Monday, January 15, 2018

Delicate Dreams--By Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands

Delicate Dreams

In the upper drawer
of my small cabinet
I stored them, safely
Afraid otherwise
they might get lost
When times are tough,
my secret cache opens
and I cherish myself
by the warm compassion
of my delicate dreams

The Chosen--By Justine Johnston Hemmestad--United States

The Chosen

Listening in stilled passageways,
my body all ears, my mind a pair of grasping hands.
For a heart pleading to be heard,
bequeathing grace through the darkened hours.
Crossing the difficult boundaries
between resistance and submission, she calls -
With knowledge from another world, afloat upon
the secret it harbors, cast upon waves unknown.
Symbols embrace her message,
caressing her insight with tender allure -

We share her love, sight unseen, taming our fear,
spoken within our blood and skin;
Colors breeze into our hearts and shed light
on the love we’ve raised from great depths -
Words spoken within the hot breath of spirit,
bringing us to the shores of home;
Among the folklore that abounds,
legends become truth and truth promises life -
Epiphanies that are like draping curtains,
pulling back to reveal the world of my dreams.

Justine Johnston Hemmestad is a mother of seven, grandmother of one, currently earning her Master's Degree in English Literature. Her novella called Truth be Told and novel called Visions of a Dream are available at Amazon; she's also included in Chicken Soup for the Soul, ''Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Dream--By Jack Horne--England

My Dream

Last night I dreamed that you returned,
that all the wrongs were right again;
you said this time you'd stay with me,
I kissed your lips, forgot the pain,
and as I held you...what a noise!
A ringing clock that filled my brain,
its job to drag me from my sleep...
Awake, my sunshine turned to rain.

Trusted Aid--By Charlene McCutcheon--United States

Trusted Aid

in the night,
God's parables:
when interpreted
with the help of the Lord,
give instruction and guidance.
Or else no clear understanding
of the symbols can be deciphered.
Bizarre dreams are not insignificant!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Innocent Dreams--By Paul Callus--Malta

Innocent Dreams

Like wild horses
Dreams gallop freely
Across the vast plains
Of my guileless mind
Blissfully unaware
Of the insidious lassos
Lurking in the shadows.

I Still Merry On--By Ken Allan Dronsfield--United States

I Still Merry On

Bundled wishes and rowdy crowds
Holiday cheer; just a nip in the mug.
parades gone, the balloons careening
the Caroler's silent, in loving harmony.
A tempest within time year after year.
of lovely presents and family affairs.
the constant chaos with tidings of joy
our Savior's blessings remembered
cherished days at Church or home
in dreams of old, I'll still Merry on!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

From our Poetry Editor/reflexion—Inge Wesdijk ((Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands

Dear Writers,

Writing is for me a way to express myself, some make music, others paint and I write.

Poetry has a lot in common with music and paintings, lyrics can be very poetical, and you only have to look at the subtitle of Whispers “Painting pictures with words” to see the connection with visual arts.

Whispers is a place for all who treasure the beauty of poetry, sharing and caring about the wonderful world of words.

What I love about poetry are the different styles writers compose their work, every little pearl of the mind is shown in a unique personal setting. I really look forward reading the precious valuables of our contributors.


my thoughts are
an ongoing stream of
scattered fragments
till words are formed
into a composition
of peaceful harmony
a poem is born

I wish the Whispers' Family happy writing; don't worry about the writer's block.
Sometimes your muse needs a short time-out, don't force her, she always returns as long as you stay positive.

Best wishes,

Virtue--By Jack M. Freedman--United States


Youthful rabbi spoke to my spirit kindly
Book of Job, waxed passionate and poetic
Told her I was lost, but soon found the answers
Patience replenished

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Spending Time with Isha Wagner--New Zealand--An Interview

Dear Friends,

It is a pleasure to share Whispers’ first interview with you. Isha Wagner is an accomplished poet from New Zealand who has been contributing her insightful poetry for our online journal since 2013. She has been an international traveler, connecting with others that embrace the gift of words. Her writing conveys cultures, allowing us to travel with her.

Thank you, Isha, for sharing your thoughts for this interview…

Karen--Where are you from?

Isha--I was born in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.  I am fifth generation New Zealander of Scottish/English heritage.

Karen--How would you describe your life?

Isha--I am a traveler, traveling over the world from a young age. 

Karen--Why do you write?

Isha--Perhaps to express an idea and perhaps, more importantly, to communicate with others...always a deep desire to write in words something one wants to express in the written word.

Karen--How did your interest in poetry begin?

Isha--I recall sitting on a park bench when about seven years old saying to myself--I will be a writer and that stayed in my mind.  So, I began to write little poems, but these were not accepted well so I stopped and decided to wait till I was an adult.  (Editor's thoughts--It is so sad that people can't celebrate and encourage young writers. I hope if anyone knows of a young writer that the Whispers community can celebrate, please email me at

Karen--Have you any preferred style of poetry you like to write in?

Isha--I prefer to write freely.  When writing rhymed poetry, it always seems to me to be contrived and somewhat false or pretentious.  And yet I know this is not so in reality, it's simply as I see it.  I just write as I write without--as I see it--without restriction. 

Karen--If you could make a wish and have it come true what would it be?

Isha--This is difficult to answer as each day I have a different wish: I could say there is not one specific wish I wish for.  Today, writing these few words, my wish is to live forever.  And, tomorrow I may wish I had never been born!  Yesterday, I wished for a disease-free world.  As said, one has varied opinions.

Karen--If you had a chance to live your life again, what would you change?

Isha--I would change my thought processes, have a clearer, sharper mind, become all-knowing and probably go into the sciences and study physics.

Karen--What final words would you like to say to the reader?

Isha--Write as if your life depends on it which in a sense it does. Despite little praise or words of encouragement, there is a degree of satisfaction especially when you look back at your earlier work and think did I write that?  There is, after all, much comfort to be derived from putting your thoughts and ideas that spring up spontaneously - into written poetry.  And you will never know how much pleasure and even meaning you can give to others' lives.

Karen—In closing, Isha’s poetry has been celebrated and appreciated at Whispers. She encourages others with her insightful comments for them. We reach out--we cross borders--we grow. I will let Isha’s poem and bio share the rest of this column. Thank you so much, Isha, for this interview. 


Karen O'Leary
Whispers' Editor


Birthday at Tatum Park

a chilly August windless blue sky day
and the elegantly served afternoon tea
of Earl Grey and English Breakfast
with silver pots and fine bone china
gladden the eyes glazed with cataract
and distracts the minds from rheumatic limbs

later we walk amongst the statues of trees
planted by settlers over a century ago
the camera in my hands awaits to capture
the face of a child of seventy-five this day
pinched, wrinkled, thinning bright white hair

with aloof but thick knowing eyes

lens pointed to immortalise the nostalgia
please, she says gently, don't
I look so different from how I feel

her remark astounds me
I put the camera away and
leave this moment alone

Isha Wagner is a New Zealand poet. She has resided in many countries including Iceland, Libya, India, and Australia. She read some of her work at the VIII International Poetry Festival held in Granada, Nicaragua, in February 2012. She has had three collections of poetry published.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Shards--By Anne Curran--New Zealand


if your dreams
should suddenly shatter
don't feel bitter and dull
find yourself a dustpan
and pick them up again
shard by shard
enlist the compassion 
of family and friends
and build a new mosaic
a window to look out of again.

Canyon Lights--By Ellen Huang--United States

Canyon Lights

Out from rock and canyon ash, castle towers and city lights
reach toward the nightly cosmos. My friend and I,
we make haste to catch this vision, our meteor shower, our heaven--
Till the counselors pull down the tarp, obscuring all that future from us.
We drop our camera and canvas, trapped in that total eclipse.
The camp is hypnotized by a black-and-white film projection on the tarp.
Yet my friend and I strive--there are dances in autumn's flaming leaves
without burning, there are eagle wings for soaring on this side
of the sun, there are homes in the wild and laughter in the trees,
and oceanic new Jupiters and Neptunes arise at the edge of the world. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Surreal--By--Vivian Wagner--United States


A water main broke, flooding a dream yard.
It was an emergency that my unconscious brain couldn’t
fathom, except as a reason to call my mom.
She was unavailable in all the ways she was
always unavailable: scattered, unfocused,
unable to see me as anyone other than a mixed-up teenager.
I gave up on her, in all the ways I learned to give up on her.
I turned an oily gear and shut down the main, even as I
kept listening to the thin, strange strands of her voice.

Dreamers--By Lynn White, Wales, UK


The sun is standing still for them
Standing still for the streams of dreamers.
Dreamers streaming down the roads to somewhere else.
From somewhere that has become nowhere.
Dreaming of escape.
Dreaming of a future, any future.
Dreaming of the life they once had.
Dreaming of normality, whatever that means.
Dreaming of returning
when the sun comes up again, if ever it does.

First published in Expound, Issue 6, June 2016 (different edit)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Thank you...By Nila Webster--United States

Excerpt from The Gift of You, The Gift of Me

Thank you for
A place of peace
A place of dreams
And a place of sleep

Thank you for the ancient stones
For sand and sea
And a place called home

Cecil Dreams a Bed--By Elizabeth Howard, United States

Cecil Dreams a Bed

In my sleeping chair, I am cold.
I dream scary stuff, rats with long
yellow teeth, monsters at the broken
window, a red-eyed giant with a belt.
When teacher tells us to draw our room,
I draw my chair.  Where’s your bed? she asks.
I never had a bed, but I dream a soft pillow,
blue sheets, a quilt like the one on the wall
at school.  In a warm bed with a pillow,  
I wouldn’t have scary dreams. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Dreams--By Feby Joseph--India

In Dreams

I spent seasons in bed now –
for I can only see you in reverie
bathed in colours – long forgotten by the sun.
     Only a few fragments of your fragrance fast fading
     in the brittle lies of light.

I keep my eyes closed for ages
In hopes of seeing a few pages of you
I can later transcribe into odes.
     I need these poems –
     The pictures have started to fade.

Friends--By Linda Imbler--United States


We sit here face-to-face,
assembling Lego pieces
of a fairytale broken world,
as we talk about
the real one we live in. 
A world more fractured
than what we, at this moment, build.
We hope we’ll have more time
to use our dreams
to repair our own.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Musing--By Gert W. Knop, Germany


Sometimes daydreams tear me
out of my memories.
Time is lost,
is excluded,
seems to stand still like nature now
in winter, frozen,
unapproachable and yet friendly
through small gestures.
I love the daydreams,
that bring me new thoughts

Broken Dreams--By Caryl Calsyn--United States

Broken Dreams

A nightmare began as a dream
until taken over with violence.

I traced the changed content
to the newspaper I’d read.

To those who had been
senselessly, brutally killed.  

To those who not only lost
their lives but their dreams.

Somehow it became my job
to sweep up the broken pieces.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Samsara--By--Stefanie Bennett--Australia


Outside Echo’s cave there’s
another time
and space
a gentle

Yogi tenancy rains
stars of
a differing
writ plain.

Dream--By L.Shapley Bassen--United States


I could not reach the woman
sitting alone on the winter beach,
rocking, rocking herself like an autistic child.
It was mild for winter; white caps
on the waves were gulls. She could not stop
the rocking, was a wave foam-broken,
a cast-up shell a starfish had bored
its signature hole through. I wore
her on a chain around my neck.

Monday, January 1, 2018


Collaborative Poetry Editor—Karen O’Leary
Email Address—karenoleary1956@gmailcom

In an effort to increase opportunities for contributors and other writers, Whispers is continuing the opportunity for collaborative poetry.  Two or more writers may collaborate to submit poems for consideration to be featured at Whispers.  At least one writer must be a current contributor.

1.  Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable.  Please do not send quotes from others unless they are in the context of the piece submitted and that the original author is given credit.  It is up to the authors to obtain permission if needed for reprints.  By submitting to Whispers, the writers are assuring that the work is their own.  Whispers reserves the right to delete any work that has been copied from other writers without credit or authorization.

2.  Send one poem 40 lines or less written in one form.

3.  These features will be in addition to the regular submission opportunities.  Any writer submitting for a feature will still be able to submit a single author poems per Poetry Submission Guidelines.  All authors of the poems submitted must provide consent for publication.

4.  No profanity, erotica, violence or other derogatory writing will be accepted.

5.  Whispers reserves the right to select poetry based on the goal stated at the end of the guidelines.

6.  Spiritual poetry is welcomed but the editor would like to have a variety of pieces that will uplift and inspire readers. Humor is appreciated.

7.  Poetry will be published along the left margin for consistency.  Please keep that in mind when submitting.

8.  Preferred method of submission is to send poetry as a works document or in the body of an email with your name and country.  Please email your submission to Karen O’Leary at karenoleary1956@gmailcom   You may email her with any questions you may have.

9.  I hope you also participate by commenting on others’ writing. 

In this challenging time for many, it is the hope that Whispers will connect people in a way that is supportive, encouraging and inspiring to others.  Thank you for considering being a part of this community.


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor


Poetry Editor--Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)

Thank you for considering Whispers for a place to share your writing. The guidelines follow—Limit one submission of one poem or one series as below per month unless requested by editor.

1. Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable. Please do not send quotes from others unless they are in the context of the piece submitted and that the original author is given credit.  It is up to the author to obtain permission if needed for reprints. By submitting to Whispers, the writer is assuring that the work is his or her own. Whispers reserves the right to delete any work that has been copied from anther writer without credit or authorization.

2. Send one of the three following:

            ---1 poem 20 lines or less

            ---up to 5 haiku/senryu (please make sure to clearly identify that separate poems
                      are being submitted)

            ---up to 3 tanka (see above)

            ---for people that are not poets, 1 short paragraph of encouragement will be

Writers are eligible for Individual publication no more than once per month. We will not be sending out eligibility announcements to individuals. Please email your poems to Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) at--

The Whispers’ staff will determine how many poems we can publish per month. Once that number is reached, poems will be considered for the next month.

3. You may include a bio of 50 words or less written in third person style.

4. No profanity, erotica, violence or other derogatory writing will be accepted.

5. Whispers reserves the right to select poetry based on the goal stated at the end of the guidelines.

6. Spiritual poetry is welcomed but the editor would like to have a variety of pieces that will uplift and inspire readers. Humor is appreciated.

7. Children’s poetry is appreciated. Parent permission is required. Please email before sending. The first publication of anyone under the age of 18 will be published as a Special Feature.

8. Poetry will be published along the left margin for consistency. Please keep that in mind when submitting.

9. Preferred method of submission is to send poetry as a word document or in the body of an email with your name and country. You may email Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) at--

if you have any questions you may have.

10. We hope you also participate by commenting on others’ writing. 

In this challenging time for many, it is the hope that Whispers will connect people in a way that is supportive, encouraging and inspiring to others. It is a privilege to have Inge Wesdijk—a talented writer and editor—share her talents and time to provide this opportunity. Thank you all for considering being a part of this community.


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor


From--Activity Feature Editor—Jack Horne
Email Address--

Dear Whispers' Friends,

As we start this new year, our Whispers’ team is looking forward to offering a wide variety of Activity Poem Invitations that we hope you will enjoy.  Our first for the new year is…

Title—The Brevette


"The Brevette, created by Emily Romano consists of a subject (noun), verb, and object (noun), in this exact order. The verb should show an ongoing action. This is done by spacing out the letters in the verb.”—from Shadow Poetry.


1.      Practice writing in a minimalist way, giving writers a chance to clear clutter from their writing.
2.      Present poetry with depth and insight to share with an international audience


To present poems using three words that are relevant for a global community.

1-3 poems per submission will be considered.  Please send your submissions to Jack Horne at

Please use the following format:

Author’s name, country

________________  (Please use a line between poems if you are submitting more than one.)

We will not publish bios with activity poems.


w e l c o m e

By Karen O’Leary, United States

c o n n e c t

By Karen O’Leary

Deadline: January 20                            Publication date: January 25

It is a gift to have Jack as our Activity Feature editor, sharing his editorial talents and willingness devote time to Whispers for activity submissions.  He is a joy to work with.


Karen O'Leary
Whispers' Editor

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Editor's Thoughts/Archived Column--By Karen O'Leary--United States--Archived Portion Originally Published--July 31, 2016

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

In closing 2017, it was fun cherishing Archived Poems from 2013-2017 and celebrate so many talent poets we have journeyed with. Though the only new submissions published in December were Collaborative Features, we still had the pleasure of publishing one new writer
                                            Sharon Weimer—United States

Please take time to welcome her. Our poetry family now includes writers from Albania, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Canary Islands, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Malawi, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, U.A.E., United Kingdom, United States, Wales and Zimbabwe.

In continuing with the archive spirit, the rest of this column (with slight edits) is from—

July 31, 2016—It is a chance to share life experiences—our joys…our pain—and hopefully make a difference.  Our words span beyond borders with the opportunity to give us a greater understanding of this time of turmoil and pain.


the hope
for tomorrow--
fingers reaching beyond
angry voices and steel curtains
to touch

Let us begin a new season of love and understanding.  Many of you are shining lights in the writing community.  It is a pleasure to read your words here and in other venues. Thank you, all, for making Whispers possible.

Blessings and best wishes,


Archive Selection--By Ken Allan Dronsfield--United States--Originally Published--January 6, 2017

Song of the Garden Chimes

Steal away at moon rise,
star light from weary eyes,
you will find your spirit drifts
upon soft spring breezes.
Songs from the garden chime
play sonnets on a sprites harp
whispering in shaded scarlet
directly into my wanton heart.
Oceans of grasses gently sway
by the granite wall Robin's dance
enchanted orbs rise from trees
a twilight sky envelops my soul.
Your love keeps my heart smiling,
stars flirt above the garden chimes.

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran and poet. His poems have been published worldwide and can be found in many (online) journals. Ken loves life!

Archive Selection--By Archana Kapoor Nagpal--India--Originally Published--July 20, 2016

from a window to another
these clouds…
how they enter in my room
between you and me

from a jasmine to another
a dewdrop ...
I hold all seven colours
in my palm

Archana Kapoor Nagpal is an internationally published author of 6 books so far, and her winning stories are now part of international anthologies. She writes inspirational content for corporate newsletters, websites, blogs and print publications. Her inspirational poems touch every area of a person's life. She enjoys writing Haiku and Tanka as well. Visit her Amazon Author Profile to know more about her.

Archive Selections--By Lois Greene Stone--United States--Orginally Published--December 7, 2016

Stanislavsky's Unit

Oxygen tubes tickled tiny
hairs in my nostrils.
Monitored leads left doodle
lines on the overhead scope.
I stared at circular tracks
in the ceiling thinking they
looked like toy train rails,
only upside down.  Life doesn't
flash through the mind while
irregular beats blip on
rhythm strips; soap-opera
scene starring me is what my
brain believed.

(Previously published in 1988, The Writer, Inc.)

Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & softcover book anthologies. Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Archive Selection--By Christine Tate--United States--Originally Published--December 16, 2016


Confined to wheelchairs frail and weak,
they seldom laugh and rarely speak...
eyes now dim that sparkled bright,
minds confused not thinking right.
some forgotten by family and friends,
lonely hours most of them spend.
I didn't know until it touched me
when mom was placed in a facility.

I observed many patients there,
many depressed and didn't care.
The ones who seemed to be happy,
were visited by loved ones regularly.
mom's eyes lit up when I'd appear,
a familiar face to bring good cheer...

I read her scriptures, shared stories,
and recalled many fond memories...
anywhere there is a need,
we can perform a godly deed.
a little compassion goes a long way,
so practice spreading some each day!

Christine Tate has been writing since 1994. She's the mother of 3 sons and has 8 grandchildren. She was widowed in 2007 and met her husband Artie, a widower with 6 children & 12 grandchildren, in a nursing facility where their mothers resided. They've been happily married 4 1/2 years. They describe their meeting as "God's divine appt." because of their faith, and the fact that they swore they'd never marry again. 

Archive Selection--By John McDonald--Scotland--Originally Published--April 29, 2017

grandfather's house -
stripping wallpaper
finding a strange language

barn dance -
on silver strings
spider polkas

in the window
...both of us waning

of a distant daffodil

John McDonald is a retired stone-mason who came to haiku in the mid-nineties. He fell in love with the genre immediately. Being a writer in the Scots language this genre fitted so well with Scots: a language steeped in rural life and having a natural succinctness to it. John has his own blog in Scots, with English versions:  He enjoys being involved in translations, working with the very fine Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock on various ventures, the most recent being translations into Irish and Scots of the great haiku poet Buson: Moon over Tagoto and has appeared in many anthologies.