The Best of Mad Swirl : 06.12.21

by June 13, 2021 0 comments

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”

William Butler Yeats

••• The Mad Gallery •••

A New Day A New EmptinessTyler Malone

With this one we end Tyler’s feature run in our Mad Gallery. But don’t you fret, we’ve got a new artist coming your way real soon! Stay tuned…

To witness more of Tyler’s poignant photos, 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 got lost in the lurch of the sea of the church; we made the most of an austere coast; we cocooned in the lee of god’s own tree; we riffed on the rancor of having no anchor; we watched the wind blow on the courage of crows; we outed our ins for some miracle twins; we supported the cause for start over pause. When blocked by the blank of nothing to think, we might as well write, there’s plenty of ink.
 ~ MH Clay

I am paused. by Frank Phelan

I am paused, it would seem.
What once thumbed eyelids open
mid-slumber to catch a phrase
in the act of art-making,
oblivious to its inopportune timing,
itself now surrenders to a vacuous torpor;
that state of being
unpossessed of the noteworthy
the mind an unoccupied territory;
a blank page
staring at its snow-blind twin
framed in a mocking mirror of doubt,
resurrecting the spectre of that
which first ever got in your way,
that sense of not belonging,
having nothing to say.

I am paused now, it seems.
And that which once closed my mind to the task,
that exclusion buffer of insecurity, inadequacy
the certainty that this role does not belong to me,
or the inverse, more accurately,
through third party prompting
no longer stands in the between,
words here trailing, to which are testimony –
I no longer hit pause – I hit start.

June 12, 2021

editors note: Truly, much ado (eloquently uttered) about nothing. (We welcome Frank to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

The Two of You by Alexandria Biamonte

You’ve really taken over,
Haven’t you?
My heart, my mind.
Every waking moment
Is dedicated to you
And often I dream of you.
I can’t write.
I can’t work.
My creativity has ground to a halt.
I feel angry about that, sometimes,
But never angry at you.
We call you our miracles.
Our looming, terrifying miracles.
Nothing will ever be the same again.
I feel like I shouldn’t be conflicted–
But I am.
You’re mommy’s little world-shakers.
And when the world quakes,
You hang onto what’s solid,
And you wait for what’s to come.

June 11, 2021

editors note: And we wait, too, till takeover is complete. – mh clay

Waiting in a Car in a Stormy Wind by Deborah Kerner

I’m waiting in a car the wind
intense I can hear it through the eucalyptus
leaves that clatter I stare at the grasses
and leafy greens wildly bending in one
direction as the wind whips them.
the car sways persuasively so that
I know this is a real wind storm
a strong heavy reverberation that
the tribes of pelicans I just saw over the
sea green waves struggled against.
when the sunlight hits my hand it leaves
fragments of its light embedded in my
skin so that I can see at night into
my dreams.
a crow flaps courageously but it can’t
move forward it’s forced to linger in one spot
even when it drops down closer to the
earth plane
still it remains stationary to the
onslaught of the wind finally
it shifts gear the wind has shifted enough
for it to swing sideways diagonally
across the sky and over my head as
I look out the car window.
A woman gets into her car next to mine
with a mask on and as she pulls out she leaves
a trail of her anguished inner life lying
bereft on the road.
waiting as shadows of wild arcing leaves
flicker across my chest and the scarf
I’m wearing gets light then dark.
Time left us many years ago in the rice
paddies of India. I don’t mind waiting
the wind hasn’t let up. It’s March.

June 10, 2021

editors note: “Nothing to be done.” – mh clay

I am Walt Whitman Reborn as an Engine of Words by Peter Magliocco

yet unable to recognize this once native
land given to autos & vast machinery
obliterating the last poetic reckonings.
Here routine citizens drably huddle

around digital orbs of computer ports
seeking contact with galactic megabytes.
What keeps us properly anchored
to necessary deception shimmering

as planets once revolved overhead
to wise men singing?
Now we are adrift in silent spirits,
far from the land’s founding ideals

with lies passing for profundities,
& whoever hears truly the tolling hour
must drive alone over fey landscapes
beyond the shadow of fallen stars.

June 9, 2021

editors note: No proper anchor? The idea of such a weight; improper, indeed. Let’s drive! – mh clay

A Moth in the Rain is like a Table by Nathan Anderson

Innumerable in constellation
reducing your
siesta’d exuberance
seeking muslin beneath

God’s own tree

like walkers
who spit and sing the word
clapping the narrowness
have you touched the cup?

Springtime without Shiva

June 8, 2021

editors note: Cocoon to cup to contentment in God Shiva Tree… have a seat. – mh clay

To the Coast by John P. Drudge

Into calmness
Past the horizontal lines
Of bliss
And the emptiness
Above thin air
Where strangeness
Strikes out
Breaching dimensions
Moving beyond beauty
And the long bare beaches
Of despair
To the rocky
Craggy coast
Where the sea
Is beautifully bleak
And austere

June 7, 2021

editors note: No sunscreen needed on this beach. – mh clay

The church of the sea by Milenko Županović

in the hearts
of unbelievers
on the coast
of the Dead Sea
traces of sailors
in the shadows
of the waves
the church of the sea
in the mother’s tears.

June 6, 2021

editors note: The dead are resurrected in their tears. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you Need-a-Read then heed this week’s featured tale, The Life and Death of Dave Adamson by Short Story Editor (and Contributing Writer/Artist/Poet) Tyler Malone.

Here’s what our Poetry Editor MH Clay has to say about this pick’o the week:

“With this talisman one life lives at the end of another. From a scream to a kiss, we can all say this: Long live Dave Adamson! Long live Us!”

Here’s a tease of Tyler short-short to get you goin’:

(photo “What’s the Point?” by Tyler Malone)

A scream runs through the street. A young couple sees what they’ll talk about until they’re old: a time, together, when they saw a body on a sidewalk. The couple hold one another and their breaths until police and emergency services arrive. No one offers a “Poor bastard” as those living gather to see where life goes.

There’s something about knowing in an instant what’s without life. A gutted building or abandoned car are the same as a dead man’s body. Police tell the couple to leave. As they do, they wonder if it’s all pointless. They know what brought them there on the street, but what purpose and different streets did the dead know?…

With that pithy query floating out there, we urge you to float on over to Mad Swirl’s Short Story Library to get the rest of Tyler’s read on!


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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Mike Fiorito
Associate Editor

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