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“I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset -
tears are words waiting to be written.”
Paulo Coelho

featured poems

Gray Doves

There is a poem waiting to be written about Time
waiting like the rest of us in checkout lines
and holding pens, holding bellies full of hours
waiting to be born.

Water breaking, slipping through our hands as sparkling rain,
our lives written with sparklers in the air on the Fourth of July,
gone in an instant.
Seen once more, doubled in the window glass.

Doubled, twinned, symbiotes, we nibble at our years,
but Time eats us like watermelon, spits us out like seeds,
gets squashed beneath us in our chairs,
as air squeaks out from cushions.

Like bubbles wrung from laundry, the line
where we hang our pictures and past-due notices,
diplomas and dingy drawers, wet hankies and house keys

to beating time: Swim in the river, let it flow behind you,
clothes stripped before you dive,
shoes, caps, capes,

apron full of days. Flap it and they disappear,
but only as sugar dissolves
when it sweetens the cake,
sand when it fires into glass,
glass into obsidian. Into night.
Into poetry, waiting to be born.

- Gayle Reaves-King

(3 poems added 04.19.14)

editor's note: Every poet is just a mid-wife for their muse... (We welcome Gayle to our crazy confab o' Contributing Poets with this submission. See two more on ways to occupy waking hours on her new page - check'em out.) - mh

Lava Coma

I want to make
less sense, or maybe
no sense at all,
be a base-runner
leaping from phone-box
to window frame,
hillside to hammock;
word and wordsmith
unravelling a long scarf
whose colours stretch
half way round the world,
leaping so high
gravity gives up

and we spin out into a darkness
blacker than an unlit candle,
as bright as lava
the moment before
the volcano bursts
and the people on the hillside
have no time to run,
only stand and stare
and wait for their time
to burn.

- Ian Mullins

(added 04.18.14)

editor's note: Fire and fuel, flash frozen to burn both as art; a Pompeiian performance piece. - mh

Burning Black

It keeps on burning in my head.
The disguised times of amenity
The serene songs of frailty
Inflamed how they all got, so rapidly!
Until the last breath I inhaled the smoke
It blinded my eyes, filled my lungs with grief.
But too naïve I was to bury my insanity
which heaved me into the comfort zone, my peace of mind.
Peace, that gifted me nothing but regret
Peace that built an unbreakable casket
where in darkness I lay questioning myself.
No more I want to feel the weight…
This sutured life calls for an encore
But alas! The curtains have fallen already,
and my empty stage is burning black.

Maybe someday I will kneel and confess.
Unveiling a blackened soul
in desperate need of righteousness.
Will I be bold enough to face the past?
Resurrecting with vengeance,
encircling me with familiar toxic smoke!
Should I try to escape judgement
by uttering words full of piety?
Like an abused dog I cringe, for my master’s
already written the epilogue.
No angels would play their flute;
but just my deeds striking with venom,
whiplashing my body ‘till it’s bloody and broken
and my rueful soul dumped in the inferno,
evermore burning black.

- Jonas L. Rozario

(added 04.17.14)

editor's note: Fuel your fire to light the night. Burn bright or burn out; either way, burn. - mh


I am the metronome
mover of measures
            wide . . . . . . . . wide . . . . . . . . . . . . swings my pendulum
tracing the tempos of time

      my hands
a poco a presto
the strings of my mind

I am the hollow
      Trickle my tunes
      to the tilt of the times

      The see-sawing sea
paces my sands—
      murmurs ageless songs
            in major
                  and minor

Sharp waves
            crack my still mirror—
capture the startled sun
                  in splintered rays

I am the pulse of the wordless deep
            constant my cadence
the play of my tides
                  the gravity of the moon

- Harley White

(added 04.16.14)

editor's note: An alter ego of significant weight. See how she swings... - mh


Millions of stars, millions of nights showerfall,
cascading down intoxicating you with light.
Your eyes pulled to those rapidly gathering them up,
shoving them in baskets, stuffing pockets.
The big ones - shiny ones - ones that sparkle bright.
Which is mine?
Darting, grabbing, stealing all around, their drunken greed
hungrily fed - frenzy - leaving you lost.
Silence sleeps.

The stars are gone - missed moment – weighted air
The crickets chirp their call.
You’ve never come in crashing
your lullaby quietly mine.
Ears straining to hear - waiting for my star to fall.

- Heather M. Browne

(added 04.15.14)

editor's note: So much sparkle and flash. Just need one in your pocket... yours. - mh

This suit

This suit looks
my dad, home for
This suit catches
the attention
lovely young
This suit clings
to me
when the
sun is
This suit reminds
me of
where I

- Anthony Arnott

(added 04.14.14)

editor's note: Dress in a manner befitting career expectations; or, at least, lunch expectations. - mh


Talkin’ to me Mutha Fucka?
Yes, do you have the time?
3:30, Mutha Fucka.
3:30, it’s got to be later than that?
Ok Mutha Fucka, 9:30!

- Hal J. Daniel III

(1 poem added 04.13.14)

editor's note: You're only as late as you need to be, mutha... - 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
Paul Koniecki
Tyler Malone
Johnny Olson

contributing poets

Haris Adhikari
Ann B-D
Jhon Baker
Claude Barrett
Amy Barry
Gene Barry
Hem Raj Bastola
Gary Beck
Gayle Bell
Mike Berger
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Tyson Bley
Alan Britt
James Brown
Melanie Browne
Sissy Buckles
Arun Budhathoki
Francesca Castaño
Kanchan Chatterjee
Ralph-Michael Chiaia
Andrew Chmielowiec
Virginie Colline
Rina Angela Corpus
Laurie Corzett
Hal J. Daniel III *
Holly Day
Joseph D. DiLella
Jesse Doughty
J.K. Durick
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
John Grochalski
Kenneth P. Gurney
Alan Halford
Zachary Scott Hamilton
Charlotte Hamrick
Dawnell Harrison
Paul Hellweg
R.A. Hernandez
Paul Hostovsky
A.J. Huffman
Clinton Van Inman
Genevieve Jenkins
Ivan Jenson
Jeremy W. Johnson
Randall Johnson
Jericho Joyce
Santosh Kalwar
Suza Kanon
Carl Kavadlo
Saheli Khastagir
Michael R. King
Kay Kinghammer
Craig Kurtz
Nicole Kuwik
Michael Atreides Lair
Elissa Landrigan
Pd Lietz
Robert D. Lyons
Todd Macaulay
Donal Mahoney
Ally Malinenko
Louis Marvin
Silva Zanoyan Merjanian
Bradford Middleton
Steven Minchin
Rose Aiello Morales
John Najjar
Gina Nemo
B.Z. Niditch
Maurice Oliver
Lisa Olson
Jeffrey Park
Irena Pasvinter
Lilly Penhall
Robert E. Petras
Patty Dickson Pieczka
Timothy Pilgrim
Douglas Polk
Christopher Raley
Sam Rapth
Gayle Reaves-King *
Roderick Richardson
Luke Ritta
Steve Roberts
Sy Roth
Walter Ruhlmann
Gianni Sacco
Lisa Shields
Ray Sharp
Roger G. Singer
Kayla Siobhan
Christopher Smith
Willie Smith
Desmene M. Statum
David Thornbrugh
Paul Tristram
Kufre Udeme
Mel Waldman
Anthony Ward
Sheree La Puma-Watson
Bill Wolak
Brian Wood
Allen Qing Yuan
Changming Yuan
Chris Zimmerly

* new entries (04.13 - 04.19)

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