Friday, December 27, 2013

A Haiku Sequence for New Year’s Morning 2014--By John Daleiden--United States

A Haiku Sequence for New Year’s Morning 2014

pine decorations—
tearing off the final
calendar pages . . .

New Year’s morning—
drinking tomato juice
from a tall glass

first sunrise
over Estrella mountains
Year of the Horse

at breakfast
scrambled eggs and black beans—
cinnamon roll scents

up in smoke—
New Year’s decorations

John Daleiden is retired from 43 years of teaching Language Arts in Iowa Public Schools. He now lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He currently serves on the Editorial Board and Submissions Manager of Four Chambers: The Heart of Literature in Phoenix, Arizona  ( From 2006-2012, he was an editor and webmaster of Sketchbook: A Journal for Eastern and Western Short Forms (

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tanka--By Patricia Nolan--United States

gunmetal sky
surrounds a silver orb
partly cloudy
two below zero
partly sunny

Patricia Nolan is a member of Poetry West in Colorado Springs and the Haiku Society of America. 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, December 19, 2013

Whispers Reaches 30,000 Views!!!

Dear Whispers' Friends,

It is hard to believe we would be at this point when the Whispers' journey began in January 2013.  I decided to post this, because in addition to the talented contributors that have made this online journal possible, there are many readers out there that I do not know.  Each and everyone of you are a blessing.

Currently, we have contributors from the following countries--Australia, Botswana, Canada, Canary Islands, England, France, Germany, India, Malawi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Wales. It would be wonderful to add to this list in the year ahead.

This journal is for new and experienced writers to come together to share the gift of words.  For anyone just beginning to write poetry, I am willing to help with the editing process.  For those experienced in the art, you are helping those new to the process.

May you all find joy in sharing your talent.  Wishing everyone the best in 2014!


Karen O'Leary
Whispers' Editor

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Until--By Erich J. Goller--United States


Until there is a brighter tomorrow
Let love and joy shine from your heart
There might be a time of pain and sorrow
If you have kept faith it shall be a new start,

When asking some questions, state your case
And with unfolding daily possibilities
The door is always wide open to that place
Showing some of the wondering mysteries.

With heavenly peace and His embrace
When the world is fair and cares are few
He rewards everyone with loving grace
His blessings are always bountiful and new.

To do the many things in life one has planned
Even when feeling confident and secure
At times everyone could use a helping hand
It shall give you the extra strength to endure.

No one has to take that lonely stand
Kindness and compassion give life a lift
When you reach out and take His Hand
It is a very blessed and wonderful gift.

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,

Winter Writes--By Maralee Gerke--United States

Winter Writes

I rise in the darkness of a winter day,
drink a cup of peppermint tea,
and breathe in pungent steam,
as the sun pokes its delicate corona
above the hoary fields.

I am the flannel goddess of dawn
the polyester priestess of birdseed.
I open bins of sunflower and millet
and measure out the right mix
for the finches, sparrows, jays, and doves,
inviting them to a ceremony of food.

Inside, I take off vest, gloves, hat,
and blow on my icy fingers.
I sit at my computer and begin to type.
My fingers move to the rhythms of take offs and landings,
the whirr of wings providing accompaniment
to the melody of my winter writes.

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.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Inspiration-By Connie Marcum Wong--United States


I never knew I’d be in heaven
In the autumn of my years;
Or that I’d be immerged
In the brilliant art of words,
Or float above operatic notes,
Or view ballet through
My elated tears.
I never thought I’d meet
Inspiration face to face,
Or feel it rise within me
With a poet’s surrendering grace.
I just know that I’m contented
As profound love keeps flowing
From my impassioned heart.
This is the gift that artists
Of this world yearn to impart.

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.

Sonnet to Winter’s Glory--By Jan Henson--Turkey

Sonnet to Winter’s Glory

Cloaks of snow bedeck the woodland and hills,
Thrown from clouds in a leaden, windswept sky.
Falling so thickly, the valley, it fills
Closing out the view as blizzards blow by.
Lace at the windows etched by old Jack Frost,
Prettier than that made by human hand.
Swirls and fronds daintily, in ice, embossed,
Weak winter sun they’re too delicate to stand.
Strong winds howl around the roof’s smoky stacks,
Blowing sooty breaths in the icy room.
Candles guttering, spilling their hot wax,
As the wind softens, day turns to gloom.
Hark! The elements give you their story
Extolling this winter’s frozen glory.

Jan Henson has written poetry for a few years. She finds it an enjoyable experience.  When she attended school in England (in the ‘50’s) poetry seemed such a dry medium and she wasn’t all that impressed.  After school, she became a hairdresser and continued the profession after her marriage and birth of her four children.  When her youngest was three, she started working nights at a nursing home.  She realized her passion for the profession and became a nurse.  She worked in the healthcare industry for 20 years.  After her children were grown, she retired to Turkey where she currently lives.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Greeting--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Christmas Greeting

The sun woke on Christmas;
   David tumbled from his bed.
He scrambled down the stairs
   and ran past the sparkling tree.
He did not stop to check
   out the presents piled high.
David knelt before the stable
   his grandpa carved years before
And spread his favorite blanket
   out on the wooden floor.
He gently lifted the baby
   with his little toddler hands.
He swaddled the small figure
   in the flannel at his knees.
He hugged the Christ-like image
   in his short, chubby arms.
“Happy Birthday Jesus!”
   then sang the birthday song.

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, December 13, 2013

Hey there, Mr. Santy Klaws--By Jane Richer--Canada

Hey there, Mr. Santy Klaws

My Mommy said remember all the needee children on Cristmas day,
they do not even have cloths, toys or food or even a place to stay.
So I thout I mite send you a very specal list on Daddys pcee,
I hope it gets thru the air waves to your home in the northern city.

Mommy says that you live at the north pole far away with raindeer,
elfs, toys and stuff to share and a sled to carry all that gear.
Well Santy there is this boy name Tony and he needs a new kidnee,
Daddy says that he is on a long list and he lives in Sidnee.

Daddys a doctor and he speclizs in help’n peple that don't have parts,
like kidnees, livers, broken bones and even some busted hearts.
Santy, Mommy says there are peple blind with missing legs and hands,
so can you regrow them so they can see when they walk and stand.

My church is needee to, ask God to help you if you find this too much,
he has angels and creechers to help and fly to kids needee and such.
So go talk to paster and he will tell who is there in need,
bring some turkees and stufing for those that want a cristmas feed.

Hey Santy if you need my help even tho I am only 6 and small,
I betcha Mommy and Daddy wood not say no if you made a fone call.
Thanks, Santy Klaws for all the toys and stuff you put under the tree,
unless another kid need it more then alrite - your friend Timmy Lee.

Jane Richer is a poet and writer who lives in Alberta, Canada. She is published online and in print. 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.

Hope Has Arrived--By Pam Murray--Canada

Hope Has Arrived

As Autumn fades beyond a closing door
And winter pushes forth demanding more
A stillness cloaked in white begins to spread
As holly berries turn a vibrant red.

With morning, children playing in the street;
A snowball fight, no winners, no defeat,
As laughter fills the cold expectant air
And dreams of Christmas rise up everywhere

I find a joy once missing from my heart.
Old dreams from childhood suddenly impart
A sense of peace, a sense that life goes on
Just as footsteps march across my lawn.

Throughout the day, the memories come and go,
A tapestry that life has helped me sew
And dye with dreams all coloured innocence.
Hope has arrived and hope is so immense.

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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gift for the Christ Child--By A. Michele Leslie--United States

Gift for the Christ Child

"They then spoke to the angel of Yahweh standing among the myrtles; they said, 'We have been patrolling the world, and see, the whole world is at peace and rest."

I have lit that star.
I have strewn mint
on the ground,
that the scent
of that sacred place
be sweet; I have
prepared the stable
perfectly, except

the blossoms of the myrtle tree
you love
will not be plucked.

Oh do not ask that I
give nothing more
than tamar, myrrh,
and dawn.

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

Christmas Night--By George L. Ellison--England

Christmas Night

Carols sung by Cathedral choirs
About the Christ child in Bethlehem
On Christmas Eve night
Rejoicing in birth of our Lord Jesus Christ
From Nazareth to Bethlehem Mary and Joseph came
No rooms at the inn did they find for a home
So the story goes and of the same mind
Mary and Joseph the stable did find
Resigned were they to this fate so decreed?
The stable was offered to fulfill their needs
A babe was born to mother Mary, mother mild
Of the one and only Holy Spirit above
Destined to be Jesus the Christ child
Born into the world to take away our sins
Visited by the shepherds and three kings
All bearing their gifts
Of gold of frankincense and of myrrh
Glory be to God this night

George L. Ellison is a writer of poetry and  short stories. He as published two books called Poetic Reminiscences and Weaving Words.  George lives with his wife and dogs in Chester-Le-Street, County Durham in England. He is a member of The Writers and Poetry Alliance. He is currently working on his new project as well as learning to play the saxophone at the Sage Gateshead!

The Parting--By Yvonne Sparkes--England

The Parting

Think of me by starlight, think of me by day.
Think of me a little, somewhere along the way
Think of me with kindness, always with a smile,
Let your thoughts bend to me, stay with me for awhile.

Give me room to dwell, with your fonder feelings there,
Remember how I looked to you, the colour of my hair.
Always in those moments of your peace and solitude
No angry thoughts should enter, so regrets cannot intrude.

If parting brings us sorrow, let nothing cause regrets,
Or love can turn to bitterness and all that it begets.
Just keep me in the birdsong, the flowers of your spring,
Remember how I made you laugh, and caused your heart to sing.

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, December 11, 2013

haiku--By Ron Moss--Australia

between breaths
the gentle shades
of stillness

moon viewing
reflections carved
with light

all the tears
of this world

fine webs
catch the sunlight
in a golden shimmer

storm clouds
all the colors
in a raven’s call

Published on Daily Haiga, October/November 2012

These haiku with photography….click on image to see it larger

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

Rachel’s Tears--By Elizabeth Wesley--Canada

Rachel’s Tears


Close now the starry curtains of the night
As the dream fades for a child who could not stay;
Death’s wings stretch out to embrace the night
And take her where night meets day.


The silence from former broken years
Torn by a sob and whispered prayer
Is filled with anguish that won't console fears
In days to come where no comfort lingers there.


There comes a voice from echoes of the past,
A sigh from Rama weeping her sad lot;
Lamentation for a woman's cry is cast
As Rachel grieves her babes that were not.


There's no comfort in a cold grey tomb
Where time has released its relentless grasp;
A child so early from the womb
Finds comfort in death's tender clasp.


Matthew 2:18

Elizabeth went through a period of darkness from memory loss after retiring. It finally ended and living was possible again. Finding poetry of the masters enticed her to write and she feels this was part of her healing process.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

scraps--By jani johe webster--(In Memory-May 2013)--United States

 jani johe shared her unique style and insight which still leaves 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


scribbling words
wherever i go
on tiny scraps
of ragged paper
stuttering thoughts
crying out dreams

hoping not to leave
this earth

This poem, written by my beloved mother jani johe webster, conveys a deep sense of longing and a fear of regret that, as she would be the first to admit, can haunt us in late hours. I wish she were still alive, so I could hug her and tell her, your life continues to be a fountain of positive energy and creative inspiration. I am comforted to know that now she has peace, and that by the grace of the Divine Love that permeates our lives, and by the grace of the Muse, she feels my embrace and gratitude.  ---Nila Webster

Jeremiah!--By Linda Hurdwell--England


Jeremiah stuttered and would rarely talk
His legs so crippled he could barely walk
Yet his eager smile was full of cheer
Not portraying one selfish tear.

Jeremiah loved fresh air on his face
And would hold out bony arms to embrace
“I I I am so h h a happy,”
His words stammered out with glee.
For each Thursday night in the school hall
While the other lads played football,
Jeremiah would sing with a clear pure voice
Leaving his teacher with little choice
But to clasp her hands with such joy
As she listened to this little boy
“Oh Jeremiah,” she cried, “You’re doing well.”
And as he sang his heart would swell.

It seemed this boy found it hard to talk
And no, he never learned to walk.
It seemed at first he could do not a thing.
But then he sang. – And oh how he could sing!

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.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Beth Winchcombe and Jack Horne--England


To say I've no regrets would be a lie.
The pace of life is too fast for me
in the 21st century.
With age comes wisdom:
I'm now called the Wise Owl.
That mirror in the bathroom tells no lies;
however, it can surprise.
When did my blonde locks turn to grey?
Past memories are vibrant;
yet last week's have faded.
I've more memories to look back on
than events to look forward to.
My mind is energetic;
my body refuses to cooperate.
The voice doesn't age like the body.
Friendship becomes more valuable than possessions.
I live and breathe with caution.
My sensitivity causes hurt feelings.
I'm fragile, afraid of falling.

I look forward to future happiness,
hoping to fulfill ambitions and dreams.
Thankful for family and friends,
and rejoicing in my life's little triumphs,
I rise to meet fresh challenges.
Shutting out the sadness of the past,
I give closure to love that is gone.
Brutal blows, as well as happy nostalgia,
shaped the person I am:
have made me...

Just like Janus,
we all stand at a point between past and future
and while looking back and looking forward,
maybe we should live for today.

Twenty Lines--By Gerald Heyder--United States

Twenty Lines

Much can be said within twenty lines
from philosophy to nursery rhymes.
Nature’s beauty by us when sought
can be painted through verse so wrought.
Love and passion are powerful chains
when linked to paper via ink stains
and broken hearts and fretful fears
splash on parchment through museful tears.
Limericks remove grit from our pail
when laughter is needed hearty and hail.
The provocative sonnets with lines we read
give much wisdom through implanted seeds.
Many letters penned in haste
contain true lines honestly chaste
and a soulful ballad with melody sweet
embellishes lyrics the heart seeks.
Children’s tales most potently told
are lines akin to nuggets of gold.
Yes, I’ve said what I wanted to say
through twenty lines and now good day!

Gerald Heyder is a published poet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Acrobat--By Terry O’Leary--France

The Acrobat

The Circus gongs excite the Throngs in nighttime Never Land –
They swarm to see the destiny of Freaks at their command,
While Acrobats step pit-a-pat above the shifting sands
And Lady Fat sits down to chat and oozes charm unplanned.

The Dwarfs in suits, so small and cute when marching with the Band,
Ask crimson Clowns with frozen frowns, to hold a mutant hand,
While Tamers’ whips with withered tips, throughout the winter land,
Lure Cats entranced through hoops enhanced with flames of fires fanned.

White Elephants in big-top tents boast black-tusk contraband
To regiments of Sycophants who overflow the stands,
But No One sees anomalies, and No One understands.

At night’s demise, the dither dies, the lonesome Crowd disbands,
Down dead-end streets the Horde retreats, their tattered rags in strands,
And Janes and Joes reweave their woes, for thoughts of change are banned.

To play a part in Three-Ring Art, I thought I’d try my hand –
I mastered skills, I felt the thrills, I breathed and seethed firsthand –
But destiny denied to me to taste a lifetime spanned
With tightrope walks and trapeze chalks ... excepting second-hand...

For alcohol provoked a fall, as if a reprimand,
And now, a heap, I sometimes keep the ticket office manned...

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

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Daddy--By Shirley Smothers--United States


My Brother
called you back
from the edge
of death.
But you were
in so much
pain, and you
had suffered enough.
We said good bye,
My Mother, My Sister,
My Brother and I.
We held each
other and we
did cry.
The day that
you left us.
The day
that you died.

Clovis W. Henderson
Dec 27, 1931--Dec. 9 2009

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

His Birthday--By Joyce Johnson--United States

His Birthday

Do you have that Christmas feeling?
Can you smell it in the air?
All the folks you meet are smiling,
Happiness is every where.
We are all hiding presents
That our loved ones must not see,
And no matter where we go
There is a shining Christmas tree.

It is the birthday party for
A Child of long ago.
Baby Jesus is the reason
That so many candles glow.
He came to bring us peace and joy
And goodwill every where.
In December we remember and
For a little while we care.

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.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Time Travel--By Brian Whatcott--United States

Time Travel

looking at the camera, smiling,
two kids, it was the strangest thing,
I caught a glimpse of one, the smallest clone
now fifty, looking back on the whole wing-ding...
Mommy gone, Daddy gone, there for a moment, alone
while she somehow gazed back upon the snowy scene
I saw and thought of how it might have been.

Brian Whatcott is a writer from Oklahoma. He and his wife, Norma, have three children. He enjoys flying, sailing and water-skiing.

sad--By James Rasmusson--United States

sad (double tetractys)

know you’re sad
when you answer
me in a nearly inaudible drone
the eardrum of my heart nearly bursting
from the thunder
clap of tears

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.

Undressing Autumn--By Phyllis Babcock--Canada

Undressing Autumn

The wind gently touched the colored leaves
Shaking them ever so gently and watched
As they glided gently downward to the ground
Soft and colorful not yet crisp from the
ever changing season's cold
Soon the trees will be barren
The green dress of summer changed
to autumn's splendid colorful suit
The wind smiled for it will have fun
undressing and blowing autumn's leaves.

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.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Thought--By Eleanor Michael--United States

A Thought

Not meant for man:
   The pipes of Pan,
      The pool of Narcissus,
         The home of the tree sprite,
             The dark of the moonless night,
                The mountains of the moon.

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

Frankie’s Christmas Tree--By Robert Hewett Sr.--United States

Frankie’s Christmas Tree

Fred Blackman and Little Frankie sat by the fire at home.
Frankie, deformed since birth, bent, he could barely walk alone.
Frankie’s mother died that year, they were broke and very sad.
Frankie hoped to dress up a tree like he and his Mom had.

“Frankie, I don’t have money for any tree, live or dead.”
“I know dad, could we just go look before I go to bed.”
“Okay, Frankie, we will go to the tree lot and just look.”
Light snow and brisk wind made it seem like a scene in a book.

“We can’t afford to buy a tree; my son just wants to look.”
The owner stared at the bent body, his heart on a hook.
This boy should not go home without a real tree for free.
The owner smiled and said “I have a tree that I want you to see.”

Frankie looked at the frail little tree, the same height as he.
He smiled, “It’s perfect I can trim this tree; it’s just like me.”
“Thank you, Sir,” Frankie picked up the tree, smiled, happy and free.
Frankie thought, “Mom, look down, you will be proud of me and this tree.”

Author’s footnote: It takes so little to make Christmas Great.

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 ""

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Different Jungles--By Jack Clubb--United States

Different Jungles

Jungle calls. Animal cries.
The screech of birds.
Treachery in the forest.
Pythons in trees.

How I long for the simple life in the city.
Gang gunfire. Ragged homeless.
Murder. Mayhem.
People in cardboard boxes
Under freeway bridges.

Give me city life any day.
It is my preferred jungle.
I live right where the Hollywood Freeway
Enters downtown.
Where is my cardboard box,
My mattress, my blanket?

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.

The Recipe Book--By Ralph Stott--England

The Recipe Book

It was not her late-father's
Hand-written recipe notes
She cherished;
(The Lancashire hot-pot she never made
Or followed.)
It was more his aroma:
Of hand-rolled tobacco and
That permeated these leaves.
His unique fragrance, transported her to places
He'd scarcely remembered:
When jasmine filled the air,
Where he gathered, cherry-blossom bouquets
In his hands;
For her, his princess of another time,
Holding court over another world.

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.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advent II 2007--By Suzanne Clement--United States

Advent II 2007

Sunday School Pageant
with many classes playing
parts in the story
of the birth of Jesus Christ.
I’ve been asked to read for them.

So I stand down front
at the lectern of the church
and read the account
from Isaiah 11,
foretelling the holy birth

and sit with some of
the smallest participants
before and after
they do their parts on this
Second Sunday of Advent.

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Jane Richer and Pam Murray--Canada

Risen in Triumph

A rumbling was heard in the foul chasms of Hell,
believers heard, but none of them could tell.
The demons and devils shook with the force of the quakes,
As leaves will do when angry storm wind breaks.

The walls buckled and fell inward and smashed to the ground,
the faithful trembled when they heard the awesome sound.
A light shone upward from within the deepest pit,
and all the world bowed down on the seeing of it.

Angels danced and rejoiced in the highest heavens above,
as the Almighty God revealed His anger and love.
It was time for His Son to take back what Satan had fouled,
to send back all those minions, darkly cowled.

Amidst the Devil's cowering; a figure walked towards that throne,
the Light of lights, He came forth to make this place His own.
He ripped away the keys of Sin and Death; that was on the Devil's breast,
and lighting all the world, left none hurt and none repressed.

Then His Father lifted him up and removed His body from the grave,
reminding us that His beloved Son had died, so that we all can be saved.
Now we His children remember the sacrifice He made there on the tree,
and how He's risen in triumph to give us all Eternity.

Genes of the Bourgeois Woman--By Isha Wagner--New Zealand

Genes of the Bourgeois Woman

I do battle with them daily
They are in my way constantly
These bourgeois genes
Their voices grind into my ears
Dust the furniture : make the bed
Vacuum the carpet : bake cakes
Here comes Aunt Brenda
who every day wipes the window sills
and venetians : here comes Aunt Mildred
who preserves and fills bottles
with fruit. And Uncle Fred with his secateurs
Uncle Arthur with his mower

I let out a scream, shout for them to go
Back to the cemetery
And leave me alone to my writing
And my solitude
but no these restless genes have their way
As I smooth the cover on the bed
then mop the floors

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.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Once Upon A Winter's Night--By Sara Kendrick--United States

Once Upon A Winter's Night

Once upon a cold winter's night
There reigned a snow-capped mountain
The rock hearth glowed with embers bright
And love flowed like a seeping fountain
In memories it flows again unchained

Snowy winters come and go and go
Snow 'pon the mountain thins
Fires in the rocky hearth sometimes glows
Only on cold winter nights~ love spins
And pain's memory chamber ends

Snowy mountains don't remain
Avalanches, earthquakes take their due
For that mountain love uncontained
Let that hearth fire now renew
Amazing love flourish and accrue

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. 

Hope--By Beth Winchcombe--England


I hope all your dreams will come true -
and meet your expectations, your imagination!
I hope you'll always be happy.
I hope you'll find contentment.
I hope your wishes will be granted!
I hope you'll attain whatever you wanted!
I hope your convictions will never wane.
If you ever lose your way -
I hope you'll soon find it again!
If you fall into the depths of depression -
I hope you'll find happiness again!
Whatever you want,
I hope and PRAY God will grant!
I hope you'll always find light at the end of the tunnel.
I hope you'll never lose the warmth and compassion held within your heart!
I hope you'll never falter -
I hope you'll never alter.
Just stay as you are,
shining bright like a star!

Lastly I hope and ' PRAY ' we'll always be friends.......

Beth Winchcombe is now a retired housewife and enjoys writing poetry, also painting in oils.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Glimmers of Hope--By Anna-Marie Docherty--Wales

Glimmers of Hope

The candles we light in honor of your name
Reflect the brightness you gave to our lives
Burn away at the darker side surrounding
Giving way to freedom’s path for your spirit
Helping bring healing to the hearts that miss you
Binding you in mind, faith and prayer
So your memory can live on and bring comfort
To those that walk in hope, with you beside them

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.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Carolyn Devonshire and Sandra Stefanowich--United States and Canada

Celebrating in Solitude

scents from your chimney waft my way
curtains aside, a dozen cars are dusted by snow
boys in your yard cry out while pitching snowballs
sensing both comfort and sadness
holidays go on, even when stillness fills your home
surrounded by memories of Christmases long past
wondering what it would feel like to have family again
don a shawl, footsteps crunch in fresh snow
seeing a visitor from across the street, I wave
while on my way to join a neighbor’s celebration
preparing to smile at countless nameless faces
aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews
the “lady next door” self-consciously mingles
aching for solitude; dreading it as well
the visitor comes to mind, is she feeling the same
where alone, holiday survivors learn
to appreciate the peace....

I see a lady making her way next door
she smiles and waves from across the street
I give her a smile and wave back
grateful for a moment to stall before going in
we all showed as we said we'd do
a gathering of "family" to pay our due
appearances to appease
somewhere else I'd rather be
on this day is when I feel the most alone
this feeling of distance when I'm in this home
stilted, polite, unease when there's nothing left to say
it was long ago, when we all went our separate ways
it's gets too hard to remember
reliving the yesterdays of December
dreading being here, when solitude is what I want
I wonder about that lady, is she feeling just like me
where alone, I find refuge in the peace

Lost Dreams--By Gert W. Knop--Germany

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.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Love Never Melting--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

Love Never Melting

Press your soul against my heart.
Listen to the depth of its love.
Take it as yours and feel its warmth.
Open your heart and let my soul
Search out your love.
Let us move closer
into a world of our own.

Dance with me in meadows of scented flowers
Let us ride upon the wings of time,
Where stars never stop shining.
Keep me close; never free my heart.
In winter we’ll walk in snow,
Hearts together, love never melting.

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.

Futility--By Brian Strand--England


red poppies
                 by blood
         winter snow
on widow's
        sadness flows
to that
    no-man’s land
              but crows

*An Open verse form is one where Classical poetry metre is replaced by cadence in rhythm, line indentation with pauses implied by the context, thus naturally incorporating the limiting factor of all poetry, the human breath.(Marianne Moore was a great exponent of this style)

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.



            Lisa DeVinney--United States
            Alice Stevens--United States
            Gerald A. McBreen--United States
            Leokadia Durmaj--Australia
            Eunice G. B. Kowa--Botswana
Please welcome them to our community.  We now have representatives from the following countries--Australia, Botswana, Canada, Canary Islands, England, France, Germany, India, Malawi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Wales.  I look forward to expanding this list in the future. Thank you to everyone that has supported Whispers in any way.        --Sincerely,  Karen


Carolyn Devonshire, Sandra Stefanowich and Jack Horne announce the release of their collaboration poetry book, Shades of Darkness and Light. This book is currently available from, price $2.50

Joann Grisetti released In The Quiet Valley, a book of short poems in 2013. This book is now available online at and (search book titles or author's name at the appropriate website) or contact Joann directly at

Jack Horne announces the release of his debut novel, A Ghost Hunt: a paranormal romance. This book is currently available from, price $3.99

Eunice.Gaba,Rafywa  released her first poetry book titled, The Poet in Me in September 24, 2013 published by Xlibrispublishing. It is her very first book as a writer which has not had many reviews yet and it is available for reviews online, Barnes and noble and the e-book is also available in (search The Poet in Me under Eunice. Gaba.Rafywa) OR contact Eunice at;

Ndaba Sibanda’s short story, "Of Tokoloshe And The Translator" has been published in India by Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine, and his poem "River Love" has been published by the Elohi Gadugi Journal. Links:

Robert Epstein, editor of the anthology, Now This: Contemporary Poems of Beginnings, Renewals, and Firsts, is pleased to announce its publication, which is available online at

(Editor note--Thank you Robert for including my poem in this anthology.  For those who enjoy haiku, I recommend this book.)

Rhoda Galgiani released Expressions From the Inside Out, a book of poetry in 2011. Rhoda's second book is a child's story entitled No Snow for Johnny in 2012. Both books are published by APF Publisher. They have received good reviews and is available online at and (search book titles or author's name at the appropriate website) or contact Rhoda at:

Brian Strand latest kindle now available on Amazon is Structured Prose in which Brian demonstrates therein his theme confirmed by D H Lawrence words about poetry it all depends upon the ''pause'', the natural pause, the natural lingering of the voice according to the feeling.

John W. (Bill) Williams published a science fiction book that he also illustrated called The Dream Hill.  To order copies from Xlibris Company call 1-888-795-4274 or go to  The website provides sample pages of the book for interested readers.

Karen O’Leary makes homemade cards with poetry and other features.  With cards in stores getting so expensive, she would like to offer the opportunity to have cards with your poetry or cards she designs for occasions made to fit your needs.  She will be charging $2 for United States and $3 (US currency only) for other countries including postage.  Cards will include envelopes ready for mailing to others.  Sample cards are available.  Please contact her a if you would like to discuss options or if you want her mailing address to order a sample card.


Pat Simpson, APFPUBLISHER  and the owner of The Writers Alliance Poetry website, is seeking poetry 24 lines or less to be donated for a 100% Fund Raising Book that she is doing to help benefit the people affected by the Philippines disaster. Please send A.S.A.P. all donated poems to along with permission for it to published in the charity book.

Please consider supporting The Pen, The Jokester, and Creative Inspirations by sending stamps or other small donations to help with postage.  Thank you for considering this.                ---Karen

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  Stamps or cash donations would be appreciated to help with mailing costs.

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

Robert Epstein, the editor of the poetry collection, The Sacred in Contemporary Haiku, is seeking haiku, senryu, tanka, and haiga related to the theme of the sacred, broadly conceived. Unpublished poems are preferred but published poems with full credits may
be sent to There is no compensation for inclusion. The deadline is: 12/31/13. The anthology will be available for purchase online at 

Robert Epstein, the author of an article on haiku and veganism and animal rights is
seeking haiku, senryu or tanka on the aforementioned themes. Please send poetry
to The deadline is: 12/31/13. There is no compensation for inclusion.

Whispers is always looking for new writers to join our community.  Please send family friendly poems 20 lines or less to  Complete guidelines posted 1/21/2013.  Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to the site.

Ads are placed by the underlined names.  Whispers has not verified the accuracy of all the information.