Friday, October 31, 2014


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  Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable.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 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  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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Season for Living--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Season for Living

Closing her journal
of frosty thoughts,
the fever of mourning
for justice is past.
The army will not
unlock the secrets
of her son’s death.
Two years~~she
will weep no more.


The treasure of summer
is in bloom to behold.
Her neighbor’s whimsical
wind chimes dance
in a magical breeze
beckoning her to join
in the song of freedom.
Twirling on green grass,
she finds life and laughs.


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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Over Pumpkins on the Vine--By Stacy Savage--United States

Over Pumpkins on the Vine

When ripe pumpkins on the vine
And golden stalks are all in line,
And the wind sets sail the leaves,
And there’s brightness in the trees
As they bend and creak their age,
The sky becomes a stage
With confetti swirling ‘round
That is mingled with the sound
Of honking drawing near
Before a “V” disappears
Into the sunset’s glow—
Oh, what a wonderful show
When the geese and sky align
Over pumpkins on the vine!

Stacy Savage has published six books. Her recent anthology, Naturally Yours: Poems and Short Stories about Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs, benefits Indiana Natural Resources Foundation's "Discovering the Outdoors Fund.” Stacy believes in mixing poetry and good causes together. Visit her Facebook page to keep up-to-date on her poetry contests:

Deep Country Autumn--By Brian Whatcott--United States

Deep Country Autumn

I rode by in country sand,
michaelmas daisies smiling left and right;
wild plums in green dress, daisies in white.
The fruit now departed at children’s hands
by bike, or on foot they hike
with baskets ready for jam and jelly;
dirty hands and knees and round pink belly.

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Darling Ann--By Robert Hewett Sr.--United States

My Darling Ann  

Blow Wind, Blow, this hull’s gonna hold,
Pitch and Dive, crackle boards and roll,
Roaring waves twisting us askew,
I must  save  boat, cargo and crew.
Blow Wind, Blow Devil that you are
My darling Ann calls from afar.
All through the night the fierce wind roared
Trying to break every board.
Wheel in a death grip, sweat filled eyes.
Feet tied to floor, let go crew dies.
Ride this storm sailor by your hand.
Take me home to my darling Ann.

Below sailors prayed for their lives
All fearing  death with the boat’s dives.
As the old boat heaved, rocked and rolled.
They prayed  the Captain’s grip would hold.
Sea quieted, yielding to Captain’s hand. 
He came home to his darling Ann.

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 ""

What Is Poetry?--By Jim Teeters--United States

What Is Poetry?

In the beginning was the Word
           -John 1:1

It’s only words
words only, yes
that only – but wait

an arrangement of words
            offers meaning
            word pictures, really
how a pond can be your life
how a branch of the elm
can tell a story
of being cut off from love
lopped and fallen
            now just a lonely stick
        that only

Jim Teeters has published poetry in several anthologies. He conducts poetry workshops for children and adults and is active in poetry readings in the Seattle area through the Striped Water Poets. He is the author of six poetry collections and the book, Teach with Style, (ASTD Press July 2013). Jim is a retired social worker living in Kent, Washington.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Haiku--By Ron Moss--Australia

riding high
on dad’s shoulders
I touched the moon

dying nettlefold
the hardness of veins
in my father's hands

memorial day
a place the wind blows
beyond the light

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

Awaiting Halloween--By Russell Sivey--United States

Awaiting Halloween

My front door, the color of pumpkins
As a skeleton adorns the screen door
Jack-o-lanterns plenty about the porch
And spider webs exist upon the floor

Owl sits on the deformed tree in the yard
Filled with many spooky eyes in the holes
A scarecrow stands guarding my open gate
Cats, all black, run around looking for moles

A witch laughing sits in a dark corner
Moving to the sound of a passerby
We wait for the first sign of fearful kids
On Halloween night, I love it, no lie

Russell Sivey lives in the United States and has been writing poetry for 26 years (after his major car accident that left his arm paralyzed). He has been improving year after year. Russell enjoys reading poetry as well as writing it He finds himself listening to almost any type of music. Russell has been with Poetry Soup for almost 3 years and enjoys the poetry that he reads there from his friends. He is currently attending school for a Creative Writing degree with a specialization in Poetry. Yes, that means he will have a poetry degree. He looks forward to reading everyone's poems here on this site. His muse is the moon.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Whimpering Miracle--By Kevin Bates--United States

Whimpering Miracle

Sets out as he does everyday
the constant work he is assigned.
Whimpered cries in a distance,
first thought to be dying animal.

The cries grow drawing him near.
It is the whimpering of the baby,
maybe God's attention to his child.
All that is certain time for a miracle.

In a bin of unwanted food and boxes,
there’s a bag outlined with new life.
Baby wrapped in a shirt for comfort,
ushered to a chest to discover a heartbeat.

The warmth, comfort and miracle of God
transferred in care of a workingman.
Once a mother’s unwanted trash;
Now a treasure of this world and God

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

clouds hover...By Shivapriya Ganapathy--India

clouds hover
over twinkling stars-
a blackout poem
by my window

Shivapriya Ganapathy is from Kanchipuram, India. She graduated with a Masters degree in English Language and Literature from Madras Christian College, Chennai, and is now a research scholar at University of Madras. Apart from being a researcher and an avid reader, she is an aspiring poet, constantly learning and experimenting with new forms like micropoetry, black out and erasure. She maintains a personal poetry blog ( and finds writing, therapeutic.

Friday, October 24, 2014

To Face the Day--By Peggy Heinrich--United States

To Face the Day

Sleep is the little death
that surfaces each day
in the sullen morning face
the bathroom mirror frames
the puffy eyes, pouches heavy
from unforgiving gravity
the lips a downward curve
reflect tragedy's grim mask
a splash of chill
the zombie wakes
the mouth reverses
to a somewhat smile
light from a distant star
floods each freshly opened eye
a sort of self returns
to the person in the mirror
the face, the soul revive
with each quick thought,
each spoken word, each smile
as day ticks down to noon

Peggy Heinrich's poems have appeared in Verdad, Future Cycle, and the new renaissance and many other small press journals. Her books, A Minefield of Etceteras and Sharing the Woods, showcase her longer poems. She has also published a collection of her tanka, Forward Moving Shadows, and a collection of her haiku, Peeling an Orange, both with photographs by John Bolivar. A long-time resident of New York and Connecticut, she now lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Yancy Lee and Diana Dalton--United States

Pain Play

By Yancy Lee and Diana Dalton

Pain and injury, not easily tolerated
Hurting topped by expenses generated
Popping controversial Dr. prescribed pills
Side effects, money hemorrhaging bills
Cooperate man, trumps men's misfortune
Expensively treated, a nasty distortion

Time to change the unfortunates’ way
Health care system where men play
World wide medical lottery system
75% to heal mankind, no victim
25% to winners treasure over strife
Life gamblers supporting each life

Now, I'm not a gambler in money means,
Yet, I'd gladly buy tickets for fellow beings

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Meditation on an Artist--By Darrell Lindsey--United States

Meditation on an Artist

He painted men with long beards and missing teeth,
bent women with canes,
lonely children walking through meadows
on their way back home.
At night, he would study each shade,
each shadow of their lives
in the ramshackle cabin
he inherited from his father.
Sometimes he said he could feel them
guiding the brush,
hear their voices
singing to the starry night.
Ah, to hear him hum
when the shapes, colors, and moods on the canvas
captured a bit of what it means to be human,
all too human.

Darrell Lindsey is the author of Edge of the Pond ( Popcorn Press, 2012), and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize ( 2007) and a Rhysling Award ( 2014). He won the 2012 Science Fiction Poetry Association Contest ( Long Form category), as well as the 2014 Balticon Poetry Contest. His haiku and tanka have garnered numerous international awards, and one of his poems is included in Haiku In English: The First Hundred Years ( W.W.Norton & Company, 2013).

A Prophet : Defining the Term--By Robert A. Dufresne--United States

A Prophet : Defining the Term

A Prophet is not one who can predict future acts.
He’s given the grace to see and relate the facts.
To those who are blind,
he appears most unkind,
And is susceptible to all kinds of attacks.

Robert A. Dufresne was born in Vermont and raised on a dairy farm. After four years in the Navy and trying his hand at a couple of trades, he settled in as a self employed remodeling carpenter for 31 years. He and his wife moved to Florida in 1998, where he continued his career. He began writing poetry in 2009 .

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Autumn Acrostic--By Yancy Lee Dalton--United States

Autumn Acrostic

Autumn chills all the air we inhale
Undermining the template scale
Tempting some in art of giving up
Under influence of bitterness cup
Mankind with egos & good minds
No wonder most this beauty finds

Autumn's a wonderful time of year
Carrying beautiful colors so clear
Rain bowed through out the land
Over plains, hills & rivers to band
Stirring eyesight of every heart
To inspire each man, in new start
Irrigating refreshing hope visions
Causing many mankind revisions

Yancy Lee Dalton is a published writer from Colorado.

The Shape of Inexistence--By Ali Znaidi--Tunisia

The Shape of Inexistence

When the night comes
existence takes the shape
of inexistence for those
who have no home
but the streets’ laps,
for those who queue,
           as usual,
waiting for new sorrows,
       & above all,
for those whose morning
is not yet to come.

Ali Znaidi (b. 1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia, where he teaches English. His work has appeared in various magazines and journals worldwide. He authored four poetry chapbooks including Experimental Ruminations (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Moon’s Cloth Embroidered with Poems (Origami Poems Project, 2012), Bye, Donna Summer! (Fowlpox Press, 2014), and Taste of the Edge (Kind of A Hurricane Press, 2014). Links to his published and forthcoming works can be found at 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn's Last Leaf--By James Rasmusson--United States

Autumn's Last Leaf

Before the biting arctic wind
autumn's last leaf helplessly clings.
Other leaves, less tenacious
lie wet and matted
beneath the season's first snowfall.

Nothing shows of summer's pointillistic canvas
save the occasional fir tree and bramble.
Winter's pen and ink simplicity waxes gray and white
to show the landscape's ebb and flow
in chiaroscuro light.

In the cold of winter the luckless suffer
the impatient perish,
yet here and there
the tracks of bird and rabbit
show how life goes on.

If autumn's last leaf were to weather wind and ice
and snow and feel again the tepid balm of April-spring,
it would surely come to naught
for nothing dead can cling
before the swelling of a tender bud.

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.

Poems for Someone--By George L. Ellison--England

Poems for Someone

Rhyming poetry short or long
Gets my muse in the mood to write
Endeavour to make words a song
Give all I can not to sound trite

Emotive words drip from my quill
Leaving readers’ time to reflect
The words I’ve written did instill
Love for poetry and deflect

Thoughts of the most trying of days
Softened by words so poetic
Cast them to a place far away
You can go too when all’s hectic

Come with me and soon you will see
Each word I write is just for you
Universal praise is not me
Each word I write I write for you

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!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Eternity Anew--By Erich J. Goller--United States

Eternity Anew

For the morning’s sky of blue
Thy love you have given me
Has turned all my thoughts to you
To share all the joy with thee

Love shall cause the sun to shine
I feel it with faith and trust
When the day turns even time
Then the moon brings out the lust

Lifted up by mighty wings
Love shall grow within the heart
Such loving blessing it brings
Never ever to depart

It’s beheld through to brightest view
For eternity anew

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,

Tree Whispers--By Joan McNerney--United States

Tree Whispers

Blue diamond rains
filigree of golden light
so many shades of green.

Sun beams on a single leaf.
This small star pulsating
from my wet apple tree.

Bright new leaf
fits hand perfectly---the future
lies in your palm.

After the long rain
pine trees bending
with cones.

Sugar maple trees
sashaying with autumn winds
all dressed up in yellow lace.

Branches etch evening sky
turning razzle dazzle
purple red citron.

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Camel Saloon, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane and Poppy Road Anthologies.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

River Laps Softly--By Robert Lindley--United States

River Laps Softly

The ripples of water lap river's edge
quietly I sit, a man seeking love
The orange twilight stirs my lonely soul
nearby, the moan of a single dove

Sweetest place, roaring river churns
fish splashing about in a soft replay
Continuance as the world slowly turns
colors splash endings to a wonderful day

The smell of fish, water and mud
cool air spreading its soft relief
Comfort given to stop anger in my blood
as nature’s gifts, a most calming belief

Soon its quiet, knowledge enters my soul
Victory came because I made it so

Robert Lindley is poet from the Southern USA. He has been writing poetry since 1969. Robert writes with the intent to offer others words to enjoy and with high hopes he may inspire and brighten lives in some way.

Whirlwind--By Robert P. Hansen--United States


A whirlwind twisted through the streets
and settled in a lonesome heart;
It’s rhythmic thrum of hungry lust—
a need so strong it surely must
be sated!—whirred a hectic beat,

a frantic beat, a needful beat
that could not be denied. Her heart
was stymied, twisted by the blustery

until it lay in tatters, hurt
beyond imagining—a hurt
so deep it left a mark that lasted
months and years. Her heart was lost—
until she felt the kicking feet
                          of a whirlwind….

Robert P. Hansen teaches philosophy and ethics at a community college, and he is currently finishing the second book of a fantasy series. His other three novels and collections of his poetry and short stories are currently available as e-books through various online retailers. For details, visit his blog at:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

With Wide Ears--By Keith O. J. Hunt--Canada

With Wide Ears

Listen to the wind.....
as she sings in her quiet lisps,
and sighs the past and gusts
with earnest need;

Listen to the tenets of the seasons
with their lovelies and tempests ----
and torrents and great rains
become blizzards,
then hushed and bequeathed sings the morrow;
and buds the leaf and the harvests
shall feed all in need

Listen to the tenuous hum and drum of mortal bars
crying out 'neath thy starry night....
when the world is weary in the City of Lights;
and the last dog has barked before bed.....
and the crickets with Godspeed ascend their chatter
in the last tumult of the day,

Keith O. J. Hunt is a Classic-Romantic poet who generally prefers the older styles which he finds the greatest way to express his thoughts. He loves people, nature, spirituality and all things beautiful. Keith lives in Ottawa, Canada and has been writing poetry for 15 yrs.

Rosemary Smith--By Linda Hurdwell--England

Rosemary Smith

Rosemary Smith is a slip of a girl
With thick brown hair that just won’t curl.
And eyes a shade of darkest blue
That stare disarmingly out at you.

Rosemary Smith has restless feet
And won’t stay seated on her seat.
Her fragile body wants to dance
And moves around at every chance.

Rosemary Smith can’t help but twirl
Because she is a special girl.
She finds delight in unusual things
Straws and shadows and butterfly wings.

Rosemary Smith watches the world go by
As she whirls about beneath the sky
Laughing in her secretive way
While lost music begins to play.

Rosemary Smith can bring such joy
As she dances for each girl and boy
Grabbing a stick or holding a straw.
Dear sweet child holds us in awe.

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.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sonnet for the Vietnam Dead--By Robert A. Hall--United States

Sonnet for the Vietnam Dead

They were but boys, whose lives you threw away.
They went because the country asked them to,
And served a cause their leaders would betray—
Thank Christ they never saw that bitter day.

They lived in holes, and slept in soaking rain,
Grew thin, and sick, and weary through and through.
They knew each day the taste of fear and pain,
And never thought that sacrifice was vain.

And when the touch of death had come around,
To valiant lives forever shaming you,
For love of comrades and by honor bound,
They poured their blood like water on the ground.

And we who loved them, we cannot forget—
And won’t forgive—while breath is in us yet.

Robert A. Hall, a Marine Vietnam Veteran, served 5 terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He was an Association Executive from 1982 to 2013, retiring due to pulmonary fibrosis for a lung transplant 12/23/13. His 11 books, including two of poetry, Old Jarhead Poems and Share the Cup are here: Royalties go to charity. He does the Old Jarhead blog.

yet there are still--By jani johe webster--United States

yet there are still

the october nights
hold a chill
and the dawn speaks
of frost the kills
these disintegrated dreams
    from another autumn

yet there are still
the meadows of spring
sun on a june day

and flowers
that will bloom
   in the white snow.

Thoughts from Nila Webster--This poem, written by my mother jani johe webster, is reflective of her deeply held truth that even in the deepest and coldest winters, flowers are blooming in our lives, and in our souls. She always felt that our imagination held a special key to beauty, and this perspective continues to give me hope and courage.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Faraway Woman--By Donna Bowring--United States

Faraway Woman

She walks alone on a high mountain
glides barefoot through Arabian sands.
She communes with old gods in the high desert
builds a thatched hut on a beach
and explores forbidden jungles.

She lives on an island in Puget Sound
rides Alaskan ice on a dog sled
and dances under a silver moon in Tahiti.
She haunts a monastery in Ireland
and runs with the bulls in Pamplona.

She knits skeins of the past into long memories
drinks down the rays of a dying sun
and blows its ashes to the four winds.
She reads the dust of fading stars
for visions of love, fortune and death.

She lights a beacon
for those in restless slumber
who will rise in dreams
to become a faraway woman.

Donna Bowring is a retired graphic artist from Goodyear, AZ. Her short stories have been published in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Inkslingers' Anthology, a publication of the West Valley Writer's Workshop. She has also published short stories in the 2012 and 2013 editions of Canyon Voices, an online journal from the west campus of Arizona State University.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Andrea Dietrich--United States and Jan Allison--United Kingdom

Poor Peter Pumpkin

By Andrea Dietrich and Jan Allison

Poor Peter Pumpkin had a very itty bitty head.
So the farmer made him stay inside the garden bed.

The farmer said that he was going to keep him warm with hay.
And there the itty bitty pumpkin stayed for many a day.

Finally, the farmer came to check upon poor Peter,
measured him and then exclaimed, “You’ve grown an extra meter!

I think it’s time for you to finally go and face the world.”
Peter got up from his bed. He twirled and twirled and twirled!

“My,” the farmer shouted, “You’ve grown two legs with feet!
You’re a special pumpkin. My daughters you must meet!”

Poor Peter heaved his hefty bulk, waddling away,
following behind the farmer so he would not stray.

They traveled rather quickly, and soon they reached the house.
The daughters saw the pumpkin and grew quiet as a mouse.

The silence lasted just until at last one daughter spoke,
“A pumpkin with two legs? Is this some kind of joke?”

Her father knelt beside her and whispered in her ear,
“Do not be afraid, my child. You’ve not a thing to fear.

We can carve a lantern. It will be your Halloween treat.
Then we can make lots of pumpkin pies for us to eat."

Peter trembled with a chill to hear their horrid plan.
Jumping out the door, he yelled, “Catch me if you can!”

He ran into the pastures. Then he tumbled down a hill.
As he rolled he bumped into the couple, Jack and Jill!

“Oh dear me,” cried Peter, “I do not wish to be
a lantern for this Halloween. Please, can you guys help me!”

Jack and Jill then led him to the land of Nursery Rhymes.
His sad fate has now been told to children many times.

For he ran across a man named Peter Pumpkin EATER.
Maybe you can guess now what became of our poor Peter!

Loyal Friends--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

Loyal Friends

Loyal friends
are compassionate and kind.
They are like a light
that warms the heart
when things go wrong.

Loyal friends
do not ask
what they can do…
they seem to know
when they are needed.

Loyal friends
are steadfast and admirable…
they grow in love,
and plant gardens
of memorable memories.

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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waves--By Phyllis Babcock--Canada


Forever relentless,
always receding

with all of it's power
pushes hour after hour

Unending sounds
carried on the wind

rolling in rhythmic beat
pounding beneath the feet

It rolls in like thunder
and rolls back under

Life resembles the waves
Times of lull then explosions

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.

Poet of the Month--Paul Callus

The Poet Who Never Was

By Paul Callus

I thought I was a poet who had a pen of gold
With clear access to writing that was mature and bold.
I thought I could go roaming beside the foaming sea
And watch the seagulls gliding to give a show for free.

I thought I was a poet who walked along the beach
In awe I stood and wondered, my hand stretched out to reach
The silver thread dividing the water from the sky
And traced Selena’s features as slowly she went by.

I thought I was a poet who knew what joy could be
On hearing water roaring cascading down with glee.
I looked for inspiration, experienced utmost thrill
When climbing down the valley or up the verdant hill.

I thought I was a poet in charge of heat and cold
But lost my true emotions when I was duped and told
I had to reach perfection to please my heart and mind
By means of imitation. My soul I left behind.

I thought I was a poet who had a pen of gold
But now all of a sudden I’m weary, frail and old.
I thought I was a poet. My pen is of no use.
With teary eyes I whisper to my dejected muse.

From the editor--It is an honor to announce that Paul Callus is October’s Poet of the Month.  He is a talented writer who writes in both Maltese and English.  He is an accomplished author, published in several venues.  Readers at Whispers enjoy his work.  Paul is an encouraging voice, leaving thoughtful comments for other contributors.  He has also written a collaborative poem with another writer which was featured at Whispers.  It is a pleasure to present Paul with this award!

Thoughts on “The Poet Who Never Was”--Right away, Paul caught my attention with his intriguing title.  His skillful use of repetition builds this poem’s suspense.  The emotion flows through his words, helping the reader to connect to the poet who feels he “never was.”  The rhyme flows effortlessly and the imagery helps the reader experience Paul’s remarkable verse.

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


Karen O’Leary, Editor

Moonbeams--By Sara Kendrick--United States


The moonbeams crossed the horizon
Carrying the sun in its wake
Soft light 'pon the grass like diamonds
The moonbeams crossed the horizon
Caressing each scrutiny wizened
Opaque hopes and moods forsake
The moonbeams crossed the horizon
Carrying the sun in its wake

Sara Kendrick married young and had a family soon after. After her last child went to school, she decided to pursue her GED. A gentlemen who worked with the GED program encouraged her to enroll in college.  She worked part time and cared for her family in addition to her studies. She graduated from Mercer University. Several years ago, after a health crisis, she started writing poetry. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sweet Butterfly--Terry O’Leary--France

Sweet Butterfly

Sweet Butterfly, with wings now dry 'tis time to break away
and light upon the leaves of dawn while weeping willows sway,
not reminisce 'bout chrysalis discarded yesterday,
but treasure life, with colors rife in nature's cabaret.

Sweet Butterfly, I've heard you sigh "terrene so strange and new"
but take a chance, with winged expanse of fairy-like bijou,
to taste delight in random flight, to drift beyond the blue
and then collect her pearly nectar, sipped like morning dew.

Sweet Butterfly, you question why the breeze is seldom soft
when swirling you, your wings askew, while floating free aloft.
Some seem to find their peace of mind believing gods have coughed,
but others, downed, have often found more freedom when they've scoffed.

Sweet Butterfly, you needn't cry, the fields are full of clover,
like meadowlands of braided strands in winds and waves that wove her -
but if you fear that, more than here, the other side is mauver,
just flutter by, behind the sky, unfettered flitting rover.

Sweet Butterfly, farewell, goodbye, you've left the world behind.
We now look back along the track of flowers that you've mined
recalling days of light sashays and movements unconfined
that complement the firmament where beauty lies enshrined.

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

My Dad, the Soldier--By Celine Rose Mariotti--United States

My Dad, the Soldier
(In Memory of Peter J. Mariotti)

My Dad, he was an old soldier,
He always talked about the Korean War
Though time had passed by,
His memories of battles he was in,
Were always with him,
He often spoke of buddies he fought with,
The friends he left behind,
Of how he was wounded in Taegu,
My Dad never forgot,
Though our government did,
Korea was often called “The Forgotten War”
But my Dad and others like him,
Remembered their time at war,
Though he is gone now,
Up in Heaven with the angels,
His time being a soldier,
Lives on,
In the many stories he told us,
And the hero we knew he was.

Celine Rose Mariotti is an accomplished writer whose work has appeared in magazines all over the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Australia and India. Some of those magazines include: Green’s Magazine, Poet’s Review, Poet’s Art, Tombigbee, Hindu Young World, Magnolia Quarterly, Lone Stars Magazine, Pablo Lennis, Coffee Ground Breakfast, Pink Chameleon and many more. She has had six books published. She plays the guitar and banjo; has her own home business and lives with her family in Shelton,CT.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Silent Love--By Frances Simwinga--Malawi

Silent Love

At Open Air we met that first week

I felt very weak not that I was sick
Only that my heart had seen a queen
Whose complexion forced a confession                                            
A will to own her yet hard to tell                                                                     
She swiftly put me under a spell                                                            
That would take ages to quell 

I was speaking to you
I was screaming at you 
But your ears did not lend                                                               
Your heart stony and sealed                                                                  
Yet my gut felt I got my prey                                                                                     
On great day in a nice way

But time slowly elapses
My eyes gazed on in vain
The burden in my heart I bear                                                            
Soon my life it will take                                                                            
This silent love

Frances Simwinga is a budding poet.  He has discovered healing in poetry.  He happens to have a bias towards slam poetry but greatly enjoys the written word too.

Of Cows and Lymphoma--By Suzanne Clement--United States

Of Cows and Lymphoma

cows in
My Essentials
Dairy Department
smile as I steer my cart
along while shopping for groceries.

need milk,
cottage cheese,
stick margarine,
and some sliced white cheese,
as well as other things.

smile back
at the cows
who understand
that even though I
have low-grade lymphoma,
I’m doing the best I can.

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Art or Not--By Joyce I. Johnson--United States

Art or Not

Norman Rockwell, my favorite painter
Was scorned by the elite as a mere illustrator.
No need to wonder what his work is about,
Each picture is clear and leaves not a doubt.
He drew from real life, in our work and our play,
In each painting a message with plenty to say.
You may think me uncultured, an oaf and a fool,
But I cry at the little girl going to school.
He caught the tension and emotion so raw
As she marches so bravely, escorted by law.
Though perhaps not the Master as was Paul Cezanne,
Rockwell told the story of modern man.
Like Cezanne he painted the world that he knew.
He put his heart and his soul in all that he drew.

Joyce I. 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 celebrated her 96th birthday in July of 2014.

The Autumn Garden--By Ralph Stott--England

The Autumn Garden

I walk the shorter paths,
Where the longer shadows stretch
Back from the greenhouse.

I see summer’s glow,
As I gather autumn fruit;
Crops of setting suns.

Solar-powered lanterns,
Fading by tilting stems
Of drooping sunflowers.

Above a lone spade,
Drunk from the apple-sour scent,
Gnats gather and dance.

As summer retreats,
There! The yellow garden-hose;
Coiled, ready for spring.

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 The Sounding.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Alpinist--By Connie Marcum Wong--United States


I can feel the frigid air bite my lungs
as my shallow breaths try in vain to
soothe and stop the burning pain.
Each struggling footfall could be my last,
yet the mountain taunts me to keep onward.
The snow has consumed my crampon booted feet
with numbness as trembling loins beg my brain for rest.
Heartbeats match the pounding in my head.
I just can’t stop now when so near the summit.
Blinding snow begins to fall as I leave my two
closest friends behind on the promontory.
They plead with me to turn back with them.
All sensibilities have vanished into the whiteness.
“As I feel the snow fly, I will conquer or die”.
Let these words be my epitaph I call to them,
should the mountain claim my sorry soul.

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.

Tanka Prose--By Chen-ou Liu--Canada

I write, therefore I am

I try out
the word writer
in my Chinese mouth
several times ...
this bittersweet taste

I write poetry in the music of a language not natural to me. I am frustrated by my slow progress, but sometimes feel good about this hard fact: writing is the only thing I can do with my immigrant life here and manipulate it in the way I desire. When I stay drunk on writing, reality cannot destroy me.

at the gun-mouth
of time’s barrel
I write --
I live for myself
by myself

Chen-ou Liu is the author of four books, including Following the Moon to the Maple Land (First Prize Winner of the 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest). His tanka and haiku have been honored with many awards. To read more of his poems, please go to Poetry in the Moment,

Friday, October 10, 2014

Forbidden Fruit--By Maralee Gerke--United States

Forbidden Fruit

At the end of the gravel road
we come to a padlocked gate.
“No Trespassing” signs
tilt crazily on every fence post.

Standing close on tiptoe,
we peek over the gate and look into
a venerable orchard,
branches nearly breaking with fruit.

The gate kept us out,
made us feel intruders, but
like Adam and Eve
gave us a glimpse of Eden.

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.

The Word Alive Phrasis--By Brian Strand--England

The Word Alive Phrasis

O shower of rain, well of fresh water,
stream of life to me, first fruit on my
apple tree. O cluster of henna, my
beautiful crown a pearl of great value ,
this rose of Sharon. Lily of the valleys,
an indescribable gift, a door for the sheep,
present, future & past. Beginning and
end, my comfort and my friend.

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.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October--By Kelly Deschler--United States


O pening up my front door this morning,
C ould not believe what I saw there.
T he aroma of wood smoke was in the air.
O vernight the entire world had changed,
B ountiful beauty as far as the eye could see.
E very leaved limb shivered in the cool air,
R eminding me of all my autumns gone by.

Kelly Deschler is a poet living in Big Falls, Wisconsin. "October" was the first acrostic poem that she had ever written. It would go on to win first place in the poetry contest that it was originally written for, in October 2013.

Thunderstorm--By Marlene Million--United States


Power is beauty,
when unleashed
nature darkens, churns
and clashes.

Rolling clouds swirl
in a gray, blue,
and black
thunder clap!

Raindrops in staccato
deluge my deck
in a wet and wild soak,
soothing summer's heat.

My senses alert, I absorb
nature's furious fare,
bewitched by her
intriguing temper.

Marlene Million is a retired insurance secretary from her husband's business and grandmother of four. She has published two chapbooks and belongs to several writers’ groups. She had a poem on display at Indianapolis Arts Garden the month of February, 2013 and has been published in a variety of venues.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tanka--By Archana Kapoor Nagpal--India

between sunbeams
these sudden dewdrops
on blades of grass
once again my anklet
makes sound

Archana Kapoor Nagpal is an internationally published author of 6 books so far, and her winning stories are now part of international anthologies. She writes inspirational content for corporate newsletters, websites, blogs and print publications. Her inspirational poems touch every area of a person's life. She enjoys writing Haiku and Tanka as well. Visit her Amazon Author Profile to know more about her.

Haiku/Senryu--By Ronald Grognet--United States

morning paper
sudoku is mine--
wife has cross words

behind the casket
holding my daughters up
holding me up

drinking in
beautiful sunsets--
the horizon and I

power mowers and
grass blowers--
tired just listening

a surgical tray
they forgot to cover--

Ronald Grognet is a retired Clinical Psychologist who practiced private individual and family therapy for thirty-five years. He lived and worked in Washington D.C., and Sarasota, FL before retiring in New Orleans to be close to his grandsons. Besides his volunteer time spent on disaster assignments for the Red Cross, he fills his time devoted to haiku poetry. His interest in poetry came as a gift in retirement. Reading an article about haiku filled with many examples, he recognized its similarity to the reflective stance of the meditation he practiced for many years. He has vigorously pursued its study for the last two years, personally experiencing its healing and enlightening qualities.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Autumn--By Yvonne Sparkes--England


Ah, Autumn shall I try to say,
How you adorn the path of woodland way?
Give times of misty mornings burnished gold,
Vermillion leaves that gloriously unfold.
This mélange of color floods my eyes
With remnants of an Argentinean sky.
My thoughts of harmony now abound,
To places Pumpkins can be found.
Unified hearts shall then delight,
With blessings at this wondrous sight.
For God who paints the leaf and scene,
Brings love to all, with hopeful dreams.

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.

Moon and the Sea--By Mary A. Couch--United States

Moon and the Sea

moon saw
his love rise,
a young maiden
with flowing blue hair
from the sea’s crystal depth.
Love beats loud within his breast
gazing upon her perfect form.
He reached forth to take her in his arms
only to see her dissolve into foam.

Mary A. Couch resides in Noblesville, Indiana, and works as an Admin Assistant for Taylored Systems, Inc. a local telecommunication company. She is the Premier Poet for the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs, and she learned poetry from her mother and two grandmothers who were writers, artists and storytellers. She has been published in a variety of venues.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ullswater--By Paul Callus--Malta


It was around mid April
The weather almost fair.
The song of nature calling
Came flowing through the air.

The splendour of the mountains:
Their charm could not resist
And even more enchanting
When shrouded in the mist.

The hues, the shades and fragrance
The glades, the woods and rills
The lake serene and peaceful,
The undulating hills....

The sight – so captivating
How could my heart not melt!
Spiritual and romantic;
I know how Wordsworth felt.

Across the miles I miss the beauty
Of the wealth I left behind
But at least there are the memories
In the corners of my mind.  

Paul Callus is a Maltese author who writes both in Maltese and English. He has contributed to several anthologies. Apart from poetry he writes lyrics for songs and has published two books, one a story book aimed at children (related to his experience as a teacher) and a historical book based on research.

Eternity--By Gerald A. McBreen--United States


My blast of life got its start when your smile
beamed on me
Eternity  that’s how long
my love for you will last
In the night  we embrace  dance alone
until stars go home
In your eyes I see the light of love
I adore
Our first kiss  sparked a million more
Eternity  that’s how long
I long to be in your arms
Eternity  That’s where I’ll be until the end
from now till  then that’s how long
my love for you will last

Gerald A. McBreen found poetry after he retired from the US Postal Service. He discovered he had a flair for romance. He has been publishing for ten years with True Romance and their related magazines. He is the coordinator for Striped Water Poets. They sponsor an “open mic” every first Wednesday of the month. They also post 'Poems on Posters' around the area. In 2009 Pacific, Washington celebrated its 100th anniversary, and he was appointed Poet Laureate. (2009 - 2013)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gentleness--By Jan Oskar Hansen--Portugal


In the cool shadow of a large carob tree
A saw flowers I have never seen before
They shimmered as just above
The surface of the soil and I knew these
Were not flowers but a resting rainbow
There had been a slight drizzle in the morning
And this one must have fallen
Over an exposed olive root when flying too low.
I touched the flowers they shone so bright
I could not see my hand.
I the East dark clouds gathered, more rain to night
And the rainbow would be safe.
So I tell you,
When my time comes do not pick flowers for me,
Let them be airborne and free.

Jan Oskar Hansen is a published poet from Portugal.

Limerick--By Gerald Heyder--United States

I know a floozie named Susie.
At times she may be woozy.
Now, listen up Jack,
one thing is a fact,
in a swimsuit she’s a real doozie!

Gerald Heyder is a published poet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Joie de-vi-vre--By Beth Winchcombe--England

Joie de-vi-vre

Mine eyes see the beauty of the earth.
My heart radiates love and warmth
to fellow human beings!

I smell the aroma of honeysuckle,
lavender, growing wild in hedgerows.

I feel harsh winds blow upon my face,
burning sun on my body,
granules of sand between my toes...
cooled by waves lapping the seashore!

I breathe deeply, sucking in the atmosphere.
Draining away tension and fear!

The greatest gift of life,
is giving unconditional love.
Friendship means everything to me,
I aim to give angelic purity...

Faith and hope join together,
helping to face stormy weather,
blinding as in a rainbow!

God gave us speech... spread the written word.

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

A Question--Eleanor Michael--United States

A Question

Is the reason why
we are always
searching for answers
because we were created
from something less
and, over the ages,
have not achieved
the something more
we are yet to be?

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

Friday, October 3, 2014

Stages--By Maureen Sudlow--New Zealand


Memories of my father are always entangled with memories of the garden. He loved his garden, and often stayed outside until it was too dark to see. I can picture him still – a small, grey man, fingers stained with earth, making his own peace with the world.

concrete steps
an old man rolls cigarettes
with shaking hands

Maureen Sudlow is a member of the New Zealand Poetry Society, and lives in the Kaipara, in the North of New Zealand.  She loves poetry, photography and writing for children.  She has published a children’s picture book Fearless Fred and the Dragon and has written for various on-line journals and magazines.

Special Tribute--Joyce M. Johnson--Former Editor of SMILE--United States

(Editor’s Introduction--Editor Joyce M. Johnson is a bright light in the writing community.  We celebrated the 20 year Anniversary of SMILE earlier this year which was its last issue.  Over the years, Joyce has published hundreds of writers and artists, encouraging and assisting others in their journeys.  She is endeared by many.  Today, we celebrate her as writer, editor and inspirational friend.  Thank you, Joyce, for all you have done for me and others. Blessings to you.--Karen)

Pledge of the Hunter

By Joyce M. Johnson

In November, on
Some dark night, I know
The hunter will return.
He will come to
The window where I lie.
I will see him
At midnight when I go
To that window.
His hunter outline
Will stretch across the sky.

Although an ancient myth
Of childhood dreams,
Astronomers would have
Us all believe
That galaxies of stars
Make up what seems
This image of a man.
It does not matter.

Orion, you are beautiful,
And durable, and true.
Each winter you appear
Above the broken world
To reaffirm my faith
In the eternal hunter
Who made both me and you.

When Joyce M. Johnson (born 1921) retired from 50 years working as a legal secretary, she embarked on a “second career” as a Certified Alcoholism Counselor. While co-facilitating group meetings for seniors at a treatment center, she created a small tri-fold booklet named SMILE to distribute to clients. Upon retiring (again), Joyce was encouraged by Editor Kay Jaworski to publish a larger version of SMILE nationally. A free issue was given to a shut-in of each subscriber’s choice. Every cover page featured artwork by Joyce’s sister, Helen Sherrier, a professional artist. SMILE became Joyce’s “third career” which she enjoyed for twenty years, forging many friendships that will live on beyond the pages of SMILE.

Learning Preferences--By Shannon O'Leary--United States

Learning Preferences

Learners diverse
Educators be ready
Actively engage
Really must think
Not all learn the same
It’s meeting students’ needs
Noticing and embracing all
Going the extra mile

Preparing hands-on lessons
Real life experiences
Extra practice
Finding what works
Expecting all students to succeed
Realizing potential
Each student matters
New interventions

Shannon O'Leary is a first grade teacher from Fargo, North Dakota. She provides creative writing activities to inspire her students. Her first-graders have published poems in a local newspaper. Shannon has published her own poetry in the following venues, Sketchbook, Snippets and Smile. She is the daughter of our editor.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tanka--By Ramesh Anand--India

with my child
on my shoulder, i walk
in the long rain
carrying the heaviness
of shattered dreams

the crows
are vanishing
at twilight
my child stretches
the end of play

holding tight
to the hand of my child . . .
on the iPad
my mother talks and talks
of returning roles

Ramesh Anand is a engineer from Bangalore, India. He works for Philips healthcare as a manufacturing test strategist. His haiku, tanka and haiga have appeared in 15 countries and translated to 8 foreign languages. He released his first book of haiku poetry in 2012 called Newborn Smiles, published by Cyberwit. Akita Sakigake Shimpo President Award, Honorable mention in International Matsuo Bashō Award, Dr. Sandeep Chauhan Commendable Prize by RLP Award 2013 are his latest awards. He is a member of IN haiku group and blogs at

Ego--By Diana Dalton--United States

Ego (Acrostic Triodyne)

Entity of our creation
Given to illusions of being alone
Our shadow eclipsing God's zone

Diana Dalton was born in England. She grew up loving the county side which later developed and inspired her desire to capture those beautiful moments which she does through her poetry, her spiritual nature and photography. Though not a prolific writer Diana has had her poems read on Dutch radio, and has been featured in some American compilations of poetry. She will dabble and challenge herself with some recognized forms, yet most often, Diana likes the freedom of words and will take some poetic license even to inventing non existent words together with her husband and fellow poet, Yancy Dalton. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Haiku--By Lavana Kray--Romania

roof gutter
squashing the rain clouds-
sleepless night

autumn solstice-
more coffee
than cream

early snow-
the chrysanthemums cling on
to one another

police drone around-
I turn off the music
of “The Thieving Magpie"

the weather goes crook-
first snowflakes on chrysanthemums
and on your smile

Lavana Kray is from Iasi – Romania. She is passionate about writing and photography. The nature and the events of her life are topics of inspiration. She believes that there is a core of poetry in all things. Both haiku and haiga have been published in: Haiku Canada Review, Asahi Shimbun, The Mainichi, World Haiku Association, Daily Haiga, Word Haiku Review, Haiku Presence and others… She was chosen for Haiku Euro Top 100-edition 2013. This is her blog:

Louisiana Rain--By Colleen Keller Breuning--United States

Louisiana Rain

Standing by the river dock
shivering, cold, and alone
prepare to be boarded on barges
the final destination unknown.

Scars crisscross ebony backs
pain and cruelty take a toll
on display in auction shacks
sell the lot and sell your soul.

Bend your knees and bow your head
as metal bites ankles and wrists
sun beats down in fields of cotton
stomach churning, eyes a-mist

Rage and fear pierce the heart
emotions raging like a hurricane
just another day in bondage
awash in the Louisiana rain.

Colleen Keller Breuning is a poet and photographer who was born and raised in Maryland. She currently resides in Purcellville, Virginia. Her poetry, short stories and photography have been published in a variety of print and online magazines during the past decade. Her first poetry book, Shadows of My Father, was a tribute to her father and published in 2011. She is currently working on her second book of poetry, along with assorted photography projects. She participates in several online writing groups. In addition to poetry and photography, she loves nature, music, cats and wine (not necessarily in that order).



        Dr. Upma A. Sharma--India
        Michael Todd--United States
        John Loving III--United States
        David Coon--United States
        ayaz daryl nielsen--United States
        David J. Kelly--Ireland
        Jacob Shaver--United States
        Tom Davis--United States
        Elly Wouterse--Netherlands
Please welcome them to our community.  We now have representatives from the following countries--Australia, Botswana, Canada, Canary Islands, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Malawi, Netherlands, 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 for guidelines. Thank you.

Note--Ads due for November column by October 25


Tom Davis and Old Mountain Press offers wide variety of eBooks at Download FREE Kindle eBook 22 Oct 14: Word
s A Poetry and Prose Anthology whose theme is anything relating to reading, writing, or speaking. Seventy-eight writers from across the USA contributed to this work.

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

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

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

Zona Lawrence has a website called 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: 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:

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

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

Jack Horne announces the release of his debut novel, A Ghost Hunt: a paranormal romance. This book is currently available from, 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 (Search Whispers under Karen O'Leary) or contact Karen at

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.


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

ayaz daryl nielsen's print publication bear creek haiku is always open for postal submissions, mail poetry to bear creek haiku, po box 3787, boulder, co, 80307, USA, 11 lines and less, include SASE. Can be contacted at, blog site is

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.

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.

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  Complete guidelines posted 1/21/2013.  Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to the site.

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