The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.25.22

by December 25, 2022 0 comments

“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.”

Khalil Gibran

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Antiquing” ~ Tyler Malone

To see all of Tyler’s merry mad snaps, as well as our other resident artists (50 and counting!) take a virtual stroll thru Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum, yanked into the Yuletide slew… we decked the rooms in milkshake flumes; we were Christmas headin’ through Wham!ageddon!; we asked a tree, forgot some keys; we Christmas passed to make cake last; we made Yuletide revelry from sibling rivalry; we purists freed from Tree to tree; we self-relieved this Christmas Eve. God rest ye merry… ~ MH Clay

Gift by Polly Richardson (Munnelly)

Darkness descends upon these hills like tides turning on themselves
moving hypnotical fooling ticking clocks hours are long,
one by one tiny homes glow illuminating coastal edges
blink and here it is – dark, non-fading into, simply dark
not like night skies of summer breeze
but one more than just new moon shedding no lunar beams
to swim beneath winter’s swell, turning up its blackness
so she can wink herself here before milky way’s rash streaks
across doming these bending roads giving all of herself –
guiding December’s cocoon in twilight dream.
Waves of haves and nots bearing themselves so full of grace,
those lost in flesh yet found in inner places when fires crackle under candlelight
and her shine – north star, gifting, gifting. Sticky fingers purr, shedding cinnamon,
last year’s dust, tears of every memory held in rosemary wafts,
nutcracker stares a knowing beneath that tree glittering, the world’s best kept secret
lands with reindeer giving, giving, giving. And I hang my star.
Hang her high above these walls believe in all its joys each golden pleat ready to give its light and hold those giggles of Christmas mornings and eves past to greet their every changing growing light, 19, 15, 16, 12 years on their giggles giving, giving, giving. Hope that war will smother out beneath its darkness and sink, sink with power of giving, giving, giving as tides turn under full moon.

December 25, 2022

editors note: Giving, giving, giving. Yes! – mh clay

North Dakota by PW Covington

Landlocked near Minot
December sets in with a grin
Ice on the edges of rivers and creeks
From concrete culvert drainage ditches
Winter marks its time in afternoon twilight
The end of all old testimony

Hospital shift work, a differential for nights
One AM lunch break blacktop parking lot
I hit my vape in my car with my heater on
Red and green navigation lights
Glow north across the windshield
8 miles or so, above
Trans-Siberian travelers and Korean air freighters soar
On polar routes, overnight, tonight

Aluminum flanked by red and green, it’s Christmas Eve, up there
Solstice afterglow above this prairie
Tundra cold, uncaring, and eternal
As they lay inside with cardiac emergencies
Cancer, flu, and motorcycle crashes
All their loved ones look to me
And to my lying caduceus for answers

They ask for ice chips and warm blankets
And I bring them, as IVAC alarms beep and shriek and weep

I exhale in bright white cloudy, strong sativa
Never known, above, by dreams of Mumbai
Cloaked by smokescreen self-care sabotage
This night

December 24, 2022

editors note: This Eve of eves, make your own smokescreen. Self-care to all and to all a Good Night! – mh clay

Christianity of the pagans by Milenko Županović

Apostles of faith
in the shadow of the cross
at the top of the pyramid,
the remains
of temples
pagan symbols
In the ruins,
the last believers
of the doomsday,
endless rain
on the hill of Golgotha.

December 23, 2022

editors note: How we got from Tree to tree. – mh clay

Cookie dough by Emalisa Rose

With precision perfection,
her holiday cookies, in serrated
edged trees, elves and red
mistletoe, confection’s delights.

Mine were haphazard, sloppy
but the tastiest bells on the plate.
We’d battle to be our mom’s favorite.

My rival, my sister, my all time
best friend, with one fight too many,
each waits for the other’s apology.

December 22, 2022

editors note: A little sibling rivalry amidst the Season’s revelry. – mh clay

First Christmas in Missouri by Agnes Vojta

I miss the carols. The boys’ choir
singing Bach’s Christmas oratorio.

Mom’s collection of wooden nutcrackers.
The fat little angels with their green wings.

Christmas pyramids and Herrnhut paper stars.
Mulled wine at the Christkindl market.

I find Lebkuchen at Aldi,
imported from Germany.

I do not like Lebkuchen.
But they smell of cinnamon, anise,

and home. That winter, we are eating
Lebkuchen well into March.

December 21, 2022

editors note: Life bread to remember the Bread of Life – “well into March.” – mh clay

An Inferno Cannot be A Source of Light by Bhargab Chatterjee

Christmas tree, why do I forget my favourite keys on a keyboard?

I look around and watch, so many people are homeless; they even don’t get water to drink. Icebergs are crumbling elsewhere.

O! Jesus! Let me sit on the side of the river Dnipro and quench the thirst of my mind. I have lost everything. A New Year had never been so accidental, so dark in my life.

An Inferno cannot be a source of light. Elsewhere I watch, innocent children are playing on their mothers’ graves. Is it the planet, You created for us?

December 20, 2022

editors note: A bright Noel on planet hell. – mh clay

Wham!ageddon! by Tyler Malone

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart/ The very next day, you threw it away…

Pile hot coals into your mouth before the same song eats at ears year around.
Muffle It’s only a season years on years as cozy music plays as comfortably
as someone routinely seen naked sings through walls, thankful a month ago
there’s no Thanksgiving music but complaining about horizon’s light pollution.

For now, haunted houses put on their best show & darkness has color
while society chews active charcoal to spit out “It’s that time of year.”

Pull music over bodies, get cozy & don’t you dare go go. It’s WHAM!AGEDDON!
Time to say I’m sorry, I can’t give more & someone else says I’m not sorry
you discovered less than I deserve while waiting for last Christmas to drop
from corporate coffee playlists where it shares no artifacts of Christmas.

No frankincense or Coke cheers; the only present is a mailed heart, broken again a year later to believe in optimism in ways only the broken do, all alone
as arch enemy archangel George Michael created last Christmas on his own—
a fake pianist, three lost fingers on a keyboard, the same way most of us love:

Tapping out trying to return unwrapped dead touch without a gift receipt.

“Last Christmas” put more than hot coals in mouths that you’ll never kiss:
George Michael’s royalties — 100% of a beaten heart, all of it! — fell from tabid skies
to bite into African famine while we starve ourselves on annual replayed heartache,
a globe of silence, trite songs about ourselves, as we feast on our own knuckles

& we can no longer pretend forgiveness and music aren’t the same discovery.

December 19, 2022

editors note: This Christmas Morn, wake me up before you… – mh clay

“Fenced-Off Merry-Off” ~ Tyler Malone


The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin’ on… NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in our Mad Swirl’s World? Then come by whenever the mood strikes! We’ll be here…

Bowin’, Kneelin’ & Prayin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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