The Best of Mad Swirl : 06.10.23

by June 11, 2023 0 comments

Language most shows a man, speak that I may see thee.

Ben Jonson

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Tower of London” ~ Luanne Castle

To see all of Luanne’s hauntingly whimsical collages, 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 heard a bell ring for our daily done thing; we sang with zeal for what light reveals; we deciphered crap with a silly slap; we bit toe to sleep go; we met madness in blooming sadness; we leafed amiss in autumn bliss; we now estranged by flowers arranged. Stick stems in water, blooms abide. ~ MH Clay

Now by Beate Sigriddaughter

March wind
yellow flowers
is soft
with memory
with desire
this moment
has no flavor
a red vase and
five daffodils
are simply
not enough

June 10, 2023

editors note: A plea to better decorate your now. – mh clay


On a fall walk, the leaves drift between us
Lazy, one or two at a time. Autumn
Is bliss till the sleet stings. This afternoon
The sun is a soft haze, now orange, now
Gold, like we are in a film called Perfect
Day, and we chat of this and that, your week
And mine; love has that substance sometimes, all
The sweeter, silent.

Out of the blue we stare at a maple
Tree losing two thirds of its leaves from one
Strong wind. You say “If only it was that
Easy, if our past would just leap free. Gone.”
And I nod, wishing it were true….except
What would we change, and which leaves keep? All of
Of us have mistakes we just say we rue;
Stuff we’d dearly love another crack at.

Memory paints some things golden and sweeps
Other thoughts away. For all that we know
The maple tree regrets each strong fall wind,
And misses each tender shoot, each branch no
Matter how frail, each leaf heavenly green
In summer, in autumn, the eye’s delight,
Yellow, gold, orange, russet: reminders
Of what was, and might be still.

June 9, 2023

editors note: Together, past leaves will shade that one to leaf alone. – mh clay

The Melancholy Flowers by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

The melancholy flowers
in their watered vases
perfume out their misery
in public and private places.
Some grow lonely in beer
pitchers without beer. Some
in their helplessness are
wrapped in paper. Others
gather dust and are sadder
than yellowing leaves.
The long afternoons are
spent weeping. Their delicate
petals lend themselves to
photography and film. Yet
their sadness goes on
wounding them
again and

June 8, 2023

editors note: How poor, these petals; we never knew, never thought to ask. – mh clay

The Final Act by Guest Poet Scott Laudati

Look outside,
there’s a little sun left over the bay.
If you’re still hungry stick a hook through my lip
and cast me out.
I’ll hold my breath and sink to the bottom,
dig my feet into the sand
until a clam bites my big toe.
If I find enough we can take the catch
to New York
and sell it on the old Bowery.
There’s a tent there with a tank
full of dead manatees called
The Mermaid Mausoleum.
My mom took me to see it on my sixth birthday.
The ticket came with a free photograph
and a piece of Bubble Yum.
Maybe my picture is still on the wall.
Maybe we can refill my well of hate
that’s been running dry for years.
The sun’s gone down now.
No planes.
No moon.
It’s seemed like the end of my whole life I think.
And tonight I’ll go to sleep under stars
dead before the first man,
wondering why it’s taken so long for us,
hoping the credits roll soon.

June 7, 2023

editors note: Lights, long gone out, await our demise; both lingering. – mh clay

Mockingbird Messenger by Scott Thomas Outlar

I sing in the rain to restore
the soul of this fallen world

and it’s not like I’m the greatest guy
to ever flick his tongue with a melody

but the rest of these nuts
have completely lost the script

so even a rehabilitated lunatic like myself
has to take a shot at reinstituting an ethical fiber

La la la, you crazy freaks
now rub your eyes with salt and slap yourself silly

the moral code just fell from heaven
and I’m not guaranteeing a clear translation

June 6, 2023

editors note: The preaching of prophets is open to interpretation. – mh clay

Songs of the Birds by Guest Poet J. Iner Souster

Returned by the winds that carry
Replaced by the winds that drift
The melodies of our mothers and hymns to our fathers
I’m a flower—what flowers are to the sky
Into a blue, blue heaven, when broken is the twilight
Woven throughout the soul is a thread of desire
A rumbling sound drives us to the horizon
A clean slate concealed in the night
A day of death for life,
revealed in the light.

June 5, 2023

editors note: If we can sing along, we might understand the meaning. – mh clay

churchbells by Dan Spencer

churchbells ring from the nearby shrine
through empty Sunday streets
memories of Durango and Cosenza we brought here
the bones and stone tools of mound builders & mammoth hunters
lay in display cases in the local library
as forgotten by the road builders as the ruins of Rome
or Tenochtitlan were forgotten before this
we are the wheat of civilization
it feeds on us, marches its armies on our backs
and in turn it tends us until the harvest
hungry for soil, space, thirsty, costly, and always growing

history, climate change, wilderness – the news from other countries
don’t mean much to us
we know our place in the scala naturae
we will mow our lawns, wash our cars, pay our taxes, and buy our bananas
confidant that the churchbells will keep ringing
in the distance on Sunday forever.

June 4, 2023

editors note: Carry on, we. No bells toll for thee. (We welcome Dan to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you’re lookin’ for something to wag your tail, check out our featured tale, Patience of Job by Diana Rosen!

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

Go gently. Be tender. Be strong enough to feel grace.

Here’s a few licks to get you goin’:

“Contents?” by Tyler Malone

The Dog, he’s a good boy, well-behaved, even does a trick or three, but I can tell, his limit of patience is tried by this faux Golden Crown, a buttercup yellow, fluffy-to-the-touch duck called Peep. She’s put him in an unenviable position as it’s twenty minutes since lunch and a dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do…

You gotta do what you gotta do too & fetch the rest of this pup tale right here!


If you’re looking for an escape from reality, On the Shore of Walden Pond by Contributing Writer Jim Bates will get you on your way!

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

We need guides, help, and ways to see into the present from the past. Sometimes, they’re there, waiting for you to meet them.

Here’s a reveal of this reverie read:

“Growth” by Tyler Malone

The Boss droned on. “Yes, and next quarter we project earnings of…”

Stifling a yawn, he adjusted his tie and feigned attention, nodding occasionally like a good employee should. In his mind, though, it was different. In his mind, he journeyed back across time and space to Walden Pond and the home of Henry David Thoreau.

“Hi. Welcome.” Thoreau greeted him, smiling through his bushy beard. He adjusted his straw hat and patted the log he was sitting on. “Come over here. Sit down and join me.”

The request seemed perfectly natural, so the employee did. “Thank you,” he said. “My name’s Alex. Alex Jensen.”

“Nice to meet you, Alex. I’m Henry. Henry David Thoreau.”

They shook hands.

“Nice to meet you too.”

Alex was immediately put at ease by the outdoorsy-looking man. This is lots better than sitting in a boring meeting, he thought to himself..

Slip on into the rest of this mad musing over here!

••• Open Mic •••

If you joined Mad Swirl Open Mic this past 1st Wednesday of June (aka 06.07.23) at our OC home, Barbara’s Pavillion, then you know that once again whirl’d up the Swirl and got the Mad mic opened for all you Mad ones out there!

Johnny O
MH Clay

Musical Overture:
Swirve (Chris Curiel, Gerard Bendiks)

Open Mic:
VP Crowe
*Chris Zimmerly
Brian Duran-Fuentes
*Atenea Afrodita
Susan Duval
Desmene Statum
Kevin O’Neill


HUGE grats to ALL the participators & appreciators who rode the Mad wave live at Barbara’s as well as our FB Live feed! We know you have a few choices of what to do with your Wednesday night & you picked to hang out with lil ol’ us!

Stay tuned ’til next 1st Wednesday… ’til then, may the madness swirl your way!

Johnny O

P.S. In case you missed the LIVE feed, your eye can spy on the whole virtual Swirl’n scenes right here…

••• Mad Merch •••

••• The Best of Mad Swirl : v2022 •••


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…

Seein’ thee,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

Leave a Reply