Thursday, December 15, 2016

From the Archives—Featuring Mary Jo Balistreri

Dear Whispers’ Readers,

It is a gift to travel back into our Whispers’ archives, and savor the wonderful poetry within its pages. The unique imagery in the first line of Mary Jo Balistreri’s “Christmas Morning”  drew me in—then the brewing coffee clinched it. I hope you don’t mind a little humor that does carry a bit of truth. Mary Jo weaves present and past, flowing so naturally that one almost misses it until the last simile carries the essential message. This poem was originally published December 21, 2015. Congratulations Mary Jo! Thank you being a candle at Whispers and in the poetry community at large.


Karen O’Leary—Whispers’ Editor


Christmas Morning

In the pale glint of dawn, a hawk darts
across the marsh. I wash dishes from last night’s supper.
Coffee gurgles, filling the glass carafe.

Alone at this hour, husband and children still asleep,
I breathe in peace—my hands deep in warm suds,
china and silver soaking amidst the bursts of bubbles,
their reflections tinged pink.

Outside a streak of mauve swirls and widens
over the pond, feathery as angel wings
on childhood holy cards. The sun paints
peach hibiscus, dusty blue asters, chrysanthemums,
yellow and spiky—all sprouting from the dark
of December like the star that once glowed
in Bethlehem.

By Mary Jo Balistreri


  1. Very evocative ,beautiful uplifting poem Jo,thanks for csharing Karen,love and light,angelee

  2. What a beautiful picture you have painted with your words Jo...thanks for sharing Karen. <3

  3. Yes Karen, perfect the rush of the season can distract from our true happiness, found in love for our family & joy of Christ's birth! Thank you Mary Jo! jim

  4. many cheers and meows of gratitude for Jo Balistreri!

  5. I love how Whispers celebrates winter! It's always nice to see Mary Jo's poetry. I hope you are doing well, my friend!

  6. Thank you for sharing this uplifting poem with us!

  7. Just beautiful and so apt for this season.

  8. Dear Jo,
    Thank you for painting Christmas morning with brushstrokes of poetic mastery.

  9. Dear friends, every single one of you, I had no idea this poem was up and thank you so much for writing. Dearest Karen, waking to this this morning was quite a surprising gift. Thank you for publishing it from the archive. We have had illness here and I haven't been able to come here as often as I'd like. How grateful I am for all of you.

    Blessed Christmas to everyone at Whispers. With love, Jo

    1. Dear Mary Jo,

      I wanted to surprise you as I do with everyone I feature in these columns. My thoughts and prayers go with you and your family, hoping you will be better soon. Thank you for all you do for our Whispers community!


  10. What a beautiful Christmas gift this has been, Jo! You paint a delightful dawn, capturing the moment with excellent imagery. ~ Wishing you a truly joyous and blessed Christmas.....paul

  11. absolutely lovely, thanks for this

  12. I loved your poem. "I wash dishes from last night's supper." and "Dark of December like the star that once glowed in Bethlehem." A beautiful portrait of Christmas morning.

  13. Excellent poem, enjoyed it very much. You capture so many moments that are deep and meaningful. Thanks for sharing it again Karen.

  14. Thank you, Isha, for the following--

    This poem written by a happy person, filled with love, love of family, awareness of beauty all around, and the glitter of the Christmas season. It is a contingent state which, to this person, contains all that is needed of reality.

    Yours sincerely,
    Isha Wagner