Monday, December 11, 2017

Archive Selection--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States--Originally Published--November 26, 2014

Dad’s Hands

In the cafe booth his son asks,
Dad, what do you see
when you look at your hands?

Palms up, palms down, open, closed,
bent, scraped, swollen and raw. Dad
answers, These hands are not mine.

He looks across the table
at this young man’s hands,
smooth, strong, flexible, straight.

You have my hands, Son.
These hands that I have on
once belonged to my father.

Someday, way too soon, you’ll see
that your son will have your hands,
and you, Son, will have mine.

Carl "Papa" Palmer, retired Army, retired FAA, now just plain retired, lives in University Place, Washington. He has seven chapbooks and a contest winning poem riding buses somewhere in Seattle. Carl has been nominated for the Micro Award and Pushcart Prize.

MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever
www.authorsden.com/carlpalmer

Archive Selection--By Gert W. Knop--Germany--Originally Published--December 2, 2013

Lost Dreams

When mind wanders,
and travels with the soul
thoughts wait for answers.
Abysses there,
where once were forests and life,
now only bare land remains.
Lost like future dreams,
and frozen as autumn leaves
in early winter.

Gert W. Knop, born in 1943, studies art and tropical agriculture in Germany and Scotland (University of Edinburgh). He has lived in many different countries and writes mainly in German, English and Spanish. He currently resides in Zittau (Saxony), Germany.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

New!--Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Sharon Weimer and Karen O’Leary--United States

kindred spirits

By Sharon Weimer and Karen O’Leary—United States

​butterflies bind
our hearts as one...
on wings our words
flow, hoping to help
the wounded arise

through storms 
confused and blind
we find each other
hands reaching
connecting...

Archive Selection--By Suzanne Delaney--United States--Originally Published--January 29, 2013

Another Jewel Sunrise

Pink inks of dawn glow
through a dissolving fog
lifting botanical shadows
alive with enchanting birds.
Rustling leaves
stir the world awake.

Over the horizon a bustling
city throbs,
a million or more people
going to their jobs,
missing this quiet solitude.

Radios thump. They drive
bumper to bumper,
eyes glued to the freeway.

Another jewel sunrise slips
right by them.

Suzanne Delaney, Hawaii, is a Retired Registered Nurse certified in Med/Surg. Since retiring she has participated in (online) poetry groups. She is originally from Australia but lived in the Hawaiian Islands for most of her adult life. Her poetry is a mixture from living between both Australia and Hawaii. Her poems are included in an Anthology A Bridge to ALL Nations.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Archive Selection--By Linda Hurdwell--England--Originally Published--December 20, 2016

Autumn Leaves…

A Winter’s gale blows thick and fast
Tossing the leaves that are unable to last
While the timid sun sighs with despair
As winter laughs without a care.

Autumn hides with fear on her face
This land is now no longer her place
Birds migrate with urgent speed
There’s nothing here that they need.

Insects don’t thrive when it is so cold
Plants wither and become suddenly old
A lone robin still sings with some hope
Wondering how on earth he will cope.

Autumn turns and hurries away
Taking her hues and pride with dismay
She sheds such a small and silent tear
Grateful that she will be back next year.

Linda Hurdwell has been a widow for 5 years. She has two adult sons. Living in the English countryside, she takes her dog, Bessie, for a daily walks and that's where many of her poems and stories are born.  She has always loved writing and has a few short stories published. Although now a pensioner, she enjoys working with adults with learning disabilities and running a mencap social club once a week. Her hobbies are writing, tap dancing, and going to the theatre or cinema with my friends.

Archive Selection--By Caryl Calsyn--United States--Originally Publised--January 24, 2017

Not Just a Dress

Mother and I walked by the window
of a store named Jack and Jill.

Never in all my six years
had I seen a prettier dress—
white eyelet, ruffles and lace.

I didn’t ask if I could have it,
because I knew times were hard.

A few days later, to my amazement,
my mother gave me that adored dress.

For some unknown reason she could
not say she loved me or give me a hug.

But my white eyelet dress had love,
in invisible letters, written all over it.

Caryl Calsyn is a retired Interior Designer who only began writing poetry about five years ago. About three years ago she began submitting to publishers. Her first try was accepted and she now has 124 that have been published.  She is a board member for the county historical commission and the local museum.  She sings in a chorale and her church choir and loves family gatherings.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Archive Selection--By jani johe webster--United States--Originally Published--December 24, 2014

jani johe shared her unique style and insight which left readers in awe.  But more importantly, she was a bright light in the writing community, always ready to support others in their journeys.  I am glad to have been able to call her my friend.  She is missed by many.                                                                        Sincerely, Karen O’Leary--Editor

sound of dreams

what are
the sounds of dreams
on a winter
    dark night

it has been snowing steadily
and dawn comes all white and silent
with snowflakes dressed
like tiny poems

Thoughts from Nila Webster--This poem, like so many of my mother's captures the Zen of the season. Winter does bring its dark nights, for certain, yet the image of dawn 'white' and 'silent' is filled with hope and beauty. I love the idea that the snowflakes are dressed like tiny poems.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Archive Selection--By Kelley White--United States--Originally Published April 27, 2017

There is a problem on our block

The old woman
who drives the gold 1963 Ford Falcon
found a litter of kittens in her hosta bushes.
The mother moved the kittens
three times, first to the empty dog house,
where the woman had laid a carpet remnant,
then to a hole she had dug near the stone fence,
then to somewhere quite unknown.
Kids found the mother
dead, run-over in the street.
Miss Emma has all the unemployed men
in the neighborhood out searching.
They are climbing ladders
and crawling under porches.
They are opening broken doors
and shining lights into abandoned houses.
Everyone is listening very very carefully.
She has me searching too.

Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

NEW!--Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Sara Kendrick--United States and Jack Horne--England

Out on the Porch

By Sara Kendrick--United States, and Jack Horne--England

Steel gray cotton balls hang suspended
Sky blue sky accents each ball
As the distant sun inches up
Realizing the roosters' call

An acorn loses its hold and falls
Lands upon the roof or barn
One ping upon the roof top
Shrill squeal as it tells a yarn

Dampness and cool opens this fall day
There's a stillness undefined
Life seems to move slowly forward
Good and evil seen intertwined

My breath is smoking on the frosty air,
the starry sky is inky black,
with distant smells of burning bramblewood:
reminders that will take me back.

A child again, I stand in happy awe,
and feel the magic of the night,
and picture Gran beside me, as before,
my hand in hers, my spirits bright.

A hooting owl disturbs the peaceful calm,
and then the chiming village clock...
it's time to go indoors, because I've found
the remedy for writer's block!

Activity to Kindle Your Muse--Hosted by--Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)—The Netherlands, Activity Editor

Dear Whispers' Friends,

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)—The Netherlands, Activity Editor is accepting poems for individual publication in January. One of her goals is to give writers of various levels a chance to share in her inspiring opportunities.  I'm so grateful that our talented friend is offering another opportunity to help us grow as writers.

Note--This will replace the former individual poem publication opportunity.  The poems will be published in January.  Only one topic notification email will go out each month which you are welcome to share with your friends.  Each writer is eligible for one publication per month and be notified when his or her poem is published.  Inge and I will adjust this if the volume is too much for one month.

From--Inge Wesdijk, Whispers' Activity Editor

Title:  Poetry Celebrations—10 lines or less

Subject: Dreams

Outcomes:

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.

Challenge--

To present a poem of 10 lines or less that is relevant for a global community

Please use the following format:

Title
Space
Poem
Space
Author’s name and country

We will no longer publish bios with these poems.

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


Deadline December 25:  Accepted poetry will be published as individual poems in January—spaced throughout the month pending number of poems accepted.

Of note--Whispers does not publish profanity, erotica, violence or other derogatory writing.

It is a gift to have Inge share her editorial talents and willingness devote time to Whispers for activity submissions.  She is a joy to work with.

Blessings,

Karen O'Leary

Whispers' Editor

Multi-Language Poetry Feature/Collaborative Poetry Opportunity--Hosted by Jack Horne—England, Our Features Editor

It was a pleasure to announce our writing team at the beginning of this month. Both Inge and Jack bring their talents to Whispers.  It is a privilege to work with them as we move forward with our journal.

In keeping with the desire to provide different opportunities, Jack Horne, Whispers’ Features Editor is offering an opportunity for our diverse global community to share poetry written in two or more languages.  

He is also willing to consider collaborative poetry as an ongoing opportunity—please contact Jack at jack-marcus@outlook.com  with your ideas.

1. Two or more writers may collaborate to a submit poem in more than one language for consideration to be featured our online journal. Each writer must provide consent if more than one person is submitting a bilingual poem.

2. Preferred method of submission is to send your poem in the body of an email with your name and country to Jack at  jack-marcus@outlook.com  You may email Jack with any questions you may have.

3. The total line-count for multi-language poems is 20 lines for the English version as primary language. For collaborative poems, the line limit is 40.

4. The deadline for multi-language poems is December 25.

5. There is no submissions deadline for collaborative poetry. Take your time and enjoy the collaborative experience.

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

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

I hope you enjoy the opportunity to experience the joy of writing in more than one language and/or writing poetry with others.

Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Monday, December 4, 2017

Archive Selection--By Helen Dowd--Canada--Originally Published--November 16, 2013

The Man with the Thorn Scarred Face

I looked at the dying Man's thorn-scarred face.
I tried to turn away.
I saw the whip-marks on His back,
From the lashes they gave Him that day.
I saw the nails that pierced His hands.
I saw the blood from His feet.
It was then I saw the love in His eyes;
It was then, our eyes did meet.
Again I looked at the Man hanging there.
No longer did I turn away.
I knew His face was scarred for me.
Christ saved me on that day.

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, www.occupytillicome.ca  She is presently a caregiver for her husband and sister, one dog, five cats and 6 gold fish.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Archive Selection--By Jan Oskar Hansen--Portugal--Originally Published--August 23, 2014

Nocturnal Hum

She sat in her nightdress on the steps up to
the terrace looking up to the sky - Full moon
and stars so near you only needed a curtain
ladder to pick stars as galactic fruit.
She had fallen asleep I carried her to bed and
her dream continued. Overcast and a cooling
wind, the good night was erased and I had been
warming my cold heart on a child’s dream

Jan Oskar Hansen is a published poet from Portugal.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Archive Selection--By Isha Wagner--New Zealand--Originally Published--November 16, 2015

Wine Drops

I forget to remember
what it is I forget

Strange reality of today
walking the vineyards
then sipping pinot noir
that tastes nothing much
although the label
tells an elaborate story of
the crushed purple grapes

It is then I recall the rough
raw liquid poured into
carafes in Napoli
with dishes of pasta : we
sitting gloriously in shade
your eyes boring into mine.

Yes, I do remember what I forgot
It was the perfume of the wine
wafting its richness

Your eyes I cannot remember.

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.

Archive Selection--By Phyllis Babcock--Canada--Originally Published February 19, 2013

Aurora

She danced across the heavens
Whirling and twirling in delight
She slid up and down creating images
With delight she colored the sky
She made no sound as she moved
She sculpted as she danced
Unique patterns unfolded
the heavens became her canvas
colors became more vibrant
Her colors changed with each breath
She danced merrily for hours on end
Until the final curtain was drawn
With the up coming dawn.

Phyllis Babcock was born in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1951 and currently resides in Regina with her husband. She has been blessed with two wonderful sons and daughter-in-laws. She has two grandsons and two granddaughters. She started writing poetry in 2004 and joined Poetry Soup site in 2006. She has been published in two anthologies, On Butterfly Wings and Snippets. Her work has also appeared on Poetry.com and in a local seniors’ newspaper. She feels writing has been a wonderful journey, meeting many new poets and writers along the way.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Editor's Column--Team Announcement--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

It is always good to celebrate others that are a part of our writing journal and welcome those are new to Whispers.  It is a blending of many voices that make us a writing community, one readers enjoy.

NEW CONTRIBUTORS IN NOVEMBER—

                                    Judy Shepps Battle—United States
                                    Clarissa Jakobsons—United States
                                    Immanuel Suttner—Australia 
                                    Feby Joseph--India  
                                    Vincent Van Ross—India
                                    Tim Philippart—United States
                                    Ms. Bosworth (MistyRose)—United States
                                    Tina Barnt—United States
                                    Nancy Brewka-Clark—United States
                                   
Please welcome them to our community. We now have representatives from the following countries—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. I look forward to expanding this list in the future. Thank you to everyone that has supported Whispers in any way.                                                    
                                                           --Sincerely, Karen

OUR WHISPERS’ TEAM--

It is such a pleasure to announce the Whispers’ team as we strive to provide ongoing activities and other opportunities to share the gift of words.

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)—The Netherlands, Activity Editor
Jack Horne—England—Features Editor
Karen O’Leary—United States—General Editor and Web Manager

We are trying to find a variety of ways to best serve our contributors and readers. We are open to guest editors, columns, and other suggestions—Please contact Karen at karenoleary1956@gmail.com if you have any ideas you would like to share.

DECEMBER PUBLICATION--

In an effort to share unique experiences for our writing journal/community, we are going to publish archived poems from writers that have been published at our journal in the last year. 

It’s sometimes good to reach into the past to find roots for the future.

JANUARY'S SUBMISSIONS INFORMATION IS FORTHCOMING!  Inge and Jack have some wonderful opportunities for you to share your poetry.

Jack, Inge and I wish you at wonderful holiday season.  Keep your pens flowing in the light, uplifting up others with words.

Blessings always,

Karen O'Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Debt of Gratitude--By Kariuki wa Nyamu--Kenya

Debt of Gratitude

Baba, I owe you
Great debt of gratitude
For instilling in me self-belief, civility and humility 
Being a true testament of astuteness and dedication
A never-drying spring of fortunes and optimism
An epitome of integrity, peacefulness and gentleness
I’ll thus ceaselessly sing you this praise song
That reciprocates kindheartedness  
Days without end

baba—means father

Kariuki wa Nyamu, a Kenyan poet, radio playwright, editor and educator, studied English, Literature and Education at Makerere University, Uganda. He is published widely both in print and online. He recently co-authored a Children’s poetry and short story anthology titled When Children Dare to Dream and won the Babishai Niwe 2017 Haiku Award.

A Gift--By Barbara Siekierski--United States

A Gift

Be thankful to Him who gives us the free gift of salvation
It doesn’t cost us money
You can’t put a price on it
It comes from the love that God has for us

Barbara Siekierski is a 64-year-old widow with a son that has autism.  He goes to a day program for disabled adults 5 days a week.  He lives with her the rest of the time.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gratitude--By Isha Wagner--New Zealand

Gratitude

Slipping down on a dark day
To grumblings about others
Malice swirling around
Living makes no sense

And then a glimpse
Face of a friend's newborn
Fresh, helpless, startling
Jolting me back to sanity
Life has limitless meanings
As existence overflows with gratitude

Isha Wagner has published quite a lot of poetry including three publications. Poetry is her passion. She's hoping to publish a fourth book soon.

Gratitude--By Eleanor Michael--United States

Gratitude

To friends who pen
poems or prose:
You've helped me
along the way
to what I write today.

Eleanor Michael has published poetry and short stories in a variety of venues.

Bounty--By Gerald Heyder--United States

Bounty

It’s not hard to quote the immortal bard
when he wrote, “How much sharper than
a serpent’s tooth is an ungrateful child.”
Sad to say in this day and age, how many
of us are ungrateful, perhaps even hateful
when we take for granted what we have
and are disenchanted for what we do
not possess, hence we are hard pressed
for thankfulness though we are blessed
I pray every day for my unlimited bounty

Gerald Heyder loves to write as well as draw cartoons. He also enjoys vintage movies, TV shows and oldies music.  He once served a hitch in the military. His favorite subject is history. “That’s it!”

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

1924-2017--By Richard Sponaugle--United States

1924-2017

I’m grateful to my mother
Unlike any other
For mom gave me life
And saw me through the strife
Of growing up and goofing up
Not even a newborn pup,
Could match my mother’s love
I thank the Lord above
That she lived to 93
Yet her death still haunts me

A prolific poet and songwriter, Richard Sponaugle has been published (and rejected.)  He was born on April 20, 1960 in Maryland and raised in Northern Virginia.  He has a BA from George Mason University.  He has worked many years as a postal clerk in Alexandria, Virginia.

Life's journey--By Jake Aller--United States

Life's journey

62 years I have roamed this earth
I have seen it all
Been there back of beyond
Grateful that the journey
Has not ended, not yet anyway

I have learned a lot
As I have lived all over this world
Wondering what it all means
And what’s next
Grateful I am still alive

Jake 'Cosmos' Aller grew up in Berkeley, California during the 70's.  He served in the Peace Corps in Korea then taught ESL, Government, and Asian studies before and after doing graduate work in Seattle.  Then he joined the U.S. Foreign Service service serving 27 years in ten countries.  He has been pursuing a career as a full-time writer since his retirement - over 100 poems and stories published. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Gratitude--By Kelvin Shachile--Kenya

Gratitude

Gratitude is a gift to repay kindness,
I am always grateful for the goodness.
The recipe for creating gratefulness,
Is selfless serving others in times of distress
With love, a kind heart and a smile.
Taking the warm heart for an extra mile.

It's then received with joy and blessings,
To rekindle the dying flames
In the hearts of those that lack
Let Kindness be the gratitude.

Kelvin Shachile is a 20 years old Kenyan born practicing poet, playwright, writer and actor. Currently a geography student at Maasai Mara University - Kenya.

Resonance--By Nancy Brewka-Clark--United States

Resonance

As I lie in the capsule, thankful
for the cool air, the softness of
the pad beneath my strapped ankles
and gowned body, I imagine
morning glories bursting into life
all about me, naming each bloom
after someone I love. I surprise myself
by being just slightly sorry to be
released before blessing every soul
in this universe of help and healing.

Nancy Brewka-Clark lives in Beverly, Massachusetts on Boston’s North Shore. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays have been published by Routledge U.K., Adams Media, YouthPLAYS of Los Angeles, The Boston Globe and The Thomas Merton Seasonal Poetry of the Sacred among others.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Gratitude--By Aju Mukhopadhyay--India

Gratitude

Though a prideful person harms, we usually thank the helper
As a sign of courtesy, we thank the people beforehand
In expectation of their generous behavior
Thanks-giving is a polite mark, a festive standard
Though it may seem a formal or dutiful posture
Fact is that it is a generous gesture;   
The thing that brings an inner change is gratitude
Which from the heart spontaneously exude
Gratefulness to the God with true humility
Is the highest gratitude born out of true faith in the Divinity.

Aju Mukhopadhyay, an Indian bilingual award winning poet, author and critic, has authored 34 books; 12 books of poems including two books of Japanese short verses, five books of short stories and a novel. He writes travelogue, on animals and nature. He has contributed many essays in books and journals; literary and environmental. His poems and short stories have been widely anthologized.

Gratitude--By Tina Barnt--United States

Gratitude

Violet-blue Canterbury Bells
spread across the splintered fence,

remind me of the way
your hand easily rested on mine
after we found a moment of laughter
in such an occasion of sadness--

others may leave,
but I will always have you.

Tina Barnt has been writing poems for the last twenty-four years. She finds them to be peaceful, yet challenging. She teaches grammar and composition at Western Kentucky University.

Paydirt--By Ms. Bosworth (MistyRose)--United States

Paydirt

Forgive that want, but don’t forget
to shift past bitter to better yet.

Leave past the greed
that overtook need.

Discover you caught
what wasn’t taught.

Life as such
is more than enough.

Ms. Bosworth of Owasso Oklahoma USA with trademarked pseudonym MistyRose is a Christian poet and 'Spoken Word Artist' residing in Owasso, a suburb of Tulsa Oklahoma. She has been published in 4 anthologies books at the United States Library of Congress and in academic journals, she has an approved listing in the official Poets and Writers Directory at pw.org

Friday, November 24, 2017

Gratitude--By Dr. Upma A. Sharma--India

Gratitude 

Perpetual fragrance of life sojourns in air,
As golden glitter of sun swigs despair; 

Nature endows riches on us to cherish,
Its boundless bounties will never vanish;

A tranquil soul that plucks strings of kindness,
will relinquish soreness of the brutish heartless;

Let magnificent aurora of dawn unfold,
and emotions of gratitude rise manifold.

Passion for poetry can enthuse anyone, Dr. Upma A. Sharma has proved this so well. A doctor by profession, she finds time from her busy schedule to satiate her appetite for words, words that rhyme with her heart. She feels that nothing in this world happens without a reason and so is poetry. A purposeful expression of emotions and thoughts and positive words certainly are a way to serenity.

Gratitude to the Warrior Spirit--By Barbara Tate--United States

Gratitude to the Warrior Spirit

A primal urge created on the fourth day
the warrior spirit disarms the quiet.
His heartbeat like a drumbeat
releases fears in the center
of my own Nebula.     mitakuye oyasin*

*“Mitakuye Oyasin”, it's a Lakota salutation meaning “All My Relations” or “We are All Related”—as researched by Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)

Barbara Tate is an award-winning artist and writer.  A member of the Haiku Society of America her work has been published in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Santa Fe Literary Review, The Heron's Nest & Failed Haiku among many others.