print issuepoetry forumshort storiesthe mad gallerycolumnsopen micfriendscontactsubmissions
home | poetry forum

“Only those things are beautiful which are
inspired by madness and written by reason.”
Andre Gide

featured poems

(For Dr Abdel Hamid)

A war without an army, a battle
With no flag. It’s fought inside a darkness
We all have in our minds. No bugle call,
No marching bands - and medals? Even less!
You’ll never be on your own but often
Wish you were! You are trapped inside a net –
A mesh that must be killed, it’s either you
Or it. Can you be a killer? You bet!
The conflict zone is larger than you thought.
At first, and also last, it’s doom and gloom.
But then finally you have to face it.
No glory. It comes down to this small room.
He stands, this man who took you through your fear.
He shakes your hand and smiles, and says, ‘You’re clear!’

- Derrick Gaskin

(1 poem added 11.22.14)

editor’s note: A regular irregular to keep our pathways clear. No brain sepsis here! - mh


Happy is the Day

Happy is the day that on rising,
my body flexes like a bow from head to toe,
and powered by arching spine,
bounds out to meet the world
and all its promise.

Happy is the day
when clouds are light and sky is bright,
and without drug filled enthusiasm,
or drink floated confidence,
everything is just magical,
and happily out of control.

Sad is the day when I am made small.

Why one day should greet me openly
while another rejects me so harshly,
I do not know,
and I really, really wish
that I could know each sunrise,
simply as a call to live,
and see only the open road,
instead of trips on those already travelled.

- Niall OConnor

(added 11.21.14)

editor’s note: Be it a trip or a fall; go for the magic, not the small. Happy day, indeed! - mh



Hold me when you are close enough and
I am pushing you away refusing you my breaking point
at that last moment while turning that bend
like I hold those iron bars in anxiety of sky
molten in liquid blue that permeates my eyes
I am not far neither close
just where you chose me to be
an ear for your personal ramblings
where I have no place to live no shoulders to rest upon
an invitee in the remote walls where you decide the role
and own the strings of monotonous curtains
your lies and truth like an unabashed hurricane
blowing in severity from all directions
from high mountains and deepest seas
ruling and destroying my unconsciousness
when I was yet to discover if I am dead or living
I felt like changing to seasons and at once
cold and warm to domesticated notions
where you can happen to me twice as rapturously
and I can make you cry over my unseasonal chuckles.

- Jyoti Modi

(added 11.20.14)

editor’s note: The object holds the strings. The subject holds the chuckles. - mh



People believe what they want to believe.
Truth is merely another emotion,
Like love,
A rabbit in a dunce’s hat.
Go ahead: wish for true love;
The brightest star in the sky
Is exploding.

- Robert E. Petras

(1 poem added 11.19.14)

editor’s note: Believe what you will; it is ultimately subjective. Reality comes in a flash! - mh


Ballad of the Bouncing Self

At times I, like a butterfly,
May flit from bloom to bloom,
Or with my whimsy set sky-high
To outer space may zoom.
And yet, when all’s been said and done,
I follow what my fate has spun—
   For some may strive and ne’er succeed,
   While others simply do the deed.

A Muse impels me on a spree
Of whirling swirling craft
Where poems must not mean but be…
Until I’m going daft.
But words, albeit finely wrought,
Can only catch a passing thought—
   For some may strive and ne’er succeed,
   While others simply do the deed.

When my reality looks pale
I frolic in a theme
From vivid myth, folklore or tale,
Where dreams are what they seem.
And there where’er I romp and roam
I always feel a welcome home—
   For some may strive and ne’er succeed,
   While others simply do the deed.

I’ve often fallen to the ground
And picked myself back up.
I’ve hungered for a loving touch
And sipped from passion’s cup.
My longings, cravings ruled my will;
Still never could I drink my fill—
   For some may strive and ne’er succeed,
   While others simply do the deed.

A life led wrong, though full of song,
Will cause us to regret,
When pondering the winters long,
Our faults we can’t forget.
And then we’re washed in bitter tears
For senseless youth and wasted years—
   As some may strive and ne’er succeed,
   While others simply do the deed.

I said I want to live before
I die, in villanelle,
To learn where lies true wisdom’s door
And shun the gates to hell.
Yes, wayward ways can still begin
To seek and find the Way within—
   For some may strive and not succeed,
   While others simply do the deed.

- Harley White

(1 poem added 11.18.14)

editor’s note: Follow the ball to sing along, off of the walls to find that song. Do the deed! - mh


My Manic Meds' Truth: A Sonnet in Waltz Time

Make no mistake, its no fun when you're manic.
When it starts, maybe so, but it soon can turn frantic.
When blindsided by sights it can lead to a panic
I'm writing this way to show its not romantic.

I was in a canoe on a still quiet lake,
So you paddle three times and enjoy the ride.
But when I looked down, it couldn't be fake,
A small symphony was playing inside.

I couldn't hear a note, with them all under water,
And I knew down deep that they could not be there.
Just faces and hands that were all in a blur
and then I was past them, but Christ what a scare.

This actually happened because of my meds,
Once more I'd been torn from the reins to my head.

- Tom Hall

(added 11.17.14)

editor’s note: A day in the life of a pendulum swinger; symphonically submerged (one, two, three - one, two, three). - mh


The Hot Water Bottle’s Resignation Letter

Why? The six-month lay-off
confined to quarters
with puffballs of dust
and dropped sweet wrappers
under the bed. That’s for starters.

Then let’s consider
the nerve-grinding torture
of the kettle’s transition
from stone-cold to boiling;
neck gripped: the pouring, the scalding …

the brash demonstration
of no-way-out, of coercion
back into the sphere of action.
No renegotiation,
no fawning reinstatement –

you demand then expect me
to bow and scrape and get on with it.
Well, screw you. I quit.
Why? I want to be free
of your grubby quilts, your sheets,

your inelegant couplings, your feet.

- Neil Fulwood

(added 11.16.14)

editor’s note: When discussing equitable wages and working conditions, every point of view warrants consideration. - 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

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
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
Genevieve Jenkins
Ivan Jenson
Randall Johnson
Jericho Joyce
Santosh Kalwar
Peycho Kanev
Carl Kavadlo
Michael R. King
Kay Kinghammer
Craig Kurtz
Michael Atreides Lair
Elissa Landrigan
Pd Lietz
Todd Macaulay
Donal Mahoney
Ally Malinenko
Louis Marvin
Brendan McCormack
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
Paul Sexton
Lisa Shields
Roger G. Singer
Kayla Siobhan
Willie Smith
Desmene M. Statum
Alex L. Swartzentruber
David Thornbrugh
Melani Grace Tiongson
Paul Tristram
Kufre Udeme
Mel Waldman
Anthony Ward
Trier Ward
Harley White *
Bill Wolak
Brian Wood
Changming Yuan
Chris Zimmerly

* new entries (11.16 - 11.22)

forum archives

2014 archives

2013 archives
01.2013 - 12.2013

2012 archives
01.2012 - 12.2013

2011 archives
01.2011 - 12.2011

2010 archives
01.2010 - 12.2010

2009 archives
03.2009 - 12.2009

Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum
over 10,000 poems swirled... and counting!