Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Editor's Thoughts/With a Pen’s Magic--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

I reached into the archives for this poem that shares so much about my journey with all of you.  You are beacons of the light, with a chance to make the world a better place.  Joining together our light becomes bigger…brighter…

This community is about each of you and the joy you add to others’ lives.  So many people have emailed me about the quality of the poetry and the sense of belonging to something that matters.

And with our words…we kindle the lights and embrace others. That is spirit of Whispers, the reason why each one of you matter.  Thank you for your encouragement and support.

Blessings in the light,

Whispers’ Editor


With a Pen’s Magic

Writers help others experience the world…

Through sight…painting pictures of a sunset
            the beauty of a tulip, and the majesty
            of snow-capped mountains in summer.

Through hearing…capturing the magic
            in cascading water, the peace of harp
            music, and the joy in a child’s laughter.

Through taste…savoring the richness of coffee, 
            the delight of a Thanksgiving dinner,
            and the pleasure of milk chocolate.

Through smell…delivering the fresh scent
            of spring rain, the aroma of baking
            bread, and fragrance of a new book.

Through touch…transferring the breath
            of the wind, hands linked in sorrow,
            and the feel of a warm embrace.

…and jot on paper what others rush by.

Chicken Soup--By Jim Teeters--United States

Chicken Soup

I’ve boiled the bones of 
baked and eaten chicken
                now cooled
reach into the pot
peel away the meat-remains
notice the intricacies of these 
                softened bones
woven together from a gooey
inner egg, grown into this
                marvelous creature
with brain enough to have known
how to live the chicken-life
                we’ll eat
                at suppertime
this God-created creature
                delicately formed
turned into tasty, healthy soup
                for our living
for this it died--
                our yummy gratitude

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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tea and Sympathy--By Maralee Gerke--United States

Tea and Sympathy
                      (for Glennis and Glenda)

Chairs set on freshly mowed grass
the dew barely dry.
A small table set with handmade
placemats and mismatched cups.

Clean washing snaps to and fro on the line.
My friends bring sandwiches
and a pot of fragrant tea from the house.

They know my heart is troubled and hover like
older sisters (even though I am only a year younger)
The brew steams with soul healing heat.

I relax into my chair and listen to them
tell their lives while
they support mine.

Tea and friends,
my heart feels the beginning of change.
My face lifts to the warm autumn sun.
Kindness, Simplicity, Humanity,
served in a porcelain cup.

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 CafĂ©. 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.

An Outcast’s Tears--By Shelly Blankman--United States

An Outcast’s Tears

Her children play knee-deep
in a stream’s spitting dares
to skip stones, their lives

measured in laughter and abandon;
stones that don’t skip,
and one that finally does.

Their mother stands alone,
her burnt gold burka, beaded
with pearls that glisten in the

midday sun like tiny roses
dipped in dew. I join her in
silence, not certain what to say.

My daughter cries every day, she
whispers; her friends want her
to go back where she belongs.

I felt incredibly white just then.
A little girl knows is what she is told.
She doesn’t know her home is here.

Shelly Blankman and her husband, Jon, are empty-nesters who live in Columbia, Maryland with their 4 cat rescues. They have two sons Richard, 31, of New York, and Joshua, 30, of San Antonio. Shelly's first love has always been poetry. Her poetry has been published by Ekphrastic: writing and art on art and writing as well as Visual Verse, Silver Birch Press, and Verse-Virtual.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Memorable African Experience--By Ndaba Sibanda--Saudi Arabia

A Memorable African Experience

I feel playful today, Island please provide me
with some water sports. For magnificent dishes
can I please have a fusion of Creole and Chinese
and Indian and European flavour? I will tuck
into seafood whilst listening to Sega music!

I guess mountain trekking wouldn’t be a bad idea.
I promise, I shall go hunting and birdwatching.
My stay here will be characterised by visiting
the luxurious shopping malls and picking up
a souvenir or two. What an African destination!

Sightseeing pleasure is in store for me in the form
of breathtaking horse-racing tracks, mountains, parks
and botanical gardens. This is the turquoise Indian Ocean.
Mauritius, with your year-round sunshine, your white beaches,
your beach parties, your scenery—you make my vacation meaty.

Ndaba Sibanda is a Zimbabwean-born writer. His poems, essays and short stories have been published in Africa and the USA. Ndaba currently lives and teaches in Saudi Arabia. Of his career, he says, "writing is my life, and my second wife".

Golden Moonbeam--By Blanca Alicia Garza--United States

Golden Moonbeam

Like leaves in Autumn
tears fall from my eyes
your name written gently
upon every one.
Missing you my heart
shall forever cry
until my final breath
has come and gone.
Four Autumns have passed
since you're gone away
to that wondrous world
of cherished dreams.
I'll see you once more
at the end of my days
and meet you there
a flash on a golden moonbeam.

Blanca Alicia Garza is a published poet from Las Vegas, Nevada.  She is a nature and animal lover, and enjoys spending time writing. Some of her poems are published in the new Poetry Anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, now available at Other published work can be viewed   

Autumn Alchemy--By Langley Shazor--United States

Autumn Alchemy

The air is cool
Morning sun casting shadows
Without heat
Could almost be mistaken for its pale counterpart
Luminous orbs
Celestial street lamps
Irradiated pathways
Rays and beams
Traipse through leaves
Plodding across terrestrial plots
Broken into slivers
These minute rails
Made of gold and silver
Lace mortars and pestles
To combine cinnamon, sage, and citrus
Magically warming the senses
Dispersed by the breeze
Flowing through this perennial apothecary

Langley Shazor was raised in a small city in southwest Virginia. As an adult he has a deep appreciation for culture, arts, wellness, history, philosophy, science, and religions. An avid reader, he is an advocate for education; breaking down stereotypes, creating social awareness, enlightenment, human rights, and helping those less fortunate are his life's passions. Writing is not only personally therapeutic, but a medium for which he has the opportunity to impart positivity on those from all walks of life.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

standing...By Thomas Canull--United States

standing in glass shards
afraid of trying to move
screaming at the walls

valleys exist to cast light
on the peaks

Thomas Canull, in his early seventies, is a man of modest means who since his retirement has become a 'Haikuist  of note' with several of his poems being published in the Japanese on line media Asahi Shimbun. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Picture of Paradise--By Emile Pinet--Canada

A Picture of Paradise

A swing propelled by a young girl’s giggles,
arks into the air reaching for the sky.
And its rope chafes the bark of an old oak,
as flashes of my youth go streaming by.

Evergreen trees form an emerald hedge,
as peace and tranquility set the scene.
And reds, yellows, purples and pinks abound,
where patches of wildflowers offset green.

A wild rose tangled in the undergrowth,
scatters its fragrant petals all around.
And where lilac bushes support its perch,
violet blossoms confetti the ground.

A pair of Mallard ducks scurry away,
on a pond with a silver mirrored sheen.
And barring a picture of paradise,
this is the pretties spot I've ever seen.

A scarlet sun bleeds as daylight departs,
slowly retreating from twilight’s attack.
And flowing like a billion bleeding hearts,
crimson rivers color the edge of black.

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. 

November’s black cat--By Barbara Robinette--United States

 November’s black cat

purrs on my lap
on a quiet cloudy day
and it takes courage

to turn off the kitchen neon bright,
let in morning’s outside light
misty cool and grey,

to hear beyond the closed window
the raucous wild and solemn cry
of brother blue jay.

previously published in the author’s book
Sea Leafs By Moon

Barbara Robinette is the author of two books of poems, Plain and Sea Leafs By Moon.  A third book is forthcoming. Several of her poems have appeared in print and on-line.  She has written poems, off and on, since President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 when someone read “Oh Captain, My Captain” during the funeral procession.  She thinks poetry is for everyday, working people and keeps that audience in mind when writing her poems.

The Summer Is Past--By J. T. Milford

                                            The Summer Is Past


J. T. Milford is a retired CPA who has just completed his first book of poetry.

To love is a tragedy--By April Mae M. Berza--Philippines

To love is a tragedy

To love is a tragedy,
it is to die a million times
in the arms of Aphrodite.

To love is a tragedy,
it is a surrender, a defeat
when you could have been
an oasis with me
or I could have been
an archipelago with you.

Islands, we are islands
submerged in this emotion.

We try to be one
but we are divided
by the politics of reason.

To love is a tragedy,
it is a fiasco, another fiasco,
a thorn among the roses.

April Mae M. Berza is the author of Confession ng isang Bob Ong Fan (Flipside, 2014) and Berso de Berza (Charging Ram, 2012.) Her poems and short stories appeared in numerous publications in the America, France, Canada, Romania, India, Japan, Great Britain and the Philippines. Her poems are translated in Crimean Tatar and Filipino. Some of her poems are published in Liwayway, Belleville Park Pages, Haiku Journal, The Siren, Poetica, Three Line Poetry, Calliope, Maganda, Metric Conversions, Ani, The Manila Times, Asahi Haikuist Network, Contemporary Verse 2, and elsewhere. Her poem "E-Martial Law" was broadcast on IndoPacific Radio on KPFA 94.1FM/ She is a member of Poetic Genius Society. She lives in Taguig, Philippines.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Autumn Reverie--By Mary A. Couch

Autumn Reverie

I wander worn trail to blue-green lakeshore
where woodlands are painted in autumn hues,
and forlorn leaves crackle beneath my feet.

The crisp scent of pine lingers on the breeze
as I watch sunrise, a child’s finger painting,
splatter sky canvas in yellow and pink.

I feel your touch, a bittersweet memory
as wind wraps me in its arms, and chills my bones.
I turn, retrace steps to cabin alone.

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.

FALL--By Alice Couch--United States


Flurry of amber and crimson leaves
Alight upon ground beneath the trees.
Layering the earth in patchwork bands
Like a quilt crafted from nature’s hands.

Alice Couch is a retired nurse’s aide who spends her days playing with her dogs, Nibby and Squeakie, while writing poetry for her three children, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and four great great-grandchildren.  One of her stories published in Living with Children. She studied yoga and Buddhism and has a gift for blending the rational approach of the Western mind with the deep spiritual wisdom of the east in her poetry. She was named Noblesville’s Senior Poet Laureate in 2012.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Haibun: Yesterday--By Angelee Deodhar--India

Haibun: Yesterday

I receive a small collection of Swarovski crystal beads, hearts, squaredelles, roundels, tear drops, bi-cones, and other shapes all with tiny holes in them and as they wink and blink in the light, I turn them over and over in my palm, marveling at their perfection...       

I travel back in time where, dressed in my best frock and new shoes, I went to my friend's house to a childhood birthday party. The piece of cake I was served, had tiny silver beads on it, which I collected carefully in my handkerchief and put in my pocket. I remember going home with my ayah and excitedly opening my handkerchief to find … nothing, no beads! I searched all over and cried when I couldn’t find those silver beads, and now five and a half decades later this small box of magic beads, which wink enticingly at me, are home again.
 Tanabata festival
 from her open hair
 the scent of jasmine 

Note:  Tanabata is a Japanese star festival, usually held on July 7, and celebrates the meeting of Vega and Altair. The Milky Way, a river made from stars that crosses the sky, separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year.

Previously published in Haiku Canada Review

Angelee Deodhar, is an eye surgeon turned haiku poet, translator, and artist from India.  She has translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi. She has no personal website or blog. "Hot on the heels of her 2014 release of a collection of poetic prose containing haiku, Deodhar celebrates having edited Journeys 2015, an Anthology of International Haibun, highlighting authors in 15 different countries." - David McMurray, Editor, Asahi Haikuist Network, Japan

To a Squirrel--By Suzanne Clement--United States

To a Squirrel

Little squirrel in the grass
As I pass
By you today
I see your gray fur
And your brown eyes
While you scamper on the ground.
You were created by the Lord
Who formed you with His word
As He made all the lovely things
Of Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring.

Thank you, God, for squirrels.

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Love Saw It--By Maurice J. Reynolds--United States

Love Saw It

Broken, a vessel born into sin,
a torn and bruised world full of
ups and downs.  Life’s rollercoaster
we ride; erratic, off-center, full of
noise and clutter.  Shallow like sand 
shifting through fingers, exposing
the torment of broken dreams that lead
to tears in the image of a waterfall; hope
fleeing into empty spaces that have no
hiding place.  Life is often like shattered 
glass cutting to the core, inflicting an 
open wound to spread or be healed.  Love
saw it.  Love slowed the rollercoaster, 
healed the bruise, stopped the torment,
dried the tears, covered the empty spaces
and put the broken pieces back together
again.  Love saw the need and made a way.

Maurice J. Reynolds is a freelance writer who has had material published in various publications. He is the owner of To God be the Glory! Publications, a literary ministry that produces the poetry publication Creative Inspirations.  More information can be found at:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Awakening--By Annie Jenkin--England

The Awakening

I play piano
on your shoulders
to shake away the shadows
feeding my fears.
Using unmeasured metre,
trapping sounds
of rich and mellow notes.
I feel the smooth velvet-tones
nudging my heart, awakening
the millions of tunes within.
Dusky spheres fall
as softly as summer rain
filling my veins,
releasing emotion.
The beat of my heart quickens
and my timid hand reaches
beneath my pillow,
to let my dream slip out.

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.

Thankfulness--By Marc Livanos--United States


Dear Lord, our blessings over-flow.
Thank you for our Corolla.
especially in bringing me to therapy.
(The paint is peeling.)

Thank you for my Baywalker 8.
It has a roller on the stern,
especially useful when I launch it.
(It is too small for two.)

Thank you for lessons learned.
It is great to learn from trials,
especially when we meant to do our best.
(No one should ask for more.)

And now, we earnestly pray for
quick answers or your
intercession on our
on-going journey of life.  
(Sympathy would be nice.)

Marc Livanos’ poems have appeared in Straylight Magazine, Poet’s Espresso Review, Stray Branch Magazine, Old Red Kimono, Ship of Fools, Song of the San Joaquin Quarterly and others. His chapbooks “Panhandle Poet - Solitude” and “Panhandle Poet - Second Helpings” are available online at

Comet in My Time--By Marlene Million--United States

Comet in My Time

I am spellbound, gazing
from an open field.
The universe issues
zealous sovereignty
streaming its sentry
through the night, a fiery light,
sky-rocking around the sun.

Gliding across interplanetary
space, an astro-divination
signals a luminescent cloud.
It brightens the world,
feeds ethereal fire to the core.

The magnetic pull elevates,
navigates a journey in solar
sparkle.  This immense serendipity
amazes the mind, startles the senses.

Its tail of wispy ion smoke
cascades a fine vapor
upon the night sky, dotted
with celestial destiny.

(Previously published in Tipton Poetry Journal)

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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Haiku/Senryu--By Martha Magenta--England

the beach
where she drowned --
angel wings

an empty sea shell 
the sound 
of Genesis

night chill
a blanket of lights 
over the city

November rain
the cat's last visit
to the vet

summer meadow
a petal becomes
a wing

Martha Magenta lives in England, UK. Her poetry has appeared in The Reverie Journal, Whispers and Beaux Cooper; her haiku and senryu have been published in online journals, including Modern Haiku, Haiku Presence, and Chrysanthemum. She is owner of POETS poetry community on G+.      

summer garden--By Peggy Dugan French--United States

summer garden

years ago
we stood in your garden
smiling among the zinnias
picking peas for supper
under the big blue Minnesota sky

I stroll through my garden
pruning memorial roses
tenderly remembering those days
wishing I could turn back time

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.

Poetry--By r soos--United States


a fingerprint there
at the top of this notebook
shows me you're reading


some discovery
into your story timeline
when you write for truth


life happens outside
until you miss the dances
with your mom and dad

r soos is a teacher, poet and musician and has several books of poetry, including Somersaults With Life (2016), Parting/Departing (2015), Bringing In The Sheets (2012). His books may be purchased at on-line bookstores, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. His poetry appears online in Peacock Journal, Tuck, Leaves of Ink, Micropoetry, and others. His video poems may be viewed on youtube. His latest chapbook, Cell Notebook, will be published in December, 2016. He blogs at

Monday, November 21, 2016

Poetry Moments--By Marilyn Ward--United Kingdom

i recline in grass
watching grey elephants
sail by

a field of gulls
take off
i catch them mid air

red leaves
fill my lens
with autumn

hot coffee
i read steamy topics
in the newspaper

burn toast
stuck in
another daydream

Marilyn Ward is a 62-year-old grandmother, who from childhood loved words, the language did not matter, any words would do. For the last two years, these words have been turned into poems. Her favourite form being haiku--brief,  beautiful, perfectly selected, words. 

Dad--By Cindy Hutchings--United States


You were not religious
barely spiritual
your brain operated
in calculations, computations,
risk prevention

even while deteriorating from dementia
designing structures was on your mind
you watched with intense focus, when I
showed you images of architecture
created buildings from dominoes

now that you’ve passed on
gone on to another journey
your mental powers restored
I pray the Great Architect finds you
and together you make grand designs
in the lands of Skye, mist, cloud.

Cindy Hutchings’ first poetry chapbook, "Tree Talk," was published by MoonPath Press. Cindy is a member of Northwest Renaissance & Striped Water Poets in Auburn, WA, USA. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English and Women Studies. She writes with passion about nature, events, and social causes. Her poetry is also shared online at and       


Dear Whispers’ Family,

The November writing activity has been CELEBRATING THE CINQUAIN. Thank you to all who submitted poems. The well-crafted poems in this activity are special gifts from the heart. I hope you will take a few moments to unwrap and savor them.

Michael Escoubas, Whispers’ Activity Editor

the seed…

on May’s tombstone…
love bubbling to nourish
an orphan’s empty soul with faith
and hope

Karen O’Leary, United States


clouds edged in pink
yield to the sun’s daily
walk with brush in hand painting like

Michael Escoubas, United States


Into darkness;
Sounding braver than I
Feel. Superstitions and nightmares

David Palmer, United States

Colon Cancer

Thank God
for miracles:
no cancer in lymph nodes,
no ileostomy worries,

Charlene McCutcheon, United States 

A Canine Vision

A dog
ran across a
cloud, with ears flapping and
tail wagging; he looked both happy
and proud.

Annie Jenkin, England

Autumn Stroll

Sunlight streaming
Casting dancing shadows
Leaves whispering very gently

Jan Allison, Isle of Man


Be calm
breathe deeply now
let your cares fly away
walk daily with a mighty hope
sing loud

Jim Teeters, United States


sunset . . .
in the hospice
parched pelargoniums
thinking i'm his nurse he asks for

Martha Magenta, England


Kiss me
In the moonlight
Bathing in its essence
We'll be together forever
Us two.

David Fox, United States


You light my life
As morning gently breaks
With warmth you thaw my frozen heart

Paul Callus, Malta


pretends own death;
dormant, bursts forth with life:
underlying shoots limber up
for spring ….

Alan McAlpine Douglas, United Kingdom

I Dare You

Whispers . . . .
Write a basic cinquain.
Five lines. Twenty-two syllables.
No prob.

Robert P. Hansen, United States.


One last 
orange persimmon
on black twig clung that night
temptation to the jogger’s hand
in gloves. 

Tricia Knoll, United States 


for youthful minds
whose imagination
creates from a blank slate their life's

 Mary A. Couch - United States

Where's Wally?

Through her
thick-rimmed glasses
in her striped hat and scarf,
she opened and then viewed her face
book page.

Ralph Stott, United Kingdom

Free Gifts

To be
what we need to; 
in order to help those
less fortunate than us requires
true love. 

Langley Shazor, United States

Love Song Last Night

The wind
made soulful sounds
serenading the moon
who refused to show her shy face

Candace Armstrong, United States


Cool, refreshing
Water, giver of life
In this desperate, cracked, thirsty
Parched land

Sara Kendrick, United States


children smiling
turn my heart upside down
catapult back to this moment’s

Kelley White, United States

In the Days Ahead

Be true
to who you are.
Carry your spirit like
a candle in the center of

Mary Jo Balistreri, United States

Life Sentence

Tights and
leotards were
a professional skin.
No longer a dancer, her mind
still is.

Jean Colonomos, United States


nest in aeries
up on that mountain crest. 
Once, a raven's shadow followed
me home. 

Elizabeth Howard, United States


Hushed fog
of old Autumn
wraps her arms around brown,
brittle leaves remaining on the

Barbara Robinette, United States


you, earth...
as i walk your
hills and streams i touch the
ample landscape you sculpt for me
each day

Pat Geyer, United States


The day
your words stole mine
consuming my true self
a barrier came between us
I fell

Inge Wesdijk, The Netherlands


little people.
Laughing, running, playing.
emotional, excited things—

Anna-Marie Docherty, Wales, UK

First Frost

Years tilt
Crazing appears
Age leans into the wind
My daughter whispers, it's time to

James Marshall Goff, United States


The boots
that caught my eye
in the shoe store window
have not been marked down for the sale.
Not yet...

Mary Gunn, Ireland

Old Friends

will grow stronger 
with the passage of time.
Fickle cold hearts push good people

Jack Horne, England

Your Memories

Mild breeze
of full moon, light
invites your forgotten
memories that teases me - spoiled
my night.

Dr. Satish Srivastava, India