Thursday, November 30, 2017

Debt of Gratitude--By Kariuki wa Nyamu--Kenya

Debt of Gratitude

Baba, I owe you
Great debt of gratitude
For instilling in me self-belief, civility and humility 
Being a true testament of astuteness and dedication
A never-drying spring of fortunes and optimism
An epitome of integrity, peacefulness and gentleness
I’ll thus ceaselessly sing you this praise song
That reciprocates kindheartedness  
Days without end

baba—means father

Kariuki wa Nyamu, a Kenyan poet, radio playwright, editor and educator, studied English, Literature and Education at Makerere University, Uganda. He is published widely both in print and online. He recently co-authored a Children’s poetry and short story anthology titled When Children Dare to Dream and won the Babishai Niwe 2017 Haiku Award.

A Gift--By Barbara Siekierski--United States

A Gift

Be thankful to Him who gives us the free gift of salvation
It doesn’t cost us money
You can’t put a price on it
It comes from the love that God has for us

Barbara Siekierski is a 64-year-old widow with a son that has autism.  He goes to a day program for disabled adults 5 days a week.  He lives with her the rest of the time.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gratitude--By Isha Wagner--New Zealand


Slipping down on a dark day
To grumblings about others
Malice swirling around
Living makes no sense

And then a glimpse
Face of a friend's newborn
Fresh, helpless, startling
Jolting me back to sanity
Life has limitless meanings
As existence overflows with gratitude

Isha Wagner has published quite a lot of poetry including three publications. Poetry is her passion. She's hoping to publish a fourth book soon.

Gratitude--By Eleanor Michael--United States


To friends who pen
poems or prose:
You've helped me
along the way
to what I write today.

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

Bounty--By Gerald Heyder--United States


It’s not hard to quote the immortal bard
when he wrote, “How much sharper than
a serpent’s tooth is an ungrateful child.”
Sad to say in this day and age, how many
of us are ungrateful, perhaps even hateful
when we take for granted what we have
and are disenchanted for what we do
not possess, hence we are hard pressed
for thankfulness though we are blessed
I pray every day for my unlimited bounty

Gerald Heyder loves to write as well as draw cartoons. He also enjoys vintage movies, TV shows and oldies music.  He once served a hitch in the military. His favorite subject is history. “That’s it!”

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

1924-2017--By Richard Sponaugle--United States


I’m grateful to my mother
Unlike any other
For mom gave me life
And saw me through the strife
Of growing up and goofing up
Not even a newborn pup,
Could match my mother’s love
I thank the Lord above
That she lived to 93
Yet her death still haunts me

A prolific poet and songwriter, Richard Sponaugle has been published (and rejected.)  He was born on April 20, 1960 in Maryland and raised in Northern Virginia.  He has a BA from George Mason University.  He has worked many years as a postal clerk in Alexandria, Virginia.

Life's journey--By Jake Aller--United States

Life's journey

62 years I have roamed this earth
I have seen it all
Been there back of beyond
Grateful that the journey
Has not ended, not yet anyway

I have learned a lot
As I have lived all over this world
Wondering what it all means
And what’s next
Grateful I am still alive

Jake 'Cosmos' Aller grew up in Berkeley, California during the 70's.  He served in the Peace Corps in Korea then taught ESL, Government, and Asian studies before and after doing graduate work in Seattle.  Then he joined the U.S. Foreign Service service serving 27 years in ten countries.  He has been pursuing a career as a full-time writer since his retirement - over 100 poems and stories published. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Gratitude--By Kelvin Shachile--Kenya


Gratitude is a gift to repay kindness,
I am always grateful for the goodness.
The recipe for creating gratefulness,
Is selfless serving others in times of distress
With love, a kind heart and a smile.
Taking the warm heart for an extra mile.

It's then received with joy and blessings,
To rekindle the dying flames
In the hearts of those that lack
Let Kindness be the gratitude.

Kelvin Shachile is a 20 years old Kenyan born practicing poet, playwright, writer and actor. Currently a geography student at Maasai Mara University - Kenya.

Resonance--By Nancy Brewka-Clark--United States


As I lie in the capsule, thankful
for the cool air, the softness of
the pad beneath my strapped ankles
and gowned body, I imagine
morning glories bursting into life
all about me, naming each bloom
after someone I love. I surprise myself
by being just slightly sorry to be
released before blessing every soul
in this universe of help and healing.

Nancy Brewka-Clark lives in Beverly, Massachusetts on Boston’s North Shore. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays have been published by Routledge U.K., Adams Media, YouthPLAYS of Los Angeles, The Boston Globe and The Thomas Merton Seasonal Poetry of the Sacred among others.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Gratitude--By Aju Mukhopadhyay--India


Though a prideful person harms, we usually thank the helper
As a sign of courtesy, we thank the people beforehand
In expectation of their generous behavior
Thanks-giving is a polite mark, a festive standard
Though it may seem a formal or dutiful posture
Fact is that it is a generous gesture;   
The thing that brings an inner change is gratitude
Which from the heart spontaneously exude
Gratefulness to the God with true humility
Is the highest gratitude born out of true faith in the Divinity.

Aju Mukhopadhyay, an Indian bilingual award winning poet, author and critic, has authored 34 books; 12 books of poems including two books of Japanese short verses, five books of short stories and a novel. He writes travelogue, on animals and nature. He has contributed many essays in books and journals; literary and environmental. His poems and short stories have been widely anthologized.

Gratitude--By Tina Barnt--United States


Violet-blue Canterbury Bells
spread across the splintered fence,

remind me of the way
your hand easily rested on mine
after we found a moment of laughter
in such an occasion of sadness--

others may leave,
but I will always have you.

Tina Barnt has been writing poems for the last twenty-four years. She finds them to be peaceful, yet challenging. She teaches grammar and composition at Western Kentucky University.

Paydirt--By Ms. Bosworth (MistyRose)--United States


Forgive that want, but don’t forget
to shift past bitter to better yet.

Leave past the greed
that overtook need.

Discover you caught
what wasn’t taught.

Life as such
is more than enough.

Ms. Bosworth of Owasso Oklahoma USA with trademarked pseudonym MistyRose is a Christian poet and 'Spoken Word Artist' residing in Owasso, a suburb of Tulsa Oklahoma. She has been published in 4 anthologies books at the United States Library of Congress and in academic journals, she has an approved listing in the official Poets and Writers Directory at

Friday, November 24, 2017

Gratitude--By Dr. Upma A. Sharma--India


Perpetual fragrance of life sojourns in air,
As golden glitter of sun swigs despair; 

Nature endows riches on us to cherish,
Its boundless bounties will never vanish;

A tranquil soul that plucks strings of kindness,
will relinquish soreness of the brutish heartless;

Let magnificent aurora of dawn unfold,
and emotions of gratitude rise manifold.

Passion for poetry can enthuse anyone, Dr. Upma A. Sharma has proved this so well. A doctor by profession, she finds time from her busy schedule to satiate her appetite for words, words that rhyme with her heart. She feels that nothing in this world happens without a reason and so is poetry. A purposeful expression of emotions and thoughts and positive words certainly are a way to serenity.

Gratitude to the Warrior Spirit--By Barbara Tate--United States

Gratitude to the Warrior Spirit

A primal urge created on the fourth day
the warrior spirit disarms the quiet.
His heartbeat like a drumbeat
releases fears in the center
of my own Nebula.     mitakuye oyasin*

*“Mitakuye Oyasin”, it's a Lakota salutation meaning “All My Relations” or “We are All Related”—as researched by Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)

Barbara Tate is an award-winning artist and writer.  A member of the Haiku Society of America her work has been published in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Santa Fe Literary Review, The Heron's Nest & Failed Haiku among many others.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Eternal Gratitude--By Sushminder jeet Kaur--India

Eternal Gratitude

I am really grateful to Him since beginning,
For every Breath and all benedictions,
Exist only as His fragment,
To merge into Him,
When I cease to be!

An Associate Professor in the subject of English Literature, Sushminder jeet Kaur is fond of writing poetry and short stories.

Transformational Gratitude--By Tim Philippart--United States

Transformational Gratitude

Veins of gratitude are hard to mine
in stony hearts.
Drilling deeper than a perfunctory thank you,
like the ones to a faceless waitress or,
the guy who courteously holds the door
Even though, you rarely need any help,
a heart stirred gratitude, often watered by a tear,
irrigated with a catch in your voice,
is something to be grateful for

Tim Philippart sold his business, retired to teach himself to write and discovered that wasn’t very retired at all. He ghost blogs, writes poetry, nonfiction and an occasional magazine piece.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Gratitude of Nature--By Vincent Van Ross--India

The Gratitude of Nature

The scorching Sun evaporates
Water from the waves of the gurgling river
The river meanders through gorges
And, dances through mountain slopes
The haze goes up in smoke
And shoots its way into the sky
The clouds celebrate the journey of water
From the earth to the sky
With thunder and lightning
They rain their gratitude and blessings

Vincent Van Ross is a journalist and an editor based in New Delhi in India. He writes on national and international politics, defense, environment, travel, spirituality and scores of other topics. Apart from this, he dabbles in a little bit of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and humorous writings. He is also a renowned photographer and art critic. His poems are littered in anthologies and journals across the world.

The Harpist--By Elizabeth Howard--United States

The Harpist

A volunteer brought her harp to the hospice house,
choosing a seat near the room where I was keeping
solemn watch. As she plucked the strings,
my heart’s tears flowed down my face.
Peace pervaded my soul. When she left, she said,
I’ll see you next week. If not, I’ll know
he’s in a better place. I never saw her again,
but I carry with me her blessed music and good heart.
I will ever be grateful for her ineffable gift.

Elizabeth Howard lives in Arlington, Tennessee. Her work has appeared in Comstock ReviewBig MuddyAppalachian HeritageCold Mountain ReviewGreen Hills Literary Lantern, and many other journals.

Gratitude--By James Keane--United States


Thank you for loving me
unconditionally. For
your patience, your
compassion - especially
in the face of attitude
and behavior you find
wanting. In other words,
bless you for putting up
with me through 33 years
of marriage, and counting.

James Keane resides in northern New Jersey USA with his wife and son and a menagerie of merry pets. His poems have appeared most recently in Tipton Poetry JournalThe RavensPerchBetter Than Starbucks!, and Whispers. His poetry chapbook, What Comes Next, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013. This past August, James and Barbara Jean celebrated their thirty-third wedding anniversary. Where did the time go?

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Desert Onam--By Feby Joseph--India

A Desert Onam

The waft of boiling pulses and sambar1
Permeate the entire house.
Preparing itself for the arrival of the King2
With Pookkalams3 and Golden rain flowers
And nine course meals on Banana leaves.

For this is the one day we forget
Our toils and grievances.
Today we are at home.
Today we forget that we are in this desert.
Today we are in our God’s own Country.

1 South-Indian Vegetable stew
2 The Keralite Onam festival celebrates [beloved] King Mahabali’s annual visit to his kingdom.
3 A floral carpet

Feby Joseph hails from the coastal state of Kerala in South India. He's a science graduate, with a passion for western classical music, a computer certification, a piano certification and currently working in the Finance department in Saudi Arabia. This pretty much summarizes his meandering journey so far which has led to false stops; although the destination remains forever music!

Just Right--By Immanuel Suttner--Australia

Just Right

Just to lie on beach
sand fingers buried
in the warm grains
just to lie on thick grass
and inhale the scent
just to feel the heaviness
and tiredness and know
I have come to the right place
not black or white
but simple

Immanuel Suttner was born in 1964 in South Africa, lived in Israel, and now makes his home in Sydney, Australia He has published widely in literary journals and his short stories and poems have been included in several anthologies. He has had one poetry collection published thus far: Hidden & Revealed (2007). In 2010 he published an illustrated children's book The African Animal Football Cup.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fall Leaves a Blessing--By Clarissa Jakobsons--United States

Fall Leaves a Blessing
October winds twist, slap air as maple leaves
shield earth’s mound. Sparrows chatter quietly

not to disturb wind’s grace. Orange russet branches
enhance the artist’s canvas, October speaks,

even the blind can feel the breeze capture innocence.
Sunshine smiles in my backyard. A leaf arabesques

inviting us to dance. Listen, an avalanche cascades,
a car passes rattling fumes in the distance.

The hush returns, a leaflet falls releasing everything.

Clarissa Jakobsons instructs at a community college often weaving one-of-a-kind artist books, exhibited internationally. Sometimes she combines artist books with her poems and oil paintings. She writes, "Don’t be surprised to see my inner artist kicking sandcastles, climbing Mount Diablo, painting Provincetown dunes, or walking under an Ohio crescent moon".

Thankful Heart--By Jack Horne--England

Thankful Heart

I feel so thankful to the Lord
for friends and loving kin,
for all the laughter in my life,
and peace and joy within.

Jack Horne enjoys reading and writing poetry.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

From Your Editor/Giving Thanks...--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers' Family,

I am so grateful to have you in my life.  Blessings to all the writers that have graced the pages of our journal and for all the readers that have read and commented on our words.

My health is an up and down ride, so forgive me for any lapses in publishing your poetry or answering your emails.  I hope you will continue you be a part of the Whispers' family.

Special thanks to Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands and to Jack Horne--England for enabling our Whispers journey to continue.  I am grateful that Inge accepted the poem below for publication for November's gratitude theme.

Giving Thanks…

for soul-mates
and friends,
some joining
in my journey
for a season,
others for a lifetime.
When the road
gets tough,
these angels
walk with me.

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, ND.  She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

Wishing you all the best!  May you enjoy sharing your talent with others.



Implicit Gratitude--By Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands

Implicit Gratitude

Without speaking,
a reflection of stars,
the whole firmament,
mirrored in your eyes
A silent promise you will
travel with me forever
In our journey, cloaked by love
and trust, there are no worries
Our path will be bordered
by tender lucidity

Inge Wesdijk is a Dutch writer, poetess, and photographic artist who works under the pseudonym Daginne Aignend. She likes hard rock music and fantasy books. She is a vegetarian and spends a lot of time with her animals.

Gold Digger--By Valerie Macon--United States

Gold Digger

Rake your spading fork under a potato plant
after the yellow flower fades and its leaf withers.
Cleave it from the earth, tubers clinging to roots.
Rummage the soil, find a buried golden spud.
Yeehaw! Then another, and another. Howl
till neighbors pause their coffee cups,
turn their heads from cable news and wonder,
why such jubilation?

Valerie Macon finds joy in growing food for the hungry. She is grateful for the garden, which produces 2 tons of vegetables per season, for this purpose. She also loves to write poetry.

With compliments--By Denis Waswa Barasa--Kenya

With compliments

For all you’ve given me
I owe you a debt in ghee
Much have I disappointed thee
Yet you’ve ensured trouble, I flee
With compliments, you are
God for the life in me
Mother for the health I breathe
Father for these lines I create 
Friend for the charm you ooze
Thanks… though the word would be insufficient! 

Denis Waswa Barasa enjoys reading and writing poetry and literature. He is a teacher based in western Kenya.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Idiome de Poesy--By Ken Allan Dronsfield--United States

Idiome de Poesy

Much as life itself, so goes poetry. 
Inspiration; endless...perpetual; diverse 
What an eye sees; and a mind dreams...
I thank God for paper and pen.

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran and poet. His poems have been published worldwide and can be found in many (online) journals. Ken loves life!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Treasured Times--By Allan Ball--England

Treasured Times 

Forever onwards moving along
Humming a tune, my favourite song

Melodies linger long in my mind
Tranquil thoughts of treasured times

Sharing access, nothing to hide
Peaceful and calm deep inside

Living life, no entrance fee
Evokes emotions simple carefree

A journey called life passing by
Serenities solace solicits a sigh 

Allan Ball has retired from a career in the Banking and Financial sector.His poems has been published in Anthologies. He thinks writing is both peaceful and rewarding. The written word allows our hearts to speak.

Opposite of Wishing--By Joan Leotta--United States

Opposite of Wishing

When I pick up morning's newspaper
Before reading, I look out to the still dark sky.
Night's star bright is for wishing;
On morning's star, I place gratitude for life and
hope my day's acts can help heal this hurting world.

Joan Leotta is a writer and story performer. She writes and tells to show the beauty and importance of ordinary moments, ordinary people–living in ordinary and extraordinary times. 

Healing--By Judy Shepps Battle--United States


Doubt courts certainty
Frailty weds strength
Trust begets gratitude

meditative heart flourishes
soul messages arrive
Special Delivery

no signature required.

Judy Shepps Battle has been writing essays and poems long before retiring from being a
psychotherapist and sociology professor. She is a New Jersey, USA resident, addictions
specialist, consultant and freelance writer. Her poems have been accepted in a variety of

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Team Theme Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Gert Knop—Germany, Jack Horne—England and Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)—The Netherlands

At the Blue River

By Gert Knop—Germany, Jack Horne—England
and Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)—The Netherlands

Lonely at the blue river,
gazing at the stones in it,
shiny, like precious jewels,
without the dust of the past.
Lonely at the blue river,
thoughts wander with the wind,
rushing distant clouds
on a quiet day

Soothing, murmuring
friendly wavelets
whispering stories
as they move
in circles
Tranquil moments,
daily devoirs
vanish leisurely
A praise for the mind

Lost in my memories,
serene sadness,
at peace with the past.
Raindrops splash,
each drop adding ripples;
the sun still shines, 
sparkling on the water.
Mellow moments,
a salve for the soul.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Friendship’s Beacon--By John Polselli--United States

Friendship’s Beacon

The lighthouse standing firmly on the reef,
Whose steadfast beacon brightens Neptune’s mist,
Affords the sightless mariner relief,
As one who has, through distance, friendship missed,
Unmindful whether infinite or brief.

John Polselli’s poetry has been published in many literary journals and is the recipient of several Editor’s Choice Awards. As a poet, John enjoys composing in all traditional forms including free verse as well as inventing his own.

I Write for You--By Rajnish Mishra--India

I Write for You

I thought of writing lines for you:
Of beauty, strength, and truth.
One song, just one;
Of hope, of life.

In these vacant, little, listless times,
what use of such pursuits?
they say. I smile 
and write those lines 
for you.

Rajnish Mishra is a poet, blogger, writer from Varanasi, India. He publishes PPP Ezine.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Gratitude--By Caryl Calsyn


Rain after a drought
Health after illness
Reunion after separation
Acceptance after grief
Forgiveness after discord
Peace after turmoil

It is during the “afters”
that gratitude climbs
to the mountain top
and shouts, “Yes!”

Calsyn is a retired Interior Designer who only began writing poetry about five years ago. About three years ago she began submitting to publishers. Her first try was accepted and she now has 124 that have been published.  She is a board member for the county historical commission and the local museum.  She sings in a chorale and her church choir and loves family gatherings.

The Presence--By Stefanie Bennett--Australia

The Presence
Beyond description,
Too wound-weary
To hold,
The Beloved
The wild violet
The Patron
Of soul.

Stefanie Bennett, ex-blues singer & musician, has published several books of poetry, a novel & a libretto, & worked with Arts Action For Peace.Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she has tutored at The Institute of Modern Languages – Cook University. Stefanie was born in Queensland, Australia in 1945.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Collaborative Writing Opportunity--The Theme Team--Submission Guidelines Hosted by Jack Horne--England

In an effort to increase opportunities for writers, Whispers is offering a new opportunity for collaborative poetry. The name for this opportunity is, The Theme Team.  Since this a new opportunity for publication feel free to contact Jack at if you have any suggestions.

1. Two or more writers may collaborate to submit poems for consideration to be featured our online journal. 

2. If you are interested in partnering with another writer, please contact your Collaborative Poem Editor at his email address below.  You will be given a theme.

3. Preferred method of submission is to send your poem in the body of an email with your name and country. Please email your partnered submission to Jack
at  If you would rather submit by snail mail, please email me for my home address. You may email me with any questions you may have.

4. Submissions to The Theme Team will be NEW WORK since a topic will be assigned for each partnership to work on together. 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.

5. The total line-count of partnered poems should not exceed 40 lines. Writers should use the same form.

6. There is no submissions deadline. Take your time and enjoy the collaborative experience.

7. No profanity, erotica, violence or other derogatory writing will be accepted.

8. Whispers’ reserves the right to select poetry based on the goal stated at the end of the guidelines.

9.  Spiritual poetry is welcomed but the editor would like to have a variety of pieces that will uplift and inspire readers. Humor is appreciated.

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

I hope you enjoy this opportunity to experience the joy of writing with others.

Jack Horne
Whispers’ Collaborative Poetry Editor

November Activity--New! Individual Publication Opportunity--Hosted by Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands

Dear Whispers' Friends,

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)—The Netherlands, Activity Editor has a wonderful topic to share for the upcoming holiday season. One of her goals is to give writers of various levels a chance to share in her inspiring opportunity.  I'm so grateful that our talented friend is offering another opportunity to help us grow as writers.

Note--This will replace the former individual poem publication opportunity.  The poems will be published throughout the month as they are accepted for publication.  Please send a 5 line or less bio with your poem.  This is optional, but it is a nice way for readers to get to know poets that are published.  Only one notification will go out each month which you are welcome to share with your friends.  At this point each writer is eligible for publication each month.  Inge and I will adjust this if the volume is too much for one month.

From--Inge Wesdijk, Whispers' Activity Editor

Title:  Poetry Celebrations—10 lines or less

Subject: Gratitude


1)  To allow writers to explore ideas in a concise format and allow different voices to capture ideas without the restriction of styles.

2)  Present poetry with depth and insight to share with an international audience.

3)  Celebrate the gift of words to uplift people up in this climate of challenges.


To present a poem of 10 lines or less that is relevant for a global community

Please use the following format:

Author’s name and country
Bio--Five lines or less

Please share your poems with Inge for consideration for publication at Whispers--

Deadline: November 25  Accepted poetry will be published shortly after accepted.  This activity will replace individual poem publication.

Of note--Whispers does not publish profanity, erotica, violence or other derogatory writing.

Please stop by and thank Inge for bringing us together for this enjoyable activity.

It is a gift to have Inge share her talent and willingness to open Whispers for activity submissions that will be published as individual poems if accepted.  I hope all of you will appreciate her willingness to give our community a rebirth.


Karen O'Leary
Whispers' Editor