Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yet Another Birthday--By Bibhu Padhi--India

Yet Another Birthday
Each tree looks behind, remembers
the seed, imagines its further growth.

I know, the great trees I see
will all outlive me.

Why then this waiting for the end?
Why the celebrations of eternity?

Perhaps the answer lies elsewhere—
in our hereditary beliefs, our faith.

Why are we here, why these
temporary extensions, day by day?

Even today we do not know so many
things—shadowy, night-like.

It seems an ancestral wish
is to be fulfilled through a line

uttered with love, just as it seems
there is someone yet who can answer,

but who is still to be born.
Faithfully I wait.

Bibhu Padhi has published ten collections of poems. His work has appeared in magazines and anthologies throughout the English-speaking world. He lives in Bhyubaneswar (India) with his family.

Gabe’s Ghost…--By Richard Sponaugle--United States

Gabe’s Ghost…

has haunted him so many decades,
it’s grown grey whiskers
Casper the unfriendly ghost,
creeps into Gabe’s heart
in the black of midnight,
and reflects off his soul
by the sunrays of noon.
Time’s made the ghosts’ boos,
echo louder and spookier...
Gabe tells himself it wasn’t his fault.
He had his wife and child to think of.
Despite his father’s tearful pleas,
dad couldn’t move in with him.
He ‘had’ to send dad to a nursing home.
Those youthful thoughts are haunting shadows,
now Gabe’s child’s grown up,
and told him to stop sobbing:
Gabe Junior’s career and love life come first:
Gabe Senior has to enter a nursing home.

Richard Sponaugle was born 4-20-60 in Maryland and raised in Northern Virginia.  He received a BA from George Mason University. A prolific poet and songwriter, he has been published in many venues. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sprinkles…--By Barbara Siekierski--United States


raindrops falling,
dancing on rooftops
and falling on the grass,
quenching its thirst

the thunder—
clapping loudly,
angels bowling
in heaven

the sky clears
and a rainbow—
the beauty signifying
God is with us

Barbara Siekierski is a writer from Swarthmore, PA.

Haiku--By April Mae M. Berza--Philippines

between the pages
of my book, the rose petals
scented evermore.

the wind brushes
the hair of the tree,
dry leaves fall.

April Mae M. Berza is the author of Confession ng isang Bob Ong Fan (Flipside, 2014) and Berso de Berza (Charging Ram, 2012.) Her poems and short stories appeared in numerous publications in the America, France, Canada, Romania, India, Japan, Great Britain and the Philippines. Her poems are translated in Crimean Tatar and Filipino. Some of her poems are published in Liwayway, Belleville Park Pages, Haiku Journal, The Siren, Poetica, Three Line Poetry, Calliope, Maganda, Metric Conversions, Ani, The Manila Times, Asahi Haikuist Network, Contemporary Verse 2, and elsewhere. Her poem "E-Martial Law" was broadcast on IndoPacific Radio on KPFA 94.1FM/ She is a member of Poetic Genius Society. She lives in Taguig, Philippines.

Why?--John Polselli--United States

(a villanelle)

I saw my lover’s face within the sky
Last night when evening swept the sun away.
I asked her silently one question: Why?

For was not youth so luminous and spry
Upon her countenance just yesterday?
I saw my lover’s face within the sky,

Through tears reflecting clouds that drifted by;
And while I gazed up toward the Milky Way,
I asked her silently once question: Why?

Yes, why did death’s dark doorway multiply
The grief the sad earth daily does display?
I saw my lover’s face within the sky,

And prior to my bidding her goodbye—
Her comeliness commencing its decay,
I asked her silently one question: Why?

But never was I granted a reply:
I only watched her fade with coming day.
I saw my lover’s face within the sky
I asked her silently one question: Why?

John Polselli’s poetry has been published in many literary journals and is the recipient of several Editor’s Choice Awards. As a poet, John enjoys composing in all traditional forms including free verse as well as inventing his own.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Angel--By David Fox--United States


A beautiful fairy-like creature
Nicely landed at my door-step
Gently flying on gossamer wings
Ever so gracefully flew away
Leaving me breathless.

David Fox has been published in over 100 places, including journals, websites, newsletters, blogs, and posting boards.  He has been published in the U.S., U.K., Canada, India, Finland, and the U.A.E. but is also interested in learning about websites or journals that take e-mail submissions from other countries.  He edits the magazine, "The Poet's Art" (see the ad in the Whispers column).

Written on Valentine's Day--By Hifsa Ashraf--Pakistan

Written on Valentine's Day

let’s celebrate this moment..
that tightly interweaves our dreams..
of reunion with time, and..
enchant us with its longevity

let’s celebrate this moment..
that is still alive in the garden..
of our ecstatic heart, and..
allure us with its indelible fragrance

let’s celebrate this moment..
that reflects in the oceanic currents..
of our passionate eyes, and..
uplift our emotions as a tide

let’s celebrate this moment..
that genuinely unite us in the lap..
of the eternal abode, and..
make our relationship immortal

let’s celebrate this moment…
that wholeheartedly celebrates a scene..
of our romantic meeting, and
light a candle for our long lasting love…

Hifsa Ashraf is from Pakistan. She is a lecturer and HR consultant by profession. She writes short stories, columns, and poetry in different languages (Urdu, English, and Punjabi). Her short stories have been published in a UK based English magazine. She regularly shares her poetry on G+ with different poetry communities. 

They Stood Alone--By Tom Davis--United States

They Stood Alone


Their roots
pitoned into a crack
in the granite gray,
moss capped rock

A rock older than time
and worn by forces
greater than itself

Small yellow flowers
stand proud and tall
offering their unfurled faces
to a sun, fat and orange and warm


As the waters of the
Tuckasegee surround them
with a gnarling white froth.

Time has no meaning
to these works
fashioned by
Nature’s ancient hand

In his younger years, Tom Davis served as a Special Force Combat Diver. It seems to him that he spent more time on, in, and under the water than as a landlubber. This and other adventures he has written about in his memoir, The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On: A March From Private to Colonel.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Dear Whispers Family,

The February writing activity has been, Using Simile and Metaphor in Poetry. Thank you to all who sent in submissions. This collection showcases your creative writing skills. Enjoy reading and using these tools of the poetic craft. Let poetry be fun!

Michael Escoubas, Whispers' Features Editor

Lost Within

In youth, her mind was an open field
sprouting musings as thought flowers
that mirrored her life.

Now, her mind is a dark stairwell
with memories like word shadows
melting into oblivion.

Mary A. Couch, United States

Stolen Time

The heat was oppressive
It was raining cats and dogs
It began in the early morning
time is a thief on the last day of holiday
Feeling blue they packed their bags
Looking longingly out the window.

Phyllis Babcock, Canada

Nocturnal Sightings

Walking home on a moonlit night,
head bowed against the bitter cold.
I notice the pretty silhouettes
under every bare-branched tree – 
the footpath an artist's sketchpad,
each tree like a filigree silver brooch.

Mary Gunn, Ireland.

Red roses in the garden

Somber thoughts clouded my mind,
As I sat calm on the garden bench.
While parting as a prickly thorn,
Pierced my tender gloomy heart.
Till the soul rested in tranquility,
And all the roses stained dark red.

Dr. Upma A. Sharma, India

Standing Tall

I am
New York skyline.
Buildings wink on and off
like patent leather
across a blinking sky.

Jean Colonomos, United States


Your heart pumps my blood
Your breath fills my lungs
Your voice is a song of immaculate beauty
I can feel your presence as though you are next to me 
I was lost in an abyss of emptiness
But you found me, filling that void with joy

Langley Shazor, United States


As a hummingbird, dazed by its crash,
begins to rise like a rickety kite,
the dog sees.  I would rescue the bird,
but my bedraggled shoes betray me. 
I twist about the post, fall headlong,
my back, a pretzel.

Elizabeth Howard, United States


Driving along as the day breaks
a neon sky paints the road peach,
sea gulls perform their sky-dance
fields and hedgerows sparkle
like frosting on a cake.

Annie Jenkin, England 


When I think of my unborn
I guess I will have a girl
Her eyes will be sparkling diamonds
And cheeks as red as apples
She will be the apple of my eye
Indeed, the light of my life!

(As per PNDT Act – the sex determination of foetus is illegal. A woman in India is not told till she delivers – whether it is a boy or a girl. In this poem – I am sharing the thoughts of a mother)

Archana Kapoor, India

Hurry Sundown

Clouds float and play like a litter of white Poodles
tumbling and twisting over the Gulf
until the wind, an errant shepherd,
herded them toward the horizon.

Barbara Tate, United States

Under The Lock And Key

I replaced my losses,
I fixed the broken door.
My emotions as waves,
Ebbed and waned:
Like the unfixed shadows
of my dreams.

Ralph Stott, England

Does An Orange Get Sweeter In The Bowl

The navel oranges like my love looked divine
I purchased some perfect orange fruit for mine
Easy peel like taking off clothes stirring sweet scents
The lusciousness to be desired of a tasty treat
Divided into segments, plop, tart touched my soul
Question haunts newlywed, does an orange get sweeter in the bowl?

Sara Kendrick, United States

And the Fun Goes On

When the sun looks and rises with its smiling rays
Positive people welcome it warmly like bridesmaids
Standing in support of the bride and the best man
Making sure the groom’s wedding day pans out well
The bride’s gown might be blown inside-out by wind
Or the groom’s suit wholly dirty but the party goes on.      

Ndaba Sibanda, Kuwait.

My Hero

August birthday...
my father is a Leo
always lion hearted

Pat Geyer, United States

Cold February Rain

No one welcomed the rain
like a biddy aunt in velvet
tapping with gnarly knuckles.
This sly rain of overlays
ripples news on a street gutter
that remembers blizzard.

Tricia Knoll, United States


when the clouds like swift horses
secure every corner in the sky,
I become the orange splashed twilight.

but in the shade
night stands in waiting,
to let my dreams pass through in silence..

Gopal Lahiri, India

Red roses in the garden

Somber thoughts clouded my mind,
As I sat calm on the garden bench.
While parting as a prickly thorn,
Pierced my tender gloomy heart.
Till the soul rested in tranquility,
And all the roses stained dark red.

Dr. Upma A. Sharma, India

A Medallion Moon

A medallion moon adorns ebony skies,
as its limpid light pools
like a gleaming gold doubloon,
dangling dreamlike, under a
chandelier of sparkling stars.

Emile Pinet, Canada

Let's Go to the Local, Darling.

He's standing at the long, curved bar
Flirting with the pretty, blond barmaid
His wife’s face like white ice
Looking around for revenge
She who was sweet and lovely
Now a prowling tigress.

Isha Wagner, New Zealand

The Live Oak

Sprawling sixty feet high
gnarly limbs a ladder to heaven
poking holes in flimsy clouds
branching habit a tree-climber's dream
draped magnificently with Spanish moss
like curly grey furs.

Candace Armstrong, United States


Sometimes reality
is like ice rain
on a hot summer night
A sudden disillusion,
life is a fairytale,
remains to be a wicked lie 

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) the Netherlands

Love’s Metaphor 

As the sun shows her beauty each day
You are even more delightful to behold
Like a summers day your warmth embraces me
Keeping me held close in your loving arms
I will surrender to your love only
For there is no other who compares

Glenda B. Frazier, United States

Return of Spring

With songbirds' trills
a heavenly heraldry
spring returns...
and I am Gaia
dancing to birdsong
with a tiara of daisies!

Angelee Deodhar, India 

Be my Valentine (Double Triodyne)

Eyes, blue velvet fine
Skin smells of turpentine
Please be my Valentine

Your smile, like a chime
Babe come with me to dine
Will you be my valentine?

Yancy Dalton, United States

Heavenly Vista

Light as a feather it fell last night.
Snow is a blanket of angel white
Joy to the children who walk to school
Shouting with glee at this endless pool
That covers the sidewalks and coats the fields.
Winter returns as early Spring yields.

Pam H. Murray, Canada


Like a cold winter day,
My memories freeze away
My memories fade, a dream
Is an enigma, or so it would seem.

David Fox, United States

The Bent Bard

a broken umbrella,
the rain pours on…
a drifter & a dreamer
lost between two words

Karen O'Leary, United States

Girl at Eventide

In twilight stillness shadows spray
like fans through crimson clouds and tops
of trees. Standing there sipping lemon tea
you are Van Gogh’s Girl in White
complete with yellow bonnet--
Dutch delight destined for the Louvre.

Michael Escoubas, United States

Let Us Go…--By David Sermersheim--United States

Let Us Go…

you and I
to where 
water meets the sky
and be one again
before all is done
and winter’s dim dark chill
draws down hard and fast
and we cower
from each sullen blast
against what endures
through tentative hour
while waning dreams
fade faster than
feeble ambition can sustain
abiding the angular course
to quiet realm
of solemn darkness 
in silence and peace

David Sermersheim taught at The Hotchkiss School (Ct.) for 33 years.  His poems have been published in The Aurorean, Ancient Paths, Sacred Journeys, Iodine Review, Poetry Pacific, Miller’s Pond” and other journals and quarterlies. He was a MacDowell Fellow and has a book, Meditations, listed on Amazon.  He lives in Westbrook, Connecticut. 

The Baggage Shipment--By Sara Kendrick--United States

The Baggage Shipment

Crossing the mighty ocean wide
Flinty, determined soul was she
Longing to be Sugar Daddy's bride.
In her homeland, none could see
Any good qualities that be

Maybe if there was a dowry
A marriage could have been arranged
He did not know there was a bounty
Nor that his bride was quite deranged
And all his money to be exchanged

His bride was on the passenger ship
Her baggage aboard Lockheed C-5 Galaxy
That should have been a signal ~relationship snip
The wedding over, destruction casually
set in, his funds transferred rampantly

*This is about a woman who was poor and thought only of money and self.  A Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a military cargo carrier which can transport 118 tons of equipment therefore a whole lot of emotional baggage.

Sara Kendrick married young and had a family soon after. After her last child went to school, she decided to pursue her GED. A gentlemen who worked with the GED program encouraged her to enroll in college.  She worked part time and cared for her family in addition to her studies. She graduated from Mercer University. Several years ago, after a health crisis, she started writing poetry. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Partners in Poetry--Collaborative Feature--Submission Guidelines

Karen O’Leary, Editor                                    Michael Escoubas, Features Editor

Partners in Poetry--Collaborative Feature
Submission Guidelines

In an effort to increase opportunities for contributors and other writers, Whispers is offering an opportunity for collaborative poetry. The name for this opportunity is, Partners in Poetry. This new feature bears a resemblance to our popular collaborative feature that Whispers discontinued a few months back. However, we have made a few changes we think you will like.  Please read on to learn about our revised collaborative feature and its submissions guidelines.

  1. Two or more writers may collaborate to submit poems for consideration to be featured at the site. At least one writer must be a current contributor.
  2. If you are interested in partnering with another writer, please contact your Features editor at his email address; you will be given a theme. This new guideline creates a stronger bond of interaction between the editors and writers and verifies that the contributing authors want to write together.
  3. Preferred method of submission is to send your poems as a works document or in the body of an email with your name and country. Please email your partnered submission to Michael Escoubas at If you would rather submit by snail mail, please email me for my home address. You may email me with any questions you may have.
  4. Submissions to Partners in Poetry will be NEW WORK since a topic will be assigned for both poets to work on together. 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.
  5. The total line-count of partnered poems should not exceed 40 lines. Writers should use the same form.
  6. No submissions deadline will be imposed. Take your time and enjoy the collaborative experience.
  7. Contributing to Partners in Poetry will be in addition to the regular submission opportunities. Any writer submitting for a feature retains their eligibility to submit a single author poem every other month. All authors of the poems submitted must provide consent for publication.
  8. No profanity, erotica, violence or other derogatory writing will be accepted.
  9. Whispers’ reserves the right to select poetry based on the goal stated at the end of the guidelines.
  10.  Spiritual poetry is welcomed but the editor would like to have a variety of pieces that will uplift and inspire readers. Humor is appreciated.
  11.  Poetry will be published along the left margin for consistency. Please keep that in mind when submitting.
  12.  I hope you also participate by commenting on others’ writing.
It is my belief that the gift of words brings people together. What better way to celebrate that which unifies us than by partnering in poetry?  Enjoy this fresh opportunity to connect, support, encourage, and inspire others.

Michael Escoubas, Features Editor

Seeing far…--By Richard Carl Subber--United States

Seeing far…

I hope Aunt Pam knew we were there today.

It's a delicate hope,
   less desperate than it is urgent,
      less spiritual than it is personal,
         private, protective….

It is my fragile awareness that I imagine
   the searing loneliness of dying without
      the careful press of fingers touching me,
         the caressing hands of my loved ones
           who want to be sure the touch is special, warm….

I want to know they will surround me
   when my time comes,
      I want to believe I will know they are near,
         I want to know for sure I will hear them
            even if I cannot wake….

I realize I am saying,
   with great love and with profound selfishness,
      I hope Aunt Pam knew we were there today.

Richard Carl Subber is a freelance editor, a writing coach, and a historian. He lives with his family in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. He’s a former newspaper reporter/editor who now indulges his love of the right words.  Rick is a proud grandpa who is teaching his granddaughter to read and write, because surely there is poetry in her future.  His poetry also has been accepted for publication in The Aurorean, The Australia Times Poetry, miller’s pond, The RavensPerch, Northern Stars, Creative Inspirations, and elsewhere.  His website is:    

Haiku--By Ralph Stott--England

the berried holly tree
a mother scolds a child

standing to attention
steel pin through
a poppy petal

a scaffolding tower
standing angel

scaling the steps
sounds of
a fiddle

facing the cathedral
an apartments line
of bed linens 

Ralph Stott was born in Kent, England in 1957. He is married and has two daughters.  He studied design at the Medway College of Design in the mid-70's. Expressing ideas through the written/visual media, has always interested him. Ralph began to dedicate more time to poetry with The Writers and Poetry Alliance, in particular the 'Stylists' forum, over the last 3 years. He has self published one book called Legends For Lunchtime; a collection of short stories and has a second book pending called The Sounding.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Color of Laughter--By Elizabeth Howard--United States

The Color of Laughter

It was winter,
and the Creator was sad.
I'll brighten
the bleak earth, he thought.
He filled a bag:
golden sunbeam,
swatch of blue sky,
handful of cornmeal,
shadows of blowing trees,
strands of a girl's black hair,
green pine needles,
red petunia.
He gave the bag
to children who opened it.
A thousand butterflies
fluttered out
and settled in their hair.
The children laughed,
and so did God.

(Based on a Papago myth)

Previously published in Tennessee Voices, 1997-98

Elizabeth Howard lives in Crossville, Tennessee. She writes poetry and fiction. Her poems have appeared in Comstock Review, Big Muddy, Appalachian Heritage, Cold Mountain Review, Poem, Still, Mobius, Now & Then, Slant, and other journals.

Inseparable--By Marc Livanos--United States


We built our love together,
not knowing any other way.

You filled my heart with kindness
where my love for you will always stay.

The days we spend together
makes my life complete.

Walking hand-in-hand hoping our time
together may never let us miss a beat.

My bedside friend to share images
of what’s gone by and visions of what’s to come.

The comfiest peace of mind knowing
you are by my side until our lives are done.

Always together.

Marc Livanos’ poems have appeared in Straylight Magazine, Poet’s Espresso Review, Stray Branch Magazine, Old Red Kimono, Ship of Fools, Song of the San Joaquin Quarterly and others. His chapbooks “Panhandle Poet - Solitude” and “Panhandle Poet - Second Helpings” are available online at

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

From the Archives—Featuring Isha Wagner

Dear Whispers’ Readers,

It is a joy to travel back into our Whispers’ archives and read poetry from past issues.  Today, I bring to you a gem from our New Zealand friend, who has been with us since 2013.  Isha Wagner’s poetry reaches the soul of readers with her profound and insightful poetry. How often do we hide ourselves in fear that nearly swallows us?  May you all know the Giver.

Congratulations Isha!  It is such a pleasure to honor you today. Thank you for your ongoing support.  Best wishes always.


Karen O’Leary—Whispers’ Editor


The Unseen Giver
(Previously published
at Whispers April 2, 2013

By Isha Wagner

Bread broken in little pieces
Tossed on to green grass
Hiding myself, feasting my eyes
Upon the flocks of birds
As they sweep down to peck
Beautiful wings flutter
On guard for predators
Unaware of the shrouded giver
My sudden movement and they
Soar away, then calm again
And they return
And I wonder if God cares in the same
Way for us, such fearful humans
As we twitch nervously
In the measure of our lives
And we know not the Giver.

Haiku--By Archana Kapoor Nagpal--India

beach walk …
my daughter starts
counting the stars         

housewarming …
in my holy water pot
I hold the first light

unplanned pregnancy
a raincloud grows
bigger and bigger …
falling over the waterfall a plummeting rainbow

abortion …
my daughter’s snowman
disappears in the storm

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.

Blinded by Truth---By Glenda Frazier--United States

Blinded by Truth

Guided by my own truth
I would stumble and fall daily
Bruised by my blinded decisions
Walking down a path I could not see
Trying to find my own way
I wrote down my daily list
I drank my cup of coffee then off I went
Heading straight into a shadowy ditch
Struggling just to get by
Worn down often I cried
So confused I could not relax
Humble and weak I said to God...
"Not my will but your will to be done"
Meditating on God's Word both day and night
Letting Him guide me through my everyday life
No longer blinded by my own self-righteousness
Trusting in God and him alone
Knowing that God's will for me is written in His Word
I see clearly now following my Masters' plan

Glenda Frazier and her husband Andre reside in Pace, Florida.  She has been writing poetry for over 20 years and has finally compiled some of them in her most recent book, Poems that Bleed.  She enjoys writing and spending time with her family and friends.  God has instructed her to share her book of poems as an inspirational tool to witness to the lives of her readers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Last Poem Written--By Tammy Manikas--United States

Last Poem Written

Memories and visions trapped in her head.
Spreading the feeling she's already dead.
Words would come without any strain.
Allowing her to write through the pain.
Within the ink she will forever hide.
Trying to be free of the darkness inside.
Knowing her destiny is to be alone and lost.
The agony in her words came at a cost.
Most of her life she's been treated unkind.
No longer able the words to find.
Not one feeling of love was ever displayed.
Many times in life she has been betrayed.
Unable to explain her life's tale.
Deciding to live behind the veil.
Her final thoughts in these lines.
Putting down her pen one last time.

Tammy Manikas (ML Poetry) resides in the great state of Michigan. She has been writing since a young age, and has a high interest in music.  Dreams of one of her works being turned into a song to be enjoyed by many.  You can follow her at--    p