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“I don't choose what to write about,
I don't choose my subjects,
they kind of choose me.”
Billy Bragg

featured poems

editor's note: With this Holiday Season upon us, some poems fitting the occasion would be fun to post. However, with our submissions queue averaging 70 - 80 days from submission to review, Holiday poetry submitted thismonth normally would not be reviewed until February-March. What to do? How about something different...

We queried a few of our Contributing Poets to submit some verses appropriate for this Season. This week in the Poetry Forum will be courtesy of them.

Read, enjoy; let Holiday Hijinx ensue. All the best of the Season from Mad Swirl to you!

MH Clay

Winter Solstice

The ward clock
drips
the final
drops,
the window sees
the last light
dim and die,
but
on the
shortest,
darkest,
day of the year,
beneath
the frost,
below
the rime,
the land
holds sleeping secrets
of renewal and rebirth.

- Michael Corrigan

(2 poems added 12.21.14)

editor’s note: Winter iced and isolated; incubator, rejuvenator. Death is a sleep-through to Spring. (Another magic missive from Mick on his page - check it out.) - mh

 

Of Death and Dying

Pay the ferryman twice, just to be
sure you do not end
up haunting the waters of hell’s only river.

Place remaining coins over each eye to show
your life had worth. Subsequently, purpose
may seemingly echo with shadows of pointlessness.

Immortal
gods do not lack
a sense of vindictive humor.

- A.J. Huffman

(1 poem added 12.20.14)

editor’s note: With immortal gods our mortal construct, the joke's on us. - mh

 

Catch my plea

What is with all "that light"
For just another ordinary day
How in the world can it end this way
No warning, no nothing
And there I lay
Not breathing
Motionless
A heart gone silent
And "that light"
Oops
Wait
It cannot be
I am not ready
This has to be a mistake
I thought I had time yet
To clean up my act
To wipe off my slate
I've repeatedly wronged myself
The horror show of my transgressions
And a closet load of skeletons
Have been plenty cruel to me
Please
Someone, anyone
Catch my plea
Can I live it over
Do it right, do it better
Try and make amends
Get another chance
Go back once

- Arif Ahmad

(1 poem added 12.19.14)

editor’s note: Everyone wants a "do over." Better done now, than regretted later - forgive yourself. - mh

 

Ribbons

Darkened skies,
thickly smeared
with petrified cries
go unheard.
Mopped up,
merged,
snuffed out.
Eaten up with
screams of hell.

Thunders,
torment reigns
Fists hammering
pent up fury
no mercy strikes
countless blows
unbiased
where they land.

Smashing skulls
and houses alike,
rage has no preference,
let loose,
rips trees from
their roots,
torsos tossed up in the air
Nothing escapes
the wrath of war
once claws are in,
sunk deep, embedded,
shredding every last ounce of life.
Red slashes
the torn up skies
hanging on but
with a ribbon.

All life removed
war dies down too
nothing left to fuel his fury.
Lies down upon
his blackened bed,
falls into restless sleep.

Death escorts
the shell-shocked
nerves scattered
ashen everywhere
dust settles down
on hollowed ground.
nothing left
bar one lone ribbon.

Hanging loosely
tied yellow.
Barely holding on

To a single thread
of hope.

- Tina Clowes Kay

(added 12.18.14)

editor’s note: A wisp of life remains, in spite. - mh

 

BERNIE

He holds down a factory job
so he can keep the farm.
Early morning,
he punches in twice,
once via hands squeezing cow teats,
the second with a yellow card
slotted into an old gray time clock.

He's a weary man
after a hard day on the assembly line,
a twilight in the tractor saddle,
plowing up the earth and gravel.

He could toss it in any time,
move to a tiny town apartment,
but the farm was in the family
when there was no town.
And under the bed,
there's a box of photographs,
faded glossies of watching eyes.

On Sundays,
it's church
and visiting his wife's grave.
God's no help,
Clara's dead.
It's a day of rest
with a hole in the middle.

- John Grey

(1 poem added 12.17.14)

editor’s note: To look upon this life as "plight" robs us all of hope and light. - mh

 

The Willow

Weeping willow
Hanging low
Over a pond.
Water so deep
But the water don’t flow
Graveyard silent
No ripple to see.
Bugs won’t fly
Over the absolute quiet
Bubble of restrained time
Breathless, bereft
Could the willow
Be crying for me.

- Steve Roberts

(added 12.16.14)

editor’s note: Man-tree hyperbole; tree-man empathy. - mh

 

a night in Venus

death is close
acquire the frilled wings
of a winter moth
      and meet me
      in Venus

let’s build
a borough with our hands
on the narrow bed
of our bodies
then turn off the lights

- Sergio A. Ortiz

(added 12.15.14)

editor’s note: Death ever close, safe haven built; can't die with the lights on. - mh

Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum

welcome to the Mad Swirl poetry forum. we have collected poetry from the maddest poets from the maddest corners of the world and have showcased them here in the forum just for you. this page is in flux, living and breathing, evolving and changing constantly... so please come and come often for the latest submissions. if you would like to submit poetry for the forum please see our submissions page.

staff poets

MH Clay
Cheyenne Gallion
Tyler Malone
Johnny Olson

contributing poets

Sheikha A.
Haris Adhikar
Arif Ahmad *
Ann B-D
Jhon Baker
Claude Barrett
Amy Barry
Gene Barry
Hem Raj Bastola
Gary Beck
Gayle Bell
Mike Berger
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Sheighle Birdthistle
Alan Britt
James Brown
Heather M. Browne
Melanie Browne
Sissy Buckles
Arun Budhathoki
Francesca Castaño
Bhargab Chatterjee
Kanchan Chatterjee
Sunya Chavi
Ralph-Michael Chiaia
Quinten Collier
Virginie Colline
Michael Corrigan *
Rina Angela Corpus
Laurie Corzett
Hal J. Daniel III
Holly Day
P.K. Deb
Beth DeSeelhorst
Joseph D. DiLella
Paul Donnachie
Jesse Doughty
J.K. Durick
Rob Dyer
Joseph Elenbaas
Neil Ellman
Michael Estabrook
Joseph Farley
Zach Fishel
Ryan Quinn Flanagan
Peggy Flora
Ralph Freda
Taylor Gall
Rafael Andrade Garza
Derrick Gaskin
Silas Gorin
KJ Hannah Greenberg
John Grey *
Jake Grieco
Tobias Griffin
John Grochalski
Kenneth P. Gurney
Alan Halford
Chris Hamilton
Zachary Scott Hamilton
Charlotte Hamrick
Dawnell Harrison
Paul Hellweg
R.A. Hernandez
Michael Holme
Paul Hostovsky
A.J. Huffman *
Clinton Van Inman
Ivan Jenson
Randall Johnson
Jericho Joyce
Santosh Kalwar
Peycho Kanev
Carl Kavadlo
Michael R. King
Kay Kinghammer
Paul Koniecki
Craig Kurtz
Michael Atreides Lair
Elissa Landrigan
Todd Macaulay
Mandolyn
Donal Mahoney
Ally Malinenko
Louis Marvin
Brendan McCormack
Catherine McQuade
Silva Zanoyan Merjanian
Bradford Middleton
Steven Minchin
Rose Aiello Morales
Ian Mullins
Polly Munnelly
Gina Nemo
B.Z. Niditch
Chiranjibi Niroula
Lisa Olson
Stephen Page
Jeffrey Park
Irena Pasvinter
Lilly Penhall
Robert E. Petras
Patty Dickson Pieczka
Timothy Pilgrim
Douglas Polk
Nalini Priyadarshni
Christopher Raley
Sam Rapth
Gayle Reaves-King
Roderick Richardson
Pere Risteski
Luke Ritta
Sy Roth
Walter Ruhlmann
David Rutter
Gianni Sacco
Opalina Salas
satnrose
Paul Sexton
Lisa Shields
Kayla Siobhan
Willie Smith
Desmene M. Statum
Alex L. Swartzentruber
David Thornbrugh
Melani Grace Tiongson
Paul Tristram
Kufre Udeme
Victory
Mel Waldman
Anthony Ward
Trier Ward
Harley White
Bill Wolak
Brian Wood
Changming Yuan
Chris Zimmerly

* new entries (12.15 - 12.21)

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Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum
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