, the cathedrals and the coliseums were empty
and we swam like seals in the Lido and our skin
became sticky with seaweed, before we were in
the womb we were friends in the ether and now
again climbing past the frescos and getting as high
and high up as we can facing where Romulus and Remus
watched Rome surface we let our faces touch and
remembered how it felt to be born.
March 15, 2021
editors note: When we woke, what? We wish… – mh clay
Eternity by Milenko Županović
in the grave hidden.
March 14, 2021
editors note: Invest in a shovel and dig. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
This week’s featured short story is out there! But that’s exactly what we’ve come to expect from longtime Contributing Writer & Poet, Harley White!
Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about our pick-of-the-week:
“All stories are out of this world. Love and how it ends, no matter what, send it to the stars.”
Here’s a bit of Harley’s story “Homage to Cassini and its Mission to Saturn“ to help with lift-off:
(photo “We’re All Aliens” by Tyler Malone)
With rare international cooperation, Cassini–Huygens took off into the skies.
Thus, in nineteen ninety-seven, the creation began to develop before our eyes of the two-decade venture which came to a close with last gazes at giant Saturn’s face to merge with its surface in dramatic death throes as the spacecraft perished with glowing grace.
But before that transpired another splendid boon was Huygens probe touching down on Titan, the first landing ever on an alien moon, whose ripples will astro-knowledge heighten.
The brilliant results of this enterprise of late extend our grasp of that sphere overall. (Technically speaking, it’s a spheroid oblate; to wit, its gas body’s wider than tall.)
In two thousand, there was a Jupiter flyby that rendered the best depiction till then of that planet, which a mission would amplify at a future date, when in Juno’s ken.
During thirteen years, up to twenty seventeen, after finally getting to Saturn, Cassini used the forces of Titan unseen in a gravitative slingshot pattern to further progress with that great exploration and also to study the haloings from various angles that caused a sensation with images of those glorious rings.
Through our solar system in voyage far afield, after seven years, in two thousand four on historic arrival, Cassini revealed the planet Saturn’s enchantments galore via ongoing data and visual stream of breathtaking pictures, figures and facts, that astound even poets who dwell in a dream and stun starwatchers with awesome impacts.
In this epic Cassini and Saturn romance, marvels majestic before us unfurl. We see myriad moons do an intricate dance, as multi-hued bands round its visage swirl…
Get the rest of this spacey read right here!
••• Mad Swirl Press •••
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
The Best of Mad Swirl : v2020 is available right HERE!
The Best of Mad Swirl : v2020 is a 109-page anthology featuring 52 poets, 12 short fiction writers, and four artists from five continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, & North America); 12 countries (Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Syria, UK, Ukraine, & USA [18 States]). We editors reviewed the entire year’s output to ensure this collection is truly “the best” of MadSwirl.com! The works represent diverse voices and vantages which speak to all aspects of this crazy swirl we call “life on earth.”
And for those wondering just what and/or who Mad Swirl is…
Mad Swirl is an arts and literature creative outlet. It is a platform, a showcase, and a stage for artistic expression in this mad, mad world of ours; a diverse collection of as many poets, artists, and writers we can gather from around the world; from Nepal to Ireland, from England to China, from California to New York City and all the places in between. Our Poetry Forum features works from over 170 contributing poets, our Short Story Library has over 40 participating writers and our Mad Gallery has over 50 resident artists.
This anthology is a great introduction to the world of Mad Swirl!
Huge grats & shout-outs to our 2020 featured Contributors (in alphabetical order):
Shitta Faruq Adémólá
David Francis Effiong
Ryan Quinn Flanagan
David P. Kozinski
Robert L. Martin
Polly Richardson (Munnelly)
Dana St. Mary
William Taylor Jr.
William J Watson
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Vivek Nath Mishra
If we’ve enticed you enough to wanna get you your very own copy of “The Best of Mad Swirl : v2020” then get yours right here!
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