Monday, May 21, 2018

No Comfort--By John Grey--United States

No Comfort

I made what I thought was
a kind and appropriate gesture,
words of genuine sympathy
and an expression to match.
But my presence
drew no response from her.
Touch, conversation…
nothing to hang an emotion on.
Eventually, she took her leave
without a word,
unless tears and a reddening
of the cheeks
are a language.
Certainly, silence is.
I continued to speak it
long after she was gone.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.

Alice's Azaleas--By Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands

Alice's Azaleas

The curtains are closed, almost
for two days now and I start to worry.
I already missed the sparkling laugh
of my neighbor next door, a cheerful
spirited woman of eighty years something.
Perhaps she stayed with her son,
a few times a year he comes to pick her up
and they spend some family time together.
But why didn't she ask me to water the plants?
When the doorbell stays unanswered,
I know something is wrong, an ominous feeling
is coming over me.
The ambulance arrived just in time,
she has been laying there for hours
incapable to ask for help.
When I visited her in the hospital
she says, she knew I would come
because I know how much she cares
about my Azaleas.

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.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Who Will See Her Colors Now?--By Arthur Turfa--United States

Who Will See Her Colors Now?

If we are blessed to any extent
to render the beauty we sense
into song, sonnet, or landscape,
we need to develop those gifts
however haltingly, and share them.
Our muses whisper to us of glories
yearning to find expression

Explosions of color I have seen,
images from one in youth’s blossom,
recalling those of others seen over
the years. Her eyes shone with
the radiance of a hundred suns
and the hopes for tomorrow.

Now those eyes turn elsewhere
to places far from former glories.
A mess of pottage received for
all that might have been.

Who will see her colors now?
If only I could see them again
before all colors fade to my eyes.

Arthur Turfa lives in South Carolina, but his poetry reflects the many places where he has lived or traveled.  His next book, Saluda Reflections, comes out from Finishing Line Press on June 22, 2018. He has two other books of published poetry.

Helping at Hospice--By Cindy Evans--United States

Helping at Hospice 

I took my place behind the desk,
settling in the familiar chair,
the feeling of peace I'd come to expect
was gently evident there.
As people passed, they seemed sad,
yet thankful for this place,
a cheery voice and fresh flowers
and a smiling, friendly face.
Some walked by the pond,
some sat in the chapel in prayer,
some people slept in the rooms,
you could see how much they care.
A chaplain walked by
and gave a little wave...
one of the staff let me know
an ambulance was on the way.
I take it all in,
just blessed to be a part
of God's love in action
and the expression of His heart.

Cindy Evans is a published poet living in the greater Atlanta area. She enjoys writing, serving at the local hospice, Ferris wheels and date nights with her husband. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Sea--By Anne Curran--New Zealand

The Sea

my curtains open
I see the low silhouette
of mountains on the horizon
I feel sea-spray on my face
from breakers lapping the shore
water fills my footprints
as I walk its length.

my curtains drawn
the sky is a pea-soup green
the sea an inscrutable blue
foam-crested waves
curl with cold
against a stony shore
only the wind stalks the beach.

Anne Curran writes in Hamilton New Zealand where she resides with her pet car Misty and extended family of parents, brothers and sisters. She loves art, going to see films, and walks. 

Spirit Questions--By Dwight Roth--United States

Spirit Questions (a Rubáiyát)

Where dwells the spirit before life begins         
Waiting to entwine with genes at man’s whims
Does it float in space riding red stardust
Or in ocean waves where the raindrops swim
Where dwells the spirit when I took my first
Breath of life // drawing heart and lungs merged thirst
Spirit seems at home in this flesh and bone
Fragile body // heart pumping till it bursts

Where does my spirit dwell when life is done   
As eyes close in death and the race is run
Breath leaves the body and the spirit’s rises
Rejoining spirit with Spirit // lives on

The Rubáiyát is a Persian form of several quatrains. Its name derives from the Arabic plural of the word for "quatrain," Rubá'íyah. This, in turn, comes from the Arabic Rubá, meaning "four."

Dwight Roth is a retired elementary school teacher who enjoys writing poetry and posting photography on his WordPress blog:  He has self-published several books and has books published on AmazonKindle. Dwight lives with his wife Ruth near Charlotte, North Carolina.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Special Feature--A Tribute to Editors, Inge Wesdijk--The Netherlands and Jack Horne--England

Dear Whispers’ Family,

It is an honor to work with my co-editors Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) and Jack Horne. The positive feedback I get from contributors that work with them is a joy. I proposed a short interview for readers and writers to get to know them a bit better.  It is a pleasure to share their thoughts with you.

Please take time to thank them as without their commitment to our online journal, Whispers would cease to be. Inge and Jack, you are talented and insightful writers and editors.  It is a gift to be able to work with you.

Blessings to all,

Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)Whispers’ Poetry Editor—

I live in a small village in the province Groningen which is situated North-East in the Netherlands. When I look out the window of my small apartment, I see the cows in the meadow. It's quiet and that's the way I like it. When I need some change of scenery, I stay with my friend for a while.

I started to write as a teenager to express my feelings, I had a diary and sometimes a poem popped up. I always liked it to play with language in a humorous way and wrote a lot of Dutch limericks which I sadly lost. About 6 years ago, I started to write in English. I felt I wanted to share my words and would reach a broader readership this way. At first, I wrote all rhymed poems about my feelings, but my poetry has evolved from describing the beauty of nature to more critical poems, all in free verse nowadays.  Sometimes I like to write special poetry forms but mostly it restricts my spontaneity because I have to think too much about syllables, subjects etc. My best poems are the spontaneous ones.

It has become a part of my life. When I don't write for a while I get restless as if something has to come out. Sure, I have these moments that I don't have the slightest idea what I should write about. The prompt that works for me is to take two sentences, each from different pages from a book as a basis for a poem. 


Jack HorneWhispers’ Activity Feature Editor—

Where are you living?  Can you tell readers the assets of living in your current community?

I live in Plymouth, Devon (South West England).  Plymouth is famous for its Drake & Pilgrim Fathers/Mayflower connections, but I live about 5 miles from the sea. Where we live is fairly close to the moors. In fact, my current workplace is on the threshold of Dartmoor. From my bedroom window, I can see hundreds of trees in the nearby woods - I often sit here at my desk & enjoy happy memories of walking our dogs, Pads & Nero...many years ago. 

When did you start writing poetry and why?

As a youngster, I enjoyed writing limericks, but it wasn't until I was around 11 & fell in love for the first time (with a girl in my class at school) that I felt the need to write serious poetry. I poured out my feelings for her in my secret notebook but was too shy to ever let Suzanne read any of my ramblings. (Maybe that was just as well...) Years later, I realised that ladies usually respond very favourably to poetry & I wrote sonnets for several women, who had stolen my heart. I also found that poetry can be a catharsis & was helped enormously by writing poems during bad times of my life - my gran & dad died of cancer; my wife left me for someone whom she'd met on the internet; I eventually met another lady, but the relationship was very short-lived... Well, no one's life is all sunshine & no rain - as someone once said, we need rain to see rainbows - but some of those poems were the most powerful I've ever written. 

What drives your passion for writing poetry today?

Sometimes, my muse just doesn't want to work! At times like that, I read my favourite poems - Frost's, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, Shakespeare's “Sonnet 29”, Wordsworth's “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, Carol Ann Duffy's “Valentine”, Spike Milligan's “A Silly Poem” - & by the time I'm halfway through reading those, my muse is positively champing at the bit. (When I want to write prose, I always read Susan Hill's “The Woman in Black” & that has the same effect!) When my muse is active, I find I have ideas dancing round in my head & they won't rest - or let me rest - until I put them down on paper (or on the computer screen). I don't think I could live without writing!

Invisible Light--By Damon E. Johnson--United States

Invisible Light

Like a moth drawn
to an extraordinary flame, I
sit and wait anxiously for you
to somehow notice me
imagining your arms caressing
my entire world as we
gaze at the stars that shine
as if they own the night, and
tomorrow would certainly be ours
if only you could see me
in a different light.

Damon E. Johnson is an accomplished freelance writer and poet currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of three dynamic poetry books; Rhythm in My Blues, The Vineyard: Exploding Grapes, Forbidden Fruit, and newly published Addiction.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

haiku--By ayaz daryl nielsen--United States

the evening rumbles
incomprehensible change
a day’s leftovers
gone in a fire-storm
the trees were pine and aspen
the house was our home
these hometown sidewalks
beside our pushy bruised streets
yearning’s alphabet
books we’ve read
unwinding in heart and thoughts
umbilical words
Spring morning
chilly tools held by patched gloves
bare feet on warm earth
ayaz daryl nielsen, veteran, hospice nurse, ex-roughneck (as on oil rigs) lives 
in Longmont, Colorado, USA.  Editor of bear creek haiku (30+ years/140+ issues) 
with poetry published worldwide (and deeply appreciated), he also is online at: 

love/hate relationship--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States

love/hate relationship

shaved head nose ring black beard
frayed jeans leather jacketed arms
crude tattooed right fist spells HATE
across knuckles eyes daring comment
from strangers in the full visitors room

wheel chaired sleeping mother sighs
as he wisps a stray hair from her eyes
with his left hand labeled LOVE
gently touching his lips to her cheek
smiles shyly at new friends in the room

(first published Postcard Poem and Prose)

Carl "Papa" Palmer of University Place, WA is retired military, retired FAA, now just plain retired without wristwatch, cell phone, alarm clock or Facebook friend. Carl is a Hospice volunteer and president of The Tacoma Writers Club.

MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

haiku--By Chen-ou Liu--Canada

in a creaking bed
motel night
a doll house
sketched on the driveway ...
tilted foreclosure sign
a one-armed man
alone with the winter wind ...
war cemetery
a white feather
blowing on the barbed wire
youth detention center
model home
a spider weaving
summer clouds              

Chen-ou Liu lives in Ajax, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of five books, including Following the Moon to the Maple Land (First Prize, 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest) and A Life in Transition and Translation (Honorable Mention, 2014 Turtle Light Press Biennial Haiku Chapbook Competition), His tanka and haiku have been honored with many awards.

Skyward Bursts--By Diane Webster--United States

Skyward Bursts

Doves burst skyward
like campfire flames
with detached embers
floating feather-like.
Coos echo from trees
much like logs popping
with fire.
Diane Webster's goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life or nature or an overheard phrase. Many nights she falls asleep juggling images to fit into a poem. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia PoetsIllya's HoneyRiver Poets Journal and other literary magazines.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Shattered Dreams--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Shattered Dreams

moon peeks
through a frosty pane--
the wind moans

used dixie cups
strewn on the counter--
empty days

divorce papers
among the clutter--
broken promises

wedding picture
slides into the trash--
one becomes two

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, ND.  She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including, Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. Karen is your editor/publisher. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

Patterns of Rhymes--By Yancy Dalton--United States

Patterns of Rhymes
(Sonnet & triodyne monorhyme)
Poets select many patterns of rhyme
Choice selected by some are so patterned 
They do every other line as rhyme prime
Rhyme in trading each line into patterns

Yet the most popular rhymes every time
Each rhyme to every second one combined
Both kinds used in a sonnet type styling
Writers influencing readers, smiling

Some unique rhymers write in triodynes
So each rhyming line fits the subject lines
Even to point they can use monorhymes

It’s up to each author’s choice at all times
Picking subjects of writer-reader rhymes

Yancy Dalton grew up on a cattle ranch riding, roping, and branding calves. He started writing poetry after college, church mission, and marriage.  When he first started writing online, the name "Yancy" was often taken for a girl's name. So, he made up a pen name to progress as a poet called "Knight Writer."

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Old School Life--By Chris Page--England

Old School Life

She was of the old school,
proud and ashamed at the
same time as many old
ladies of her class are.
she never invited friends
or neighbours inside her
home. Ashamed her tea
spoons came from a thrift
store and her tea set doesn’t
match, her chairs are worn
and old, carpets threadbare.
She would rather be lonely
than give up her pride of an
old school generation.

Chris Page lives in Thaxted, England. He has been writing poetry for over 50 years. He won his first poetry competition at the age of 9 and has been writing since. Chris writes in a style called Imagist. He enjoys Jazz and Irish music. He travels worldwide. He speaks Irish Gaelic.

The Word--By Bruce Mundhenke--United States

The Word

Have you not heard the Word,
Sighing in the breeze,
Descending with the rain,
Singing in the trees?
All that is heard came by the Word.

Note from the poet: This is a poem that reflects my belief that God is everything that was, is, or will be. God is one Spirit from which everything came…

Bruce Mundhenke writes poetry in Illinois, where he lives with his wife and their dog and cat. He finds in nature beauty, inspiration, and revelation.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Evening Sky--By Janice Fisher--United States

Evening Sky

Day is done
Shadows cross
the land
Sky shows its
western beauty
in magic rays
of sun, golden
in its view
Dark clouds whisper
nightly showers
while on the
horizon stands
a tree alone
Reaching for
the beauty as
if to capture
and hold for
all to see

Janice Fisher was born in Oregon and still lives in the West Coastal range, She has a degree in Business and Human Relations. She has a passion for Poetry and has published six books, volume 1 through 6 , Poems & Byways of the Mind. She is also writing a Children's Mystery Novel.

Space Probe (a villanelle)--By Nick Spargo--United Kingdom

Space Probe (a villanelle)

Alone I travel, no-one listening for my cry;
Returning from the stars across uncounted years,
How many million miles from home am I?

My path preset, a stubborn course I fly,
The echoing silence madness in my ears.
Alone I travel, no-one listening for my cry.

The barren ether mocks my efforts as I try
To voice my dread, the essence of my fears;
How many million miles from home am I?

Across unmeasured time, unending space, I ply
My monotonous trade, punctuated by my unshed tears;
Alone I travel, no-one listening for my cry.

Again into the void I send my soundless cry,
Is anybody there? Anyone who hears?
How many million miles from home am I?

A misplaced thought, a misfiled note am I,
Forgotten victim of the dusty, unforgiving years.
Alone I travel, no-one listening for my cry
How many million miles from home am I?

Nick Spargo writes poetry, short stories and monologues. He has been published extensively and has won a number of prizes with his work. He lives in the South-West of England.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Graça Costa—Portugal and Arthur Turfa—United States

Paths of Hope

By Graça Costa and Arthur Turfa

The horizon was dressed
with fragments of eternity.
Dawn danced below my eyes
and words flow like dewdrops in the mist.
Sweet the smell of poetry
sweet as the remembrance of your smile.

Sunlight spread over the low-lying hills.
They reminded me of you in slumber,
your hair tousled like the trees on the slopes.
I beheld you in the stillness of almost-day
and inhaled the fragrance of wildflowers.

The day rose with an outstanding brightness
talking newly-coined words of tenderness
an all new language
both wisdom and sugary
as if we blended feelings and drops
of new ways of life
with skin dressed of hope.

As the sun beamed in a cloudless sky
I made my way through meadow
and forest, wading shallow streams
until I found you in the tall grass
shaded by a grove of oak trees
streaked with wisteria. 

There I was.
Did not know if I was
dreaming, sleeping, 
on a voyage throughout some wonderland of tenderness
Did not know, but I didn't care.
For when I saw you 
making your way through meadow and forest,
when I felt you reaching for my hand
I knew we had it all.
Blessed we were:
shaded by a grove of oak trees
streaked with wisteria. 

My Lover Does Not Deserve Black--By Elizabeth Kirkpatrick-Vrenios--United States

My Lover Does Not Deserve Black

I wear scarlet to his funeral,
 a beautiful floor-length silk
with sleeves 
that flick the air like flames,
a splash of red electricity. 

I swirl with bagpipe's skirls 
the sound drenching
the mourners 
crushed in black, 
mute and dark eyed.

My throat, torn open, 
pours out scarlet grief 
which splashes the sky, 
stains my skin,
and smears the air with roses.

I am the solitary scarlet bell.

Elizabeth Kirkpatrick-Vrenios' award winning chapbook, Special Delivery, was published in the spring of 2016.  She has poems published in various anthologies including Stories of Music, Love Notes from Humanity, Poeming Pidgeon, Passager, NILVX, Unsplendid, Scissors and Spackle and the American Journal of Poetry. She is a Professor Emerita from American University, artistic director of the Redwoods Opera in Mendocino, California, and has spent much of her life performing as a singing artist across Europe and the United States.

The Ants--By Partha Chatterjee--India

The Ants

Silent but frisky procession 
of black heads with no placards
or slogans.

Each carrying white eggs in mouth
that look like white hawthorn blooming in a forest
or snowflakes falling on hillside roads.

They store food for winter
Yet, the hoarders cause
no artificial famine to the 'antkind'

They feel first the troubled pulse 
of Mother Earth and her tectonic

In their nuptial flight, they are angels         
who drop their wings on the ground          
as surrendered flags.                                   

Partha Chatterjee lives in India with his family. Born in 1986, he graduated from Burdwan University. He loves music and poetry.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Images--By Greg Gregory--United States


I remember
a white heron stalking
the edge of a pond
one early morning.

I remember 
swimming in a Sierra stream,
alone except for a red-tailed hawk
flying through a noon sun.

I remember 
watching a single swan swim
over a lake's moon reflection 
in silhouette.

They come,
hunting me at the edges
of my reflections, 
stalking me in these late days.

Greg Gregory has been published in the US, Canada, and the UK in publications including California Quarterly, The Aurorean, and Avocet.  Born in Washington, DC, Greg lived 14 years in the San Francisco Bay area.  Greg currently lives and writes in Sacramento, California with his wife, Rita.

Twenty-Four Hours--By Jack Horne--England

Twenty-Four Hours

A sunny day, with little breeze,
the sky is blue, no clouds around, 
I sit beneath the shady trees,
with fragrant flowers on the ground,
on days like this, I think of you,
and feel my wishes may come true.

A balmy calm, a restless night,
the moonlight fills my lonely room,
I long to join an owl in flight,
or buzzing insects on a bloom,
I pace the floorboards, certain of
the awful truth: I lost your love.

Yet, dawn awakes my hope again;
I step outside, refreshed by rain...

Jack Horne enjoys reading and writing poetry. He is Whispers Activity Features Editor.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Old Home Place--By Colan L. Hiatt--United States

The Old Home Place

She relishes many memories 
Of her quaint little country home 
Young and happy, at the dawn of life 
Before a tragedy caused her to roam

She recalls bad times as being good 
Although commodities were few
You did the best with what you had 
Repair the old, instead of buying new

Modern days brought many things 
Luxuries and gadgets galore 
Digital items may be found 
Alongside - an old country store 

How to relate to this diversity 
Is sometimes quite a task 
Does modern technology satisfy 
Or do old memories, it tends to mask?

Many of her conversations
Were referenced to "the old homeplace"
As a ripe old age, she did attain
This one memory, time did not erase  

Colan L. Hiatt’s ultimate prayer and desire is that any and all poetic writings that he endeavors to present, would depict Christ as "the answer" to life's problems. May they offer hope and encouragement to pilgrims along the road of life.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Whispered Words (In Gratitude)--By Karen O'Leary--Your Editor

Dear Writing Friends,

Yesterday, we had 632-page views at Whispers.  For some sites, this is just an everyday occurrence but a day of gratitude for this North Dakota editor as I cherish each voice part of making these days happen.  I know that this is a time investment for many of you, encouraging and giving a voice to our community that I love.

Each thread in the fabric of Whispers is a gift.  Readers cherish your words—readers tell me about the quality of our journal.  That’s not something any one can accomplish alone but a community as a whole.

Whispered Words

gifted voices
of wisdom on life’s wings
rustle with enchanting treasures
so loved

It took me a bit to share the right words that speak of my appreciation for all of you.  Yet, these words can’t totally express my gratitude.

Best wishes and blessings,

Trees of Heaven--By Joan McNerney--United States

Trees of Heaven

Those are tough trees
growing in slums.
With no need of rich soil
or pruning, they rise
in abandoned lots.

These trees survive rubbish,
rodents and noxious chemicals.
Not easily cut down, they stand
against gaunt tenements.

Climbing skyward,
delicate palm leaves
flourish flowering pods.

Trees of Heaven give
children glimpses of bright
emerald each morning.

Stars play peek-a-boo
between their branches
through long nights.

Who has said a taste of
paradise is only for the rich?

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines and anthologies such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle PressDinner with the MuseBluelineHalcyon Days and Poppy Road Review to name a few.

Just Talk--By Caryl Calsyn--United States

Just Talk

Some talk about peace,
but wage war.

Some talk about diversity,
but spew slurs.

Some talk about equality,
but discriminate.

Some talk about love,
but demonstrate hate.

Just talking about peace,
diversity, equality and love—
is not enough to change the world.

Since we have not learned this yet.
I wonder if we ever will.

Caryl Calsyn is a retired interior designer. She has always been a writer, but poetry became the mode preferred a few years ago and eventually she became a published author. She is a past president of a writer’s club, past chairman of the county historical commission and a museum board member. She leads a faith group and sings in a chorale and the church choir.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

a wonderful feeling--By Maurice J. Reynolds--United States

a wonderful feeling

yawns, sniffles, and
a weary head decorate
the room on an early
spring day; pencils
marking and erasing;
over in the corner,
a warm smile embraces
the face of the instructor
sitting at his desk;
proud of his students
taking their PSAT test;
a wonderful feeling indeed.

Maurice J. Reynolds (MJ) is an educator living in the great state of Michigan.  He loves spending time with family, working with children and youth, as well as writing.  He is the owner and editor of the email publication, Creative Inspirations.  Submission and subscription information can be found at:  

Morning--By Rick Davis--United States


I woke up abruptly this morning
from a dream where I was
nineteen again, eating amidst
a stack of books –

When I was young I read nonstop
and I remember reading
as a seven year old while
an old nun sat behind a desk.

Sitting, listening to Marianne talk,
This morning settled around me
like a tender blue coat –

And in gray yellow sunlight
I possessed the vulnerability
of open water, falling into a rhythm
of silence, noticing little birds
flitting from tree to tree.
In sleepy Chicago sun,
under the slow flow of love.

Rick Davis graduated from Northeastern Illinois University, and several graduate schools.  He is married, is from Chicago, and worked in market research and urban ministry.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

When the Shama Sings--By Molly Moore--United States

When the Shama Sings

His morning twilight repertoire
Keeps me mesmerized.
As the most gifted songster, by far,
No wonder he is so highly prized.

Voicing his sonorous trill after trill
Does he have a message to deliver?
Or is he just enjoying the thrill
Of music that sets my heart aquiver?

He creates new warbles and melodies
At the dawning of each day
So I scan the pomelo and plumeria trees
As his performance gets underway.

I have often heard about happiness
That it's really life's simple things
That contribute the most to well-beingness -
Like when the Shama sings!

Note from the poet: Because of his beautiful song, the Shama is often kept as a caged bird.

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.