The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.25.23

by on February 26, 2023 :: 0 comments

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.

Victor Hugo

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Currents (2)” ~ Thomas Riesner

To see all of Thomas’ wicked squiggles, as well as our other resident artists (50 and counting!) take a virtual stroll thru Mad Swirl’s Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This past week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we came through the night to shadows and light; we changed up with a haircut; we lived through scares enough to share; we got the gist of a packing list; we saved the end for one in ten; we swirled into motion a manic mad potion; we were deaf to destruction by our social construction. It’s us. We’re doing this. Some of us hear it. More of us should. ~ MH Clay

Still learning to listen! by Hem Raj Bastola

3:22 AM.
Annapurna Base Camp

Enough is enough!
I saw it today.
Dashing girl in the dining room.
Performing her duty
Playing cards and laughter
lacking respect and
role of her duty.

Did she represent
The culture and society
That she is grown to cater
A question within me asks as I see.
As a mute observer reading
By coincidence in the same place
As I happen to stay tonight.

Forgive me!
My eyes are loud,
My ears sharp and my mouth blunt
And I am looking for the sharpener
For the pencil that
I have perceived.

Thousands of
Kilometers I have walked,
Feelings I read.
Person to person different,
Attitudes and manners.

Honking horns in the city
While walking on the roadsides.
Songs of Rivers and rillettes
I have understood,
In the silence of the mountains.

I have listened to the silence,
Roars and cries and rain.
Pitch of its meaning is different,
The way you realize:
The essence.

Peace it carries
As the gong, it echoes far out.
Soothing to the sense of calmness,
Whenever I visit the temples
I ring the bell, to listen.
And to invoke the silent god.
Within me dwelled.

As the years pass by
The roads are changing
The way people think,
Lacking respect for human values.
Quick response, they require.
The ethics of patience!
Modern time is gone.

One day
When I was answering
To the customer he said:
“They do not respond in time”

Still the knowledge of
Impermanence is forgotten.
The ignorance we are imposing
To harm the universal law.
By the flourishing culture of
Immediate result,
And impatience saying:
Here and now.

And It is shame to say,
For the dying forbearance
In modern times.
Lacking kindness,
Generosity and compassion!

Life is an omnipresent
Conscious spirit.
I understood and realize:
An echo dies in a minute.
And I discovered a sound!
On this very night in silence.
Still learning to listen!

February 25, 2023

editors note: As times betide, wisdom from this guide. – mh clay

Hippocampic Hiatus by Henry Bladon

Screams from beneath
a bed of rolling wrath,
while double-sided adrenaline
spews forth a sunset-spiked fury.

Hypnogogic mania
scored onto semi-conscious canvas.

Tectonic tempest projected on a gelatin screen.

White noise in hues of orange and brown
slide furious force over oil-stained empathy.

Amber bloom, carrot crunch, banana blend,
celery shard buried in julep swirl.

Lemon zest, swirling test.
Phosphenes the colour of anxiety.

A molecular maelstrom seeking the realm of a distant dream.

February 24, 2023

editors note: There’s a lesson here to (un)learn if only we could remember… – mh clay

Women in a Waiting Room, 1998 by Margaret Coombs

I envision tiny brooms
to sweep away my stress.
Try to forget the hollow needle
that sucked tissue from my breast.

The surgeon called us here,
ten women seated in a row.
Only one of us has cancer.
He’ll call us in by name.

I hear the women’s voices,
through a criminally thin door.
Hallelujah, praise the Lord!
One by one they hurry past,

intent upon their shoes,
or what’s inside their pocketbooks
until just two of us remain.
I learn my fate.

Receive it without comment,
not inclined to celebrate
that the curse that passed me by
goes to the woman left.

She peers at my face for news.
I’m in a drama that I hate.
“I’m sorry,” I convey
without saying a word.

Can’t stop the sudden panic
that rises in her face.
Can’t check the selfishness
I feel shouldering my bag.
I leave her to the doctor
who waits behind his desk.

February 23, 2023

editors note: Relief with remorse, there are none deserving either way. – mh clay

Packing List by Agnes Vojta

The blue dress that has pockets for pebbles and shows off my legs.
The sandals with the Velcro straps for the beach.
The linen jacket for chilly evenings.
A pair of scissors to trim lose ends.
A map to know where the boundaries are.
A mask to hide my true feelings.

An adapter to understand your language.
An icon of the patron saint of disagreements.
A gift to appease the needy gods you worship.

A calculator to determine how many apologies to exchange for my faults.
A purse full of coins to purchase absolution.
A spare heart in case mine gets broken.
How to make it all fit.

February 22, 2023

editors note: And the question; can you check it or carry it on? – mh clay

Enough To Share by PW Covington

Mountain glowing pink neon at sunset
Night sky fading indigo to stars
Moon orb rising sexual and urgent
From beyond limestone granite
Hardness of all history
Waves and waves of atmospheric lust
Caress her skin and liquid things begin

The chains of fear she left road-side in Texas
Scars she wore for decades, so adorned
Testament to hopes of making it here, through years
Between the mountain stone and river flow

She’s claimed herself
On moonlit nights in Summer esoteric
More than that,
She’s found enough to share

February 21, 2023

editors note: Enough is more than anyone could ask. – mh clay

Metamorphosis by Susie Gharib

When Simon had lathered with lavender my branches
and smoothed entangled twigs with massages,
a pair of scissors advance to subdue
the wild overgrowth of my unruly wood.

With no rape-of-the-lock sort of attitude
only the weeds lose livelihood.
I shed no tears on beheaded boughs
nor sing a requiem for severed parts.

I observe his hands in masterful orchestration,
neither gripping
nor clutching the maestro’s brush,
his fingertips waltzing in full concentration,
caressingly reshaping the complying locks.

In the mirror we gaze
at my altered face,
the fringe that vies with Cleopatra’s.
With ‘Merci’ and a smile
he bows out of view,
with metamorphoses all day to ensue.

February 20, 2023

editors note: A trimmed tree, tickled. – mh clay

Mornings and Shadows by April Mae M. Berza

When mornings are veiled with sadness
I ask that you whisper no song
Sell my tears in the hardware
Donate my blood to the crickets
Just leave the door of our bedroom
Slightly open where I could hear
The sun’s footsteps like a burglar
And remember not to water
The sunflowers on my windowpane
Just leave me alone with your shadow

When sadness is veiled with mornings
Drop a hello to a marionette
Listen to the bleeding Stradivarius
As one would hear a sermon
Then walk with a living saint
In our living room and dance
Sculpt me a rainy season soon
The sawdust rippling in my bathtub
And I will forget the mornings
Forget that mornings have no shadows

February 19, 2023

editors note: A little light on the subject… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re in a rush for a read and need a run-on tale to get you on your way, Isn’t It Always the Guy Wearing the Golfer’s Cap and The Droopy Socks? by Paul Beckman will get you swinging!

Here’s what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick’o the weekend:

Don’t bother to be bothered. Just listen to the songs of people coming and know you won’t hear a thing when they leave.

Here’s a snippet all teed up for you:

“Outing” by Tyler Malone

There was no Anvil Chorus from the doorbell ringing but I hear my front door open (remind me to oil the hinges) then I hear a woman yelling, a man yelling back and there went my nap for the day so I hopped off the top bunk went downstairs and these strangers, he with a golfer’s cap, plaid Bermuda shorts, knee length black socks slipping down his three iron size legs and finally the wife jumps in and takes charge saying, “Shah, we are guests in someone else’s home,” as she points at the paisley print sofa with her right pointer finger and mocks throwing up with her left hand down her throat, and I see this as I get to the bottom of the stairs “who the hell are you people?”…

“Fore!” more of this story, swing on over here!


If you’re looking for a some punchy prose then Collaborator! by Contributing Writer & Poet Randall Rogers.

Here’s what Chief Editor Johnny O has to say about this pick’o the week:

“Rippin’ off the scab of an inherited wound doesn’t make it hurt any less…”

Here’s a hit to get you started:

“What Sneaks” by Tyler Malone

Eighty million of them and I have to get the guy I Seig Heiled in Thailand. I shouldn’t have done it. He was just a hippie tourist. I have a beef with Nazi Germany, sure, but who doesn’t!? I mean, get over it, man. That’s what the German should have said to me, when, drunk, I met him in the bar. He looked full of laughs, drunk, laughing. It was Thailand, Pattaya, Soi 6. From about ten feet I asked him, “Where you from?”

“Germany,” he responded, smiling. Then I went and did it. Went erect and flashed him a Seig Heil straight on. Arm bolt straight from the shoulder, flat palm face out. A triumph of my will. I don’t know why I did it. I thought it would be funny, an ice breaker. I was wrong.

He was crestfallen. It was if I slayed him with a gut punch, then clipped him with a right cross. He deflated. His shoulders collapsed in, he buried his head in his chest and bent at the knees. It was his face, though, that was most telling. For he cringed as if shot. A sour expression turned to a sad frown preceding his physical inward melt…

Dig the rest of this misdirected comeuppance story right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of March (aka 03.01.23) when we ring in 2023 by doin’ the open mic voodoo that we do do at our OC home, BARBARA’S PAVILLION as well as from our Mad Zoom Room (broadcasted via FB Live)!

Starting at 7:30pm, join hosts Johnny O & MH Clay as we will kick off these open mic’n Mad Swirl’n festivities with some musical grooves brought to you by Swirve (Chris & Tamitha Curiel, Gerard Bendiks) followed by our usual unusual open mic!

Come one.

Come all.

Come to participate…

(RSVP at our Facebook event page or send a message to

Come to appreciate…

(join us LIVE at Barbara’s Pavillion- located at 323 Centre St, Dallas -OR- tune in to our Facebook LIVE feed starting at 7:30pm)

Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call… Mad Swirl!


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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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