Learn More

Donal Mahoney


The Whole Mad Swirl


I was out of control, spinning
on the whirligig of youth,
giddy to be caught
in what Kerouac called
'the whole mad swirl
of everything to come.'
I didn't know what to expect.
I was ready for nothing
though I had spent years
in solitary confinement

with books, exams and degrees.
You would think I'd have learned
something about life as it is,
not as I wished it to be.
I went out on the street
to look for work
and was surprised to discover
no one spoke Old English
like Beowulf or Middle English
like the Wife of Bath.

An old professor told me
I talked the way
e.e. cummings wrote
and no one would hire me.
A few years later I married
a woman with several degrees.
She thought I was normal.
We had five kids in six years
and drove landlords bonkers.
'The Lord will provide, '

we said, and He did.
Fifty years later, the five kids
have rucksacks of their own
packed with jobs, marriages,
children and good lives
measured against
the standard of most.
Their mother is dead,
and like everyone else
on this strange planet

I am in the process
of dying in the jaws
of what Kerouac called
'the whole mad swirl
of everything to come.'
I have seen almost all
of 'everything to come'
except for the best part
and that, I am told,
will take my breath away.

Submitted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poet's Notes about The Poem

with my thanks to MH Clay

Comments about this poem (The Whole Mad Swirl by Donal Mahoney )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. Ring Out , Wild Bells, Alfred Lord Tennyson
  9. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  10. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda

Poem of the Day

poet Li Po

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

poet Marvin Brato Sr

New Poems

  1. Religion, gajanan mishra
  2. gentle thief, Bull Hawking
  3. Xmas comes, Kumarmani Mahakul
  4. Surroundings-42, Indira Renganathan
  5. Courage, Leong Ming Loong
  6. Thieves, gajanan mishra
  7. don't mind, Bull Hawking
  8. Heretic and Deviant, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
  9. JCB academic, is my fame, lee fones
  10. As because, gajanan mishra
[Hata Bildir]