Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fool’s Gold--By Kevin Bates--United States

Fool’s Gold

It has been mention that I have a heart of gold.
Let’s just tell it like it really is,
I might stumble and fall for a beautiful woman.

Then I will honor you for the queen you are.
All praise and duty shall be bestowed on you.
Fight your wars, wash your back & make your bed.

Some have been known to take advantage of this,
Living in the lap of luxury while laughing in my face.
I’ve been a Fool giving away the gold of my heart.

Kevin Bates is an avid reader. You will find him reading everyday books of non-fiction or poetry online. He loves family, sports, reading and writing poetry. He has one handsome son and grandson. He hopes to one day be published, bring a smile, and help many through his poetry. He lives outside Houston, Texas and can find him reading or writing right now.

God's Mercy--By A. Michele Leslie--United States

God's Mercy

Forgiven is a word made up
of rivers and of rushes.
No noise, no harsh
alarms, demands like swords
beneath its marshes.
Her face is calm, her smile molds
a flock of sweet-songed thrushes.
In joy replete
upon the rush hour street,
forgiven holds its victim still
and makes her peace complete.

A. Michele Leslie is a poet and playwright who lives in Minneapolis with her husband, David, and two cats.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Autumn Morning--By Yvonne Sparkes--England

Autumn Morning

She arrived almost on a whisper of the wind,
When stars glowed in the celestial heavens.
Arrived in the chill of night,
When frosts may descend.
Her aura spread throughout the land,
Touching leaf, shrub and tree with a bright new canvas.
Red, ochre, swabs of yellow gold,
liberally daubed upon the face of nature.
Smiling beams of sun kissed each plant,
Lit cobwebs spun with a dewy thread,
Little Squirrels play their chasing game,
And birds twittered, praising this new morn.

Born on Feb. 27, 1940 in Barkingside, Essex, England, Yvonne Sparkes,  immigrated to New York in April, 1948 with her parents.  She now resides in Chelmsford, Essex and has two sons.  She has a book published by Cyberwit called Captured Images.  A writer for many years, Yvonne has been published in Israel, Germany, France, Australia, America, and Britain.  She has read her poetry in public at Church and Knockout Competitions. Her hobbies are travel, the arts, reading, hiking, taking her Scottish Terrier for walks, and spending time with family and friends.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Special Feature in Memory--jani johe webster--United States

Special Feature--jani johe webster--(In Memory-May 2013)

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 will be missed by many.                                                                                                                  Sincerely, Karen O’Leary--Editor

feeding pigeons

the sun went down
but nobody heard it

i wear old clothes
and sit on dirty park benches

a little kid
fell in the pond
and drowned
but everybody
kept on feeding pigeons

i did too



did you think sometimes
you were something else
like a mocking bird
or a weeping willow

did you walk sometimes
going backwards
or light candles
in the middle of the day

let's go then
where no ship has ever sailed
and spend our lives with falling stars
until we can spend
no more


Thoughts from her daughter, Nila Webster--From her, I learned that in poetry, all things are possible: the moon "whispers silver secrets," tree roots gives us "wisdom," and, as she wrote in pure Zen-like fashion: "it is a gift / this day." She taught me to see poetry in every corner of the universe and my life, and even now that she is no longer physically present on this earth, I hear her whisperings of wonder.

(Note--since this is a special feature, I have opted to share two poems.  Guidelines for submission have not changed.)

Poems--By Jane Richer--Canada


Poems; listen to the crashing of the tide,
The myriad of thoughts that we can't hide,
The elevated ideals that we can't abide,
The inflated ego that we have locked inside.

Poems; share the rendering of the heart,
The aching loss of soul mates apart,
The whimsy and joy of written art,
The longing for a brand new start.

Poems; reach the pinnacles of time and space,
The pigmented colors of the human race,
The seamless beauty of any place,
The endearing glow of a newborns' face.

Poems; there is no place that a poem can't go,
They expand your imagination so you can grow,
From the heavens high to the seas below,
They're a special gift that writers can bestow!

Jane Richer is a poet and writer who lives in Alberta, Canada
and is so far published only online. She loves to poke fun at herself
and rather likes to write tongue-in-cheek poetry but she will dabble
in all kinds of genres to widen her creative nature. She loves to 'sister'-
(write a complimentary poem) and feels that is the greatest form of
acknowledgment and respect in expression for another poet's talent.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friendship--By Karen O'Leary--United States


granite rock
with a bit of shale

ever solid
yet room for change

giving space
but always there

gift so strong
yet full of light

(Note--Friendship is such a blessing in my life.  Thank you to all of my friends for this great gift.)
Karen O'Leary is a freelance writer/editor from West Fargo, ND.  Her poetry, short stories, and articles have been published in a variety of venues.  She released her first book of poetry in 2011 called Whispers... published by A.P.F. Publisher.  Their second project, anthology of short verse, contains poetry from 73 talented writers from across the world and was released in 2012.  Karen is a member of The Writers and Poetry Alliance and the Haiku Society of America.

Friday, June 14, 2013

~the chrysalis of spring~--By James Rasmusson--United States

~the chrysalis of spring~

undulating mounds of snow and ice
with fissures arches and caves
give way to an ever lengthening day

before a golden sunset
the chrysalis of spring
begins to crumble

an intrepid tulip springs forth
through a blanket of snow

James began writing in the 1960’s and immediately showed a love for seasonal, humorous, and philosophical poetry. In the late 70’s, he became an ardent photographer and soon found that the two artistic mediums cross pollinated each other. West Michigan is an art Mecca with over 100 galleries and art camps with Jim residing in the lovely coastal town of Holland, Michigan. A practitioner of Surat Shabd Yoga since 1972, his art is an expression of his lifetime love affair with nature and his quest for truth. James is the winner of many awards in both photography and poetry including the 2005 Shadow Poetry 5th biannual chapbook competition. The artist says he likes to underscore the abstract and tease the mind and be ever alert for juxtapositions that express irony, absurdity, and poignancy, desiring for people to feel both tension and resolution in his compositions.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Origami--By Maralee Gerke--United States


“My mother is a poem I’ll never be able to write, though everything I write is a poem to my mother.”
        Sharon Dowbiago

Mountain fold, valley fold,
colored paper becomes
tulips, kimonos, shirts and daisies.

My fingers caress the paper
folding laughter, tears,
happiness and heartbreak into each design.

Onto a white, pink, or blue card
I glue them, then
add a note of reassurance and sign my name.

I imagine her turning the key
tearing open the envelope
tears glisten because I am far away.

So, I fold Japanese paper
into helmets, fans, and fish,
pursuing the ritual journey of daughterhood
reshaping my love.

Maralee Gerke lives and writes in Madras, Oregon. She is and avid reader and gardener. She describes herself as a work in progress. Her poems have been published in Calyx, Exit Thirteen, Moonset, Bathtub Gin, Anthology, Nerve Cowboy, Avocet, and Tigers Eye. She has published two books of poems and has had poetry and prose accepted in several anthologies. Her work can be seen online at Shadow Poetry, Long Story Short, and Moontown Café. She recently recorded 4 poems for the Oregon Poetic Voices Project. They can be heard at One of her poems( Refuge) was recently selected to be printed as a limited edition broadside by the Penland School of Crafts.

God’s Constant Love--By Suzanne Clement--United States

God’s Constant Love

to the church
of the Romans,
St. Paul teaches us
nothing is able to
separate us from God’s love.

help me
to realize
St. Paul is right
and the love of you
is constantly present
even during difficult times.

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Haiku--By Ron C. Moss--Australia

first date
a starfish glistens
on the tide line

~ Frogpond, 31:3, Fall 2008

casting out
the fisherman’s line
splits the moon

~  Devonport Poetry Competition, April 2002--First Place

dark water —
the duck’s wingtip
skimming the moon

~ Yellow Moon, #16, Summer 2004

charred cedars —
how cold the white
of early snow

~ Zen Garden Haiku Contest, 2006

starry night …
what’s left of my life
is enough

~ Shiki Internet Kukai, December 2006

Ron C. Moss is a Tasmania visual artist, poet and lover of haiku. His poetry has won international awards and been translated into several languages. Ron's art is sold as limited edition-prints and originals. He has been featured in poetry journals and has designed several award winning poetry books.  Ron is a two time winner of the Haiku Society of America International renku competition, and he is a current member on the Haiku Society of America.  Please check out Ron's

Tsunami Words--By Sara Kendrick--United States

Tsunami Words

Soon ~very end~ the last day
Vacation comes to close
There are sighing pines and tear drops
While packing some of the clothes

Life is filled with many options
Even without great riches
How we choose to use each minute
Determines most hitches

One word spoken lashing outward
Can change the form of a day
From it flowing like a slow tide
To a tsunami astray

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. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Light is Amber--By Gerald Heyder--United States

The Light is Amber

For years life has
been a race track,
the light always green,
nothing unforeseen
to impede my speeding
flow on the go!
Smoking, drinking,
never thinking ‘bout
gas tank becoming empty!
Now the stoplight
is changing
from green to amber,
on horizon red is rising
getting closer every day!
The light is amber,
I better slow down
to be around
a bit longer;
red may become
my satin lined bed!

Gerald Heyder is a published poet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Silent Thoughts--By Linda Hurdwell--England

Silent Thoughts

Death becomes you not I fear
A shade of green to soothe the soul
Lest death brings on that anguished tear
And drowns the flowers in the bowl.

Silent mourning all the day
A strand of heavy gasping breath
Our lives uphold the cloak of grey
Clutching at a life of wealth

Footsteps plant upon my brain
Forcing out a gaping hole
Inserting smells where you had lain
Laughing at the gruesome goal

Death becomes you not I fear
A heartbeat of such life away
I touch your face and feel you near
Until the very end of day.

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.

Bells of Heaven--By Erich J. Goller--United States

Bells of Heaven

Ring the bells of heaven
each bright romantic night
the stars are twinkling
moonbeams send their love
the whole night through
your sweet embrace

Ring the bells of heaven
that fill us with delight
love, such joy it brings
hasten our heartbeats
loves beauty bride
that's yours and mine

Ring the bells of heaven
reach out and hold my hand
help me see above
blessed gift of love
joy and laughter
a lifetime long

Erich J. Goller was born in Vienna, Austria. A close world war two survivor,
in 1955, he immigrated to California, where he made his living as a mechanic and as an actor. He been married for 56 years, has one daughter and one son. He is a published author of seven books. He now resides In Nashville, Tennessee, still loves to write, also enjoys doing art work. His web site,

Monday, June 10, 2013

Turmoil--By Brian Strand--England


My heart breaks within me-
deep inside I weep;
peace is so elusive my mind
cannot sleep-is love so unreal,
is it out of reach; who will be true
to me and their promise keep;
if I say a prayer, will faith take
a leap-do you have an answer,
to life...fathoms' deep.

Brian Strand has created short poetic forms including 'broken monoku' (a haiku variation) and 'footle' (a trochaic monometer with witty, topical, etc themes) and Captioned Cartoon, an Ekphrasis combining his art and poetic interests. He has published a seven kindle ebook series Poetic forms; A Strand of Verse; My Choice Strand Verse; A Strand Guide; Christianity Explained; A Strand critique; and Captioned Cartoon Ekphrasis. Brian has written nearly 200 Amazon reviews and is a Wiki poetry and art editor.

Observations on Route 19--By Charlotte Ann Zuzak--United States

Observations on Route 19

Traveling north from Pittsburgh,
I opt for the country roads.
On the right I see Madame Arleta's shanty:
"Palms read, fortunes told."
Amazing! It's next to the Windswept Bar.
The windows are covered with huge, black rags,
impossible to get a preview peek;
Who is Madame Arleta? A gypsy with tarots and crystal ball?
Is she young or a crone? Does she serve at the bar?
Perhaps she's dressed in a Harley shirt, jeans
handed down from her mother.
Cigarette in corner of mouth, the soul of femininity.
I'm curious, but not that curious!
For all I know it's a room full of terrorists
who down boilermakers at the Windswept Bar.

Charlotte Ann Zuzak received her BA degree from Albion College and her MA from the University of Michigan in foreign languages. She taught Spanish for several years on both the high school and college levels. She has always been involved with music, namely piano and organ. Charlotte worked with voice students as an accompanist, and also as a church organist. She has been involved in writing starting in grade school when she wrote short stories and poetry. After she quit teaching she returned to her love of writing. With her husband, a retired university dean, she has traveled extensively in Europe, Russia and the United States. Charlotte and her husband have a daughter who is a medical doctor in Bethesda, Maryland.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Lamp of the Lord--By Christina R. Jussaume--United States

The Lamp of the Lord

The Lord’s lamp will lighten my path
He will steer me away from wrath
I feel His Spirit inside me
He helps me to see more clearly

My darkness will return to light
He is beside us in each plight
I seek answers within His book
Holy Bible read in my nook

I feel Him urging me to write
My words offer peace day and night
His guidance will bring to Heaven
I rely each day of the seven

Christina R. Jussaume is a Christian Author of 9 poetry books. She has had many poems published in anthologies and fundraisers. She has won many awards for her poetry including Best Spiritual Poetry award from Her first book, My Walk with Jesus, received this award and began her journey toward fulfillment as a Style Tutor now on the Alliance of Poets. All of her books except the first book were published by

Nocturnal Flight--By Pam Murray--Canada

Nocturnal Flight

As evening turns its darkened stare on me
And windows seem redolent with the light,
As colours move across a drifting sea,
My soul awakes to its nocturnal flight.

The cold flows on its path. It does not touch
The body left behind to wait for dawn,
That shallow urn of ash that feels too much
The absence of its life force that is gone.

Flying through the velvet ebony
I'm fighting time's advancement to the day
But something calls its siren's song to me
That pulls me back as shadows turn to grey.

Life reaches out its physical demand
And leaves me clutching starlight in my hand.

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.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Yellow Roses--By Robert Hewett Sr.--United States

Yellow Roses

It’s been a long time since I saw you
Time has not dimmed my memory.
The first time we met I was smitten
By you and a yellow rose in your hair.
Yellow roses perfuming the Spring air
Yellow roses blushing bright and happy
Makes my heart lonely but not blue.
Each rose reminds me of our love.
You moved away one summer
I waited for some word.
Next spring the yellow roses
Told me that you still care.
It’s been a lifetime it seems
You still fill my nightly dreams.
I know that we will meet again
Before this life has lost its bloom.
Until you walk into my sight
I savor yellow roses day and night.
Wherever you are right now
Pick a yellow rose, it is my heart.

Robert Hewett Sr. was born in 1933 on a Texas cotton farm. He moved to Oklahoma City at Age 14 and entered the U. S Army from there in 1953. Robert has been writing poetry and short stories for his family and himself since his teen years, but is just now publishing his collection of works. His hobbies include writing poetry and stories; clock and watch collections; gardening and growing flowers and shrubs from cuttings. Most of his poetry tells a story, a gift from his father who was a master story teller. He has received numerous awards for his work in his professional life and for his writing. You can find some of his writings at ""

“Clouds”--By Terry O’Leary--France


"Clouds, the clouds diffuse a sad and somewhat somber hue;
Rain, the rain descends aslant from angry ashen skies;
Winds, the winds bemoan their loss of reins and calm control;

Shades, the shades appear suffused, alone in lurid haze;
Trees, the trees enshroud the eyes of misty brooding woods;
Leaves, the leaves desert their branches, falling one by one;

Birds, the birds intone a tune, a mourning monody;
Grass, the grass surrenders blades, impaled in truant winds;
Fields, the fields imbibe and quaff to quench an arid thirst;

Stones, the stones repulse the pearls, exploding tears of gloom;
Streams, the streams meander, hushed, to distant vapid shores;
Clouds, the clouds diffuse a sad and somewhat somber hue"

Terry O’Leary defines himself as "A physicist lacking gravity...".

Friday, June 7, 2013

June--By Joyce Johnson--United States


The month of June has just arrived.
How many Junes to be?
A month received as precious gift
And guarded jealously.

Each day of June a jewel in
The crown of the speeding year.
We mourn its passing in advance
As each June grows more dear.

Paused between spring and summer
As Heaven’s sweet preview
The number of Junes allotted
In the longest life too few.

Joyce Johnson lives in the beautiful Skagit Valley of Washington State. She owns a small farm and rents her land to a bulb grower. She is surrounded by beauty in the spring from the tulips and daffodils that inspire much of her poetry. Joyce will celebrate her 95th birthday in July of 2013.

haiku--By Patricia Nolan--United States

morning glories
spread their lavender wings
eyes wide open

Patricia Nolan serves as coordinator for the Haiku Society of America Plains & Mountains Region. She is a member of Poetry West in Colorado Springs. She paints sumi-e (Japanese ink painting), also works in oil, pastel, and acrylic and writes poems in several Asian forms, as well as other poetry, essays, and outdoor articles. Western rivers, mountains, and trails provide most of her inspiration.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nocturne (Cascade)--By Ralph Stott--England

Nocturne (Cascade)

Stars scatter in the night sky
Mountains rise as candle-lights
A rocket takes to its flight
This lake embraces the sound

Darkness drifts the still water
A rocket soars high then spills
Its golden lights to the hills
Stars scatter in the night sky

Lights from dwellings window shine
Speckled lines drawn in the night
Clusters sparkle from a height
Mountains rise as candle-lights

Cloudless night reveals the sky
Crescent moon above then pours
Light reflects these darkened shores
A rocket takes to its flight

High above this spectacle
There to echo once again
 As mountains sound their refrain
This lake embraces the sound

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 Twist and Twist Again, which is a collection of Twister poems, a form he created.

My Symphony of Praise--By Betty Jo Mings--United States

My Symphony of Praise

Lord, make my life a symphony
Of praise -- an offering.
Remove each strident, squeaky chord,
And sweeten every string.

Please keep the instruments I play
Attuned in harmony,
So no discordant notes can spoil
The finished melody.

And keep me centered on The One
Who leads with matchless grace;
And after life's crescendos fade,
Provides a resting place.

Betty Jo lives in Garden Grove, California, with Rowland, her husband of over sixty years. She has three children, six grandchildren, and two great grandsons. She started writing poems as a child. Betty has two published books.  Her poems have also been featured in books, newspapers, and other periodicals, as well as dozens of sites on the Internet. She was recently inducted into the Aviation Poetry Hall of Fame. She continues to write poems that come straight from her heart – poems which honor and reflect her love for the Lord.  Her poems are also available on her personal Website,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Morning--By Dorothy L. Bussemer--United States

Summer Morning

Early sunrise wakes me up
Birds singing a joyful song
Proclaiming happiness on earth
To all who will just listen to them
The coffeepot clicked on
Reminder of stealing sips
From Daddy’s cup
When just a little girl
Cinnamon rolls in toaster
From a bakery now
Use to be made in Auntie’s kitchen
Many years ago
Orange juice from Fridge
Fresh oranges long gone by
Cartons replace red bags now
Juice tastes the same as then
Breakfast over--do the dishes
Some things never change a bit
Let the cat in and the dog out
Morning is well underway

Dorothy L. Bussemer is a 91 year old retired  federal government employee.  She graduated from Park University.  She began writing in 1996 and has been published in small market magazines.  Her hobbies are cooking, reading, and writing.

haiku--By Gert W. Knop--Germany


Im frühen Morgenlicht
Der Tau auf hellen Gräsern
So einsam leuchtend


Early morning light
The dew on bright green grass
So solitary shining


En la luz de la mañana
El rocío sobre la hierba clara
Tan solo está brillando

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.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Heavenly Garden of Flowers--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

Heavenly Garden of Flowers

Only the sound of the wind
moves across the empty space
where Grandmother’s hum echoed
as she cared for her flower garden.
When others admired her flowers,
she’d reply with a modest thank you;
then, with a smile as bright as the morning sun,
she continued hoeing…
We miss her and wish she were here
caring for her flowers.
Yet, my heart fills with joy
as I visualize her moving along,
humming happily in God’s flower garden.

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.

Long Live Love--By Anna-Marie Docherty--Wales

Long Live Love

A toss of the head
A flick of her hair
The wave of her hand
As her beauty did flare

Her bountiful step
The spring in her stride
Her laugh as we walked
Hand in hand through the tide

Her mouth with its smile
As we wrote in the sand
Her cries of frustration
As sea coated the land

Those little I love yous
Meant so much back then
That on annual vacations
We repeat them again

For least we forget
In the daily ado
Our marital vows
Mean forever I do

Anna-Marie Docherty lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK and is often inspired by nature and the world around her. Having been writing poetry now for 4 - 5 years, her works have developed in structure and form as well as using free verse in her writing as she walks this endless art form and creativity in her thirst to further learn. Letting the pen and the muse dictate topic and form both humour, religion, nature or the serious subject might be touched upon therefore keeping the writing fresh and easy to read by those who follow. Writing both as given name above and pen name anaisnais through the net, examples of poems can be found both in Snippets, an anthology of short verse by various international poets, compiled by Karen O'Leary and Patricia Ann Farnsworth-Simpson; also Pink Panther magazine, an anthology written by several poets and artists on feminist issues in our environment and various poems on the internet for taster.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Price of Freedom--By Shirley Smothers--United States

The Price of Freedom

A ghostly image of a soldier
stood in the background,
as a mother with a babe in her
arms stood by a grave site.

She lowly whispered, "Father
this is your son. Son this is your
father. He gave his life so that
others might live."

Now she is alone, but she
will survive. She will raise
this child without the aid
of others. This child will
grow to be a strong man,
because his mother was strong.

Shirley Smothers is a poet. A few of her poems have appeared in Lone Stars Magazine, The Poets Art, and The Poetry Explosion Newsletter.

The Girl--By Jack Clubb--United States

The Girl

Life is a foolish girl--endlessly laughing.
What amuses her so I cannot tell.
Wise men have found her constant humor baffling--
A merriment that no hardships can quell.
Though tomorrow the guillotine awaits her,
Today is but a festival of song.
She mocks the very blade that terminates her
As to her certain end she runs headlong.
And yet I find Life's utter folly charming.
She sits on whirling stone and jests with stars.
She braids her hair and shines her rings which tarnish
And strums a tender tune on her guitar.
     Perhaps because her presence flouts all logic,
     She savors every hour of stolen magic.

Jack Clubb has had short stories published in publications such as Black Creek Review, Coffee-Ground Breakfast, The Magic of Words, Northern Stars, Opinion Magazine, Rockford Review, Sunrise, The Taylor Trust, and Voices From The Valley. He has also had several hundred poems published in the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. Jack is grateful every time an editor gives one of his poems an opportunity to sing or gives him the opportunity to tell a story as he writes feverishly from his century-old house at the foot of the Silver Lake Hills in Los Angeles.

Heaven Not Far Away--By Isha Wagner-New Zealand

Heaven Not Far Away

Go to the thousand doors
Find door marked thou
(with an emerald)
Go through door to a million staircases
Find the one with exactly one hundred steps
(with a diamond)
Climb up to the billion elevators
Enter the one that speaks thy name
Ascend then wait perhaps a trillion years
For heaven to open its infinite arms

To your own musical note.

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.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Keeping the Peace--By Charlene McCutcheon--United States

Keeping the Peace

Spring has sprung and I really rejoice.
Because I have finally found my voice.
I sure don't need to 'stuff it' any more
Nor am I gonna kick'im out the door.

I now speak my mind, yes ma'am!
Don't need a piece of bread and jam
To stuff my negative feelings galore.
I'm boot'n those thots right out the door.

I've lived with negativity all around me.
It doesn't mean I always have to agree.
I'll sure not keep the peace at all costs.
Just now, I'll let him think he's the boss.

Charlene McCutcheon is a 73 year old, wife, mother of seven, grandmother of thirty and great-grandmother of 14. She has just discovered her voice through poetry within the last few years. Her former ways of expression have been through the media of arts and crafts. Her desire to share herself with others for their benefit has been the motivating factor in all her endeavors. She loves life, work, play and most of all people.

Lamentation--By Ndongolera C. Mwangupili--Malawi


I kneel in prayer. Lord, look
Down upon us - the lost flock -
For you are the ay, the truth and…

    God, you are
    You are the blackness
    Because black is the absence of colour.

Look upon the black people,
The colourless people.

My people are throwing
Metal balls at each other, flaming metal balls!
We are torching the land. We are torching
It with bombs and cannons!

This is how a people perishes!
This is how a people ends!
This is how a people ends!
We end like a shattered prayer. Amen.

Ndongolera C. Mwangupili works as a Senior Inspector of Schools in Malawi. He has vast experience as a teacher of English and Bible Knowledge. Many of his short stories, poems and essays have been published in the Malawi News and Weekend Nation. His stories are anthologized in Modern Stories from Malawi and The Bachelor of Chikanda and Other Stories. His poem "The Genesis" was anthologized in The Time Traveller of Maravi: New Poetry from Malawi. His other poem "Letters to a Comrade" is published online in India on He believes that there is a thin line between fiction and reality. All that people write is a re-creation of what is already known to the writer and exists not only in the mind of the writer but also outside the writer, therefore, fiction is actually facts written as if they are not facts. He is married to Angella, and they have a daughter Mary Magdalena.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Birth of Spring (Constanza)--By Connie Marcum Wong--United States

The Birth of Spring (Constanza)

April graces us with showers,
As cold snows melt, their wintry scene
Is changed to many shades of green.

From tender shoots, soon, Spring flowers.
Apollo's face is golden fair....
The scent of spring is in the air.

As blossoms float down from bowers
When gusts of April breezes blow,
They spread below like golden snow.

I delight and watch for hours,
For truly at this time of year
I feel God's presence dwelling here.

Blessed and touched by divine powers.
The joy of springtime here on Earth
Is felt with every flower's birth.

April graces us with showers,
From tender shoots, soon, Spring flowers.
As blossoms float down from bowers
I delight and watch for hours,
Blessed and touched by divine powers.

Connie Marcum Wong has been the Web Mistress of a private poetry forum “Poetry for Thought” since October 1999. Her poetry has been in many publications, anthologies, magazines, and e-zines over the years. She published her first poetry chapbook, Island Creations in 2005. In 2007, Heart Blossoms was published. In January 2010, an anthology, A Poetry Bridge to All Nations, was published by Lulu Enterprises, Inc. Connie created the 'Constanza' poetry form in 2007 and Con-Verse form in 2010. She has resided with her husband in Hawaii since 1980.

In Doubt--By Phyllis Babcock--Canada

In Doubt

Oh Lord, I pray with all my might
That things will turn and go just right
I sit and fret of what will become
Sometimes lose faith and barely hang on.

I tell myself, why are you in doubt
Ask the Lord, ask  the Lord I shout
I should look to the brightness of day
To take all my problems away.

I should not let the darkness within
Precious moments do not come again
Waste of negativity on the mind
Life is passing a moment at a time.

For tomorrow is not promised to any one
We learn of love and joy as we go along
Trials and tribulations will come each day
We are blessed and must trust in His way.

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 and in a local seniors’ newspaper. She feels writing has been a wonderful journey, meeting many new poets and writers along the way.


What a blessing it is to be a part of the writing community! Thank you, June contributors, for sharing your accomplishments and publication opportunities. Those that have placed ads are welcome to add additional information in the comments section.  People having questions or comments, may use the comment section or contact the writers/editors at websites or email addresses provided.  (Deadline for July ad column is June 25)


Ndaba Sibanda released a book of poetry titled The Dead Is Sobbing. More information regarding the book is available on: and on  Feel free to contact the poet at: loveoclockn@gmail

Patricia Nolan announces the release of her latest book Western Brushstrokes, a collection of haiku and Japanese ink art. Contact: or the book may seen at and ordered from:

Karen O’Leary (editor) and Patricia Farnsworth-Simpson (publisher) released Snippets--an anthology of Short Verse in 2012.  The book includes 73 writers from across the world, including several that have also contributed to Whispers.  It has been getting good reviews and is available at online at (Search Snippets under Karen O'Leary)  For those living in the United States, you may contact Karen at for additional ordering information.


Jean Calkins, editor: The Jokester, 2 pages of clean jokes free by email monthly, a forever stamp by snail mail (monthly or quarterly). Help bring smiles to shut-ins by contributing forever stamps. Even one stamp helps. Jean Calkins, 260 4th St., Waynesville, NC 28786-3762.

Maurice J. Reynolds, the editor of the poetry publication Creative Inspirations, is seeking poetry 20 lines or less for his print magazine. Complete guidelines are available at

Arthur C. Ford, poet/editor of The Pen (Poetry Newsletter) is looking for new subscribers and submissions. See information
(click on guidelines).