Thursday, April 30, 2015

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  Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable.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 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.

Nepal--By Su'eddie Vershima Agema--Nigeria

(for Kathmandu)

slowly the dead in numbers riSE
like the evils we see in the skies
trembling earth
has birth us death

even our temples fell, pray then tell
is our knell from heaven or hell?

we open our hearts to paths
of a flow of the beauty of the soul
needing your help to grow
from this pain we now know

we pray with hope…
but for how long can we cope?

Su'eddie Vershima Agema was joint winner, Association of Nigerian Authors Prize for Poetry 2014 with his second collection, Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile. He lives in Nigeria, blogs at and can be reached at @sueddieagema on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

For Nepal--Faith Lives On--By Karen O'Leary--United States

As the death toll rises over 5,000, it’s hard to imagine the devastation of such a huge loss to the people of Nepal. We are all part of an international community much larger than ourselves.  I would like to express my sympathy to all those who have lost loved ones, as I keep you in my prayers.  In times like these, I’ve found the writing community to rise with words of inspiration and hope.

Faith Lives On

white light
shines despite
the earthquake’s grief…

sees beyond
the present pain…

join hands
to journey
forward as one…

Please join with me, share your words of support and your prayers for Nepal people.  May they find comfort in the difficult days ahead. 


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

The rain, the hope, the pain--By David (Dave) Coon--United States

The rain, the hope, the pain

Sunrays, laser beams of life,
glisten in the falling rain
raising the spirit of joy

Geodesic prisms disperse the rays
in rainbow colors of hope

Dreams of tomorrow reflected in light
shatter when impacting the ground
and the cold harsh reality of life

David (Dave) Coon has been sharing has poems on various social sites since 1997 and has always gone by the name of Nissmech.

The Banshee--By Jane Richer--Canada

The Banshee

The caretaker bends his fragile bones.
and listens fearfully to the wailing moans.
For the Banshee walks once more tonight,
along the shadowy moors, under pale moonlight.

Her story is most sad; a baleful tale,
As she nightly searches, driven mad to roam the dale.
For her young man is lost through endless time
Their love - forbidden; his only crime.

The sound of horses beat through the night
As the wolfhounds track the couple's flight.
The lover's trapped, the young man bound
and pushed from the cliffs to the sandy ground.

His body caught in the ebb of the waves,
the young lover sinks to a watery grave.
The Banshee screams out in aching need,
cursing the drunken Lord's foul and morbid deed.

As silence befalls the whispering glade
As moonlight filters through the shade
A girl in tattered wedding gown begins to wail
Once more to race along that fateful trail.

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hurricane Warning--By John Daleiden--United States

Hurricane Warning

Our last
embrace merges
with the damp evening mist—
the clang of a harbor bell sounds
all night.

Previously published in Amaze: The Cinquain Journal

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

The Humble Bumblebee--By Robert Hewett Sr.---United States

The Humble Bumblebee

Watch the odd shaped Bumblebee dart,
body too fat and wings too short .
scientists say it is plain to see
this bee is no flying machine.
But watch it hovering so still,
a helicopter can’t match its skill.
Now it darts like a streak of light,
this Bee knows how to fly all right.
Wow it makes flying look easy,
Wings so fast they make it breezy.
This Bee is proof for you and me,
that science can’t top God’s Bumblebee.
Friends may say your dream can’t be done,
try it and you will look real dumb,
remind them of the Bumblebee.
God’s proof the impossible can be.

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 ""

Monday, April 27, 2015

NIKA--By Terry O’Leary--France


The laughter rippling ’cross her lips
Brings sweetness as the honey drips...

Her crystal eyes are flashing blue -
They beckon with a misty hue...

Her feral strands of golden hair
Are waving gaily in the air...

The music plays, her swirling dance
Entangles in a mystic trance...

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

The Wild of Nature--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

The Wild of Nature

To find in the world
of nature
the tremendous gift
of inspiration
is a constant reminder
of how much
God loves me

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.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Remember My Mercy--By Robert A. Dufresne--United States

Remember My Mercy

It’s all out there and in here too,
the pain, confusion, and anxiety.
What is a person to do,
who lags in the virtue of piety.

It must be given to One
much more powerful than I,
And so I have done,
But not quite, so that’s a lie.

I take back what I have given,
and suffer it all over again,
though I’ve been forgiven.
Such is the haunting of sin.

How could I have ever done these things;
Is what the too proud ego sings.

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 .

My Gratitude--By Frances Simwinga--Malawi

My Gratitude

For in me a germ of love you sow;
so coated in might that it fuels my soul,
to burn with will, and zeal that enables me
snake through trials of life, inside spiky chasms
of growing up, in a way I hardly imagined I would.

For the lessons you let me learn from the sky;
that not at all times will it be smiling bright,
in my eyes, rather it will on one moment or day
be frowning at me, hazily overcast,
but still life will have to go on.

For the mantra Work-hard be your dad;
that you taught constantly upon dad's demise,
revealing to me the wit to see
that one's suffering is not always
owing to one's condition but laziness.

For this and more mother,
receive my gratitude for all mothers.

Frances Simwinga writes poetry that springs from wells of life experiences that he stumbles into, over space and time, crisscrossing a variety of themes.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Birthday Wish, Croissant and Squirrel--By Laura M. Kaminski--United States

Birthday Wish, Croissant and Squirrel

for David Wright

Someone today is playing all the birds, tuning them up
for a winged concerto. Warm from the oven, a fresh croissant

exhales yeast and butter. What better gift on a still-crisp
April morning? The squirrels are not yet rejoicing, they’re

still living on old rations, last year’s broken hickories
gathered from beneath the mail box where the postman’s

Jeep has crushed their shells. For the squirrels, this
is when it’s lean, all things are just now greening,

all so far from seeds and harvest. But take this flaky
pastry and place it at the base of the creaking sugar maple,

adorn it with a dandelion blossom if you please, set a fine
table for that frumpy fellow watching from the branch.

Back away and give him space to gather up his bravery, rush
down the trunk and grab the gift, race back up skyward home.

Soon crumbs tumble, scatter soft upon the grass below,
manna falling from the sugar maple into new spring clover.

Delighted finches skip and taste. May your birthday be this way,
this kind of banquet. May even the crumbles of this day be joy.

Laura M. Kaminski grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives on Carver Creek in rural Missouri. She is an Associate Editor at Right Hand Pointing. More information about her poetry is available at

Not Able to Say It--By Pat Durmon--United States

Not Able to Say It

Once again, an argument starts up
after she’s packed, ready to leave
for an overnight trip.  Without warning,

his dark words set her on a red edge. 
He and she see the forest fire coming,
but sidestepping is not their dance.

Words warp and fiercely fall.
Mountains grow tall between them
as they distract, react.

Anything is better than bending,
anything to not say, I’m already
missing you.  Oh, please don’t go

Pat Durmon is the author of Blind Curves (2007) and Lights and Shadows in a Nursing Home, (2013.)  Poems have been published by Rattle, Main Street Rag, Poetry East, Cyclamens and Blades, Between the Lines, Lucidity and other journals.  She is retired from mental health counseling and leads a group called Searching for Light.   Ms. Durmon lives in the Ozark Mountains. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Haibun: Parallel lines--By Angelee Deodhar--India

Haibun: Parallel lines

In eight decades only one Indian film has captured the world’s imagination, a glitzy portrayal of poverty within which lies the poignant side of this country’s dilemma, the unwanted, unwashed, unfed children foraging with vermin for the dregs of a meal. For this the film won eight Oscars.

At the same ceremony, a documentary about an Indian girl, with a congenital deformity also won acclaim when a team of dedicated philanthropists restored her smile. The confused but happy parents are shown cuddling a shy little girl who clings to her mothers’ sari ,wondering why so many cameras are pointed at her. There was a time no one would play with her in her village…today she has new clothes, new friends. The air is thick, with the shouts of the paparazzi.

How will one slum dog help the hungry children eking out an existence besides the railway lines?

hawk's shadow
    the songbird's trill
        suddenly shortened

Previously published in the Spring /Summer issue of Frogpond, 2009

Angelee Deodhar, an eye surgeon by profession is a haiku poet, translator, and artist. She lives and works in Chandigarh, India. Her haiku/haibun/haiga have been published internationally in various books and journals, and her work can be viewed on many websites. To promote haiku in India, she has translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi, which she distributed for free. These bilingual books include: If Someone Asks: Masaoka Shiki's Life and Haiku (2005),Classic Haiku: A Master's Selection, edited by Miura Yuzuru (2006), Ogura Hyakunin Isshu: 100 Poems by 100 Poets (2007), Children’s Haiku from Around the World–A Haiku Primer (2007), Indian Haiku (2008), and The Distant Mountain: The Life and Haiku of Kobayashi Issa (2009).

caffeine free--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States

caffeine free

coffee remaining
in half empty cup
long grown cold

former upper half
upon jacket, tie,
once white shirt,

pants, steering wheel,
dash, bucket seat
after racing time

in behind time rush
to grab and gulp
drive-thru skinny

grandé latte for a
normal hour drive
in twenty six minutes

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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Amid the Sylvan Shade--By Keith O. J. Hunt--Canada

Amid the Sylvan Shade

Amid the sylvan shade,
   the footpaths teem with wooded laugh,
   the sylph she giggles atop aerie slumber,
   tickled in soft-slender breeze;
   the nectar dews,
   meady-moss and carpet-leaves,
   juniper and berry-sweet breath
She sings amid the sylvan shade
   nothing to do but sigh and dream
   her wanton-wistful way
The glade whispers wishes (weening)
   tempered hush,
   echoed odes of faerie-tongue forgotten rhyme,
But for the meadow and vale,
   aerie eagle cries,
   none has come but I;
   to sit and ponder, and listen -----
   amid the sylvan shade

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.

seasons of love--By Peggy Dugan French--United States

seasons of love

spring love
we climb mountains
bask on a perfect rock

summer love
we gather with family & friends
exchange vows

autumn love
we raise two kids
pass on family traditions

winter love
we bury parents
watch the kids leave home

forever love
we stand together
past radiant, future unfolding

Peggy Dugan French is a California girl with Minnesota roots. She has enjoyed being the editor of Shemom since 1997. She has worn many hats over the years, but being a Mom has been one of her greatest adventures; she’s had the pleasure of sharing that journey with her best friend.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Studies of the Anonymous--By Brian Strand--England

Studies of the Anonymous                                

Cryptic immobility, in black white.
Indistinct, seen as through a glass darkly,
in contrasts of shade and light. Abstracted
visuals, drawings of sculptured movement,
hazy impressions of the episodes of life.
Studies of the anonymous, single figures
in penciled outline, solitary maquettes
frozen in time, alone with their thoughts.

(inspired by Seurat’s penciled portraits)

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.

Dulcet Love--By Rick Parise--United States

Dulcet Love

         quickly the sun sinks
   in sweet glorious silence
             above city lights             
enchained in twilights plum rose
  beneath crystal stars we roam

Rick Parise, known as “A Pondering Poet”, is from the beautiful land of Salem, Oregon.  The main focus of his poetry is to take the reader to a meaningful, personal time in their lives, to a place where spirit's are touched and memories unwind. He hopes you enjoy his work. To Contact Rick please email him at

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Resurrection Song--By Molly Moore--United States

Resurrection Song

A soft, subtle music gently drifts
Through the chilly April air,
Catching my attention as it uplifts
My awareness to places where

An elegant symphony is playing
On this sunny Easter morn.
To my straining ears it’s sweetly saying
That the earth it wishes to adorn

With its melody of hope and renewal
As it tinkles a tiny blue bell
And sounds the note of a magnolia jewel
With a message it seeks to tell

Through the golden voices of daffodils,
The red tulips in colorful choir,
And the cherry tree blossoms’ fluffy frills
That sing out their ardent desire

That all rise up and join today
Their song of resurrection.
Humanity choosing a peaceful way
Can change our world’s direction.

Claiming Hawaii as her true home, Molly Moore is currently residing in Seattle, Washington, pursuing a nursing degree. Perhaps her previous career as an international flight attendant is what launched Molly’s "flights of fancy" into poetry. A love of rhythm and rhyme sparks her creative side, especially while outdoors in nature.

The Wind Horse (Haibun)--By Paresh Tiwari--India

The Wind Horse

All I remember of my grandfather’s death is a white staircase, ferrying steel gurneys with patients accompanied by their friends and families. I wasn’t allowed to the funeral.

‘He’s too young’ was the general consensus amongst the aunts and uncles whom I had never seen before.

After the funeral, I saw my dad clean shaven and tonsured for the first time. Clad in a white loincloth, his high forehead adorned with a saffron tilak, he would sit in the large mud courtyard of a nearby temple intoning shlokas. For thirteen days, he remained this distant figure tending a sacrificial fire, cooking his own meagre meal, sleeping on a straw mat on the cold December floor. I did not understand the rituals or the Sanskrit verses he recited, but the timbre of his voice was reassuring, as if everything would remain the same…

rites of passage –
     leaf by auburn leaf
autumn deepens

Paresh Tiwari is an often-published poet, writer and illustrator currently residing in Mumbai, India. He took to haiku and its associated forms in 2012 and is currently dabbling with longer forms of writing. His haiku, haibun, tanka, haiga and other poems appear frequently in noteworthy journals and anthologies across the world. An Inch of Sky, Paresh Tiwari’s collected haiku and haibun, has been published by 20 Notebooks Press. The book is now available online at


Dear Writing Friends,

Talented writer, Ralph Stott graciously offered to be our Activity Editor this month. He developed the Twister form which is challenging and fun.

The 'twister' is a five-word phrase or line, (unpunctuated) that has had its meaning, twisted or enhanced, by the addition of another five words. The resulting ten-word sentence echoes or contrasts with the original thought. The title is of one word; two if hyphened.

The resulting ten-word line must be punctuated, and read seamlessly. The additional words must be the second and third, sixth and seventh and tenth (in italics). The subject can be of anything; the world around you or lines from a well know phrase or song/quote.

This activity is a wonderful way to celebrate April's poetry month. There are 31 Twister poems for your enjoyment.  If you missed the deadline, you can share a poem in the comments section.  Thank you Ralph for hosting this challenge and for all the talented poets that took part in this activity.

                                          Sincerely,  Karen O’Leary--Whispers’ Editor


I think I love her
I have to think. I do not love her now.

By Jack Horne


Raindrops splashing through my life
Raindrops teasing senses, splashing through mind, awake my life memories.

By Mary A. Couch


My neighbour flies a flag.
My elderly shy neighbour flies with honour a flag, Marines.

By Kelley White


Love is meant to share
Love felt deeply, is meant always, (continually,) to share, endlessly.

By Pat Farnsworth-Simpson


Bright candles light our world.
Bright white, uplifting candles; light shadows, skewing our world view.

By Karen O'Leary


The lark in the morning
The song loving lark in desperation flew: the morning blazed.

By V. Anderson-Throop


We walk along the beach.
We, grown older, walk along; sunset over the beach again.

By Kelley White


The day the music died
The night became day. The whiskey-fuelled music died within.

By Ralph Stott


Out on the wooden porch
Out enjoying life, on the old rickety wooden porch tonight.

By Sara Kendrick


New green leaves spring forth.
New sno
w but green leaves today still spring forth defiant.

By Kelley White


Your footsteps in the meadow
Your tiny sneakered footsteps in muddied grass, the meadow devours.

By Mary A. Couch


A dog barks far away.
A lonely sound, dog barks, I’m alone, far away, abandoned.  

By Kelley White


To good to be true
To embody the good. To shine and be true always.

By Ralph Stott


What we think we become.
What believed trait we think on continuously, we become eventually.

Charlene McCutcheon


Dogs meet in the park.
Dogs pulling leashes meet in joyous reunion, the park community.

By Kelley White


Let faith within you grow
Let love and faith, within core of you, grow constantly.

By Pat Farnsworth-Simpson


Three tangerine orbs on table
Three orange rays, tangerine orbs of life on table top

By Mary A. Couch


Cat chases mouse that’s all
Cat named Tom, chases mouse called Jerry; THAT’S ALL FOLKS!

By Ralph Stott


Trash clogs a little brook.
Trash, garbage, paper, clogs a once clear little brook: recycle!

By Kelley White  



Sweet heaven help the man
Sweet bird of heaven help, you see the man defeated.

V. Anderson-Throop


We laughed all the evening
We have not laughed all day! Now's the evening: goodnight!

By Jack Horne


Rain hits my tin roof.
Rain heavy, pounding hits my trusty old tin roof tonight.

By Kelley White


White seagulls dance along shore
White feathered ballet. Seagulls dance with surf along shore-line.

By Mary A. Couch


Birds sing all around us.
Birds, brightly colored, sing all joyous songs around us: Spring!

By Kelley White


I search for my subjects
I do not search for long, since my subjects shout!

Ralph Stott


The elderly lady always shines.
The soft spoken, elderly lady--her faith always shines bright.

By Karen O’Leary


People rush past my window.
People ignore me, rush past my face, my window, me.

By Kelley White


Black shadow on window pane
Black Halloween cat’s shadow on table, becomes window pane display.

By Mary A. Couch



Rowing a pea-green boat
Rowing runcible oars, a pea awoke the green-boat princess.

By Ralph Stott


A fire truck races past.
A red screaming fire truck fully manned races past bystanders.

Kelley White


When on these incredible journeys
When we jot, on these pages, our incredible journeys begin!

By Ralph Stott

I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I have.  Thank you, so much Ralph for making this incredible activity possible!           Sincerely,  Karen O’Leary

Monday, April 20, 2015

With My Heart And Mind--By Erich J. Goller--United States

With My Heart And Mind

Endless flight
age is following youth
time a priceless treasure.
The years have come and gone so fast
some golden years are now our pleasure
and to share with you my lifelong love
my constant guiding light
touching my heart and mind
day and night.

with heart of great renew
a blessing that I'll share,
I am loving you more than you know
you shall be always in my prayer.
A rainbow especially for you,
your smile is like sunshine
like the softest blue skies
you are mine.

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,

Woodland Prayer--By George L. Ellison--England

Woodland Prayer
(Aria's Couplets and B's)
Woodland spirit will you hear my prayer
Said tree and the deer overheard by a mare
As a little foal gambols about

All those outsiders think they own the place
Ruining the countryside, a disgrace
And no one hears our silent shout

The good Lord gave this land to one and all
But over time we’ve seen the standards fall
Woodland dwellers don’t have much clout

To make the changes that is much in need
It is the willful man who should take heed
So the good green earth can breathe out

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!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Wounded Warrior--By Celine Rose Mariotti--United States

The Wounded Warrior

So young he was,
To go off to war,
But in America
He believed

So dedicated and devoted was he,
He went to fight the enemy,
The ugly enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan,

He fought to defend what America
Stands for,
Liberty and justice,
Fairness, and opportunities for all,

He was in a fierce battle,
He got hit by enemy gunfire,
Now he is in a VA hospital,
He is learning to walk again,
He is learning to talk again,
He has a long road ahead,
This Wounded Warrior,
We salute.

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.

April First--By Mary A. Couch--United States

April First

Fool’s day
I watch crocus,
and green leaves poke through earth
beneath dawn’s blooming sapphire sky.
Feel gentle breeze tug at my jacket sleeves.
Wind becomes brisk, blue sky darkens.
White flakes begin to fall,
“Yes, it’s April
Fool’s Day!”

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.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Flower Tranquility--By Helen Dowd--Canada

Flower Tranquility

To calm my soul when life is hard
I find respite in my backyard,
And inner turmoil disregard.

I sit and stare at the flowers there
And smell the lovely morning air.
And all at once, I have no care.

The pansies all smile up at me.
They seem as happy as can be!
It makes my soul seem, oh so free.

Roses don't worry about what's beyond,
Or that their pedals drop to the ground.
They cheerfully spread their perfume 'round.

And daisies wave their pretty heads.
They don't consider that soon they'll be dead.
They share their loveliness instead.

The flowers know only what they see.
They have no care of what will be.
I learn from them TRANQUILITY.

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.

Identity--By Sara R. Vogler--United States


adapting to one's environment, blending,
forming, reorganizing,
and turning day dreams into vision dreams.

most alive on stage,
where words wage war beneath walls made of concrete and bricks,
where flowers grow within the thorny ceilings,
i discover that i remain,
i remain honorable, loyal, and legendary in most of the dark,
in the night of nights,
i chose to be an enigma.

an enigma,
whose onion layers,
one most peel one by one,
sometimes too difficult to understand and uncover,
too fragile to break,
so i stomp out the uncertainties away with my black boots,
and i stay where the fold exists,
where the beautiful curtain will rise above the dead, and the good will stay.

Sara R. Vogler is a published poet and writer, originally from Krakow, Poland. Currently living in Washington, DC, her work has ranged from poetry to critical essays. Recently, she has collaborated with her father on a three-piece book featuring work to honor their past. Vogler finds comfort in knowing that her words will someday make a lasting impression on someone's life.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Poems--By Jan Allison--United Kingdom

tiny snow angel
snowflakes kiss your rosy cheeks
white winter beauty

emerald green growth
dresses the rocks and pebbles
natural velvet

dainty daffodil
your golden trumpet fanfares
the dawning of spring

Jan Allison is a relative newcomer to poetry. She didn’t start writing poetry until her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery at the end of 2013. She wrote her first poem ‘Splendid Isolation’ whilst he was in hospital. Since then has discovered a love of poetry and has written over 500 poems. Jan also wrote collaboratively with her writing partner Darren Watson under the name Jadazzle United.

Special Feature--(In Memory 1911-2011)--Virginia Johe--United States

Virginia Johe --(In Memory 1911-2011)

It is privilege to share poetry from talented writers that are no longer with us.  It is a reminder that our words live beyond a lifetime.  Virginia Johe is the mother of jani johe webster and the grandmother of Nila Webster, who penned her bio below.  It is Whispers’  first three generation family of writers. What a joy to publish their words!

                                         Sincerely--Karen O’Leary--Editor

A Lesson

I have learned my lesson well --
heard the ringing of the bell --
no more saying "Yes"
when I'm really thinking "No"
I'm important to myself.

Virginia Johe (1911 - 2011) began to write poetry after she lost her beloved husband of over fifty years. She did this with the encouragement of her daughter, Rochester poet jani johe webster. jani, who is my mother, and who taught me the magic of creative writing, saw this great grief consuming her mother's life, and bought my grandmother Virginia an electric typewriter. Virginia set up a work area and began to type out her grief in the form of poetry. With jani's help, she submitted poetry to print journals for many years. This poem was written shortly after her husband's death, in 1980.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Embers of Time--By Joyce I. Johnson--United States

Embers of Time

Time comes--time goes and we forget
The wonder of its being.
The sights it brings to dazzle us
We see without the seeing.

But lo, there comes a special day
When we mark every minute,
A time when everything is right
And every moment in it.

Such a day is this one
With Easter Sunday dawning.
I know I'll see all those I love
Before the nighttime's yawning.

Time to remember--time to keep
Within my book of living.
I am so grateful to my God
For the special times He's giving.

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.

Tanka--By Rita Odeh--Israel

koi tattoo-
he dives into
the water
unaware of my
heart’s ripples

foggy stars...
to see a mockingbird's
fading song
and hear the echo
of a frog's croak

In a dream,
I saw a caged bird.
When I woke up,
you were near me

Rita Odeh is the author of seven books, including Buds of Dream which was released May 2014 and is available from Amazon. Her haiku and haiga have been honored with many awards. To read more of her poems, please go to Catching the Moment,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Poet of the Month--Brian Strand

A Jade Elegy
(structured prose in phrasis form)

By Brian Strand

A rhapsody of summer, a symphony
of blue, green on white. Sand and spray
empty days remain in memory.
Advent of Autumn clouds, and midnight
rain, reunion of the last frontier of the year,
before nature falls asleep.
A prelude to counter storms, a jade
elegy in dream and vow offering enduring
portraits in polyphonic prose.

(a phrasis tribute to John Gould Fletcher an imagist poet of the early twentieth century)

From the editor--It is a pleasure to announce that Brian Strand is April’s Poet of the Month.  He is a talented writer accomplished in a variety of forms, several that he has developed.  Readers at Whispers enjoy his work.  I’ve know Brian for a number of years, and he has always been a willing teacher.  He was our Activity Editor in December, January and February, sharing his forms which writers enjoyed working with.  He has been a been a contributor to our online journal for over two years and can always be counted on to share something creative.  What a joy to present him with this honor.

Thoughts on “A Jade Elegy”--Right from the start, Brian caught my attention with his creative title, an asset for any poem.  His multi-sense imagery allows the reader to experience what his is conveying.  There is so much depth to this concise elegy that it begs for more than one reading, a hallmark of a talented writer.  Yet, again, Brian treats us to another of his forms for us to enjoy.

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


Karen O’Leary, Editor

Sky Movie--By Diana Dalton--United States

Sky Movie

I am as the sky
Clouds pass by
Sun shines
Darkening appears
Sky is still here
A bird glides
A storm rages
I am space
For all to be
Within the whole
Watch sky screen
See, be ......?

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.

Summer--By Linda Hurdwell--England


So ethereal like a starlit dawn
A mysterious track beside the lawn
Perhaps fairy dust that shimmers and shines
A sun trapped sparkling silver line

I look to the end of this magical path
Then feel both sick yet want to laugh
Were I a toad I would croak with fun
Observing this shining beneath the sun

‘Oh joy, oh gladness something to eat’
The toad gobbles up his slimy treat
A rain filled summer is always the same
A deluge of slugs from no where came

I notice the toad disappear
Watch something both tender and dear
A bumblebee drones inspecting a flower
Before nature’s unexpected shower.

A butterfly dances with great delight
Observing a typical garden sight
Gossamer wings flutter and sway
On a normal English summer’s day.

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cardinal at my Windows--By Marlene Million--United States

Cardinal at my Windows

You tap at glass window
above the front door,
Cardinal, so robust red.

Back and forth you flutter,
perch, look in at me, then
fly to sun room's brick ledge
peeking in window, as I write.

You are my April friend come
to say "Good morning" and
"Good afternoon," pecking at bird-
seed in feeder, filled to brim.

With the budding of trees,
tulips and daffodils, you bring
a springtime message of rebirth
and promise of renewal. . .

You look in on me at sliding-glass
window door, then fly towards
berry bush, Cardinal mine!

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.

Present--By David J. Kelly--Ireland


Here we are, again. Perhaps this is the only place we can ever be … here. Even if our footprints have faded, we cannot escape the place to which they have brought us. The present transports us from one moment to the next. Though we may try to slow or stop our progress, we continue to move forwards in time, forever meeting the future. Today, perhaps, you can pause to consider acts of giving and receiving across the world, the emotions they convey, the memories they provide. In keeping with custom, here is my present to you ... here ... in your hands, between these lines. With the greatest of care, I have taken and woven time through these words; fragments of my lifetime, impossibly frozen, awaiting reanimation. Now (or in the future), should you find you need a moment away from the busy world, please remember, it need not be a moment alone.

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.

Monday, April 13, 2015

At the Inlet--By John Swain--United States

At the Inlet

Riptides shift at the inlet
with a violent pull
back to the ocean.
Sun breaks the marine layer
to color the waves in places
of spectral entrance.
Grave-shaped winds bury
the shore with shore
to begin a new world.
A serpent completes the ring
holding me in change
I take from the watchful.
Crows darken the oak
like the hope of arising
from the masks we shadow.

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Red Paint Hill published his first collection, Ring the Sycamore Sky.

Tanka--By Ali Znaidi--Tunisia

I forget about
the stinging prickles
of cacti

all night long
admiring the full moon…
what more could
I possibly want?

summer again…
further ado
the sun returns
to its own glitter

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

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beauty Within--By Kelly Deschler--United States

Beauty Within

I can see
a beautiful soul
lies within me.
no mirror can reflect
who I really am.

Kelly Deschler is a poet from Big Falls, WI. Several of her works have been printed in compilations with Eber & Wein Publishing, including, Endless Horizon's: Nature's Embrace (2009), Best Poets Of 2010, Times Like These: Right Now (2010), Patience and Grace (2012), In My Lifetime, Who's Who In American Poetry, and This Time Around (2013).

The Stalwart Face Of Spring--By Yvonne Sparkes--England

The Stalwart Face Of Spring

There in that stock-piled mass of wood,
A Blackbird roosts, protecting her growing brood,
Patiently she faces springtime chills,
The cold damp air, that ruffles all her frills.

Such perseverance takes my breath away,
Would melt the heart, as if were made of clay,
Such joy to think that in each brand new morn,
She sits up on the nest to keep them warm.

I never cease to wonder with delight,
At nature’s own inimitable fight,
Driven by genes, and too the sands of time,
Evolutionary paths, forever upward climb.

Now God is never nearer to me than this,
Unfolding the wonder, and the bliss,
In my garden dramas must to be won,
Life own cycles end, and new life has begun.

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.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Questions--By Joan McNerney--United States


Who composed this cosmic puzzle
sifting through dark dominions
from the empty before?

What ignited the blackness
with swinging lanterns of fire
through that longest night?

When did time begin careening
on its urgent journey to shake
something out of nothing?

Where is the mind who forged
such astonishing starbursts
hammering beacons of light?

Why did shadows turn to
brightness...the glory of
our sun becoming golden?

How can heaven be silent
while blue jays meet in concert
under mounds of sterling clouds?

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.

Haiku--By Chen-ou Liu--Canada

winter twilight
the one-legged veteran faces
a revolving door

winter mist ...
bookmarking a moment
with this haiku

no trace left ...
I weave her laughter
into my dream

my shadow and me
in the silence
a wall clock ticking

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, April 10, 2015

The Grave Dug--By Sara Kendrick--United States

The Grave Dug

Pines release their yellow pollen
Gold coats all surfaces
Unaware of the fresh grave dug
Grief the family faces

A lovely spring day for some gathered
Rain clouds for others there
Standing side by side each person
Of emotions unaware

Yellow swallowtail butterfly
Floats 'pon springs gentle breeze
A pleasant surprise on this day
Graces the grave with ease

New life expressed through its soft flight
Yellow, bright, and sunny
Much like the deceased's pleasant life
She lived quiet and homey

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. 

Reflection--By Phyllis Babcock--Canada


Take a deep breath of air
Look into the arc of the sun
Today we are full of life
Who knows what the morrow brings

Seasons come and seasons go
Summer rains and winter snows

Past memories engulf our mind
Thoughts of yesteryear left behind
We progress with each new day
Creating new moments to hide away

Seasons come and seasons go
Summer rains and winter snows

We can live in the present or past
Just remember life moves on fast
Life comes with no guarantee
Here today, gone tomorrow
Then life is but a distant memory.

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.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Sheri Stanley--United States and Jack Horne--England

In A Natural High

By Sheri Stanley and Jack Horne

I feel the night belongs to me
The evening soft and peaceful

Alone, with no one there to see
As night embraces the warm lull

Deep silence fills me like a prayer
Sitting by the running stream

In this moment lingering there
I smile a cherished, secret dream

My eyes look up toward the sky
Soaking in the glorious moon

Basking in this natural high
Glorious moonbeams play their tune


    The hooting owls and flapping bats
    Disturb my blissful, dreamlike state

    A howling dog and fighting cats
    I’m going home, it’s getting late!

Primal Dust Among The Stars--By Ronald Grognet--United States

Primal Dust Among The Stars

When my grandchildren ask,
Where do you go when you finally die?
"To primal dust among the stars.
It’s there I’ll be, in the sky."

As plausible an answer
As any I have heard before
Replaces a heaven too complex,
Fashioned by ancient lore.

Stars are present and ever changing
Drifting about in an infinite space,
Occupying those regions
Our defining forces set in place.

There are those who may ask,
What does religion say about such a plan?
I will be content to answer that.
"Religion left me where I began."

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.

Broken Heart Menders--By James Andrew Fraser--Scotland

Broken Heart Menders

There is a little garden
Where ickle cherubs stay
They are hearts little menders
Under natures scented bouquet

Red threads they pull and spin
From the cotton tree behind
To mend our broken hearts
Their sewing so intertwined

They sit and sew and sew
To mend our broken hearts
As they bring two halves together
And wonder why they part

They have heard so many stories
As to why they drifted so
But these ickle little cherubs
Just sit and sew and sew

There is a little garden
Where broken hearts are mended
So if your heart gets broken
These cherubs will re-mend it

James Andrew Fraser resides in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, Bonnie Scotland.
His hobbies apart from poetry are music, art and football.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Freedom--By Connie Marcum Wong--United States


In solitude I dream tonight
And watch a moth in fevered flight.

It’s drawn toward my quaint porch light
And flies consumed with all its might.

Through open window I can see
Its desperation shared with me;

How freedom in this world is light—
And we as souls are drawn to fight.

Though freedom’s light may cause our death,
It’s worth the risk with every breath.

I understand the moth’s sad plight
When drawn to the glorious light.

Though it knows not of human trust,
It buzzes on because it must!

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.

Silver Dreams--By Annie Jenkin--England

Silver Dreams

of a new moon -
promising new beginnings
uplifting brightness, rays of hope
and growth

Annie Jenkin lives in Plymouth, England. Having not written poetry for many years, Annie has returned to poetry writing with enthusiasm. Her writing explores several subject areas that are insightful, humorous but can also be sensitive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

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

p u n c t u r e

f o l l o w

p r o  o k i n g


t a k i[mage] n g

s h a r p e n

Robert P. Hansen teaches philosophy courses at a community college. In addition to poetry, he also writes genre fiction. His recent eBook publications include a free Story Sampler (14 stories from his collections), The Golden Key (Book 3 of his Angus the Mage fantasy series), and 2014: A Year of Poetry. For more information on his writing and where to find what he has published, visit his blog at:

Her Dream--By Beth Winchcombe--England

Her Dream

She noticed it for the first time
whilst walking her dog.
The mist rolled around
surrounding it – yet
at that precise moment
she fell in love!
Where was that magnet?
Somewhere it lay hidden from view.
It stood forlorn,
no windows, no doors -
just an empty shell on the moors!
She felt compelled to enter,
it was full of emptiness
yet, she wanted to make it her home.
She meandered from room to room,
sunlight flowed in the gloom.
Cobwebs hung – spiders -
the only sign of life.
She saw it inhabited – full of warmth...
...her dream was to make it her home

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

Monday, April 6, 2015

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

jani johe shared her unique style and insight which left readers in awe.  But more importantly, she was a bright light in the writing community, always ready to support others in their journeys.  I am glad to have been able to call her my friend.  Her words live on in various publications, continuing to be a gift to the world.                                                                                          Sincerely, Karen O’Leary--Editor

dancing poems

the sea whispered to the shells
and the mountains whispered to the clouds
the wind whispered a song all its own
    and we listened
        and we heard the secrets
            and held them close

we were free then
with wild swans and dancing poems
mist a dawn and rippling light
    and no news anywhere

This poem was recently published in Where the Poems Dance, a collection of her poetry and photography by Suzanne Webb.  It includes an introduction by her daughter, Nila Webster, and reflection questions about the poems to stimulate the imagination of the reader.

Tanka--By Yuan Changming--Canada

the sun builds a bold
buffer between day and night
yet leaves a thin limbo...
between sea and sky
I am in that limbo

Yuan Changming, an 8-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in a remote village, began to learn English at 19, and published several monographs before leaving China. Currently, Yuan tutors and co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. His poetry appears in 1009 literary publications across 32 countries, including Asahi Shimbun, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Ginyu and Threepenny Review.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pages--By Gerald Heyder--United States


With the slow turning
of pages, life changes,
it rearranges in stages
so insidiously we
do not see or feel
the snail’s pace creeping
of time in our tenure
of existence on earth.
Sand in the hour glass
passes by and we sigh
wondering why we didn’t
comprehend the end result
of events presented to us
on the carousel of life.
The cradle is rocking
turning our pages
until the book is done.

Gerald Heyder is a published poet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Day of The Dead--By Jan Oskar Hansen--Portugal

The Day of The Dead

The cemetery in Loule is on top of a hill, today
early spring the steep hillside is full of luscious
yellow flowers. Not like ripe lemons, more like
Swiss butter, from the rich milk of cows will bells
and horns; sturdy feet able to carry big, rose-pink
udders and be milked by smiling maidens with
strong arms creamy white as a Valkyrie’s bosom

What you didn’t see- all this life- when blinded
by the intensity of every sun lit flower came
from a rotting coffins, the few day in early spring
when the dead are let out, sway on a hillside and
soak up the sun.

Jan Oskar Hansen is a published poet from Portugal.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

she thought she heard--By Jim Teeters--United States

she thought she heard

angels breathe
soft as desert sand
wind that gently stirred the leaves

beneath her feet – solid earth
above – the firmament
all was still
as a country wheat field
on a summer evening

then – their breathing
             she thought she heard
                          she wept

not despair
but something
like a child’s arms
reaching for a mother

so she breathed
with them in unison
knew how small she was
how far from home

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.

Porter, Madam ?--By Alan McAlpine Douglas--United Kingdom

Porter, Madam ?

Were I not such
a gentleman,

I would notice the bags
under your eyes,

and offer to help
you carry them.

Alan McAlpine Douglas, father to 5 and grandfather to 3, has been writing poetry since 1993. His idiosyncratic voice has produced thousands of poems in this time, and he finds it quite hard to stay serious, even when he means to. He also enjoys writing spoofs, using well-known poems or songs like Clementine or In the Ghetto as his models.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Joy of Spring--By Kala Ramesh--India

Joy of Spring
a sutra* written on mother's day

the bag of water
bursts within me
I am drenched

every two minutes
the pain so excruciating
a labour

white gloved hands
surround me . . . with each
gasp a grasping breath

cervical dilation
I sense a bundle press
for azadi

at corridor's end
my clenched fists release
the joy of spring birth

*sutra means thread in Sanskrit
*azadi - freedom

Previously published--Bottle Rockets # 28, February 2013

Kala Ramesh writes haiku, tanka, senryu, haibun and renku. She has over 1200 verses published in various reputed journals all over the world. As external faculty member of the Symbiosis International University, Kala conducts a 60-hour haiku module for undergraduates. Kala has initiated what she calls the "HaikuWALL India" project, where she gets school children and college students to paint haiku on walls. Kala is also the Modern Haiku Editor for Under the Basho & the Editor of “Youth Corner” for Cattails, a journal from United Haiku & Tanka Society.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Leokadia Durmaj--Australia and Robert Hewett Sr.--United States

Cavalier of My Heart

By Leokadia Durmaj and Robert Hewett Sr.

~ I dub you Knight of Love, the finest in the land;
I offer you my heart with sword within my hand.

There is no measure to the love that you have shown,
you are my shining Knight, you won this heart I own.

My love is with you as you travel to and fro,
this heart beats within you, wherever you may go.

I need not worry dear when you're not by my side;
my heart tells me clearly, you wear my love with pride.

I honour you my Knight, my faith within your soul,
my heart forever yours, my destiny you hold. ~

I am your stalwart Knight of love, fortune and fame,
With a burning love that will forever remain.

You are in my heart, mind and soul, my Lady Fair,
Your colour Blue on my sleeve shows I truly care.

Although I must ride far, fight and joust for my King,
Wanting you in my arms sets my heart to aching.

I vanquish my foes; win fierce battles for the Crown,
Turn my steed your way and listen to his hooves pound.

The sound matches the pounding of my anxious heart,
As I envision your lovely face, lips apart.

Easter Plants--By Suzanne Clement--United States

Easter Plants

times, I
went with Dad
after late service
on Easter Sunday
when he delivered plants
to either home-bound church folk
or church folk who’d lost a loved one
during the previous year.

it was
Easter of
Mum and I were on
the list to get a plant.
Dad had died in December.

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Fool--By Paul Callus--Malta

The Fool  (Octodil)

Fool that I am
I roam alone,
A ragged vagabond
Unaware of perils
That haunt the obscure paths of life;
Into the unknown I wander
Led by exuberance ...
A trump card up my sleeve.

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.

Each May--By Eleanor Michael--United States

Each May

I hear a loud chirp -
a call - not a song.
The Oriole, on a nearby twig
tells me, “I’m home.”

All summer long, orange
flashes in the trees
show me a busy bird.
I hear a happy song.

Fall comes, he flies away.
Only when spring returns
will I hear his call.
I’m home, I’m home again.”

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Haiku--By Arvinder Kaur--India

sleepless night-
the star i named after you
also falls

departing geese-
he teaches me goodbye
in his mother tongue

sakura petals...
the eloquence
of silence

tucked up saree*
a paddy farmer
wades through clouds

* a garment worn by Indian women

Arvinder Kaur is an Associate professor in English and Media Studies. She writes haiku both in Punjabi as well as English. She has four books to her credit which include poetry, a work of translation and her first collection of punjabi haiku, Nimolian. Her work has been published in several haiku journals and anthologies. She lives in Chandigarh with her family.

Marching Through March--By James Rasmusson--United States

Marching Through March

NOT do I remember
the lyrical poems and Renoir paintings
that sang of the beauty of March.

Cold wet and muddy
to the cadence of a funeral dirge
I march along the road to April.

Passing a slimy pond
Pisces the fish greets me with a flick of his tail,
the murky water dripping from my soggy coat.

The sound of crashing horns!
My head jerks around to see
Aries the ram butting heads with a rival.

Is March the bleakest month of the year?

But how can this be when March is the month
when Johann Sebastian Bach was born
and the whole world is green on Saint Patty’s Day?

Now, NOW I feel
a gentle breeze with the floating fragrance of lilac shrub.
Just around the corner is SPRING!

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.


            Dan Tharp--United States
            April Mae M. Berza--Philippines
            Richard Carl Subber--United States
            Sandra K. Smith--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, Ireland, Israel, Malawi, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, 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 May column by April 25


Paul Callus published his first ebook of poetry called Meander in December 2014. It is a collection of 86 poems and songs which should appeal to those who read poetry for pleasure and relaxation. It is available at Amazon.

Creative Inspirations is proud to offer another opportunity in celebration of the upcoming Mother's Day holiday. The chapbook will consist of roughly 15 poems by 15 gifted poets and also consists of a nice cardstock cover and envelope for the chapbook. The price is $8.00 per chapbook. Please make check or money order out (per how many copies) to: To God be the Glory! Publications and mail to: To God be the Glory! Publications - P.O. Box 19051 - Kalamazoo, MI 49019. To ensure accurate and timely delivery, all orders must be received by Friday April 17, 2015. For more information please contact MJ at:

Pijush Kanti Deb released a poetry collection, Beneath the Shadow of a White Pigeon, published by The Hollow Publishing. More information about the book is available at,

Marianne Szlyk has released a new chapbook, Listening to Electric Cambodia Looking Up at Trees at Heaven, through Kind of a Hurricane Press' Barometric Pressures Authors Series. You may download the chapbook for free at this site: Thank you.

John Swain released his first collection of poetry, Ring the Sycamore Sky. Ordering information and reviews are available from Red Paint Hill Publishing at

Celine Rose Mariotti has a new mystery/detective book called Minister’s Shoes in which Rev. Castle helps Sada Sampson find her husband and he also proves that Trevor is innocent of killing Cartwright. The story involves casino deals, infidelity, gambling and some big town gossips who are knee deep in the casino deals.  Price of book is: $11.00. If you live in CT, sales tax is 6.35 so price would be $11.70.  Postage is $2.70.  You can order from Amazon or you can order from me:

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

Maureen Sudlow has a poetry book, Antipodes, was released in early December. More information available on her website

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

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

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

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.

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

Tom Davis, publisher of Old Mountain Press, invites all to review his eBook site (Kindle and NOOK) where numerous Old Mountain Press Anthologies of poetry and prose are listed see: Self-publish an electronic book e-book with Old Mountain Press. Visit Old Mountain Press' eBook site at

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 at the end of each month.  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.