The Best of Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum : 05.05.12

“Be that self which one truly is.” Soren Kierkegaard

Flying with my eyes (above) by featured artist, David Arthur-Simons, one of over 20 artists currently coloring the virtual walls in Mad Swirl's eclectic electronic collective Mad Gallery. We know you'll wanna see mo' fo' sho' so move that mad mouse of yo's right over here and a-way you'll GO!


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we basked in sunshine, sequenced seasonally; we saw distant shores, heard a warming welcome, entered into a cosmic conversation; we dallied in lonely doldrums, assuaged by angels' eyes; we side-stepped sharp shards, engaged in entropy reversal; we tickled the two-thirds, untouched by American absence, yet still in need of our help; we swaddled school-girl uncertainty in eu de frangipani; lastly we wangled a slap-stump wheelchair reality, reduced to child-like wonder at show-and-tell how to steer a wheel or shower when you have what you have. And, we have so much!

The Giving Tree

My Aunt Hannah taught 2nd grade.
And after the first amputation
which was just a couple of toes
on her left foot, she came
to school carrying a silver cane,
and she let the kids use it
as a prop in their little skits,
and as a stickball bat at recess,
and to reach up into the tree
to rescue the kite. And the kids
were happy. But after the second
and third and fourth amputations—
this little piggy and his neighbor,
then the whole damn block, then up to the knee,
and then a year later all over again
on the other side of the street—
the kids had a different teacher.
And my Aunt Hannah came to school
in a silver wheelchair, and she let the kids
push her around in it. And some of them
sat in her lap as she read to them
at reading time. And they asked her
questions, unselfconsciously, the way
only kids will ask: What happened
to your legs? Where are the legs now?
How do you take a shower? How
do you drive a car? It was not unlike
show-and-tell, and my Aunt Hannah
was happy to answer. She even joked a little,
and slapped one stump and then the other,
so it looked like a flam on a pair of bongos,
or a rim shot after the punch line
of a bad joke in the Catskills.

- Paul Hostovsky

(1 poem added 05.05.12)

editor's note: If that's what is, best to embrace it. The kids will accept it and we'll learn faster how to navigate the shower or drive the car. (We welcome Paul to our congress of Contributing Poets with this submission! See more stories from him on his new poetry page.) - mh

Frozen Green Beans on Your Face

Frozen green beans on your face
Days after eyebrow plucking,
When ice, like other common proofs of civility,
Remain missing from our freezer.

Instead of camouflage gear, or a fine shako,
I gift your brother with a plastic bowl of fufu.
After all, the nutritional value of malanga
Leaps off of the chart.

Trade winds, as measured by social media,
Make most packs of wolves follow nicely.
Many hours of homework later,
All that wafts is eu de frangipani.

At day’s end, Dear One, good girls,
Like yesterday’s locomotives, stall abruptly.
Even when following procedural strictures,
Such as their mothers’ cues for smiling and nodding.

- KJ Hannah Greenberg

(1 poem added 05.04.12)

editor's note: The Schools of Finishing or Following render dubious results; education guarantees no understanding. Best to listen to your Mum. - mh


Heeding the head on the
young Don
you notice no tanks have rolled
through American streets
the body-count lower
than the Roman walls that
blocked Alaric and his troops
as the painted faces
of women-in-terror gasped
after 800 years of insular peace.

So many of us know nothing
of suffering. So many of us are afraid,
kow-towed by news reports
of rapes, robberies, car wrecks
brought to us by Homeland Security:
implicit fear results in vigilance.

You fell in pleasure at the luxury
and abundance. You failed in displeasure
at the two-thirds of the world
dogging-it at a buck a day
and when you fell, America,
the earth centering itself again,
abundant graves of grain left fallow,
smoke rising from your cities
like pyres to the gods,
a little sex, or drug, or purchase
could not change your world.

- Addie Soaraki

(added 05.03.12)

editor's note: Our vigilant consumerism cannot cure the crippled two-thirds, but it damn sure clouds our consciousness of them. Where's my credit card? - mh

Angular and Toothy

glass bottles being smashed
in reverse
gives us ‘the whole’
from the ‘shattered’.
everything is whole and broken
in our march with infinity,
in the instant where glass
(transparency) becomes angular and
(the putting back together
makes us human)

- Dan Hedges

(added 05.02.12)

editor's note: In your quest to overcome entropic proclivities, mind those shards. We haven't learned, yet, how to unbleed. - mh

Love's Eyes

As night falls your ship is guided by the stars,
Reflections in the water remind you of angels sent to protect you from the
dark unknown.
That is like love...
You are unaware of the unknown and follow blindly through the darkness,
But the love you see guides you through and takes you to safety.
And she ensures you that the sun will shine once again.

- Peirson Lane

(added 05.01.12)

editor's note: She's hard to find when we go looking. When we give up, she finds us - believe her or not. - mh

Speak in Peace

Useful communication requires common metaphor
(Divided by myths forged to unite within our tribe)

When I feel alive, rooted yet wild, outside of frame
a dancing child, free of security derived from shame
able to rise beyond the schoolyard game of divisive naming

I see within my eyes distant seas and shores,
forest folk blinking in the haze,
journeys rending years into days,
Hear the whistling, touch the swollen fruit,
amazed -- counting down as I tumble

How do I explain in this tongue we mumble,
barely getting through a random chat that
gives no exit wound to that ache beating inside
to grab a hand, touch your mind, bring to being

Yet, why would you want to see what I am seeing?
It's only peace; only curiosity; it's only
miracles of sand, twinkling, breath of fire
blended to glass, twisted into culture, class,
Beauty survives each blast, more adored for her
scars, allured by her charms, may we doze
and stumble into sweeter dreams

In sleep, relaxed, uncoiled core may cry in surprise
to be free; awakened realigned -- speak friend and enter
We have much to discuss

- Laurie Corzett

(1 poem added 04.30.12)

editor's note: A subject common to all, a voice unthreatening. Door's open. Walk in. Speak, listen - Peace! - mh

Seasons of my Heart

Sunshine! O Sunshine!
What hast you at your behind?
Deep darkness and sombre blue?
Where art the fighters who would die for you?

O Monsoon Clouds rain hard;
Rain harder and drench my soul and heart
For I’ve been through driest of season;
I’ve been through betrayal and treason.

O Autumn breeze,
Tell me please
Why are you so moist and wet?
Has a lover on your shoulders wept?

O flowers of Spring
I’m weary, to me a lullaby sing.
Give me a sweet sleep and happy dreams
Take me to the far away realms.

- Prashant Das

(1 poem added 04.29.12)

editor's note: Sometimes a lilting rhyme is good for all, best when brought by winter, spring, summer, fall. (Prashant joins our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission - see his other poems on his new page.) - mh


The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin' on... now... now... NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the poetic conversations going on in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We'll be here...

Bein' True,

Johnny O

MH Clay
Poetry Editor


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