Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Invitation to Join in an Ongoing Thread of Celebration and Editor's Thoughts--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

Our online journal/poetry community is about 15,000 away from the 200,000 view mark.  That is a tribute to our talented contributors and all of you that offer words of encouragement to others. This has been and is such an uplifting experience for me and hope it is for you, too.

     True Color

Encouragement is a white
tulip in spring.
It does not pretend
to boast vivid, rich hues.
In its simple beauty,
it displays what it is.

I feel it is fitting that we celebrate by sharing uplifting poems, words of encouragement and other thoughts that are uplifting and inspirational in an ongoing thread.  Please post what you would like to share in the comments section.  We are many parts joining together to make this poetry family that enriches the lives of others.  Thank you all so much!

Many blessings and best wishes,

Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Magical Moonlight - A Pantoum--By Jan Allison--United Kingdom

Magical Moonlight - A Pantoum

I watch moonbeams dance on an inky sea
Clouds drift on by, oh how the moon does shine
Moonlight shadows always fascinate me
This ever-changing scene is so divine

Clouds drift on by, oh how the moon does shine
As I stroll down to the sea late at night
This ever-changing scene is so divine
Stars are twinkling, giving celestial light

As I stroll down to the sea late at night
I’m captivated by such stunning skies
Stars are twinkling, giving celestial light
Until the morning sun begins to rise

I’m captivated by such stunning skies
Moonlight shadows always fascinate me
Until the morning sun begins to rise
I watch moonbeams dance on an inky sea

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.

Dawn’s Early Light--By Lisa DeVinney--United States

Dawn’s Early Light

The shadows of the night are fading fast;
The light of a new dawn is stealing in.
The earth will not turn back upon the past;
But forward to a new day it will spin.

The tears of sorrow’s night will fall away,
Brushed gently by God’s tender, healing hand;
As joy is ushered in with this new day
Which dawns upon the soul, at His command.

The long, cold night of weeping is behind.
A day bathed in the Son now lies before.
And once again, His promises remind
Of blessings that the Father has in store.

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

Monday, March 28, 2016

A puppet show--By Sunil Sharma--India

A puppet show

On a summer evening
A puppet show, corner of
A large compound emptied of cars/bikes
On that hour, for that special show,
Demonstrates the power of narrative
And of the painted faces, silken clothes, huge
Khol eyes.
How wood undergoes a change
And characters come alive!
How deft fingers and voices manipulate the medium and audience.
It reminds me of a happy childhood in a small town, decades ago.
Now, the puppet show is extinct like the Dodo
As there is no childhood or open space in a high-rise!

Sunil Sharma is a writer based in Mumbai, India. A college principal, he has published four books of poetry, two books of shorts and a novel in English, apart from co-editing six literary anthologies.  He edits Episteme:   

Poetry Moments--By ayaz daryl nielsen--United States

dead, we’ll lie together
beneath a comforter
of healthy green grass
learning what we’ll need
from earth and bare root

a blue heron calls
upon the shores of daytime
churning genesis

finely-honed tools
gentle hands and gentle voice
weather-worn grandma

ayaz daryl nielsen, a veteran, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs) and hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/125+ issues), homes for his poems include Lilliput Review, Cattails, High Coupe, Shamrock, Scifaikuest, Shemom, Whispers… and! online at bear creek haiku poetry, poems and info (translates as joie de vivre)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

In Memory with Love--Beth Winchcombe--October 2, 2015--England

Another Crossroads

Yes or No?
Do we stay, or do we go?
Another crossroads in our life,
Another thought, another strife!
We ponder again,
Questions still remain,
Be it yes, or be it no!
To stay as we are, or have a go!
The unanswered question in our minds
Will solve itself! Give it time.

Dear Whispers Family,

It is a pleasure to share another poem in tribute to Beth. Sadly, we said good-bye to her in October of 2015.  Beth embraced the Whispers community, supporting and caring about others with her kind heart.  She was a blessing in my life.  Beth shared her gift of words for monthly activities, collaborative poems, individual poems, and uplifting comments for other writers. She was our September Poet of the Month, an honor she richly deserved. She touched my heart. Thank you, to her husband, Geoff, and Jack Horne for allowing me the honor of publishing this poem.                                   –Karen O’Leary, Editor

Lady’s Slipper and Lambs’ Tongues--By Maralee Gerke--United States

Lady’s Slipper and Lambs’ Tongues

Scrambling up through the
field of spring beauties, I broke twigs
on the scrub oaks, collected cockleburs on my pant legs,
and risked poison oak, until
at the edge of the forest I collapsed at the base of the crippled maple.
One limb flung out near the ground as broad as our milk cow,
covered with thick chartreuse moss and lacy licorice root ferns.
Straddling the limb, I lifted the moss and tore out the root:
a taste of anise, wild and tangy in my mouth.

I was as wild as the flowers, that
grew in profusion amid the grass and moss.
I picked Johnny-jump-ups, Lambs’ Tongues, and the elusive Lady’s Slipper.
Back down the hill I ran, hands full of half-wilted wildflowers.
My proffered nosegay plopped in a canning jar of water on
the windowsill above the kitchen sink.
Looking back, I know I’ve been separated too long from
the geography of my childhood,
and now I venture beyond the garden fence with
trepidation and longing to be somewhere more tame.

Maralee Gerke lives and writes in Madras, Oregon. She is and avid reader and gardener. She describes herself as a work in progress. Her poems have been published in Calyx, Exit Thirteen, Moonset, Bathtub Gin, Anthology, Nerve Cowboy, Avocet, and Tigers Eye. She has published two books of poems and has had poetry and prose accepted in several anthologies. Her work can be seen online at Shadow Poetry, Long Story Short, and Moontown Café. She recently recorded 4 poems for the Oregon Poetic Voices Project. They can be heard at One of her poems “Refuge”, was recently selected to be printed as a limited edition broadside by the Penland School of Crafts.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

My Stardust Dream--By Patricia Ann Farnsworth-Simpson--Canary Islands

My Stardust Dream

With the suns passage going down
Twilight blends my mind to dream
Of gently walking through the town
With a vanilla ice cream

My stardust dreams then lead me on
Like an airbrushed melody
My spirit walks with all weight gone
I feel light as light can be

I dance to a moonlight melody
Mystic tendrils fill the air
Then something seems to waken me
Wishing I was still there

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

Poetry--By Shirley Smothers--United States

Your Note Broke My Heart

I carry the note
You sent dismissing our love
As a reminder


Your Heart and Your Soul

Writing poetry
Takes more than pen and ink


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

Friday, March 25, 2016

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Gert Knop--Germany and Jack Horne--England

(English, German and Spanish)

By Gert Knop and Jack Horne

Easter Monday
A cool day in March
Forlorn the Mandau*
Some birds' songs from a distance
A picture of heavenly peace

Der Ostermontag
Ein kühler Tag im Märzen
Einsam die Mandau
Von Ferne Vogelgesang
Ein Bild himmlischer Ruhe

Lunes de Pascua
Un día fresco en marzo
Solo el Mandau
Canto depájaros de la distancia
Una imagen de paz celestial


people go to church
and children eat candy eggs
joy on Easter morn
as the first newly hatched chick
leaves the darkness of the shell

Leute gehen zur Kirche
und Kinder essen Schokoeier
Freude am Ostermorgen
als das erste frisch geschlüpfte Küken
das Dunkel der Schale verlässt

la gente va a la iglesia
y los niños comen los huevos de chocolate
alegría en la mañana de Pascua
como el primer pollito sale del huevo
dejando la oscuridad del cascarón

* the Mandau river is close to Gert's home

Limerick--By Charlene McCutcheon--United States

There once was a fat lady named Suzie.
Her new eating habit was a doozy;
stopped eating altogether,
became light as a feather,
flaunted herself and died a real floozy.

Charlene McCutcheon is a 73 year old, wife, mother of seven, grandmother of thirty and great-grandmother of 14. She has just discovered her voice through poetry within the last few years. Her former ways of expression have been through the media of arts and crafts. Her desire to share herself with others for their benefit has been the motivating factor in all her endeavors. She loves life, work, play and most of all people. 

My children will never know--By Pediatrician Kelley White--United States

My children will never know

the pleasure of hopping past cow pies dried
gray in the flowering meadow, coming
close enough to lay their foreheads against
the cows’ scratchy hair. The smell of clover,
of meadow, of milk, of a sky over
the little creek behind the neighbor’s fence,
nor feel the sound of the bees’ gold humming
nor the spit flick of a grasshoppers’ fried

buzzing in a newly hayed field. No toads
startling fly-flopping from a damp crevice
in a split pile of granite. No frog’s eggs
in a milk bottle, no pollywogs legs
appearing, tadpole tails at their service,
nor even silence, a forgotten road.

Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rebirth--By Katt Gold--Canada


The trees are full,
Rain has stopped.
Sun's come up
Moon's gone down.
Flowers have bloomed
My heart's refreshed
Soul renewed.
Warm droplets cling to newly leafed trees.
Dropping slowly onto the thirsty blades of new grass.
My eyes are open,
Mind at ease.
I feel you close
The atmosphere is electric,
Highly charged and ready for a connection.
The rebirth of Mother Nature in a beautiful place.

Katt Gold is a writer and poet from Canada's beautiful and inspiring East Coast. 

Memories of Love--By Adam Levon Brown--United States

Memories of Love

I never wanted you to leave
but it seems it was in your cards

Pain has dulled to a cool numb after
all of these years

I sit and remember the laughs we had
and the times we shared

It bites at my core, the way we became I
and I became something I didn't even recognize

Broken promises and broken dreams
led to a full heart and a new, better dreams

But I still remember the times where I
thought you were everything

I experienced the sharpest pain I have ever felt
and greater joy than I had ever imagined possible

I made it through the paradoxical maelstrom
that is first love

Adam Levon Brown is a poet and student residing in Eugene, Oregon. He enjoys the outdoors, playing with cats, and meeting new people. He runs a blog at

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

“E” is for Emotions--By Emile Pinet--Canada

“E” is for Emotions

When daddy gives you a big kiss
as he lifts you up high above
and then squeezes you oh so tight,
well, my dear, that feeling is love.

Remember when the lights went out
and you couldn't hold back a tear,
those scary thoughts that filled your head
are the best description of fear.

When you were told the dog was lost
you found it difficult to cope,
yet you still believed he'd be found,
that feeling is what we call hope.

Remember when your friend's bike broke
and you had none he could borrow,
you became very sad inside,
that emotion is called sorrow.

When you get up on Christmas day
to discover a brand new toy,
and you feel so happy, well that
wonderful feeling is called joy.

Emile Pinet was born in a small city, (Bathurst) New Brunswick, Canada, the third eldest of thirteen children, ten girls and three boys. He is the product of a semi-dysfunctional family, brought up by a physically abusive and controlling father, versus a loving, nurturing mother. Many of his poems reflect the uniqueness of nature, which he loves, and his poetic observations of life in general. Emile is 66 years old and has been writing poems since he was about 35. The ideas started to come to him rapidly one day at work-- he decided to write them down and express himself through his poetry.

Treasured and True ~ A Kyrielle Sonnet--By Colleen Keller Breuning--United States

Treasured and True ~ A Kyrielle Sonnet

My fingers grasp to hold on tight
Clouds descending in pink twilight
Like fine grains of sand passing through
Moments like these, treasured and true.

Night comes on bearing shades of gray
I watch the colors fade away
Reflecting in the sea so blue
Moments like these, treasured and true.

Sweet mockingbird, sing me to sleep
And push my sorrows way down deep
Sustain memories, start anew
Moments like these, treasured and true.

My fingers grasp to hold on tight
Moments like these, treasured and true.

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


This Month's activity was to read the poem 'London Airport' and compose a poem, of no more than six lines, that you would put into the 'literature bin'!


London Airport

Last night in London airport
I saw a wooden bin
So I wrote a poem
and popped it in.

The poem was written by Christoper Logue, born 1926, and appeared in the POEMS OF THE UNDERGROUND, first published in 1991. The underground system for London, started publishing a whole variety of works, in the small advertising spaces in the carriages.


Dear Whispers’ Friends,

Our talented, Ralph Stott, did an amazing job putting this activity column together.  His thoughts and grouping of poems enhance this reading experience.  Thank you, Ralph!!  I would also like to thank all of our contributors for sharing their creative experiences.  If you missed the deadline, or would like to add another poem, please share them in the comments section. I hope you enjoy this column as much as I did.  
                                                 --Karen O’Leary, Whispers’ Editor


The Big Bellied Bird
(In a new Light)


straight line winds possible tornados

By Barbara Tate

We Are Experiencing a Little Turbulence . . .

The plane rattled and
bounced as if it was
being battered by
a jackhammer
on steroids.

By Robert P. Hansen



We sat on the runway awhile
had us lined up single file
I read War & Peace
will miracles cease
not moving, not even a mile.

By Barbara Tate


I never
have time enough
to get started
on all that I want to do ...
my idling time
is what I'm best at

By Anne Curran



The wheels of this plane
Have but changed my fate
A thousand miles from home
Travelling back to the dome
The sun shines a topaz hope
On the sky's upward slope

By Sheikha A.

Seashells and spiders

cockle shells fall
from a cobweb-shrouded
wind chime hanging
from her washing line
letting go of memories
of summer romance at the beach

By Anne Curran


Big Bellied Bird

The big bellied bird
lowered her tongue,
swallowed us whole,
screeched in satisfaction.
Powerful wings lifted her into the sky.
Five hours until we land.

By Lenora Rain-Lee Good

a poem from Ken…

Nocturne of shadow
rising with a Flamingo
into a reddish haze
a flight from Gibraltar
now drifting on down
London! here we are!

By Ken Allan Dronsfield


Flight to Irian Jaya

An old Piper plane
holes in the bottom
best view to the jungle
a one life experience

By Gert W. Knop

Terra firma, where are you?

One hand on my stomach,
one clamped over my mouth,
and too many people belted into
this bucking propeller plane––

By Marjorie Rommel


The Bus Depot

Grey Hound
Waits for no one
A rented box contains
Smart phone, credit cards, love poem

By Sara Kendrick

The Note

Bin held the note
Written in poetic form
Love poured out upon the blank page

By Sara Kendrick


From Caracas and Back Again

we ascend to explosive bursts
circle, fuel flowing over the wings
praying to avoid a closer walk--
emergency vehicles await our return
we kneel, kissing the ground
café con leche brings us around

By Elizabeth Howard

From São Paulo to Atlanta

the elderly Brazilian across the aisle
raises her forefinger and smiles
a nine hour night, cold and cramped--
disembarking, her in a wheelchair
she grasps my hand, a kiss on the cheek
an embrace, all the words we cannot speak

By Elizabeth Howard


The Vicissitudes of Modern Air Travel

I relax and sip my martini cruising at 40000 feet.
If only my bags arrive with me, all will be complete!
I arrive in Tokyo and watch the carousel go 'round and 'round.
Although it made many circuits, my luggage could not be found.
Here I sit forlorn in the terminal in Tokyo, Japan.
Alas, my shirts and drawers ended up in Kyrgyzstan!

By Robert L. Hinshaw

Finding Light

To travel light
I cast burdens off
They deny our flight till night
We find darkness stretch
As sleep delivers us to arrive
Dawn's edge with peace and smiles.

By Su'eddie Vershima Agema


Every Second


By Brian Strand

Crowded Skies

Can't hear
I fear!

By Brian Strand

Third Runway?

No Way
We say!

By Brian Strand

cup of juice
free bag of peanuts
airline treat.

By David Fox

Airline Seats

Now can it be true, or just a whim.
"Did I hear the middle seat cry, SLIM."

By Mary A. Couch


Third Runway?

No Way
We say!

By Brian Strand


birds with silver wings
soar across the azure sky
land on concrete lake

By Mary A. Couch



Morning mist
hazy, lazy sun
taxi on down
tarmac dance
takeoff done.

By Ken Allan Dronsfield

Twin Towers (twister)

Through the clear towering sky.
Through their fall, the clear, deep-blue, towering sky remained.

By Ralph Stott


Last Rejection at London Airport

ink smears with tears…stinging
remarks about my poetry awards
from a father who never cared
~~no more~~sliding my poem
for Father’s Day into the unwanted
bin, I buy a one-way ticket home

By Karen O'Leary


is it time
for branded literature, arranged,
to be traded only
and those pure from heart and soul
to be thrown into the waste bin of time?

By Aju Mukhopadhyay



The wings of Icarus are real
Stiff on the white body of steel
Shuffle, hustle, voices rustle
Bags, cases and bodies bustle
The eagle lands on summer land
Paper fans held in dainty hands

By Sheikha A.


last minute raise
through deep drifting clouds
pale faces of passengers

By Gert Knop


Waiting for a seat—
passenger in front of me
crams cymbals in the overhead bin.

By Kelley J. White

Crowded Skies

Can't hear
I fear!

By Brian Strand

I always choose the aisle with
a crying baby.

By Kelley J. White


ETA:  Two Hours

This poem is silly.
This poem is bland.
It’s just time I’m killing
 while waiting to land.

By Robert P. Hansen

Into Kowloon
Past skyscrapers
Tall narrow streets
Man in top hat

By Ralph Stott


First and Last Flight

as Icarus was falling fast,
he landed on a jet:
but then he tried a para jump-
they haven’t found him yet.

By Jack Horne

What if the Wright brothers had developed Aviophobia?
France to England: *Bleriot-rowed……………….Voila!

By Jack Horne/Ralph Stott

*Louis Bleriot, first person to fly the English Channel.

Notes on arrangements:

All the poems work really well on their own. I’ve paired up authors and poems, in the edit: as each work complemented, each gave extra substance to the other author.

Barbara Tate/Robert  P. Hansen--I loved the contrast here of a similar experience. You can imagine them sitting next to each other on the plane!

Barbara Tate/Anne Curran--I liked putting together the frustration of ‘idling’ and the acceptance of this ‘idle time’, whilst the plane idles along!

Sheikha a. /Anne Curran--Something from Sheikha’s flight, changed the author’s fate? I put this together with Anne’s memory of a ‘beach romance’ with the uplifting tone and positivity of Sheikha’s soar!

Lenora Rain-Lee Good/Ken Allen Dronsfield--The imagination of Lenora’s bird was picked up on, by Ken’s parallel flamingo. Brilliant!

Gert Knop/Marjorie Rommel--Were they on the same flight! Great fun putting these poems together.

Sara Kendrick--Sara’s work worked with the link of the love poems in a steel box (rented)/decayed in a bin.

Elizabeth Howard--A stillness, in the heart of this activity poem: ‘all the words we cannot speak’.

Robert L. Hinshaw/ Su'eddie Vershima Agema--A ying-yang combination of talent here. Enjoyed the pairing of the two emotive responses to travel.

Brian Strand/David Fox/Mary A. Couch--This is a new form of short verse, as a trilogy, from Brian. There is some comfort: I have paired with David’s meagre reward! Meagre treats, followed by ‘slim seats’ from Mary’s poem.

Brian Strand/ Mary A. Couch--I have taken Brian’s march of protest and on its passage through the poem, linked arms with Mary’s haiku. The reference to the concrete lake is formidable for both works.

Ken Allen Dronsfield/Ralph Stott--I’ve paired Ken’s trust of flight with a horror; but hope and trust will never die.

Karen O'Leary/ Aju Mukhopadhyay--These two poems, speak volumes, a ‘branded’ and ‘personal’ juxtaposition?

Sheikha A. Gert Knop--I enjoyed Gert’s trepidation of clouds and pale faces with the noise and bustle of Sheikha’s ‘eagle’….ending with such a good final image of ‘dainty hands’.

Kelley J. White/Brian Strand/Kelley J. White--I’ve sandwiched ‘Crowded Skies’ with cymbals and crying babies.

Robert P. Hansen/Ralph Stott--I’ve match Robert’s ‘sillyness’ with the image of the topped hatted man. A good way to finish, without taking ourselves too seriously!

Jack Horne/Ralph Stott--Optional ending on a nonsense-collaborative!


The edit, also follows loosely: the ground poems, before take-off, then up in the air, landing and back to earth!

I hope you like the work I have done, and agree with the format? My review notes are purely my opinions and trust they exemplify the huge talent, that the good people of Whispers have trusted me with.

Kind regards,

Ralph Stott
Whispers’ March Activity Editor