Tuesday, June 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  Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable.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 gksm@cableone.net before sending.

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Editor's Thoughts--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Friends,

It is a joy to share a few thoughts with you.  Our writing community continues to expand with fourteen new writers this month.  Thanks to everyone for making this possible.

We, now, have representatives from the following countries--Australia, Botswana, Canada, Canary Islands, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Malawi, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, U.A.E., United Kingdom, United States and Wales.  It would be wonderful to expand this list as each country brings a different cultural perspective that enriches the community as a whole.  If you know anyone from a country that is not currently represented, please share Whispers with them.

The artistic group that would be nice to see represented is child/young adult writers.  Whispers has only had one child writer thus far share a single poem.  If writing is to continue in generations to come, it is important to encourage young people to share their talents.

                the rippling river
                flows on

May your words ripple around the world.  Best wishes to everyone in your writing journeys.


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Empty Hands--By Linda Hurdwell--England

Empty Hands

And so the joyous tide of life
Is shrivelling ‘neath the sun
Its absurd complexity
Has almost had its fun

The subtle sunset covers up
The quickening hands of tine
And like a grotesque drama
Acts out a silent mime

The sea of breath ebbs away
To a salty shore
Confused and fearful of the day
Yet yearns to know much more.

Why has this tide sped on by?
Where is this promised land?
My soul it leaps toward the sky
And slips from both my hands.

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.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beyond--By Diana Dalton--United States


Beyond the word
Truth is heard
Beyond thought
Spirit is Sought

Beyond the self
Lies the Oneself
Beyond space & time
Eternity remains sublime

Always faithful and true
Heaven waits for you
Always here, always free
Beyond the vision of me.

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.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Haiku--By Arvinder Kaur--India

smoke ring...
the proposal
that never was

my last coin...
the silent ripples
in the wishing well

new mathematics-
still trying to understand
my x

painting class-
my grandson brings home
the ocean on a pebble

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.

authentic life...--By Sara R. Vogler--United States

authentic life i lead,
where courage is reclaimed,
and souls are reborn.

travels are made now,
And will be remembered when the night crawls in a mind.

nothing else will stay,
for the memories will hold fast.

constant light bring me fire
i desire,
for it is now that i charge the strong waves,
i never fear,
for new strength is upon me.

i am ready.

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, June 26, 2015

Tanka--By Ramesh Anand--India

a monarch flutters
against the train window
i set it free
from my fingertips
and wing along with it

across the border
everything feels fresh
this loneliness in me ...
being without you

still pond
reflecting the frozen stars
if only
i could stop counting
on her ignorance

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 http://ramesh-inflame.blogspot.com/

An Old Soldier--By Celine Rose Mariotti--United States

An Old Soldier

You’re an old soldier, Dad,
You’re an Infantryman,
You’ve been overseas,
In a foreign land,

You’re an old soldier, Dad,
You carry on through thick and thin,
You love your family,
You are always there for all of us,

You’re an old soldier, Dad,
You looked the enemy in the eye,
You were wounded in combat,
You’ve got that Purple Heart,

You’re an old soldier Dad,
You worked hard all your life,
You dealt with the ups and downs,
Your faith always keeps you strong,

You’re an old soldier, Dad,
Marching on
You’re a real trooper!

Happy Father’s Day!!!

I wrote this poem for my Dad, Peter J. Mariotti. He loved this poem. He was proud of his service to his country during the Korean War and was a Purple Heart Veteran. My Dad passed away on May 9, 2011. We miss him dearly.

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.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Cottage there by the Willows--By Keith Hunt--Canada

A Cottage there by the Willows

By the willows,
   where the sun shone gazing,
   streaming through arbors hazed,
And apple-cider scents were fermenting,
   by a pasture where the tree-people play ----
   sits a cottage by the bay

Where the willows weep long to seeking love,
   and sway they through will-o-wisps above,
Every evening the mountains moan with mists,
   with rainbows upon their darkling tips;
   polka-dot rocks along the path....
   and always butterfly's about the saplings,
   red earth rich from summer moons....
   (a cottage there by the willows)

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.

Poetry--By Ronald Grognet--United States

lunar eclipse--
harsh things I didn't say
to my mother

lost in my writing--
cold coffee

still standing
after a flood of memories--
my first home

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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Relationship Destined--By Frances Simwinga--Malawi

Relationship Destined

We; torn between names--lovers, friends--,
bonded by silence, of tied tongues,
sustained by imagination, of you and me,
wallowing in oceans of love, leaping forward
for a ship, to set sail our relationship,
to a destination unknown; despised by
on-lookers as cheap, like oblivious to them,
we sing, it's sweeter than fried potato chips,
as we roll in love--calling on each
other, when one is falling, forgiving our
wrongs, and forging ahead with our strengths.

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

Morning Come--By Robert A. Dufresne--United States

Morning Come

Swirling, cinnamon peppered, Neapolitan skies,
beckon like candy to my famished searching eyes.
Western honey colored rays
burning through shades of grays,
can’t penetrate the stacks of Nimbus blacks
but quick crackling shards of blinding  golden, silver slivers
pierce that formidable canopy as Sun’s pride withers.
The night and storm has won.
Morning,  come.

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 .

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Leap of Faith--By Chen-ou Liu--Canada

Leap of Faith
(a solo somonka for Søren Kierkegaard)

among shadows
in this attic room
I hear
years of lonely nights
stacked against my mind

the waves
lapping against my feet ...
am I afraid
to say a final farewell
to this sunny world

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, http://chenouliu.blogspot.com/

Strengthen Me, Holy God--By Suzanne Clement--United States

Strengthen Me, Holy God
     (Proverbs 18:10)

Strengthen me, Holy God
For I need Your strong power.
Without You, I am weak.
To me, You’re a strong tower.
Though I may struggle, Lord,
I should not be alarmed
Because under it all
Are Your eternal arms.

Equip me, mighty God,
To follow Your plans for me    
For I do love You, Lord,
And I fall, now, before Thee      
Asking Your great guidance
And Your direction, God,
So  I will obey You                   
And do what’s right and good.

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Monday, June 22, 2015

ACROSTIC--By James Rasmusson--United States


A crostic poems are fun to do
C reating lines that are right on cue,
R endering verse when a line’s first letter
O ffers meaning yet doesn’t fetter the
S pelling out of a sonorous title
T hat describes your heartfelt recital.
I n a craft of alphabetic form
C ontrol is crucial to inspire and inform.

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.

Boy, Do I Need Some Rest!--By Alan McAlpine Douglas--United Kingdom

Boy, Do I Need Some Rest!

Beyond the clouds what can I see ?
Not much, or anyway, not much to impress me.

Beyond the clouds a ball of mud,
widely covered by severe flood.

Beyond the clouds some parts called land,
on which scurry things who style themselves man.

Beyond the clouds an unnatural realm;
seems quite confused, who’s at the helm ?

Beyond the clouds much hustle, bustle,
such effort used, far too much fustle.

Beyond the clouds - ow, my aching head
too much ambrosia, thought I’d wake up dead.

Beyond the clouds, ah, memory’s comes to me,
supposed to be a joke ! Never again, a 6-day spree ....

(As told to Alan McAlpine Douglas)

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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

To The Sea--By Sara Kendrick--United States

To The Sea

Waiting out the summer storm
Wind whipping the trees
Down pour of rain pelts the truck
Bounces, tumbles free

Short lived episode of rain
Freed water races down
Searches for lowest places
Onward journey bound

To the sea, to the sea, see
Its travels complete
A never ending cycle
Flowing to rhythm's beat

The heart's rhythm pulses right
Going day and night
A precarious rhythm
A change gives life flight

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. 

Limbo--By Terry O'Leary--France


Six steeple towers, cold as steel, drab daggers in the sky!
Their hallowed halls no longer call when breezes wander by –
for, filled with dread to wake the dead, they've ceased to sough or sigh.

Coiled candle sticks! Their twisted wicks no longer 'lume the cracks
with dying flame in smoky swirl mid pendant pearls of wax,
since deference to innocence dissolved in molten tracks.

Above! The dismal ditch of dusk reveals a velvet streak,
through which the winter’s wicked winds will sometimes weave and sneak,
and faraway a cable sways, a bridge clings hushed and bleak.

Thin shadows shift, like silver shafts, across the cruel moraine
reflecting white a wisp of light in ebon beads of bane
which casts a crooked smile across a faceless window pane.

Wan neon lights glow through the nights, through darkness sleek as slate,
while lanterns (hovered, high above, in lurid swinging gait),
haunt ballrooms, bars and dark bazaars, though no one's there to fete.

The souls who come with jagged tongue won't sing a silent psalm,
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor pray for mercy, grace deferred, nor beg lethean balm,
nor yet redress the emptiness that shifting shades embalm –
they've seen, you see, life’s brevity, and face it with aplomb.

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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

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

we have not lived such a long time

when autumn nights can move us so
when we know where the seagulls sleep at dawn
and hear the music of the years as a twilight lullaby

when we wear fog like an overcoat
write letters in the waves
then laugh when they disappear

we have not lived such a long time


The phrase "we have not lived such a long time", a line from one of my mother's poems, had been haunting me for months. Yet in all the folders of her poetry, I couldn't find it any where. I knew she had written it long ago, before I was born. I began to question, did the poem really exist? And then yesterday, opening a folder I thought contained some of my own writing, this poem was on top, as if my mother placed it there to greet me, across time and space. My mother is so right: we have not lived such a long time, that we cannot experience the wonder and magic of this life, day by day and hour by hour. ~~ Nila J. Webster


In an effort to help contributors and readers get to know others better, writers were asked to answer the question above.  I am delighted to introduce a variety of responses that are both insightful and creative.  I know you will enjoy this column.

Thank you to the artists that contributed to this column.  We are building a creative community at Whispers thanks to the many that share their words, comment, or read poetry at our online journal.  What a gift to be able to share in this journey.

Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor


I write because I have to. Writing is not what I do; it is who I am. Without my books of poetry, I am not a whole person. ~~ By Joann Grisetti--United States

I write poetry, in different forms, relying a lot on rhyme. I love research, and I write articles for publishing; also wrote a historical book. A hobby of mine is writing children's short stories; one book has been published and a few are awaiting their turn. I write lyrics for songs, oratorios, hymns, and musicals. ~~ By Paul Callus--Malta

I write because it is my duty, my obligation, and promise to myself and to my grandfather, who was a Holocaust survivor, that I would not let the things that are inside of me, the bad and good, remain kept in Pandora's box. The need and the want continues to build in a positive light but is my go to when all other lights have gone off in the world. ~~ By Sara R. Vogler--United States

Just as some people lose themselves in reading a book, I lose myself in writing. Writing has become my savior, it's a challenge and I love a challenge! I began writing poetry seriously seventeen years ago when I retired, the same time that I began painting in oils.
Writing, painting is a gift...and if one has a gift, one should use it.  ~~ By Beth Winchcombe--England

I find that writing in poetic form is a splendid way to express my thoughts in a terse but expressive manner. I also write to leave a legacy for my children and grandchildren to cherish. I think I could sum up my love of sharing verse with others in this way: "I write never to become rich, but hopefully, for others their lives to enrich!" By ~~ Bob Hinshaw--United States

No one has ever seen the picture that’s worth a thousand words. I think words can be pictures, and lovely songs, and bodacious scents, and private flavors, and early morning caresses that wake each part of you, one at a time. I know some of those words, and, from time to time, I write a few of them….  ~~ By Richard Carl Subber--United States

I write to let my inner self out. I write to discover life’s wonders and dangers.  I write because I am compelled through some unnamed urging to be who I am. ~~ By Jim Teeters--United States

I write because I feel free when I write. The world seems to be at my fingertips, filled with all its emotions, and its feelings of expressions. It helps in a therapeutic way, to keep me sane and on the edge of possibilities, which these memories bring to me. Poetry is my life. ~~ By Russell Sivey--United States

Writing is that thin veil which I don when I wish to dig deeper and find my true voice. It allows me to express myself in ways I would never otherwise be able to. Writing transforms an idle thought into metaphors of my being, and it lifts my spirits when I'm down. ~~ By Shloka Shankar, India

This is why I write and post my poetry on youtube... For me a poem only 'lives' when it is recited ..one to another...becoming a unique one off, two way experience, an 'as is moment ' much the same experience as when standing before a painting or sculpture. Only by hearing it spoken can one experience its poetic nuance. ~~ By Brian Strand-- England

I am writing poetry since the age of sixteen and published it together with short stories
in our school magazine at that time.  Writing for me is a "must" and I always feel satisfied once I have finished a poem or a short story, although I am not always in the mood to write and words and thought come suddenly into my head. For me to write poetry is a gift and a special talent as it is with my drawings and paintings or even photography. ~~ By Gert Knop--Germany

I write to create new worlds and make them my own. ~~ By Tom Davis--United States

I write because creativity is the bridge over the flow of life, which I need to traverse to cover the distance from the creation to the creator.  ~~ By Vidur Jyoti--India

"I write because I need to respond to whatever I perceive through all my senses. It is as natural as having to eat when I am hungry or drink when I am thirsty. I always carry a pencil and some paper, and when I haven't, I have written on paper napkins, grocery bills, ticket stubs, luggage labels, prescription slips, dry leaves, everything! Something inside me would crumble and die if I couldn't write."  ~~ By Angelee Deodhar--India

Writing is part of who I am, an extension of my artistic nature.  It has helped me deal with illness and other challenges.  I feel it is blessing, allowing me to develop friendships all over the world.  ~~ By Karen O’Leary, United States

I write for a living - so the stomach makes me write. But I also write for my eyes - because I like seeing black characters on white screens, I like the scritch-scratch of pen on paper. I write for my heart - I can talk of fewer things of beauty than a well-crafted sentence. I write for my mind - because the dance of words that happens within, is a gift that keeps on giving.  ~~ By Raamesh Gowri Raghavan--India

When life asks me a million questions during my journey, poetry tells me that my heart communicates with my hand to get in touch with my soul and find the answers I'm looking for and that's why I write. Writing is my voice, I identify myself with my poetry, it gives me a joy that words will fail to express. ~~ By Vasanthi S. Pillai--India

Why I write: To express my thoughts through the art of poetry, words that seek to form a bridge between intellectual abstract thought and the world of the inarticulate.  ~~ By Connie Marcum Wong--United States

I write because it is a way of self expression. It is a passion that must be filled. It is a place where deep inspiration, vivid imagination, spell binding mystery, universal
truth can all be expressed by my thoughts. ~~ By Phyllis Babcock--Canada

As far back as I can recall I've loved putting my thoughts on paper, & seriously wanted to write books for children, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord had different plans for me.  Nothing blesses my heart more now than to share words of encouragement & hope through poetry.  In a world where there is so much despair & pain, it's gratifying to sow seeds of inspiration that uplift the spirit & make people smile.
~~ By Christine Tate--United States

My mother, when I was young, said that, 'You will always have your art'.  Every one of my compositions, whether drawn or written, affirms this in me, and I hope, will do my mother proud. ~~ By Ralph Stott--England

I write to capture a "moment."  I enjoy life as a muse. Writing keeps creativity flowing.
~~ By Marlene Million--United States

Writing for me is a little bit instinctual, a way to channel my thoughts and release my creative energy. I was encouraged to write as a youngster so while I find its practice very challenging I have persevered with it. I enjoy the play of language, choosing words and putting them together to make something new and sometimes original. I think that to
have work published can be very exciting. ~~ By Anne Curran--New Zealand

: ) Seriously? Because I don’t know how not to write and stay sane in this crazy upside-down world. How do you not write about floods and moles, crows cawing and lightning flashing? I guess it’s the case of garbage in, garbage out; sweetness in, sweetness out. It’s about sharing my corner of the world. ~~ By Pat Durmon--United States

Why do I write? Well I've always been an avid reader, but writing comes as a release of the internal need to create and passion to speak out. I started writing after a period of feeling locked in through ill-health and as a means of reaching out to others similarly. I'm a big believer of an expression I heard some time ago - if life throws you a curved ball throw one right back. I'd got to a point I felt useless as so many things seemed to be snatched away and so started learning new and creative skills to take up the emptiness I felt and now look back with pride and forward with hope. ~~ By Anna-Marie Docherty--Wales

Books have filled me with the excitement of encountering different worlds and diverse characters. Life is so amazing in its myriad patterns of nature, art, dreams and daily life. I want to tell my story and to explain what I see, feel and think. ~~ By Joan McNerney--
United States

I enjoy writing, putting words and ideas in indispensable notebooks where I can entertain myself for hours "trolling" for a word or sentence that might turn into a poem, story or article. I love to write and have been at it as long as I can remember and enjoy picking up publications and seeing my work included among friends I've made through the years. It's also a way of validating myself, that somehow in this huge unending universe I've written something that someone, somewhere may enjoy. ~~ By Barbara Tate--United States

You write to meet yourself at the deepest and most profound level.  You write because without words to express it, the world is brittle and prickly and almost unlivable. You write to survive and you write to become. Most of all, you write because it gives you wings. ~~ By Rohini Gupta--India

I write because I like to share some of my thoughts. Sometimes, it's just something silly that I hope will make people smile. Other times, it's a catharsis for me, which may strike a chord with others. But mostly, I write because I love it! ~~ By Jack Horne--England

Forest Way--By Joyce I. Johnson--United States

Forest Way

I wandered down the forest lane
Just to see what joys I'd find.
The path was dry from lack of rain
And rimmed by plants of every kind.

A little frog came hopping by,
Focused on undisclosed intent.
With no response to my brief "Hi"
He kept on hopping without relent.

A group of other forest folks
Were in a circle on the ground.
I thought that they were telling jokes
As frog hopped to a grassy mound.

No one invited me to sit.
None held up a big welcome sign.
I felt a chilling quite a bit
And went back home some friends to find.

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.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Poetry--By Yuan Changming--Canada

The Fish in the Glass Jug

You keep jumping high
Above the mouth to escape
Far from this prison
Not knowing there’s everything
But water outside the wall


Seeing a Shadow

In the dark no one
Is moving, a fairy form
Surely, an alien
Is standing still, and surely
Never will we remain so


Yuan Changming, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of 5 chapbooks (including Kinship [2015] and The Origin of Letters [2015]), grew up in rural China, became an ESL student at 19, and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver and, since mid-2005, has had poetry appearing in 1039 literary publications across 34 countries, including Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Cincinnati Review and Threepenny Review.

Suddenly--By Connie Marcum Wong--United States


   Suddenly I was caught
In the whirlwind of you.
   Tumbling, tumbling...
My heart beating faster
   Flying, soaring into the heavens.
The universe in its vastness
   Swallowed me.
Your brilliance penetrated
   The darkness as a distant star
And I felt myself being pulled
   Into orbiting around you,
Eternally seeking to be eclipsed
   By your grandeur and beauty,
To be warmed by your nearness
   And kissed by your light.

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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Evening--By Jan Allison--United Kingdom


sapphire blue velvet punctuated by stars   heavens above 


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.

Sanctuary--By Mary A. Couch--United States


Within the glen a fairy ring,
and there the child did lie.
She heard the fairies sing
beneath a moonlit sky.

Safe from the hunter’s rage,
she slept peaceful in the dark.
Morning came, turned a page,
the child awoke; a lark.

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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sunflowers--By Marlene Million--United States


Good Morning, Sunflowers!
You face the sun in worship
with petals, a spiral pattern
of rich lemony, bountiful fun.

Nature focuses upon your yellow-
bright flower heads, bees
buzz, butterflies flit,
finches pinch at your seeds.

Your bouquet flourishes in a
vase upon table. This joyful
ambiance is made radiant
by your glorious presence.

God nods approval, casts
his blessings. Each corner
bursts into sunshine delight,
jovial blossoms of sun!

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.

Waiting--By Rohini Gupta--India


The windows stay shut
against the chill
the cats are fluffed and hunched
waiting for the clatter of their bowls

summer is forgetful
a thin winter lingers

but everything
carried by parrot screech
and seagull wing
is moving silently
with a slow green grace
to spring

Rohini Gupta lives in Mumbai, India and writes poetry, haiku, fiction and nonfiction. She had published books of poetry and nonfiction and her collection of flash fiction will be out soon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Beside a stream...By David Coon--United States

Beside a stream of crystal; its laughter sings to me.
Wild salmon rejoice in the current, free to swim naturally.
No dam to impede them as they pursue what nature has decreed.

Ancient willow shades with gnarled, hanging boughs
that touch the waters ripples, dancing with rhythm endowed.

No sound of man's entanglements enters this reverent stand,
only the sounds of the natural; only the song of the land.

Tomorrow will bring reality, but tonight I walk my dream.

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

ME ME ME--By Brian Strand--England


and selfies,
egos and wealth-
faux publicity for

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.

Monday, June 15, 2015

No Internet In Heaven--By Erich J. Goller--United States

No Internet In Heaven

Young Eric coming home from school
all excited he is telling his mom,
“ today I’ve learned how to log on
and now I can email my dad in heaven.
please mom give me his address.

“ Well son, I’m sorry but that can’t be done,
there is no internet in heaven”.

“ Just how do you know that mom?”
asked her disappointed son.

“Our Pastor told me so, he said
just say it all in your prayer
and your Guardian Angel
will take your massage there.”

“You see son,
heaven is the place for peace,
love and rest and thank God
for banning the internet
in heaven.”

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, www.poetvienna.com

Poet of the Month--Ralph Stott

Creative Verse

By Ralph Stott

Perfect Six--

Sugar Bowl

bartered smile

Sunday Best

Off to the



The butterfly rules the Buddleia
The purple emperor butterfly, rules over all the Buddleia surveys.


Having just a little luxury
Having to myself, just a piece, a little luxury affords.


ancient carp drinking
eternal rain

security light
rabbit overtaken
by its shadow


....finding the truth
.......lost for words

..................happy hands

From the editor--It is a pleasure to announce that Ralph Stott is June’s Poet of the Month!  He is a talented writer accomplished in a variety of forms, specializing in short verse.  Readers at Whispers enjoy his work.  He was our Activity Editor in April, sharing his Twister form to for us to try and enjoy.  He shares thoughtful comments to encourage others at our online journal.  What a joy to present him with this honor.

Thoughts on Ralph‘s Creative Verse--I have long admired Ralph’s ability to capture so much in a few words with wit and style.  I asked him to share some of his short poems for this honor.  I’ve selected a variety of his wonderful pieces in four forms for your enjoyment.  I know you’ll agree with me that his creativity shines in these poems.

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


Karen O’Leary, Editor

Away from City Streets and Towns--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

Away from City Streets and Towns

Dawn comes tiptoeing through
the awakening shadows;
as darkness diminishes,
a symphony of sounds.
Their voices lift to greet it
and out of the woods deer
creep cautiously to the lakeside
to lap its refreshing water.
As morning passes into noon,
a quietness intermingles
with chirping of birds’ songs,
raining down from treetops.
It’s a place to escape
the harsh and restless sounds
in the city streets and towns.

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, June 14, 2015

The Ocean--By Annie Jenkin--England

The Ocean

Grey seas,
constant motion,
undulating, wave’s peak
and fold, leaving a translucent
white horse

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.

Fly Ariel Fly--By Robert Hewett Sr.--United States

Fly Ariel Fly

Fly Ariel, fly away with your dreams
to wondrous places and a
life that fulfills those dreams.
Fly Ariel with imagination
and hard work to live a life
filled with love for family
and friends and others
less fortunate than you.
Fly Ariel through books and
media to lean about things
never dreamed about.
Imagine Ariel what life
will be like when you are
seventy-five like me.
Fly Ariel, but always with a kind heart
the world better with your example.
Do your best and all will be well.
So, fly Ariel, fly away in thoughts
to your heart’s desire, but know
that reality will judge how well you fly.

Author’s note: Ariel invited me to her 5th grade class. I wrote this poem for her; put it in a framed format and presented it to her in class.

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 "roberthewettsr.hubpages.com"

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer Rain--By Kelly Deschler--United States

Summer Rain

Standing on the sidewalk
Underneath the trees
My ears can hear it talk
Murmuring with the breeze
Every drop hits the street
Running in it's own way

Raining down it's own beat
A song it just wants to play
I can feel their dancing feet
Near mine on a summer day

"Summer Rain" is an acrostic poem written by Kelly Deschler, in the summer of 2014. She lives in Big Falls, Wisconsin.

The Same Sky--By Sandra Stefanowich--Canada

The Same Sky

Caught a glimpse of a lost love up in the sky
sailing away with the parting dreams passing by.

Broken seashells lie listless along the sandy beach
everything in this reality seems to be out of reach.

Some wonder why some souls walk out an open door
and wander not knowing yet what they're searching for.

Left in solitude watching the stars fall upon the shore,
do they wonder if anyone sees the same sky anymore?

The sun sinks slowly and night falls all around me
as a fire dances, releasing ashes to drift out to sea.

I travel back to another time where I like to stay.
Pictures appear to me inside my secret hideaway.

Where buried within the deep, crashing waves
lies the remnants of one's heart; a memory it saves.

Left in solitude watching the stars fall upon the shore
I wonder, does anyone see the same sky anymore?

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

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By John Judson Roe IV and David Fox--United States

Helping Children Smile

By John Judson Roe IV and David Fox

The weather is a bit sunny
Yet still sort of cold
Exciting for the children
Who are getting kind of old
They're anxious for Summer
That will end winter’s cold
The beaches are enticing
Beneath the sunny skies
Is where they go
when the rain dries.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Look into My Heart--By Leokadia Durmaj--Australia

Look into My Heart

My dearest wish was to share my life
With someone that understands me,
And appreciates the beauty
That surrounds this life within.
Like a flower that spreads its wings
To heaven in the spring
As I walk along the beach,
Seagulls flying high above,
I can feel the cool breeze pass
Upon my face so lightly,
The gentle touch of a hand
Bringing faith, hope and love
I watch in wonder,
As the sun breaks through
The snow white clouds,
It spreads its warmth
Caressing every part of me,
Nothing touches my heart
As my one true love,
Walking close beside me.

Leokadia Durmaj is a published writer from Australia.

Living for the Moment--By Tim Ryerson--United States

Living for the Moment

Learning His lessons at last
The past must die as the past
The future must never exist
So let the fates turn and twist
No time to berate and bemoan
Each instant is ever on loan
Right now is the now or never
Nothing but God lasts forever

Author’s Thoughts--Written in the style of  “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost...My favorite poem by my favorite poet

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

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lanterne String--By Paul Callus--Malta

Lanterne String


make shy poppies

Veiled Threat

in a desert


movements replace

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.

Let Us Not Forget Them--By John Daleiden--United States

Let Us Not Forget Them

centuries of veterans
march through the morning mist—
remember them

Old Glory
briskly tops out the mast—
then at half-staff,
our thoughts mourn for lives lost
in battles where foe met foe

though we lay wreathes
and fresh blooms, they too perish—
the rivers flow on

is there no end
to bloodshed in killing fields?
the Buglers play taps . . .

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Contemplation--By Jim Teeters--United States


I walk the trail
this morning, my time
to meditate
    imagine, invent things
contemplate my place
    in this vast universe
slugs dotting the trail
ants scrambling their pile
I can write a poem like this

Yet I don't feel superior
    I can't slither along leaving a trail of wetness
    crawl around kindly building with others
and they’re not slithering or scrambling
    for glory or recognition
as I often want to do...
    ...but…well, let me get back to
my imagining, inventing, contemplating
                         my place in
                   this vast universe

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.

Uncontrollable--By Beth Winchcombe--England


Why are we drawn
towards the ocean?
Liken to human beings,
it has life
energy   power       

Gazing at the horizon
as far as the eye can see
a vast expanse of blue
peppered   twinkling
on a CALM day

Waves crashing
against the shore                    
consumed with ANGER

Neptune failed
when he attempted
to rule the waves

Just as human beings
the sea has a mind...
...of it's own

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

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Blown Away--By Joan McNerney--United States

Blown Away

I'm gonna have lunch with
the sky. It's been way too
long since we got together.

I'll run downstairs through
hallways into bursts of blue.
Perhaps never return to work,
words, paper clips, bookshelves.

Who needs cash when there's
so much green grass to hoard?
Forget about food. I’ll drink up
sunshine, nibbling juicy clouds.

O sky, you are my solar mate.
We will be faithful always.
Come home now...I will
never look at another.

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.

~ Butterfly~--By Rick Parise--United States

~ Butterfly~

For now she lies silent
the winds have all but ceased
the ending of relentless rain
has birthed a song of spring

In her silent paradise
protected within emerald boughs
a dream of pastel stirs
within her silken gown

With images alive in flutter
where sparks of growth ignite
this lovely fare virgin
prepares her endless flight

With grace reaching beyond
and subtle hymns in soft sway
this beauty of flights kingdom
escapes to make her way...

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 rapondering@yahoo.com

Monday, June 8, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By D. Russel Micnhimer--United States and Nalini Priyadarshni, Sri N. Srivatsa, Aruna Singh, Sangeeta Talwar Suneja, Ashwini Kumar Vishnu, Parveen Sethi and Shirin Hasrat--India


When knowing branches
hang heavy with fruit, lips taste
sweet fruit of hard work (D. Russel Micnhimer)

New flavours bloom with merger
of patience and enterprise (Nalini Priyadarshni)

The early bird sings
in delight at the daylight.
Time to rise and shine (Sri N. Srivatsa)

Gather flavours, colours, sounds
spread them on canvas of dreams (Aruna Singh)

Savour the ripe thought,
freshly plucked mornings are songs
serve, the verve belongs (Sangeeta Talwar Suneja)

Songs of love floating around
I hear the bathing beauty (Ashwini Kumar Vishnu)

Sound sweet and crisp
wafts through air
it ought to be lover's lips (Parveen Sethi)

Exciting new sensations
as the world around dissolves (Nalini Priyadarshni)

Non-stop wanderer
my quest for new love continues
fresh constellations (Ashwini Kumar Vishnu)

Falling stars from galaxies
fistfuls of stardust blind me (Shirin Hasrat)

Haiku--By John McDonald--Scotland

fat cat
loses again
...sparrows sit singing

a goose feather
on the wind

widower -
in his wedding ring
Easter candles flicker

full moon -
a homeless man's plate
licked clean

funeral Mass -
in the chalice
a dead fly

John McDonald is a retired stone-mason who came to haiku in the mid-nineties. He fell in love with the genre immediately. Being a writer in the Scots language this genre fitted so well with Scots: a language steeped in rural life and having a natural succinctness to it. John has his own blog in Scots, with English versions: http://zenspeug.blogspot.com  He enjoys being involved in translations, working with the very fine Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock on various ventures, the most recent being translations into Irish and Scots of the great haiku poet Buson: Moon over Tagoto and has appeared in many anthologies.

The Other Half--By Molly Moore--United States

The Other Half

O jagged half moon in the predawn sky
Peering through my window at the start of day
By whom torn in two and tossed up high?
If you had speech, what would you say?

Is it my beloved, traveling lands afar,
Who's holding your other half within his gaze
And sending you drifting from star to star
To greet me in your mysterious ways?

With your magnetic pull, please hitch me astride
To pursue the alter ego we wish to catch
Traversing the heavens on a luminous ride
In the hopeful quest for our perfect match.

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.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Spring Buds--By Phyllis Babcock--Canada

Spring Buds

Seedlings drift on cool spring breeze
Gently floating on each gust of wind
Falling slowly into deep crevices
Touching the fertile earth below
Trees shred the dried remains of winter
Barren trees now enhanced
By various shades of green
Newly formed buds appear
Dew drops kiss the colored blossoms
The sun beams with all it's charm
New growth steadily emerges
Spring adorns a new dress of green.

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

Labeled Fragile--By Laura M. Kaminski--United States

Labeled Fragile

a gift for Jennifer Stokley

If I could take the world, brush it gently
shake all the hatred off humanity
if I could fill each ocean
to the beaches with compassion
and turn up the volume on the sky
so you could hear the song of sunrise
if I could make this earth entirely
a gift of peace, joy, love and beauty
I would wrap it in a prayer and send it
(labeled fragile) as a gift.

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 arkofidentity.wordpress.com.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Persistence of Memory--By Paresh Tiwari--India

The Persistence of Memory

It lies here, neglected and lost, a white empty polythene bag, an aberration amongst the colourful footfalls. Separated from whatever was inside it, it has ceased to exist. Lying here, waiting for the morning cleaners with their brooms of long wooden handles and brittle bristles of sorghum. But there’s a breeze - gentle at first, building up its breath, puffing out its chest… and in that gust, the poly-bag soars.

Touching the red Converse of a sixteen-year-old, hooked to his iPod, brushing by the blue sari of the woman bent over fresh farm produce, catching the grey boulder chiseled into the likeness of Buddha, sweeping past the brick wall, crossing the street in a single bound, almost caressing the yellow car on its way before stopping at her feet.

mackerel sky -
an unfinished poem
by the felled tree

I have known her for over a decade. Our families spent idle afternoons over low stakes bridge and loud spicy lunches. And then one day, they stopped coming to the club.

Their son, failing the medical entrance exam for the fifth time, overdosed on sleeping pills.

summer heat –
the mongrel laps up
a mirage

Published – World Haiku Review, Aug 2014

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 http://goo.gl/MsSCaK

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


is just a brief
moment of clarity
between winter’s icy
glare and summer’s
blinding heat.

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: http://rphansenauthorpoet.wordpress.com/.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Pale Blue Dot--By George L. Ellison--England

Pale Blue Dot

Aria’s Couplets and “B”s

The pale blue dot that is our planet earth
Has been the slave of its creatures since birth
From the big bang without a doubt

It has never complained no matter what
It’s done all we asked and that’s been a lot
Now we are the slaves and we pout

Mother Earth’s future will be very bleak
We must slave away solutions to seek
Or live in constant fear throughout

We face earth’s ire on this long road ahead
Climate warming it is our biggest dread
Time for us to slave or get 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!

Early Lesson--By Eleanor Michael--United States

Early Lesson

Outside a house
where I lived
when I was six,
a bed of cactus grew.
Flat green pads
in the rocky soil.
Long before
beautiful yellow
flowers appeared,
I’d learned
about spiny thorns.

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

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Haibun: Still--By Angelee Deodhar--India

Haibun: Still

Elsa, our cocker spaniel, the color of sunshine poured out the bottle, a scintillating shade of gold unmatched on any palette is dying. A breast lump removed a few months ago has extended its tentacles into her spine and her hip. Eleven years old [77yrs in human years] she can barely walk out the door or get up to have a drink of water, her appetite gone she is virtually starving and not accepting the food that we try to put in her mouth.

Checking over the place where our vet buried his dogs, I look at our small patch of mud which would not hold her. She looks at me with limpid eyes knowing her time has come. What she doesn’t know that I will play Kevorkian when the time comes. How will I know when to let her go?

    our walk slows
    as she sniffs fallen blossoms
    - approaching storm

Previously published in Albatross Autumn, Winter 2008

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).

Infinite Wheel--By Gerald Heyder--United States

Infinite Wheel

Poetry is an infinite wheel
with each poet a spoke thereof.
We put heart and soul on paper
with feelings from heartache to love.
Each poem is a jig-saw piece
that comes from deep within.
We admit to all our mistakes
and often confess our sins.
Poetry is life’s puzzle
that may often be repeated.
We just can’t help but wonder
if the puzzle will ever be completed?

Gerald Heyder is a published poet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Michael Todd, Lynn DeVrieze, Christopher Mitchell, Donna Brumback Nalley and DeAnna Metcalf--United States


By Michael Todd, Lynn DeVrieze, Christopher Mitchell, Donna Brumback Nalley and
DeAnna Metcalf

The hardest goodbyes are the ones not heard;
Come from the heart to land who knows where.
Spoken in plain sentences, word for word...
As though I had one goodbye left to spare.

I have a heavy heart, but empty hands.
Such a simple phrase, I'm unable to say.
Through my broken hourglass slips the sand,
My farewell falls somewhere along the way.

As I stare along the empty road south,
Imagining the departing Greyhound empty;
Only quiet breath leaving my mouth,
And tears falling toward flowers pretty.

The sweetest hellos are whispered by you
As our hearts meet to share a wordless song.
I know as we join in harmony true
That you’ve been missing from me far too long.

There are no words to quell the thirst
A drink of your soul can supply,
So hush the verbal notion first
And speak not, a needless goodbye.

If the Sun Wasn’t so Mean--By Su'eddie Vershima Agema--Nigeria

If the Sun Wasn’t so Mean
(for Margaret Ifeoma Osuji)

If the sun wasn’t so mean
you would not know the beauty of the moon’s grin
If the day wasn’t so harshly bright
you would not consider the soothing of the night

Death stretches out to capture our pearls
to teach the adage forever sells
that you value what you have
in the finite space blessed by the one who did us all carve

The sun is mean if you miss its grin
The day is harshly bright if you forget its light
wonders and continuous wonders
that transcend the confines of our mere thoughts

Life’s lesson is best captured in its strife
Its beauty in the emptiness of its duty
To death, a deferent departure from this earth
Dawn’s fullness through a day till dusk and then morn

If the sun wasn’t so mean dear
There would be much to fear
A deathly chill – need I say the rest?
Enjoy the sun – it hurts but know through it, we are blessed.

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 http://sueddie.wordpress.com and can be reached at eddieagema@yahoo.com. @sueddieagema on Twitter.

End of the Runway--By Peggy Dugan French--United States

End of the Runway

You are just a speck now, long past the runway.  You are soaring over mountains drizzled with snow, bountiful plains, and street lit cities with quiet and noisy lives unfolding.   You will land 3,000 miles away from me.  Now you are a young woman on a big dream-catching adventure, but once you were a young girl who would hold my hand in parking lots and snuggle close to me.  Those days you were often smothered in gold lamé and lace, captivating, original and always smiling.  Your smile will still melt a stranger’s heart, but life’s struggles make it surface less frequently these days.  I still wish I could fix any wrong that comes your way, but time and experience have taught me I must be patient, let you figure things out for yourself.  But today dreams can still come true, and hearts can meld and mend to create a new beginning.  The bond is still strong between us, but there is less fluff around us now, a more nitty-gritty talk flows between us. Homesick miles keep us apart in this new version of us, but we are brave and strong and we are still smiling.

                one last wave
                heart heavy
                heart singing

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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Haiku--By Kala Ramesh--India

I walk farther
into the womb of time:

Previously published--A Hundred Gourds, 3:2, March 2014

sunbirds peck
the tumbling river notes . . .
evening raga

Previously published--A Hundred Gourds, 2:3, June 2013

burning ghat . . .
  from the depths of grief
my friend's off-key tune

Previously published--Modern Haiku, 45:1, Winter 2014

falling leaves . . .
if only sorrows could be
contained in a palm

Previously published--Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts, Summer 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.

time--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States


in that little bit of time
from the time it took
for my eyes to adjust
to the dark to the time
to recognize you two
rows down your head
on his shoulder was
all the time it took
for time to stand still

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

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Robin--Yvonne Sparkes--England

The Robin

A blush of red adorns your coat,
Oh maestro of the warbled note.
In song you stand at heaven’s door,
Those warbled songs that you implore,
Can any hardened heart remain?
Without a falling tear to claim?
Through weathers good or bad you sing,
Remind the listener of spring,
Perhaps to give a faith of kind,
That summer is not far behind.
So sing my little feathered friend,
Hope and joy in song you lend,
Faith and trust, that come what may,
There will always be a brighter day.

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.

The Secret of Happiness--By Ron Larson--United States

The Secret of Happiness

Having been told by an angel there was a wise man
Who was the happiest person of all on the earth,
The king summoned the man by imperial command
To discover why he couldn't even enjoy mirth.

When the wise man appeared, he simply shrugged his shoulders
And seemed slightly put-off by the eternal question.
When asked why, he said, "I just hope I'll not be bolder
Now that I'm deemed so special by the entire nation."

Nothing in excess.

Ron Larson is a retired community college professor (Ph.D.) and has had both fiction and non-fiction published in various journals over the years. He has been writing poetry for the last two years. His poems have been accepted by such diverse magazines as The American Dissident, Big Pulp, and WestWard Quarterly.



            Sheikha A.--Pakistan and U.A.E.
            Vasanthi S. Pillai--India
            Aju Mukhopadhyay--India   
            Nalini Priyadarshni--India   
            D. Russel Michener--United States
            Raamesh Gowri Raghavan--India
            Suvojit Banerjee--India
            Cynthia Smothers Carter--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, Malta,Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, U.A.E., United Kingdom, United States and Wales.  I look forward to expanding this list in the future. Thank you to everyone that has supported Whispers in any way.                              -Sincerely,  Karen

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

Note--Ads due for July column by June 25


Robert P. Hansen's forthcoming novel Angst (Book 4 of the Angus the Mage fantasy series) will become available in June or early July. In anticipation of this event, he has made the first book of the series free as an eBook through several retailers. For more on this and his other books, visit his blog at: https://rphansenauthorpoet.wordpress.com/.

Jack Horne announces the release of his second novel, Cyber Vamps: a paranormal-fantasy romance. This book is currently available from eTreasuresPublishing.com, price $3.99 http://jackhorne.blogspot.co.uk

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

Sheri Stanley illustrated an e-book titled, The Morning Dream, which is now available on Amazon. It is a collaboration publication and will soon be available in actual book format soon very soon. It is a children's book targeted for kids from the age of 4 to 5th grade. Stop and leave a comment for Sheri's illustrations if you have the chance to do so.

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.

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, http://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Shadow-White-Pigeon-Pijush/dp/1505854113/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422829526&sr=8-1&keywords=beneath+the+shadow+of+a+white+pigeon

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: http://barometricpressures.blogspot.com/2014/10/listening-to-electric-cambodia-looking.html 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 http://redpainthill.com/ring-the-sycamore-sky.php

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: celinem@aol.com

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

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

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

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

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


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

Stacy Savage is seeking submissions for a Christmas poetry anthology. Send one to two Christmas poems, up to 32 lines each, to: stacyrsavage@yahoo.com. Deadline is August 15, 2015. Proceeds will go to Operation Gratitude -- an organization that sends care packages to U.S military.

Maurice J. Reynolds would like to announce that To God be the Glory! Publications and Creative Inspirations are undergoing some new and exciting changes. At this time, Creative Inspirations is accepting poetry submissions. For more information and guidelines, go to: www.tgbtgpublictions.com, or write to: To God be the Glory Publications, Attn: Creative Inspirations Guidelines, P.O. Box 19051, Kalamazoo, MI 49019.

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 darylayaz@me.com, blog site is bearcreekhaiku.blogspot.com.

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 http://www.oldmp.com/e-book

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. joker31277@yahoo.com

David Fox is seeking family-friendly poems for his magazine, The Poet's Art. Rates for the publication are $7 an issue or $25 for a 4 issue subscription. Checks should be made to cash.  Foreign contributors should pay $10 per issue or $35 for a subsciption by international money order or American cash only.  Send submissions and  money for subscriptions to David Fox,171 Silverleaf Lane, Islandia, NY 11749 USA.

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