Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Submission Guidelines

Thank you for considering Whispers for a place to share your writing.  The guidelines follow:

1.  Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable.  Please do not send quotes from others unless they are in the context of the piece submitted and that the original author is given credit.  It is up to the author to obtain permission if needed for reprints.  By submitting to Whispers, the writer is assuring that the work is his or her own.  Whispers reserves the right to delete any work that has been copied from another writer without credit or authorization.

2.  Send one of the three following:

    ---1 poem 20 lines or less

    ---up to 5 haiku/senryu (please make sure to clearly identify that separate poems are being submitted)

    ---up to 3 tanka (see above)

    ---for people that are not poets, 1 short paragraph of encouragement will be considered

Writers are eligible for publication every other month.

3.  You may include a bio of 4-5 lines written in third person style.  See “Living Wings” published January 15, 2013 for an example.  A bio is not necessary for publication.

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

5.  Whispers reserves the right to select poetry based on the goal stated at the end of the guidelines.

6.  Spiritual poetry is welcomed but the editor would like to have a variety of pieces that will uplift and inspire readers.  Humor is appreciated.

7.  Children’s poetry is appreciated.  Parent permission is required.  Please email gksm@cableone.net before sending.

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

9.  Preferred method of submission is to send poetry as a works document or in the body of an email with your name and country.  Please email your submission to Karen O’Leary at gksm@cableone.net  If you would rather submit by snail mail, please email Karen for her address.  You may email her with any questions you may have.

10.  I hope you also participate by commenting on others’ writing. 

In this challenging time for many, it is the hope that Whispers will connect people in a way that is supportive, encouraging and inspiring to others.  Thank you for considering being a part of this community.

Monday, September 29, 2014

---------70,000 Views!--From the Editor's Perspective--------


Congratulations contributors on reaching 70,000 views!  This is your honor.  I receive emails all the time from people telling me how impressed  they are with the level of poetry at Whispers.  It is a gift to be able to work with so many talented writers.  Thank you for making our online journal a success.  I would also like to thank our readers, especially those that leave encouraging comments.  You give our words purpose and meaning.  Poetry is meant to be a shared experience.  I hope you continue to share or join in this journey.

Best wishes to all of you,
Karen O'Leary


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


Silent shifting of sand
Shadows dance then vanish
Snow melts, unmasking green
Sunlight fades into dark
Subtle lifting of clouds
Scents lure then drift away
Seasons change--we adjust

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, Snippets...an 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.

The Essence of Summer--By Audrey Haick--United States

The Essence of Summer

Summer haze paints opaque skies
On long, hot days when the honeysuckle sighs
Dispersing perfume, inviting broad smiles
Warming hearts of children and busy dragon flies

Cool lemonade poured over crushed ice, awaits
Inviting long thirsts and simple tastes
All spread out under the shade of mango trees
Laden with fruit soon ripe for a feast

Light winds sail by giving leaves a twirl
As colored kites climb high, their ribbon tails in a whirl
Children's eyes filled with excitement are fixed on the sky
'Til the jingle of the ice cream truck is heard close by

These are the days which build memories to keep
Laughter, joy pervading; there’s no time to weep
The essence of summer; its tastes and sounds
For a lifetime they linger; as together we are bound

Audrey, a.k.a. Annalise Brigham resides in beautiful Maryland, U.S.A. A Mother to one amazing daughter.  She's also a published author and loves writing and reading poetry.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Precious Memories--By Maurice J. Reynolds--United States

Precious Memories

There is a charge in his voice as they walk along the sandy beach.
He stumbles, but each time gets right back up on his feet,
not thinking twice about any missteps. “I got this, dad,” he says,
a smile on his face. What’s a father to do when his child wants to go
it alone? That is, at least until sand and water come together where
the little one stands, backing up once the water says hello to his feet.
Not sure what to make of this new situation, he turns and extends
his arms. Wait for it….wait for it. Able to leap forward with a single
step, brave the water without flinching from its chill, and lift
the little one up with ease, it’s “super dad” to the rescue.
Don’t be afraid son, go ahead and look upon the water. You can figure
it out right here in the comfort and protection of loving arms.

-Dedicated to my first born, Maurice R. Reynolds

Maurice J. Reynolds is a freelance writer who has had material published in various publications.  He is the owner of To God be the Glory! Publications, a literary ministry that produces the poetry publication Creative Inspirations.  More information can be found at: www.tgbtgpublictions.com.

Bruised--By Barbara Siekierski--United States


I feel sadness in my heart
that no band aide can fix.
I am like a lost sheep
waiting for a shepherd.
Lost and alone, I feel
enveloped in darkness.
Suddenly before me,
the Good Shepherd
appears taking me
into His light and love.
My heart and soul heal.

Barbara Siekierski is a writer from Swarthmore, PA.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Free Victims--By Andrew Ntchindi Jere--Malawi

Free Victims

lock their past behind doors,
concentrating on today with effort,
heading for the light-streaming front,
disappointing their past disappointments.

discover abilities hidden within them,
elevating themselves with it to their aspired heights,
free in their skies like clouds,
anticipating no fall.

close loop holes on them,
for no entry of thieves again,
allowing no situation
to cut short their dreams.

keep stepping up
on the sky stairs of success,
taking each step with caution,
so that they never slip nor stumble.

lift any heavy weight standing in their way,
throwing it away out of their view,
making a clear path for themselves,
to reach their dreamland.

Andrew Ntchindi Jere is a youthful Malawian poet. His poems have been extensively published in his country’s leading local newspapers, magazines and online publications. His poem, “The Charcoal Maker” was nominated in the 2013 Wisdom Dede Kamkondo Poetry Competition; the most prestigious Malawian poetry competition. He is a second year student at Mzuzu University, Malawi. He believes that God is his source of creativity.

Two Tutus, Too --By Joe Flach--United States

Two Tutus, Too

Two tutus, too
Laying on the ground
Ballet slippers strewn all around
One complete wall with mirrored glass
Chattering girls waiting dismissal of class.

A gaggle of Moms waiting patiently
Knitting and needlepoint surrounding me
The one lone island of masculinity
That rare father with custody.

I smile at my ballerina and she smiles back at me
We’ve been on our own ever since she was three
I just love being her Daddy
And don’t mind the role of also being Mommy.

We stay a little longer at the end of class
She shows me her plies in the looking glass
She smiles at my reflection and says, “I love you”
We pack up her slippers and the
Two tutus, too.

Joe Flach is an amateur poet living in Gig Harbor, WA. Joe has been writing poetry, short stories and song lyrics his entire life but has only recently found the courage to share some of his work with others through internet websites and his own Poetry Facebook Page – “Poems, Lyrics and Stuff by an Average Joe”. As a professional consultant working in the fields of crisis management and disaster recovery, Joe uses has writing as a form of stress release and an opportunity to expand his horizons. Joe is a father of four children who he often relies on as a source for inspiration.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Layer upon Layer--By Lisa DeVinney--United States

Layer upon Layer

Layer upon layer
the canvas fills
colors blending
textures building
patterns evolving
each layer adding to the one before
until the final stroke reveals
the finished work
a completion of
the master plan
birthed in the artist’s heart
delivered through patient
purposeful strokes
layer upon layer
beautiful in its complexity
a masterpiece
as we are God's

Lisa DeVinney is a homemaker and mother of six in upstate New York. She enjoys photography and writing devotional poetry in her spare time. Lisa is the author of several books, including a devotional entitled I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes. She also maintains her own website at liftingmyeyes.com

Sausalito--By Joann Grisetti--United States


sun shines on the old -
older inside

wooden Indian
hand raised in peace

glare off the bay
silver and blue mirage
gulls squawk

Alcatraz just sits there
keeping secrets

I squeeze your hand
still here
my insecurity

ice cream cones for all
I eat mine with a spoon

the children run ahead
trying to spy the ferry
on its return

Joann Grisetti has been writing for 45 years. She is a retired teacher from Florida. She receives encouragement from her daughter and has recently enrolled in a creative writing workshop. She is a member of Poetry Soup. You can read more of her poetry there.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Potter--By Helen Dowd--Canada

The Potter

Do you ever stop to question the real reason you’re on earth?
Do you wonder why it is that you were born?
Do you feel you’ve been a failure, and your life has little worth?
Do you view yourself with ridicule and scorn?

Do you look around at others, wishing you could be like them,
When you see the mark in life they seem to make?
Then you gaze into the mirror, and that fellow you condemn;
And you say, “Oh God, You’ve made a grave mistake.”

But remember, God’s the Potter. You are just a lump of clay.
You must never question what He has in mind.
He has formed the earth, the heavens, and the night, as well as day.
He’s created living things of every kind.

Whether you be dull or brilliant--a workman, king, or maid--
Whether you be plain or handsome, short of tall,
It is still the Potter’s doing: He has formed you without aid.
It is God who holds the pattern for us all.

He has made you for a purpose, and He’s called you by your name.
He has formed you by the will of His own hand.
So just look up to your Maker as His greatness you proclaim:

Helen Dowd enjoys spending time at her computer, along side her husband of 56 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. She is presently a caregiver for her husband and sister, two dogs, four cats and 3 gold fish.

Esprit De Corps--By Pamela A. MacBean--United States

Esprit De Corps

Maple leaves swirl around the forest
like scarlet letters whispering doom,
severed from the spring of their youth,
the summer of vitality,
the lifeblood of association.
Set adrift one by one to fall.

But while laying at the feet of their matriarch,
they know that soon an ermine cloak of snow
will swaddle them gently as they fade,
crumbling back into earth.

When the icicles weep at winter’s passing,
seedlings will drink cold tears
and rise to clothe the naked ground
with tender tendrils spreading resurrection.

Pam is currently battling metastatic breast cancer and is doing remarkably well. Some of her poetry is on Poetry For Thought and AllPoetry.com. She has been published in many online and print journals, and has had two chapbooks published, Postscripts in Time and A Dalton View. In the Great Northwoods, a collection of poetry was published by Publish America.  She lives in New Hampshire.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Sheri Stanley and Mary Kent--United States

When Hubby Wants To Play Golf
(A True Experience)

By Sheri Stanley and Mary Kent

Hubby awoke in a frivolous mood
Let’s go play golf! as he gulped down his food

I don’t wanna play, I said, is that okay?
But, I’ll ride along with you golfin’ today.

Hackin’ and smackin’ ‘em this way and that
Flopped in the water - went lickity-splat!

There on the T-box he swooshed and he swished
His face was so red as though he had been kissed

He must be close to being out of balls
I searched in the woods - suddenly he calls!!

“FORE!” I straightened up just in time, oh, gee
Wayward ball hits ankle, it swelled up you see

What were you doing out there, anyhow?
Searching to find you more balls, Mr. Wow!

My ankle swelled to gargantuan size
It seems without question I’ve gotten wise

Next time he mentions of golf I’ll say, no!
That’s what I’ll do, but for now I’ll hang low

A Disney Fairy Tale--By Lanette Kissel--United States

A Disney Fairy Tale

Fantasy versus reality.
Real life always appears to pale,
when compared to the wonderful splendor
of a Disney fairy tale.

Simply throw in a villainous witch
and her dark and dastardly deed.
Then save the day with a handsome knight
upon his powerful steed.

He arrives to fight the dragon
with breath of fire and blazing eyes,
in order to save the lovely maiden
and cut the villain down to size.

The hero and his lady,
after tasting true love’s kiss
enjoy a happily ever after
and a life of wedded bliss.

Lanette Kissel lives in southern Indiana with her adopted Yorkie-Poo, Benjy. She enjoys writing Inspirational poetry, essays, articles, and some secular fiction. Her work has been published in small print publications and in online magazines. Some of her fiction has been published as e-books at Red Rose Publishing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Walk the Moors and Dales--By Patricia Ann Farnsworth-Simpson--Canary Islands

Walk the Moors and Dales

The Yorkshire Moors are beautiful
Especially when heather blooms bright
On warm sunny spring days
And under stars at night
When twinkling in your sight

Dales that’s in Derbyshire
And in Yorkshire too
To walk they’re great
With scenery first rate

Patricia Ann Farnsworth-Simpson is a coal miner’s daughter, the only girl among 6 lads.
A young mother to a son, she became a widow before she turned 18.  Patricia, then, married her childhood sweetheart who fathered her lovely son and two wonderful daughters.  Her children encouraged her to pursue her own talents.  After 51 years of marriage, she became a widow again recently.  She fills her time with poetry, helping others whenever she can.

Excerpt from The Gift of You, The Gift of Me--By Nila J. Webster--United States

Excerpt from The Gift of You, The Gift of Me

Thank you for
A place of peace
A place of dreams
And a place of sleep

Thank you for the ancient stones
For sand and sea
And a place called home

Nila’s Thoughts--These words were written as part of The Gift of You, The Gift of Me, a meditation on gratitude which I wrote several weeks after I'd heard about an act of bullying which ended in violence. I've always hoped that by deepening our awareness of our gratitude for all we have been given, including each other, than any desire to bully will be transformed into love and respect. I wrote this on the Saturday before Mother's Day many years ago, and still sometimes these years later, after a long day, my mind will replay these words: "Thank you for / a place of peace." It is a gift to know that we can be the peace for which we long.

Nila J. Webster has been writing since a young age, thanks to the encouragement and support of her beloved mother, poet jani johe webster. In the last six months, Nila has donated over 23,000 picture books in her mother's honor, with more to come. If anyone knows of schools or hospitals that would like to receive a picture book donation, please let her know at nila.webster@comcast.net.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A whiter shade of blue--By Elly Wouterse--Netherlands

A whiter shade of blue

the magnificent autumn-sun bursts at its seams
the icy October-wind blows her soft-cold breeze
one of the most impressive and mesmerizing teams
stumbling over each other making me warm and freeze

fragrances of fresh grass mowed for the last time this year
the muted-green foliage whispers with leaves drying out
the hidden dark-red blackberries wither behind protective thorns of fear
the last flight of geese flying over another scout

rare but visible some glorious leaves of gold
the cloudless sky colors the very rare whiter shade of blue
the bike trail I’m on  partly covered with wet leaf mold
the passing summer is now really saying adieu

while the wintery wind and summer-sun bicker for attention
I'm overwhelmed by this whiter shade of blue's  fourth dimension

Dutch poetess Elly Wouterse is oftentimes focused observing the world surrounding her. While watching, noticing, listening, thinking, dreaming and - or fantasizing she often finds the inspiration resulting in Poetical Visuals published on her own website - http://www.ellywouterse.com/ and in her first publication Between Moonset and Sunrise. http://www.ellywouterse.com/special-edition.html

Winter in the Smokies--By Tom Davis--United States

Winter in the Smokies

A bone-numbing chill
Flows from the mountains
And into the valleys
Where sycamores stand
Their brown bark shed
Like sunburned skin
Their limbs stretch skyward
Like fingers of a skeleton
Snow will come
Blanketing all
In stunning white

Tom Davis' work has appeared in numerous publications. He is the publisher of the Old Mountain Press (OMP) www.oldmp.com. Recently, OMP has ventured into the world of ePublishing www.oldmp.com/e-book where his work is featured. Tom does not consider himself a poet as he considers poetry one of the a most difficult form of expression. He finds that the writer has to say so very much in such a small space. His favorite quote is: "I would have written a shorter letter but didn’t have time." (Blaise Pascal)--1642 France

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Guwahati-Brahmaputra--By Sunil Uniyal--India


an early monsoon morning :
ferries begin to ply
their day on the Brahmaputra

four white egrets shoot across
to the greens beyond

a clever mynah excuses herself
to perch on a ferry

twigs of anonymous trees -
like some promises rudely broken -
are carried away by swollen waters

while grey clouds
gently take wings
to reveal the forehead of a distant hill

I suddenly uncoil myself -
as if from a dream -
to walk the stinking alleys...
once again !

Sunil Uniyal ( born 1953-) is a poet and translator based in New Delhi, India. He has been writing haiku and poems for over thirty years and many of these have appeared in e-journals like Muse India, Kritya, AHA Poetry, Poetica Magazine, Sketch Book, Notes From the Gean, A Hundred Gourds and Haiku Dreaming Australia. His work in translation includes, The Target is Behind the Sky -Fifty Poems of Kabir, brought out by the Low Price Publications, Delhi in February 2012.

Ollie, Ollie--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States

Ollie, Ollie

Giggling, she runs from the family room couch
where I sit and count, both hands over my eyes.
“1,2,3,4,5 and 5 is 10. Ready or not, here I come.”

First, in the kitchen, opening and slamming cabinet
drawers and doors, “No, not here. Not here, either,”
repeated loudly lifting all four corners of the tablecloth,

again as I look under a chair cushion, behind the curtain,
then seek into the living room to flip pages of a book
on the shelf, “She's sure hiding good, where can she be?”

Muffled laughter in the closet, ever her same hiding spot,
as I pass the half open door, again not seeing her crouched
smiling presence as I continue my search into the hall.

“I wonder where that girl can be, I've looked everywhere.”
A tug on my pant leg, I turn around in wild surprise,
“Here I am, Papa, right here. See. You couldn't find me.”

“You certainly are a wonderful hider, much better than me.
Now it's my turn.” She counts with covered eyes as I slip
into the closet, same place I hid when her mommy was small.

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Haiku/Senryu--By Robert Epstein--United States

spilling into
Macy’s Men’s Dept.
3 robed monks

not only
3,000 miles between us
mom's dementia


on a park bench
a stranger shares
her love of God

among the treetops
the poem’s ending

Robert Epstein is a licensed psychologist who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has edited several anthologies: The Breath of Surrender: A Collection of Recovery-Oriented Haiku; Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness; and The Temple Bell Stops: Contemporary Poems of Grief, Loss and Change; as well as two books of haiku: Checkout Time is Noon: Death Awareness Haiku; and A Walk Around Spring Lake: Haiku.  He is currently editing another anthology, The Sacred in Contemporary Haiku, due to be released in 2014.

Color Me Autumn--By Charlene McCutcheon--United States

Color Me Autumn

floating, fallen
leaves in evening breeze;
children rolling, jumping, catching

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.

Friday, September 19, 2014

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

What Would I be Without You?

By Beth Winchcombe and Jack Horne

What would I be without you?
You're my whole being and best friend,
there for me to turn to,
someone beside me to life's end!

I know, at times, I may not show how much
I value you and truly care,
And so I thought I'd write this piece to say
I'm glad that you are always there.

I found you many years ago.
Were you sent from heaven above?
But do you REALLY know...
...WHEN our friendship blossomed into love?

It's hard recalling life before we met;
We're almost family, I feel.
My world's a better place with you around -
So good to have a friend who's real.

You've become the family member I never had.
You cheer me up when I feel blue.
You make me happy when I feel sad.
Always there for me – I'm always here for you!

And if some day I find Aladdin's lamp,
I'll make a solemn wish, it's true,
That everyone in all the world is blessed
To have a loving friend like you!

Mother and Baby--By Sheri Stanley--United States

Mother and Baby

Borne as heart of a Rose
In mirrored reflection;
“Mother” too often spoken in prose
Diminishes the natural connection.

Great Spirit of all existence;
Provided warmth by the Sun.
So blessed is She - eternally
In every conception begun.

Divine miracle of light;
The infinite story is told.
Grand assimilation - unite;
Such a sight to behold!

Mother and baby in arms
Applauded and extolled
Single and sole as life can be
Granted briefly from Infinity….

Sheri is an artist, song writer and poet. She is also a graphic and digital book illustrator. A citizen of the United States she enjoys golf and music and quiet evenings at home with her much cherished family.  Her website is www.poetryandbeyond.net

A Simpler Place and Time--By John Polselli--United States

A Simpler Place and Time

Hold the moonbeams in your arms
and take them with you
Grab a cloud and pick a star from the sky
Cast them on the ocean
and make a road for two
leading to a new world
made for me and you

When the city gets too much for you to live
in neon lights during hectic nights
in crowded stores
I’ll take your hand and show you
a simpler place and time
where we can both be happy
and our love will shine

John Polselli’s poetry has been published in many literary journals and is the recipient of several Editor’s Choice Awards.  As a poet, John enjoys composing in all traditional forms including free verse as well as inventing his own.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

First Love--By Elaine George--Canada

First Love

Returning home again after many years away
I find our secret path along the Fundy Bay
That happy place where long ago we played
Where all our dreams and promises were made

Once again I lie down where daises grow
In fields above the banks where salt winds blow
Golden memories rush through my hungry soul
Returning pieces of my heart lost long ago

I close my eyes recalling all the things we did
Just the way they were when we were kids
And I know without a doubt that you are here
As your love for me falls from my eyes in tears

We lie like angels looking up at clouds of cream
As we watch them take the shape of all our dreams
We laugh so hard at all the things we do and say
To us life is just a stage a place to laugh and play

We find the trail that takes us down to meet the ocean
Where we swim in waves of jubilant emotions
Then we walk along the shore together hand-in-hand
And we write our love forever in the sand

Born in New Brunswick, Elain
e George spent the early years of her life living in Lorneville (a small fishing village along the Bay of Funday) still inhabited by many of her family members.  Much of her writing is inspired by the memories of that place and those wonderful people.  She has published two volumes of poetry and is currently writing a novel entitled Out of the Darkness.  Many of her poems and short stories have appeared in magazines in both Canada and the United States. Currently she lives with her husband in Wainfleet, Ontario.

The Wild Rose Of Love--By Marcus Omer--United States

The Wild Rose Of Love

Don’t crush the seed that grew the love,
nor trim the vine when small.
Don’t bruise the blossom when it’s young,
but let the petals fall.

The allure of this wildest rose,
the sweetness of the bud;
enchantment brought you ever near,
its thorns brought forth no blood.

The spirit of this innocence,
who can its secret know?
The essence seen of endless love,
if given chance to grow.

A wooden trellis will not hold,
the twining of this vine.
A human hand can n’er control,
nor shape its grand design.

But in the scheme of nature’s realm,
if given space to roam,
know you well it has reached its height
when songbirds build a home.

Marcus Omer got serious about writing after he retired in 1997. He draws his inspiration from the many emotions we experience in life. He has published Of Sunshine and Clouds with iUniverse and The Winding Road with Shadow Poetry. He’s also published in Snippets, The Magic of Words and several issues of Golden Words.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Jacob Shaver and John Daleiden--United States

Synapses: A Triptych Renhai

By Jacob Shaver and John Daleiden 


an uplifted fist
poised to strike unblemished flesh—
a voice cries out    

sunlight after the monsoon       
at noon a sudden darkness —   

seeking refuge
in the house of corruption
secrets unleashed         


the glassblower’s breath
rounds a long-necked vase—
fragile wares for sale        

few rise with the sun           
silence before a bell toll—        

a hit in the ninth
of a no-hitter—
the eagle takes flight 


nothing that’s not there
and the nothing that is . . .
a fragrant breeze     

rainbow-light refraction
the abyss . . . larger     

electric moments
between Sistine fingertips—
a fault line trembles


Theme: Emergence

Kigo (Spring): “fragrant breeze” in The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku. William J. Higgenson with Penny Harter.  New York: Kodansha International, 1985, p. 267.


Renhai, invented by Canadian Vaughn Seward, is a three verse, two person collaborative haiku poem. Unlike renku (constructed in a similar manner, however, not themed) renhai is a three verse themed poem with each of the verses  linking to each other on some  common theme. Verses one and three are three line haiku composed by one or the other collaborator. Both partners compose one line of the middle two line haiku verse. Both Renhai and Haiku are nature  image centered poems.

“Synapses” is a three verse haiku poem composed in the manner of an art work. A triptych from the Greek adjective τρίπτυχον ("three-fold"), is a work of art (usually a panel painting) that is divided into three sections.

John Daleiden:  daleidenj@yahoo.com

Jacob Shaver:  jacobedits@gmail.com

The Prophet's Song--By James Fraser--Scotland

The Prophet's Song

In relation to deliberation on this poetry nation
A writer is he as clever as can be, lures you to he

With stories of writers he fashions with words
Encrypted solutions to be read to be heard

This newbie of writers who has arrived on our shores
Gathers driftwood for his writing hoard

In clever approach in his delightful encroach
He mixes in the mix, for its against him to poach

His verse is so free it gains respect of the wind
It resonates desires to be read and unwound

His name deciphered, the destroyer of poetry
This writer so cute, knows who he wants to be

This mask he has chosen is entirely his voice
To remove and become, is basically, simply his choice

James Andrew Fraser resides in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, Bonnie Scotland. He is married with four lovely children. Andrew, Steven, Rebekah and Liam. James has been writing poetry for about four years. He is a member of Poetry Soup where many poets have allowed his work to prosper, especially Carolyn Devonshire who has guided and inspired him.  His hobbies apart from poetry are music, art and football. You can read more of his poetry at his website www.thehighlanderspoems.com 

A Dream--By Suzanne Delaney--United States

A Dream

Perhaps she dreams of love to come
A pose of beauty unsurpassed
Here in the shadows silent calm
White hands rest so gently clasped.

A pose of beauty unsurpassed
Her flowing hair conceals an envied sleep
White hands rest so gently clasped
Dreams confined are hers to keep

Her flowing hair conceals an envied sleep
Here in the shadows silent calm
Dreams confined are hers to keep
Perhaps she dreams of love to come

Suzanne Delaney is a retired Registered Nurse. A resident of Hawaii, USA she was born in Tasmania. She now has time to pursue her passion for writing poetry, creating collages and for traveling.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Looking at Fall--By Jean Calkins--United States

Looking at Fall

“Looks like fall, don’t it?” and the old eyes       scanned the sky...
Black billows of some snow clouds were       scudding quickly by
And silently on tapered wing a brown hawk       cut the air,
Gliding on the cold, brisk wind, freed from all       earthly care.
The old man’s eyes took in the muted colors       of the trees;
Stark against the sky they stood, now nearly       bare of leaves.
Frost had touched the flowers, and fields of       corn stood brown,
Though here and there a golden maple wore       a crimson crown.
“Yep, sure does,” I answered, but my mind       surged on ahead
To winter with its snow and cold which I so       deeply dread.
“Live for today,” then comes to mind, and       who said it was wise
And so I join the old man as his eyes still       sweep the skies.

Jean, at 80, has been writing poems since she was 18. For 25 years she published a popular poetry quarterly of up to 100 pages, with a subscribership of nearly 500. Illness in 1986 ended the magazine. She currently publishes, by email, a 2-page monthly of clean humor. Contact her at jcalkins01@charter.net.

Seaside Serenity--By Anna-Marie Docherty--Wales

Seaside Serenity

Simple treasures we have found
(seaweeds, fossils
seashells, crabs)
as we learned to look around

Walking holding hands
(He stopped
and wrote)
I love you in the sand

As the tides began to rise
(He laughed
I cried)
as the words disappeared before our eyes

But simple treasures we have found
(become fossilized
loving memories)
as we learn to look around

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, September 15, 2014

The Way It Is: Tanka Sequence--By John Daleiden--United States

The Way It Is: Tanka Sequence

you resist my touch,
reject me,
nevertheless—admit it
you are more than excited!

with joy I leap
out of the frying pan
into your life
consume me with raging flames
until our ashes are one

is it possible
tomorrow, our son will wed?
am I dreaming?
yesterday we discussed
if we should have children

emptiness reigns,
only my footsteps echo—
this mausoleum,
the niche where your ashes lie,
contains my empty urn

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  (www.fourchamberspress.com) From 2006-2012, he was an editor and webmaster of Sketchbook: A Journal for Eastern and Western Short Forms (http://poetrywriting.org)

Poet of the Month--Charlene McCutcheon

Shaken to the Core

By Charlene McCutcheon

Her sad eyes and tear stained face evoked such ambivalent feelings,
I could barely stand to look upon the half-naked child in front of me.
She turned her face toward me with a pained look that begged for help.
Maternal feelings welled up within, for this pitiful tangled haired waif.

Gaping in abject horror, I observed the orphan's frail arms wrapped
tenaciously around a dead rat and held close to her dirt smeared body.
I sensed this sewer 'pet rat' had been her only source of comfort in life.
The one thing she turned to, when sad or hungry, would never again be.

While resisting the urge to gather her up in my arms and dry her tears,
still I desired to sympathize, whispering, "Don't cry honey, it'll be OK".
I lied, knowing it wouldn't; besides what could I do with so little to give?
I turned and walked away not wanting to face my growing sense of lack.

I awoke with a start, shuddering, deeply disturbed and troubled to tears.
Sometimes the vivid images, like a horror movie returning to haunt me,
make me question, "Who is that wretched child so forlorn and dejected?
The memories shake my very soul, the hidden message still eluding me.

From the editor--It is an honor to announce that Charlene McCutcheon is September’s Poet of the Month.  She is a talented writer that has been published in print and online.  Readers at Whispers relate to her heartfelt poetry.  Charlene is a light at our online journal, regularly leaving thoughtful comments which others appreciate.  I recently received an email relating that the person was deeply moved by the thoughts Charlene shared about her poem.  This is a gift that makes a difference. It is a pleasure to present Charlene with this honor!

Thoughts on “Shaken to the Core”--Right from the onset, Charlene grabbed my attention with vivid imagery.  The scene is stark and very moving.  Who wouldn’t be shaken by seeing a child hugging a dead rat?  The greater question is would you walk away?  That thought is haunting, and I’m guessing one that most of us hope we wouldn’t have to face.  Charlene surprised me a bit in the fourth stanza, finding out that this was really a dream.  That the memory still shakes the narrator gives one hope for humanity.  Does this challenge you to make a difference in your own piece of the world?  I hope so.

Congratulations and thank you Charlene!  I appreciate all you do and have done for Whispers.


Karen O’Leary, Editor

Not at All---By Ndaba Sibanda--Saudi Arabia

Not at All

No hustle
Neither bustle
Just muted rooms
Soundless walls whispering
Little innocence looms

Ndaba Sibanda is a Zimbabwean-born writer. His poems, essays and short stories have been published in Africa and the USA. Ndaba currently lives and teaches in Saudi Arabia. Of his career, he says, "writing is my life, and my second wife".

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pit with a Bottom--Richard Sponaugle--United States

Pit with a Bottom

In halcyon days long past,
when starry eyes scanned the sky,
Dave looked down on ditch diggers.
Now, he thinks they’re seasoned pros--
shoveling dirt in rhythmic scoops,
while his life’s long lacked a flow.
Dave envies those who work
in dawn’s blossoming sunshine
or rain or even blinding snow,
because pitch black concrete walls
have closed in on him for decades.
Dave hates those who get paid
for creating grave like trenches,
while his heart and soul are bankrupt,
entombed in a self made grave.
But now, Dave has new idols,
and he’s determined to be
the best ditch digger ever.

Richard Sponaugle was born 4-20-60 in Maryland and raised in Northern Virginia.  He received a BA from George Mason University.  A prolific poet and songwriter, he has been published in many venues. 

Surprise! Surprise!--By Robert L. Hinshaw--United States

Surprise! Surprise!

His adoring wife told her hubby that she was with child.
He was so overjoyed he walked on air to put it mild!
He started making immediate plans for a handsome little boy,
That he could hunt and fish with and bring him untold joy.

A football, bat and baseball were on his shopping list;
A closet full of sports stuff, things he just could not resist.
He bought a box of cigars, the labels reading, “It’s a Boy!”
And painted the nursery a sickly blue, much to his wife's annoy.

They settled back to await the big event and he began to muse,
Upon the young lad's future and the career he might choose.
"Why, he'll be President of these United States I have no doubt,
Or perhaps a senator in Congress where he'll carry lots of clout."

"Maybe a four-star general in the Air Force wearing a suit of blue,
Or a famous research scientist finding a cure for the flu.
Hollywood, I'm sure, will call wanting to make him a star;
Perhaps a famous lawyer defending hapless souls before the bar."

Momma delivered a charming little bundle and what do you think?
She presented Papa with the cutest little girl all wrapped up in pink!
He tenderly cuddled and kissed her as he proudly proclaimed:
"President of these United States she'll be, the first to be so named!"

Robert L. Hinshaw served 30 years in the Air Force retiring in 1978 in the grade of Chief Master Sergeant. He began writing poetry in 2002 at age 72 and has composed over 1100 poems.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

How Sound is Silence?--By David J. Kelly--Ireland

How Sound is Silence?

If less is more and worlds abhor
a crushing, narcissistic bore,
perhaps I should relent from speech,
make all replies one gesture each,
keep dictionaries out of reach
and listen to more music.

But critics, though it sounds absurd,
would hang on each unspoken word -
my silent voice would be transferred
across the global ether.

Oh Heavens!
What a tangled mess!
I wish that more were really less.
Then I’d adopt loquaciousness
and suffer the dilution

David J. Kelly is an animal ecologist based in Dublin, Ireland. While his day job revolves around science writing, his light poetry and Japanese verse forms (haiku, tanka, haibun and haiga) have been published in a number of journals and anthologies. He aspires to publish a book of poetry one day, when he has enough suitable material. David is a member of The British Haiku Society and Haiku Ireland.

As the Heart of Spring--By ayaz daryl nielsen--United States

As the Heart of Spring

You spread the wings of Spring
You are the soft rain’s first blooms
And legends will be about you
Legends of enchanted beginnings

ayaz daryl nielsen is a husband, father, veteran, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/120+ issues), homes include Lilliput Review, Jellyfish, Whispers, Shamrock, and! bearcreekhaiku.blogspot.com (translates as joie de vivre)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Reunited--By Jack Horne--England


Alone for over fifty years;
A widow to the end,
The war affected Granny’s life,
Her heart could never mend.

My granddad was recalled from leave,
As someone else was ill,
His ship was sunk and he was killed;
So much to live for still.

At eighty-eight, my granny died;
I smiled amid the tears -
And thought of Gran and Grandfather
United after years.

Jack Horne enjoys reading and writing poetry.

Haiku--By Elizabeth Howard--United States

this morning
hummingbirds zigzag
through the bee balm

midday heat
honey bees bead
the birdbath’s rim

red bridge
a boy on his tummy
tickles a spotted koi

September light--
her spidery veins
celestial blue

shorter days
her daily path
shorter too

Elizabeth Howard lives in Crossville, Tennessee. She writes poetry and fiction. Her poems have appeared in Comstock Review, Big Muddy, Appalachian Heritage, Cold Mountain Review, Poem, Still, Mobius, Now & Then, Slant, and other journals.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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

The Richness of Our Friendship

By Jane Richer and Pam Murray

A friend is a person that cares even when you don't;
A like minded spirit who holds you when life won’t.
You can feel their love even though you are miles apart.
A true friend always has space in your heart.

When you feel you can't cope anymore,
You see the truth, just what good friends are for.
A soul sister or brother that knows you best.
A safe haven, where you can come to rest

Pity the ones that have not yet found that special friend!
It was a melding we knew would not end.
Thank God that He gave you this wondrous soul!
It anchors me when Life’s out of control.

No matter what may trip us up or come our way
The richness of our friendship always saves the day
So if you feel that the world is closing in,
No room for loss, our true friendship will win.

Love Waits--By Rhoda Galgiani--United States

Love Waits

Visions of one is lost in the clouds
for the image is far beyond the sea
searches for love of you in the crowds
wonder who you are, I long to see

You came to my heart with much surprise
not expecting to hear your voice today
almost as if, you heard my saddened cries
but, you are a dream not coming my way

I talk to you many times in my sung song
wonder if you will catch my stumble and fall
will you come my way I’ve waited so long
take my hand will destiny hear my faint call

Across the sea, solitary and alone
buried in life with past hurt and pain
true love you have never really known
for it was captured in damp foggy rain -

your love waits across the sea

Rhoda Galgiani is a published Poet and Author of two books, Expressions from the Inside Out and No Snow for Johnny - a Child’s Story listed at LuLu.com or Amazon.com. Rhoda is a retired senior that delights in maintaining her own website entitled Expressions Poetry Journal which is dedicated to the world of poetry. Come visit her at - chesakat1.blogspot.com

Pacific Blue--By David Coon--United States

Pacific Blue

Alone with the colors of life
in her hands, she sits enthralled,
as nature paints an ever-changing picture before her.

As daystar descends towards water's gloom;
pastel skies darken to shades suppressed,
silhouetted pods of whale sound in dismay,
seabirds dip wings in evening flight,
wave's roar distanced as gravity pulls,
wind gusts peak then subside.

Dusk arrives; heralds the night.
In defiance, the heavens flame
then darken to pacific blue.

David (Dave) Coon has been sharing his poems on various social sites since 1997 and has always gone by the name of Nissmech. David originally wrote this poem in 2000. He thanks others for enjoying it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sailing Once More--By Peter Dome--United Kingdom

Sailing Once More

Raise anchor set sail
And leave the shore
For the storm is over the dark clouds have dispersed
No more anxiety and no more hurt
Set course for new horizons and clear blue skies
I've so much living to do before I die
Now sailing on calm blue seas
Toward my dreams and destiny.

Hi, my name is Pete. I live in Sheffield, U.K. I hope you enjoy my poems. I look forward to reading yours. My best wishes. Pete.

Game Night at the Church--By Cristine A. Gruber--United States

Game Night at the Church

She calls
to him as he
walks away, “Don’t forget
your balls...” Laughter ensues. Response:

Cristine A. Gruber, a Southern California native, is a registered caregiver and a devout vegan. Her poetry reflects her view of the human condition in all its complexity and beauty. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines, including: North American Review, Writer’s Digest, Writers’ Journal, Foliate Oak, Full of Crow, Leaves of Ink, The Old Red Kimono, The Penwood Review, Poetry Now, The Poet’s Haven, and The Tule Review. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from Amazon.com.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rose Of My Heart--By Michael Todd--United States

Rose Of My Heart
(Sonnet for Lainey)

Subjects of the heart of which we may write,
Seldom found more endearing, than the rose.
Try though we will to search, with all our might,
Heart's seed planted, inevitably grows.

Botanist labor, hastening season,
Spring finds them planting, one by one, in rows.
Usher along, according to reason.
Shielding sprouts, when damaging night wind blows.

Yields of Summer, display beauty, wonder.
Desired object tied in ribbon and bows.
As thorns bristle, petals fall asunder.
Attempt to delay late Fall's coming throes.

From the start, flower destined to depart.
Save one Winter rose, this Rose of my heart.

Michael Todd aka Myke Todd has been writing and posting stories and poetry on social networking sites since 2006. He can currently be found at his dedicated poetry site... http://myketodd.blogspot.com/

A Proustian Moment--By Isha Wagner--New Zealand

A Proustian Moment

The madeleine moment when I too ceased to be
Contingent and mortal : asleep with drudgery and ennui
Not forgetting fear, grief, anguish
Walking down the dull empty street
Blind to magnificence of pink flowering trees..

Then a gentle breeze wafted a distinct odour
of frying tomatoes
Of a sudden my heaviness gone, seeing with
perfect clarity myself as a child at the bay
Camping with my father man, laughing as he cooked
a pan of fresh, fleshy, bright red tomatoes
In butter over a beach fire : cups of billy tea
Slices of white bread and we ate :
These were perfect moments

Now I am awake
Astounded at the beauty all around me

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.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Sara Kendrick and John Loving III--United States

Life's Never Ending Changes

By Sara Kendrick and John Loving III

a weathervane still
points east 'pon gray ancient barn...
fall's air rust tractors

the vain weathervane speaks east
and rust grows though no one knows

rusty John Deere sits
outside engine deep in grass...
bucks face off for a fight

the leaves are falling
revealing the trees' fractures
fall's air thrust factors

crimson, gold, and red leaves fall
farm lake ~ mural of the scene

John Deere the artist
tractors in the grass like clouds
wearing the weather

Monday, September 8, 2014

Autumn Time--By Christine Tate--United States

Autumn Time

I love the change of seasons
as my anticipation grows,
from the awakening in springtime
to the first flakes of snow...
but it's magical for me
when autumn draws near
with its multi-colored show,
it's my favorite time of year!

The orange harvest moon
casts shadows down below,
I love pumpkin and apple picking,
swirling leaves, and scarecrows.
the aroma of pies baking,
the crunch of fallen leaves,
it's the season for hayrides
and the gathering of sheaves.

I savor every moment
while autumn time is here,
and give thanks to the Lord
for this vibrant time of year!

Christine Tate lives in New Jersey. She is the mother of three married sons and has eight grandchildren. She started writing inspirational poetry in 1994, and is blessed to encourage others and honor the Lord. She was widowed in 2007 and met her new husband Artie, a widower, in the nursing facility where their late mothers resided. They've been happily married for 2 1/2 years. Since neither of them ever expected to marry again, they consider it a "divine appt."

If I Were a Willow--By Andrea Dietrich--United States

If I Were a Willow

If I were a willow slowly dying,
the scent of water you would surely be.
My limbs would reach for you, softly sighing
if I were a willow slowly dying.
Would you linger, close beside me lying,
and would you let your sweetness nourish me
if I were a willow slowly dying?
The scent of water you would surely be.

Andrea Dietrich grew up in Iowa and now resides in Utah with a spouse and two cats. She has two grown children and six grandchildren. Having graduated BYU with a Spanish major/ESL minor, she has spent most of her adult life teaching. It wasn't until 2000 that she began writing in earnest and discovering her "niche" as a writer of lyrical poetry. The internet opened up a new world for her, and she has spent nearly a decade now participating in poetry clubs, acting as a judge of poetry contests for various magazines and for the website Shadow Poetry.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Blackout--By Shloka Shankar--India


The engine gently chugs past
as it marks the countryside
with its puffs

a panoramic view
unfolds before me,
like scenes from a flip book;

slowly, then all at once
we’re plunged into darkness...

hellish screams
from infants set my hairs on end
as I sink deeper into my seat --

waiting for the light at the
end of the tunnel

not so much from fear,
but for that light-footed
fairy called Hope.

Shloka Shankar resides in India, and works as a freelance writer. A contributing poet in over half a dozen anthologies such as The Dance of the Peacock, Traversal of Lines, Family Matters, Emanations IV, and Rainbow Hues, among others, Shloka has also seen her poems published in journals like Ekphrasis, Writers Asylum, The Literary Yard, Urban Confustions, Wordweavers, Verse Wrights, Miracle-ezine, and Cafe Dissensus.

Prophetic Dream--By David Austin--United States

Prophetic Dream

On the outskirts,
Framed on either side
By a farm house      a barn
I discovered this winding path

It is early autumn
The trees about the house
Are full of lingering gold
Various harvest implements are seen
A silo rises in the foreground
With a tool shed beside
And the receding meadow beyond – cut
       in two by the path – a luscious green

Far distant is a dense, black forest fronting
       purpled mountains
I am just past my 85th birthday
And the mysterious future, creeping ever
       closer, much on my mind
The dream vision is so colorful      so clear
That when I awake
I must just lie still and wonder

David Austin is professional violinist and teacher, who communicates through poetry. He has played with the Cincinnati Symphony, taught at Colorado College and various public schools. He is a published author, who has been writing poetry and novels for over 40 years. His pride and joy is a shelter in which he feeds and cares for animals.  David is a member of Poetry Soup.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Spread...--By Gert W. Knop--Germany

Spread out your wings,
fly high,
further, further yet
and far beyond the sky,
without a fear
into the light,
where future lives
and life is bright

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.

Featured Activity--Football Footles

Football Footles

Thanks go out to all of the participants who joined in the football footle activity.  Since soccer was the prelude to western football, some of the footles deal with soccer.  Brian Strand developed the footle form which has been enjoyed by many.  Thank you, Brian, for your creativity.                                    --Carolyn

Soccer                                                                 Houston Texans’ First Pick

new name                                                           Clowney
old game                                                             Downey

By Brian Strand                                                  By Kevin Bates

Seattle Seahawks                                              Summer’s Over

12th man                                                            It's Fall.
loud fan                                                             Football!

By Carl "Papa" Palmer                                      By Carl "Papa" Palmer

Rooting for Favorite Football Team                  The Success of the New England Patriots

Go Browns                                                        One key
Touchdowns                                                      Brady

By Russell Sivey                                               By Russell Sivey

Vikings' Victory!                                               Giants' Quarterback Sneak

game day                                                        Eli
my way                                                           Slides by

By Karen O’Leary                                           By Diane Locksley

Jets' Second String Vick-tory                         Manchester United's Loose Shorts

Vick benched                                                 Moony
Heart wrenched                                             Rooney

By Diane Locksley                                         By Jack Horne

Dallas Cowboys’ Secret Weapon                  Retired England Captain in a punch up   

Romo                                                            Deck 'em
Mojo                                                             Beckham

By Carolyn Devonshire                                 By Jack Horne

FSU Heisman Winner                                   LUCKNOW LADS       

Famous                                                        Passing
Jameis                                                         Kicking

By Carolyn Devonshire                                By Dr. Ranu Uniyal

On the Field                                                 Oklahoma Football

Tackling                                                      Sooner
Scoring                                                       Schooner

By Dr. Ranu Uniyal                                      By Robert Hewett, Sr.

Baltimore Ravens                                      Sooners Throwing Power

Craven                                                       T. Knight
Ravens                                                       Delight

By Robert Hewett, Sr.                                By Sheri Stanley

Seahawks’ Punter Waiting for Work         Training methods in Green Bay

Cryin’                                                         Pack hay
Ryan                                                          All day

By Joyce Johnson                                     By Paul Callus

Player Transfer                                         Star running back loses ball

New club                                                   Fumble
Still sub                                                     Humble

By Paul Callus                                          By Daver Austin

Special teams                                          Taste of Victory

Block Kick                                                Big win
Score Quick                                             We grin

By Jan Allison                                          By Tim Smith

A Huge Run                                             Peyton's Accurate Arm

Halfback                                                  Manning
Cuts back                                                Jamming

By Tim Smith                                         
By Marlene Million

Colts Charm                                            Touchdown!  Fumble!

Strong Chuck                                          Humble
Good Luck                                              Tumble

By Marlene Million                                  By Jane Richer

Call time-out!                                          Peterson Dance

cuddle                                                     AP
huddle                                                    TD!

By Jane Richer                                       By Karen O'Leary

Johnny Football Flips the Bird at Washington Redskins

talk trash
pay cash

cross line
big fine

By Sandra Stefanowich

Texas A&M beats Nick Saben's Crimson Tide


By Daver Austin


Thank you for participating in this fun activity!  Hope your football/soccer teams are winning this year. 

Carolyn Devonshire
Whispers’ Activity Editor


Special thank you, to Carolyn Devonshire, for the many hours she spent promoting and putting together this wonderful collection of poetry gems.  This has been a delight to read.  Thank you to all the contributors for sharing your words.


Karen O'Leary
Whispers' Editor 

The Potter's Hand--By Colan L Hiatt--United States

The Potter's Hand

That lump of clay ~ what worth is it
Why let it linger there
"No value could it have to give”
I cried out in despair

Ere I did toss it from my view
Two hands I saw reach down
And snatch it from the hopeless doom
To which so surely it was bound

A Potter's hands ~ it was you see
That did so graceful mold
That which I would have cast aside
Into an art ~ with wealth untold

How oft a life debauched and marred
Is looked upon with scorn
And rendered bare by those about
Until through love, it is reborn

With mirth and joy and peace instilled
I’ve seen them made to stand
A work of grace for all to see
This product of : “The Potter's Hands

Colan Hiatt resides in Mt. Airy, NC. with his wife. A retired electronic technician, he has been writing for several years. Most all the poetry, is derived from observing "down-to-earth" events that occur around us. A personal "mini-story" is often associated with the majority of compositions. Usually a metaphor is found with spiritual implications that portray God as the ultimate solution to life's problems. To direct the reader to this "Source", is the desired goal.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mountain Dreams--By Pam H. Murray--Canada

Mountain Dreams

Fog drifting in amongst the trees
Creating drip drop melodies
And grizzlies in safe habitat
This was the view from where we sat

Reminding me that I am blessed
Though trees might seem so winter pressed.
A day spent near the mountain peak
Reminded me that wild woods speak

Of ancient days and solitude.
Where modern life cannot intrude
We found a place that brings rebirth
And oneness with our Mother Earth.

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.

Fantasyland--By David Fox--United States


Welcome to a place called Fantasyland
Where the air is fresh and the weather is grand.
Party with a fairy, elf or sprite
Dance around with great delight
Make friends with a butterfly, and fly about free,
I could exist here happily!

David has been published most recently in Smile, Poet's Digest, The Pink Chameleon, Creative Inspirations, Pancakes in Heaven, The Shine Journal, The Jokester, Weekly Avocet and Forte Green Literary Review. He publishes and edits The Poet's Art, a print journal that accepts family-friendly poetry.  Contact him at ipoetdavid@gmail.com for more information.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Whipped--By Nikko Palmario--Philippines


Watching the trees
get whipped by wind and rain,
      I thought of the birds

of falling nests
broken wings,

why are there none
at my window today?

Yesterday they were here,
when the liquid curtains fell

Let them seek shelter here.

I hear them distantly,
and pray they are well,
braving gust and water,
far, far stronger
than me.

Nikko Palmario is someone who enjoys dabbling with words and chocolate.

The Early Morn--By Anne R. C. Neale--United States

The Early Morn

The cold cool air of the early morn
Is very invigorating to me,
It wakes me up to a beautiful sunrise
Which is so glorious for me to see,

Watching the elongated shadows shorten
As the sun seems to be rising in the sky ,
And the glistening of the silver dew drops on the green grass
Is so relaxing, I sigh.

The noise of cars moving on the street
With people going to work you see,
Breaks into the beauty of the early morn.
It interrupts nature’s tranquility.

This peaceful solitude in the early morn
Is a gift to you from the Almighty God,
He wants you to have a lovely day
He starts it with God's beauty in the early morning on earth's sod.

Anne R. C. Neale is 85 years old.  She taught outdoor education for 20 years.  Anne still works at school as crossing guard.   She has sent six free poems daily to 165 people for the past 18 years. She been writing poems since the age of 8 and has all of them in albums.  She resides in New Jersey .

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Gravity--By Sandra Stefanowich--Canada


I felt that familiar air that blew within the wind
finding myself alone on the same street again
traveling against the gravity of a different kind

watching people hurrying from place to place
trying to keep gravity from pulling them down
did they know we all hang on by the same thread?

walking the distance amongst the souls that slept
was it a peaceful dream or terrors of the unmerciful
that accompanied them under their tattered blankets

a knowing nod when they looked up into my eyes
I didn't need to say my name they already knew me
of the gravity that held them down they saw in me

of lessons that come free is the human cost of living
of threads worn thin, torn away and forever broken
residing within each of us is lies the weight of gravity

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Sandra is a self taught writer. She has been writing off and on since an early age. Most of her writing revolves around what she sees in everyday life, nature and her concerns about mankind. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, animals and photography.

Picture Frames--By Janet Vick--United States

Picture Frames

We picture frames from life while growing old.
Some cherished times of love, though pictures old
the mem’ries warm the heart as times grow cold.

That smiling one, a toddling little flame
of energy, rambunctious, full of flame
now smothered in the grave that bears her name.

My Dad, that one...a farmer, loved the land.
He taught me to give thanks and bless the land,
what matters most is love... I understand.

And that is of a woman from before
the dance when shattered mind destroyed before...
She walks a shelled out mother, wife no more.

A treasured past of pictures, happy days
to warm the life of present, stumbling maze.

Janet lives in rural Suffolk, Virginia with her husband, Randy. She loves the fresh air and space of country living. She works as a Registered Nurse in surgery. She is a mother of one and grandmother of two.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On Halloween Night--By Carolyn Devonshire--United States

On Halloween Night

Lila had no Mom now to make her Halloween costume
Just her Communion dress, adorned by angel wings she’d made
A halo of gold chrysanthemums she laid at Mom’s tomb
But dusk was falling as in the cemetery she prayed 

Against the amber harvest moon, Spanish moss was swaying
Eerily it danced, taunting ghosts in the cool autumn air
Beyond old tombstones came chilling howls of werewolves preying
A strange sound like a door creaking open gave her a scare 

Footsteps seemed to follow her when she scampered to the street
Where a band of rowdy teenage ghouls murmured words so harsh
Her flashlight dimmed; only tricks came this Halloween, no treats
As vampires emerged from the mist over a nearby marsh 

Trembling and crying, Lila sprinted, overwhelmed with fright
Bushes and trees rustled in the breeze as she darted home
To the most horrific creature she’d encountered that night
The beer-swilling father who let her trick-or-treat alone

A Florida writer, Carolyn enjoys writing humor but also receives inspiration from nature and people who touch her life. She has enjoyed co-writing with other poets and finds that both writers grow when they share their thoughts. She has spent most of her life as a reporter and a writer for magazines.

Natures Wonderland--By Leokadia Durmaj--Australia

Natures Wonderland

I feel my soul gliding across the land;
Like the wind its spirit held within,
Majestically it expands its wings ~
Seeking to embrace this gentle wind.
Courageous hearts so filled with love,
Echoing sounds as they soar above.

A moment of peace as night befalls,
Nature protecting what belongs to all.
This earth is their sacred place of peace,
The air and sea are life’s necessities.
The wilderness demands our purest breed,
Protecting, nurturing all nature to co-exist.

I see mountains covered with snow,
With wisdom comes respect for the tallest of all.
As spirits glide with gentleness and pride ~
Descending, etching their path along the way,
Leaving shadows of their footprints behind,
Reverence for this land must always remain.

Leokadia Durmaj is a published writer from Australia.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Force--By Tim Ryerson--United States

The Force

When the blackest nightmares were realized
and bitter truth pierced cracked, brittle armor
When candles of last hope flickered and faded
and darkness closed on the edge of vision
When despair careened towards insanity
and aching fists and fingers began to slip
When the abyss called, a mighty hand reached
and lifted me silent to higher ground

Tim Ryerson is a published poet from Ponchatoula, Louisiana who retired from the printing business in 2011. He began writing in the 80’s but did not take it seriously until 2001 after the untimely death of his then 21 year old son. He does not have a ‘signature style’ but prefers writing different forms of poetry. Many of his poems use southern slang and Cajun dialect. He also enjoys writing humorous poems, especially limericks and senryu and was among the winners in the latest Humor Press writing contest with his entry “Emergency Rooms Just KILL me.”

Where Frozen Embers Still Burn--By Dr. Upma A. Sharma--India

Where Frozen Embers Still Burn

Meeting you in life was an absolute delight,
Hearts rhymed perfect and eyes were bright,
Glow of a red blush on my face,
With your every blazing fiery embrace,

When souls took a far off flight,
There was a beauty even in the murky sight,
A tender heartache and you were there,
Those days certainly are lost somewhere,

Shunning the present and living in past,
Misery that would move the most obdurate heart,
No mold can shape as I quiver molten,
Memories of best times are frigid frozen,

Illusions of your breath every moment,
Diving deep into heart, flowing torrent,
Red running in my veins has turned auburn,
Frozen embers in my heart still slowly burn !

Passion for poetry can turn anyone crazy, Dr. Upma A. Sharma has proved this so well. 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. This indeed is a purposeful expression of emotions and thoughts that are well oxygenated before putting them into circulation, and positive words certainly are a way to serenity.


        Diana Dalton--United States
        Mary Couch--United States
        Maureen Sudlow--New Zealand
        Caroline Skanne--United Kingdom
        Marlene Million--United States
        Dayva Ann Learned--United States
        Shivapriya Ganapathy--India
        Molly Moore--United States
Please welcome them to our community.  We now have representatives from the following countries--Australia, Botswana, Canada, Canary Islands, England, France, Germany, India, Israel, Malawi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, 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

We have a world wide audience. If you are currently reading Whispers, please consider submitting a poem for consideration. You may contact Karen at gksm@cableone.net for guidelines. Thank you.

Note--Ads due for October column by September 25


Peter Dome released his first book of poetry called Love, Life and Inspiration, a collection of poems written from the heart. It is suitable for everyone with a wide range of topics including, nature, wisdom and spirituality. Peter hopes his book will bring a lot of
pleasure to others. It is available at Lulu.com.

Maralee Gerke has published a new book of poetry called A New Lexicon. If you are interested please ask for more information at mgerke@crestviewcable.com

Jack Horne announces the release of his short story collection, Some Dark Tales. This e-book is currently available from Amazon.co.uk, price £1.81, and Amazon.com, price $2.99

Zona Lawrence has a website called jazopublications.com to help writers with hints and tips to be a better reader of his/’her work.  Please come to visit, learn and comment.

Sheri Stanley has opened a new web site and invites you to visit at: www.poetryandbeyond.net Please leave comments and visit often.

Shloka Shankar has a poetry page on Facebook called 'Shloka Shankar: a rasika's musings'. To read more of her poems, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shloka-Shankar-a-rasikas-musings/745965042120215?ref_type=bookmark

Lisa DeVinney has a website for her devotional poetry called Lifting My Eyes, at liftingmyeyes.com

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 eTreasuresPublishing.com, price $2.50 http://jmhorneghosthunt.blogspot.com/

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

Karen O’Leary released Whispers, her first book of poetry in 2011, published by APF Publisher. It has been getting good reviews and is available at online at www.lulu.com (Search Whispers under Karen O'Leary) or contact Karen at gksm@cableone.net

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 www.Xlibris.com  The website provides sample pages of the book for interested readers.


Please consider supporting The Jokester and Creative Inspirations by sending stamps or other small donations to help with postage.  Thank you for considering this.                                                                   ---Karen
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 www.tgbtgpublictions.com  Stamps or cash donations would be appreciated to help with mailing costs.

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. jcalkins01@charter.net

David Fox is seeking family-friendly poems for his magazine, The Poet's Art. Rates for the publication are $5 an issue or $20 for a 4 issue subscription. Checks should be made to cash.  Foreign contributors should pay $10 by international money order or American cash only.  Send submissions and  money for subscriptions to David Fox,171 Silverleaf Lane, Islandia, NY 11749 USA.

Whispers is always looking for new writers to join our community.  Please send family friendly poems 20 lines or less to gksm@cableone.net  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.