Sunday, September 17, 2017

Whispers’ Guest Editors--Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands and Caryl Calsyn--The United States

Dear Whispers' Friends,

It is such a pleasure to share with you our first two guest activity/columnists in an effort to provide words that matter in a global outreach. This new version of Whispers gives us an international format for sharing the gift of words. I chose a poem previously published at Whispers in their honor.  I'm deeply grateful for their contributions.

I hope many of our past contributors will join us in this new view.  I wish all of you the best always. Keep you candles burning brightly!



Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--September 2017 Activity Editor

The old lady's wisdom

Morning dew, wandering through the city
A lonely passenger, trying to clear my head
Suddenly the invigorating scent of coffee
The appetizing aroma of fresh baked bread
A voice, inviting me friendly
Girl, why do you look so sad
Come over and sit down here with me
My coffee is the best you ever had
She smiles, the wrinkled old lady
When you are refreshed and well fed
You will expel your melancholy
And treasure every day's joy instead

Inge Wesdijk is a Dutch writer, poetess, and photographic artist who works under the pseudonym Daginne Aignend. She likes hard rock music and fantasy books. She is a vegetarian and spends a lot of time with her animals.


Caryl Calsyn—September Columnist/Thoughts to Ponder

The Golden Door

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to be free, the retched refuse of your
teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-
tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
(as it appears on the Statue of Liberty, by Emma Lazarus)

I am an immigrant. You are an immigrant.
Whether coming to America in recent times
or many generations before, we all came from
other lands. Only a few are Native Americans.

There is an indignant underground and above
ground cry that we should allow no more
immigrants to touch this country’s shores.

Advocates propose that man's humanity to man end.

The tired, the poor, and tempest-tossed, if these
advocates have their way, would find the lamp
extinguished and a closed and locked Golden Door.

Caryl Calsyn is a retired interior designer and currently serves as the President of the Highland Lakes Writers’ Club.  She serves on history related boards and sings in a church choir and a chorale.  She is a widow and has two sons living, one deceased and feels blessed with grandchildren.  She loves writing poetry and still finds it amazing that 113 have been published at Whispers, Creative Inspirations, Westward Quarterly, The Storyteller, The Oak and other publications.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Are Writers Unique?--By Caryl Calsyn, United States

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

Caryl Calsyn shares thoughts to ponder about.  I thank her for sharing this introspective search, a challenge for each of us to dig beyond the surface to capture a unique view.  Please post your thoughts in the comments' section.

I hope you share your words and thoughts that may help our Whispers’ family find the right mix to continue forward.  This is a welcome to past contributors and new writers.  May you all find joy in writing.


Karen, Whispers’ Editor


Are Writers Unique?

Are writers a different breed?  Are writers more observant?  Do writers ponder meanings below the surface?  Are writers more contemplative?  Do writers have greater sensitivity?

Yes, I have a lot of questions and no, I don’t have all the answers.  However, I can and intend, to tell you what I think.

I think writers are unique.  They don’t aimlessly meander only half seeing what they see.  They don’t just pass through life intent only on where they need to be next.  They tend to wonder about the importance of what they see on their journeys.  That awareness can emerge in the form of sadness, humor, nostalgia or in other ways.  Perhaps non-writers see none of these things.  Yes, any writer can tell you that at times putting words on paper can be a chore, but they feel a need to do so for themselves and for others who may read their words.

I did not come to these conclusions on my own.  They came as a result of being a member of the Whispers’ family of writers and a local writers’ club.  The written word quite often reveals something about the author.  I sometimes feel as if I know someone I have never met.  Often more so than some I have met, where the dialogue doesn’t go beyond the usual, “How are you?” and “I am fine” level. I treasure the uniqueness of writers.

Caryl Calsyn, United States

Friday, September 1, 2017

Whispers' September Activity--Hosted By--Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands

Dear Whispers' Friends,

It is such a joy to be able to bring our writing family back together to share another season of creative joy.  With help from all of you, we can enjoy Whispers with the treasured gifts from our talented community.

September's activity comes from Netherlands' Writer and Editor Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend). Her idea gives writers of various levels a chance to share in her inspiring opportunity. Both Whispers' contributors and new writers to our community are invited to share their poems for this activity.

From--Inge Wesdijk, Whispers' Guest Activity Editor

Title: "6 line poetry celebrations"

Subject: Liberty


1)  To allow writers to explore ideas in a concise format and allow different voices to capture ideas without the restriction of styles.

2)  Present poetry with depth and insight to share with an international audience.

3)  Celebrate the gift of words to uplift people up in this climate of challenges.


To present a poem of 6 lines that is relevant for a global community

Please use the following format:

Author’s name and country

Please share your poems with Inge for consideration for publication at Whispers--

Deadline: September 20                            Publication date: Shortly after deadline.

Of note--Whispers does not publish profanity, erotica, violence or other derogatory writing.
It is a gift to have Inge share her talent and willingness to open Whispers for activity submissions.  I hope all of you will appreciate her willingness to give our community a rebirth.


Karen O'Leary
Whispers' Editor

Saturday, August 19, 2017

whispers...editor's thoughts--By Karen O'Leary--United States

of dreams

To My Whispers’ Friends,

I miss you.  This three-line poem encompasses much about the talented and caring people I’ve come to know in the four years I have been blessed to share with you.  Our journal has surpassed my dreams when this North Dakota gal opened it in 2013.  That’s a tribute to all of you.

It’s so good to read poetry by many of you in other venues—books, anthologies, journals, etc.  That was one of my goals for Whispers.  Words are meant to be shared.  Thank you for the cards, books, words of encouragement, invitations to share my words… I can’t even explain how much it means to me.

Wishing everyone the best.  Happy Writing!



Saturday, July 29, 2017

Editor's Thoughts--For Today...--Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

I miss you and hope that each of you continue to enjoy the gift of poetry. The light of our words can reach beyond borders and time to uplift others up, share challenges to foster understanding and for readers to enjoy.

My daughter and I are working of a collection of my short stories and a tribute to my publisher.  This is the first time Megan and I have shared the writing-editing experience. I am grateful to Connie Marcum Wong for writing the forward for this book.

For Today…

true friends,
of sun,
and life’s

I hope you can take a moment to update our Whispers’ community on what you are doing with writing, share a poem, or any thoughts you have.  May you continue to lift others up and be a light in the world.

Blessings and best wishes,


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The City’s Light…--By Karen O'Leary--United States

The City’s Light…

I hope your lives
have been made better.
I thank you for the gift
of faith, love, hope
and encouragement…

Keep the city of light
alive by shining poetry
candles to share hope
in the dark of our world.

May Whispers walk on,
making a difference,
as a community in lives
that we touch.  Wishing
all of you the best always.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Whispers Closing for Submissions--Thank You for Your Poetic Hearts--Karen O'Leary

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

It has been such a joy working with you for over four years.  I can no longer keep up with submissions for a journal that publishes several poems each week.  Our season will always be a special part of my own journey.  I hope it was a treasured time for you too. 

Although our journal is no longer able to accept submissions, I hope you will stop by from time to time to read a wide array poems by many talented people that have graced the pages of Whispers with their words.  I want to thank you for your encouragement and support.  Wishing you the best always!


Your Whispers’ Editor


Poetic Hearts

Gentle voices, inspiring lights,
pour through words ever bright.
Uplifting strains and tender songs
help others sing along.
Faith flows out of kind, caring souls
into verse where love glows.
Poems blossom from life’s insight.
Gentle voices ever bright, burning beacons shine with light.

By Karen O’Leary


Monday, May 15, 2017

From the Archives--Yancy Dalton's Triodyne Challenge--Revisitied

Gaining Wisdom (Triodyne)

Darkness brightens the light
Experiencing bad brings out the good
Knowing the difference is wisdom

Yancy’s Challenge--Try a Triodyne

(note--you can submit your poems
in the comment section below)

Yancy's new style of poetry
Title--One word or phrase
Three lines to define title
Rhyme--A-b-b or free style
Syllable count--with or with out, your choice
Meter--With or with out, your choice

Original Challenge 6-4-2014--With more Triodyne poem examples

Gaining Wisdom--By Yancy Lee Dalton--United States

Thursday, May 11, 2017

About Me—Community Activity

Dear Whisper's Friends,

In developing the art of sharing thoughts in a few words, I would like to challenge you, my friends, to share something about yourself in five words or less. I hope to keep our poetry community living despite my health. (Post Responses below.)

Here is my response--

in light…living love

This exercise is in keeping with the model of Pope Francis’—love without judgment.  In this chaotic world where life is often defined by how much people can get, there are leaders that stand up for truth. We have another couple that we have committed to praying together.  We support each other in challenging times for the four of us.  We have become the four-candle journey.  They have enriched the lives of my husband, Gayle and me.

Wishing all of you the best!  My love goes with you.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Festival of Ribbons--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers' Family,

I hope you enjoy another dimension of me.
Thank you for all the support and encouragement.

Many blessings,

Friday, May 5, 2017

Transformation--By Hifsa Ashraf--Pakistan


opens the door of a deep valley of time
radiant colours of flowers reveal spring
grasps my attention to conceive a rhyme
imagine the colourful rainbow and swing.
subsumes my emotions into hues of sight  
scribbles a melody of dawn with soft twigs
plays with a symphonic tune of subtle light
awake creative dreams to spark and sing.
morning breeze unties the knotty thought
discloses the enthralling secrets and briefs
cleans the canvas of my heart from spots
and paints my feelings with inspiring beliefs.
spring to summer, time passes in a blink
‘tis shades of petals bathed in a subtle ink.

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. 

Papa--By Lois Greene Stone--United States


In freshman beenie,
white buck shoes,
page-boy hair bouncing, I
skipped from vacation train
to his arms.  Parenthood's
pride reflected in his face.

In black gown and cap,
thin tassel hanging;  bachelor's
degree at hand and master's
anticipation, I fled from
my seat seeking approval.

Behind a quiet, fatherly,
exterior, there would have
been an exhilarated man.
If only
he had lived
to see it.

(Previously published in Green's Educational Publication, 1994)

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.

That Day on Calvary--By Helen Dowd--Canada

That Day on Calvary

Oh Jesus, I was with You, with You on that day.
I was among the women who walked along the way.
I winced at seeing soldiers poking You with spears.
My heart was filled with sorrow; my eyes were filled with tears.

I gasped that time You stumbled. I saw Your weary face.
The memories of that cruelty, I just cannot erase.
The sun was rising higher, higher in the sky.
I saw the women weeping. I heard their desperate cry.

And then I saw You turning, turning toward the crowd.
Your eyes searched for the women who are calling out to God.
I heard You tell them gently, “Oh, do not weep for Me.
Weep only for your children, that they will be set free.”

And then the vision vanished. I was no longer there,
Walking with the women, sharing their despair.
However, I am praying that the scene will stay with me,
Of being with the women on the walk to Calvary.

Helen Dowd enjoys spending time at her computer, along side her husband of 60 years, writing poetry, story poems, stories about pets and life in general, as well as inspirational and Bible stories. She has one book published. Her stories and poems have been published in several Anthologies. Helen hosts an inspirational online publication,  She is presently a caregiver for her husband and sister, one dog, five cats and 6 gold fish.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Expanding--By Pam H. Murray--Canada


Like whispers from a distant place
I feel you close.  You touch my face
And though the distance lies between
I feel you’re standing where I’ve been.

The years have flown and you and I
Shared all those years.  Now when I fly
Into my sunset years, I know
You still reach out and help me grow.

At night, I lie in solitude
And feel your presence.  You conclude
Each day.  You drift in memory
Expanding what is best in me.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Pam Murray has been writing poetry since the mid-1960’s.  She was married for over 41 years and has two daughters, a son-in-law, and a grandson.  Pam has been published in a variety of venues.  Her proudest writing accomplishment was a poem she wrote for a United Way fundraiser, which was later framed with a French translation and hung on the wall of the legislature in Ottawa, Canada.  To her, poetry is a transposition of a vision she sees in her mind. Writing and crocheting are her passions.

The Spirit of God--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

The Spirit of God

Courage walks
in the shadows
of loneliness;
it faces shouts
of self-willed
crowds.  But always
it looks ahead
with hope;
it flies
like the spirit
of an eagle,
trusting the wings
of faith; it moves
ever so steadily
toward higher
mountains, building
its nest in the safety
of God’s
watchful eyes.

John W. (Bill) Williams is a retired language arts and children’s literature educator.  He lives in Martin, GA, where he stays busy with his art and poetry.  He has been published in a variety of venues.

A River--By Aju Mukhopadhyay--India

Like a brook sneaking through the rocks unseen
Like a stream flowing through the meadows green
Roaring like an Amazon furioso
Flooding like a Hwang-Ho
Meandering through innumerable towns and cities
Leaving on both the shores friends and enemies
I have been coursing through life
For thousands of years, with many a strife.

Nothing is hackneyed, nothing is old
Each experience is precious gold.
Each dawn, each sunset is a marvel
Though each day begins with a tantalizing tale.
Sorrow and joy, shame and fame
Each is a different game.
Bitter and sweet, passionate, ignorant
I have enjoyed every moment.

Forever afloat moving beyond the sea
Forever towards the glowing infinity.

Aju Mukhopadhyay, a bilingual award winning poet, author and critic, writes fictions and essays too. He has authored 32 books and received several poetry awards from India and USA besides other honours. Recently he has received Albert Camus Centenary Writing Award, 2013 from Canada / Cyprus. He is a regular contributor to various magazines and e-zines in India and abroad. He is in the editorial and advisory board of some important literary journals. His poems and short stories have been widely anthologised and translated. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spring--By Molly Moore--United States


As the sweet, balmy breezes stroke my face
And the budding green leaves shed winter's last trace
As the crocus emerges, and the birds start to sing
My heart comes alive to the dawning of spring.

The sun rises earlier to light the day
And I find myself walking a livelier way
Hope's peeking out the cloud it was under
The stirrings of new life have earth all awonder.

I'll perhaps climb a mountain, or bound a stream
Or ride the wild horses I saw in a dream
Cartwheel through the meadow in joyful fling
I can do anything - after all, it's spring!

Molly Moore returned to Hawaii after completing her nursing education in Seattle, Washington. Perhaps her previous career as an international flight attendant is what launched Molly’s "flights of fancy" into poetry. A love of rhythm and rhyme sparks her creative side, especially while outdoors in nature.

Seeds of Love--By Martha Magenta--England

I watch you stir from dreams this early morn,
just as the warming rays of sunshine dawn.
You spread your arms, eager to embrace.
I plant a kiss upon your lovely face.

Then, rising with the wind, our hearts aglow,
we plant seeds of love and watch them grow.
And we nurture our creation tenderly,
joined in passion, joy, and ecstasy.

When morning bursts upon this halcyon day,
bright tulips greet golden rays of May.
As nesting birds of spring begin to sing,
Our fledgling love is born and set to wing.

Martha Magenta lives in England, UK. Her poetry, haiku, senryu and tanka have appeared in a number of journals and magazines. She collects her published work on a blog:              

Lilac May Basket--By Diane Webster--United States

Lilac May Basket

The lilac bush blooms
a tsunami of scent
inhaled, lungs full,
drowning in memories
of each year of my life.

Knocking on the door
and sprinting around the corner
of my house as Mom
opens the door and retrieves
the lilac-filled May basket
I had made at school -- empty
until I got home and dashed
across the front lawn
and snapped and shoved lilacs
never realizing Mom watched
from the house and allowed me
time to run before she answered
the door to lilac scent.

Diane Webster grew up in Eastern Oregon before she moved to Colorado.  She enjoys drives in the mountains to view all the wildlife and scenery and takes amateur photographs.  Writing poetry provides a creative outlet exciting in images and phrases Diane thrives in.  Her work has appeared in The Hurricane ReviewEunoia Review, Illya's Honey, and other literary magazines.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Treasure--By Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend--The Netherlands


You never complained
though life wasn't always easy on you
You went through
imminent moments, worries and anxiety
But still you smiled
because you didn't want
to be a burden
keeping your problems to yourself
Sometimes, when I wallow
in unreasonable self-pity
I remember your words
'every new day is a little present
  I unwrap it
  and make it special'
So blessed, I still have you
The sweetest, most courageous
and mother on earth

(I have written this poem for my mother and called it 'Treasure.'  I consider my mom as the biggest treasure on earth, and I treasure every day I still have her here with us.")

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) is a Dutch poetess.  She likes hard rock music, photography and fantasy books. Inge is a vegetarian and spends a lot of time with her animals. She started to write English poetry four years ago and posted some of her poems on her Facebook page and on her website.

Hollyhocks--By Peggy Dugan French--United States


ancient garden giants
soldier straight
yet delicate
face open to the sun

Peggy Dugan French is a California girl with Minnesota roots. She has enjoyed being the editor of Shemom since 1997. She has worn many hats over the years, but being a Mom has been one of her greatest adventures; she’s had the pleasure of sharing that journey with her best friend.

Monday, May 1, 2017

His Voice--By Yancy Lee Dalton--United States

His Voice
(A true story)

The two friends were driving beef cattle
When clouds gathered and thunder did rattle
So they turned their horses toward shelter
One friend’s dad was in a pickup back there
They were galloping fast when lighting struck
Only one of the two friends reached the truck
The rain had come, now the weather was norm
It took about twenty minutes, total time of storm
"Where is your friend?" asked the father of his son
As they were looking hard for the missing one
Talented dad began backtracking rain thin tracks
Son another way, yearning for his friend’s callbacks
To his astonishment, he heard Bob’s calm voice
So far away, detecting direction was no choice
The voice told him to tell his folks not to worry
That he had a mission elsewhere and wasn't sorry
"Please give my dad and mom my love," said he.
I didn’t understand how this could be
Then walked the direction of the voice of my Dad
On the ground, lay dead horse and friend, so sad

Yancy Lee Dalton is a published writer from Colorado.

Reality Slumbers--By Emile Pinet--Canada

Reality Slumbers

Saffron rays glitter like chiffon
ribbons, entangled in the clouds.
And purple lilacs brush the air,
painting delicious aromas.

Orange tints the rim of the earth,  
as charcoal skies reveal their stars.
And as twilight shifts into dusk,
ravenous grays devour color.

Cotton candy pinks shield the sun,
behind a bright magenta glow.
And a dumpling moon’s silver hues, 
entice lengthy shadows to grow.

Night dons a cloak of tattered black,
enlisting the screech of an owl.
And soon reality slumbers,
dreaming in muted shades of blue.

Far horizons of ebony,
ink shrubs and trees in silhouette.
And Venus summons tomorrow,
anticipating today’s death.

Emile Pinet was born in a small city, (Bathurst) New Brunswick, Canada, the third eldest of thirteen children, ten girls and three boys. He is the product of a semi-dysfunctional family, brought up by a physically abusive and controlling father, versus a loving, nurturing mother. Many of his poems reflect the uniqueness of nature, which he loves, and his poetic observations of life in general. Emile is 66 years old and has been writing poems since he was about 35. The ideas started to come to him rapidly one day at work-- he decided to write them down and express himself through his poetry. 

Wisdom--By Suzanne Clement--United States


Ethiopia’s topaz,
Rubies, gold, silver, too
Can’t compare with the wisdom
O, Lord, that comes from you.
So, teach me how I may live
A life that’s good and wise
By doing what is correct
And righteous in your eyes.

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Editor's Thoughts/Carry On--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

You are my writing family, friends I feel honored to share the gift of words with.  As we regroup, we will find our way forward.  I hope you will enjoy reading some of my poetry in May.  If you have any suggestions, please send them to me with the subject of WHISPERS’ SUGGESTION.  As a growing creative community, our fabric is woven of many voices—each yarn a different hue.  That makes us special.

This poem captures the essence of what I would like to share with you today.  Many of you are familiar with this piece, but I hope it will still convey something meaningful.

Carry On

Some days are long;
the road gets tough.
We give it our all
and that is enough.

Friends share our toils
and carry us through.
We learn about love
and generosity too.

We sing of the gift
of a warm embrace.
It lifts our burden
from a weary place.

We learn to look
for others in need.
With grateful hearts,
we spread love’s seed.

Some days are long;
the road is tough.
We give our best
and that is enough.

Wishing you the best always, my friends.  My thoughts and prayers go with you.


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Bilingual Haiku--By--Chen-ou Liu--Canada

wolf moon
a stranger's smell
on her body


cherry blossom rain
her fragrance lingers
in my mind


those three words
then silence ...
a gap in the clouds

然後一陣沉默 ...

a dragonfly pauses
between sunshine  and shade
to stay or to go


drift of a leaf ...
the end
of my shift work

漂泊的一片葉子 ...

Chen-ou Liu is the author of four books, including Following the Moon to the Maple Land (First Prize Winner of the 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest). His tanka and haiku have been honored with many awards. To read more of his poems, please go to Poetry in the Moment,  

The Owl and the Fish--By Jack Horne--England

The Owl and the Fish

I asked an owl which way to go; 
alas, she didn't seem to know. 
A fish was swimming by my side 
and said he'd always be my guide.

Jack Horne enjoys reading and writing poetry.

In Review…--Gerald Heyder--United States

My family was my treasure,
yes, they were beyond measure.
They are gone like yesterday
and can never return.
Oh, what memories to fill
my heart and soul album,
my emptiness weighs a ton.
People put flowers on graves
then depart and forget.
I prefer flowers in my heart
where they’re set in cement.
My life has run amuck
like a limping duck,
stuck on the ground
I cannot fly to be
Bound for heaven’s glory,
I’m a sad sorry story.

(Where your treasure is
there will your heart be also.
—Sermon on the Mount)

Gerald Heyder is a published poet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Ambrosia--By Paul Callus--Malta


Beside the gurgling stream
I sit upon the grass
and watch the shards of glass
(reflected rays that gleam)
alone, as I daydream
below the clouds that pass.

Away from urban din
it’s peaceful all around
except for nature’s sound
that flows along akin
to music soft within
where strings of joy are found.

My senses taste with greed
and on ambrosia feed.

Paul Callus is a Maltese author who writes both in Maltese and English. He has contributed to several anthologies. Apart from poetry he writes lyrics for songs and has published two books, one a story book aimed at children (related to his experience as a teacher) and a historical book based on research.