The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.26.23

by August 27, 2023 0 comments

A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him.

Man Ray

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Taking (2)” ~ Thomas Riesner

To see all 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 could not slip, were so equipped; we wished not be the self we see; we found fallacy in a legacy; we saw float flippers and stone skippers; we were soaked saps for a road map; we survived the heat, the leaves smelled sweet; we blessed a birth from Mother Earth. Gestation to regurgitation, if it’s sweet, it’s neat. ~ MH Clay

Volcano by Hem Raj Bastola

In the delivery pang
To become a mother
Eager I see a mother, who!
Hasn’t been a mother yet!
Dreaming myriads of

Tall, small
Different types
Need to be immixed here.
When one landslide happens,
Another gets compressed.
Yes it is dark today!
Light is necessary.

Like the need of a lamp,
In the dark, to give light then.
You need to burn oh! Mother earth,
And we need to receive
The light.

And that impatient wait
Of those sleepless mountains,
You need to listen a little.
Anxious is the offspring
To come out and to breathe
The air of Consciousness.
And to see the world.

Once again!
The world would be bright.
Being metamorphosed,
Bearing the energy of
Ultimate brightness.

That is the magma!
To break the rock ready
I am watching in the womb
Restless ringworms:
The volcano.

August 26, 2023

editors note: Magma, Mama, man-oh-man, ringworms we, awaiting the birth of earth. – mh clay

Surviving by Guest Poet Shikha Lamba

The summers exhaust me.
Maybe I’m not made for the sun.
Maybe, the sweat steaming off my body
is just a constant reminder of how quickly
vitality evaporates from our lives.
My garden is a desiccated ruin of soil and leaf.
You’ll recognize bereavement in my fig trees,
fruit shed and disposed, standing naked,
gazing at their purple sunken tips.

My orange edged ferns droop in misery, defeated.
My bougainvillea would scream if it could at the parched air,
soft pink flowers vapoured into nothingness.
I split open a stem yesterday, I needed to find green,
some life, to see if alive could sometimes
appear dehydrated and drained.
The ragged cleavage didn’t disappoint.

Have you ever inhaled the scent of a tree revealing itself to you?
I’ve heard stories about Pine trees that smell like raspberries.
My Dracaena smells a little like sweet lemon and perseverance.

August 25, 2023

editors note: A little perseverance is needed all around in this endless heat. Breathe deeply, friends! – mh clay

The Obscene Gesture of A Milestone by Guest Poet Kushal Poddar

Although the lines these lanes draw
meet at eternity
We do not see that while parallel-driving.

Then, our ignorance holds more truths
than some knowledge and a theory.
We pass a few grazing cows, drills,
a mill without a single operating hand
and some trees withered and waiting.

As we drive the first rain hits
our car roofs as if
clouds have borne
the long-term wait’s weight until
We drive past a certain milestone.

Shouldn’t it state the distance to eternity?
Instead, one digit almost erased
expresses an obscenity.

August 24, 2023

editors note: Cursing as cursed, travel worn, no worse. – mh clay

Cemetery Lane Beach by Richard LeDue

The water was warning us,
but we ignored how easily
youth sinks,
while we believed in life
vest padded lies,
and the doggy paddle,
the best friend to a dead man’s float;
all of which proved we knew more
about skipping stones
than the names left stranded
on mossy gravestones.

August 23, 2023

editors note: He floats best who sinks last. – mh clay

The Blank Obituary by Marianne Szlyk

Aged 99, Father Joe Koski died,
his obituary only his name,
his age, no place of death, no place of birth,
no life between.

His last days were spent in a single room
where night was always falling soundlessly.
Caregivers turned him every two hours, then
placed a cushion between his hairless legs.

Singing of the Glory of God, did they
(Nana, Precious, Emmanuelle, Celeste)
call him Father or Mister Joe? Did he
cry out like the others on his floor?

Or was he silent, unwilling or un-
able to speak, beg for mercy or for home?
Or did he speak, try to charm Celeste,
Nana, and Precious who changed him, washed him?

Did anyone know who he had been once?
The grim, young priest who mumbled Mass, his back
to the congregation as they filed in
early each morning before work.

The jolly priest who drove the altar boys
up to Whalom Park and bought them Dairy Queen
afterwards. The priest who said the folk Mass,
listened to Simon and Garfunkel, tried

to save the boy who drowned in Lake Whalom.
The boy’s mom shuffled into daily Mass
before work. She believed her son could not
be saved if Father Joe couldn’t save him.

The boy’s aging sister cannot believe
in priests and Mass anymore. All these years
she has been waiting, scanning the paper
for this blank obituary.

August 22, 2023

editors note: If not the life, then at least a satisfying death. – mh clay

Should I? by Guest Poet Theodore “Mac” Browne

Discounted and derelict I lay
In pieces.
What could be so wrong with me?
What could be my mortal flaw
That upon a glimpse of future
A shining silver string in an ocean of darkened stormy clouds
That you would take your tongue, sharpened and carnal,
And slice at it blindly, contemptuously?

Is there such a reason to live
Without company of another?
For if I lay again, cold, naked, broken in the dark of a soundless night
The old friend I call my heart will surely burst.

And what if it my eternal fall is never braced?
What if my name is never uttered on any loving lips?
Should the earth stop spinning?
Will the waves cease to froth and crash?
A cage of construct restricts me, binds me to the thought that I am
Unwhole, without, desperate.

Why when I look in the mirror do I hate the reflection crying out before me, begging for savior,
For an oasis on this hauntingly dark and depraved ocean, a life boat of sanity?
I look to him, his crooked grin, his folded forehead, the tears that connect from freckle to freckle.
Pull and stretch at the imperfections, fingers slipping over salty skin.
I never liked him anyways.

August 21, 2023

editors note: Perhaps, you should! If it doesn’t start there, it won’t start anywhere. – mh clay

IT’S ALL MIGHTY by Saloni Kaul

Equip the shadow with originality formed tight
Equip the mirror with that sparkling stamp of recognition
Equip the dream with forecastable farsight
Equip the rest with dynamic ignition.

Equip the learned with that sense of trim proportion
Equip the rash-and-reckless brash with hindsight
Equip the worldly-wise with tiny hints of catchphrase caution
Equip the melancholy with shaped measures of delight.

Equip the soil with shades discreet of latitude
Equip airy wind with dimensions of weighty pointed thought
Equip fire with that firm stationary tranquillity of quietude
Equip moving water with prized wisdom highly sought.

Equip the one-side tilted with a sense of keen straight balance
That they may all contain their occasional odd excesses,
Learn to get into harness and exert themselves
Working their way to a string of successes.

August 20, 2023

editors note: If so equipped, success is certain. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Soar on into Free Bird by Contributing Writer Randall Rogers.

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

There was no Icarus, there has only been us. So fly!

“Green, Blue, but Not All for You” by Tyler Malone


Cast your eyes upon One Vote by Lynda Baker.

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

What matters most in this world? The one, the smallest minority. So much depends on just one that too often we don’t even count it.

“Don’t Rush to Rust” by 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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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