Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dark and Light in Washington DC--By Isha Wagner--New Zealand

I wonder how long it will endure
This Vietnam memorial : will it expand or contract
Or explode into smithereens
A sentinel to something : dead soldiers
As I think of unborn children
Un-reaching to the ovum
Lost forever without knowing the
Distillation of life's variances

Moving to the Potamac River
Struck fiercely with November sun
Streaming diamonds of light
Making morbid thoughts obsolete
To this of nature's visions
For some small time
I know everything is alright

It's Thanksgiving here : crowds swarm
Hundreds like me amongst the trees looking down
On swift shining water

Back to the conscious self again
Mourning now without tears

Isha Wagner is a New Zealand poet. She has resided in many countries including Iceland, Libya, India, and Australia. She read some of her work at the VIII International Poetry Festival held in Granada, Nicaragua, in February 2012. She has had three collections of poetry published. 

A Decade Since Redeployment--By Arthur Turfa--United States

A Decade Since Redeployment

There are no hills; only distant ridges
evoke accustomed landscape.
Sun strikes harshly;
gradually the new places
become home as
a pair of shoes conforms
to the contours of the feet.

Morning flight from Rhein/Main
hurried hugs at Ft. Dix
changing into civvies.
Brief flight to new home:
reunion with family
flurry of interviews
careers resumed.

In time, peach orchards
tall pines in sandy soil
glimpse of distant peaks
and mustard-based barbecue
tie me to the new place.

Arthur Turfa is a transplanted Pennsylvanian who enjoys living in the Midlands of South Carolina. These places and others are reflected in his book, Places and Times, eLectio Publishing, 2015. His bivocationl career path has given him a wealth of experience which makes for a rich blend of poetry. Currently a moderator in three Google+ poetry communities, he is working on a second book.

Partners in Poetry--By Keith Dodrill--England and Hifsa Ashraf--Pakistan

Eternal Beauty
By Keith Dodrill, England and Hifsa Ashraf, Pakistan 

The eyes of my heart search for you
But still you are hidden from desire's gaze
And my utmost attention is not enough;
Yearning overwhelms me
I must break the cocoon of my thoughts
Ready for transformation of the 'Self '
To the next stage of ability

Now I conceive and capture you
Wander the shore of your tantalizing eyes
Looking for answers in the surf
Waiting for you to unfold for me;
My surrender is close
I am balanced on the horizon of our union
Our immortality

Dimensions converge
Your beauty is everywhere
And I feel the petal-soft skin of your Being;
Your smile dives into me
Dissolves within my flesh
And there is such tranquility
That which is present after suns collide

In this calm
Your perfection is realized;
Your face no longer a dream
Your touch is enough
Your arms so comforting
Your kiss renews bliss
Your Love is my ocean
And your heart is my beach
So warm and Eternal

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

With Love Besides--By Sheryl Splane--Canada

With Love Besides

Many days have dawned with clouds in the sky,
the sun veiled from view.
Yet, it still shines somewhere out there,
by FAITH, we know it's true.

The path of life we travel on
will often twist and turn.
Our faulty map leads us astray,
the right road we must learn.

The destination we had sought
brings hardship that's unplanned.
But when we reach beyond ourselves,
then HOPE lends us a hand.

Before us spreads a brand new road,
LOVE, our friend and guide,
when we had thought we were alone,
was always by our side.

By FAITH, the sun is shining,
then HOPE, shows us the way.
But best of all, with LOVE beside,
we go on rejoicing each day.

Sheryl Splane spent several years as a missionary in Senegal, Africa. She had to come home due to health problems, but part of her heart remains there... Sheryl now cares for the elderly, for whom she has a special love. Sheryl lives in Hanover, Ontario, Canada, near her parents. She and her dad both play several musical instruments. They go to senior residents in their area, entertaining the residents with music and gospel messages. 

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


behind cupped hands
her whispers smile
in papa’s ear

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, March 20, 2017


Dear Whispers’ Family,

The March writing activity has been, Working Alliteration and Assonance into Our Poetry. Thank you to all who sent in submissions. What a delight it is to read all of your skillfully crafted creations. Let poetry be fun!

Michael Escoubas, Whispers’ Features Editor

Dublin on the Liffey

The Liffey – no longer sniffy,
ambles through our capital city.
It once inspired Jack B. Yeats
to paint The Liffey Swim*.
Nowadays, it’s a genial host
to cruise liners and tall ships.

*1923, Nat. Gallery of Ireland.

Mary Gunn, Ireland.

Memory lane

As I walk down the memory lane
plateaus of emotions whine and wane,
Grace on face stays
while smile deepens,
and wrinkles sprinkle
the essence of pretence in time.

Dr. Upma Sharma, India.

The Treasure

Furry feet in hasty haste
Eating eggs tasty taste.

Diana Dalton, United States

"Haiku" (Double Triodyne)

Good writers writing in haiku
Strange title to set subject to
All subjects one title, "Haiku"
Time after time, line on line
Reason for a title in a Triodyne
Line on line, time after time

Yancy Lee Dalton, United States 

Pregnancy Cravings

I buy myself, red roses wrapped in ribbons
As I feel so depressed and restless
I walk here and there and everywhere
To curb my pregnancy cravings
I can only think of turkey tacos
Or the delicious donut dipped in dairy creamer.

Archana Kapoor, India

Two, to go 

A simple chicken biscuit 
in Chapel Hill 
conjures college-day memories
of road trips and restlessness, 
flaky and buttery. 

Douglas S. Malan, United States 

Golden Persimmons

coffee cake and persimmon wine
let us dine

too late
raccoons rampaged through the gate
and ate and ate and ate

Elizabeth Howard, United States

She Winks

astutter aflutter
my blinks
subtle and supple...
i turn nary a spurn
her kiss feels like bliss

Pat Geyer, United States

Smiling in My Sleep

Milky Way moonlight
spillpools upon my pillow,
protection and peace.

Candace Armstrong, United States

The tap

Transparent I transcend
A spit, splatter or splash
All rains down to ripple and rise
Confined and contained
Constantly until I reach the rim
Where I run, rushing over freely

Anna-Marie Docherty, Wales

Precious Peace

In times of stress, sweets bring momentary solace.
Aspiring higher actuates a heavenly alliance
bringing a blessed and more enduring substance.
With His help I give heed to "Let go and let God"

Charlene McCutcheon, United States

Beneath the Coyote Moon

Twirling, twisting, whirling,
the west wind wanders and winds down
lonely canyons kicking up sand
and dancing with tumbleweeds
to escape its earthly heaven.

Barbara Tate, United States


Restless roaming through my raging thoughts
An unceasing search for truth is scourging
my weary, dreary molested mind
The pleasant purring of my content cat
wakes me out of my dubious dazed state

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) the Netherlands

Money Makers

Making money may make me rich
Saving some with little spent
I’ll be wealthy when I die
Prosperous people live longer lives
If you save a lot like me
Someday you can be debt free

Glenda B. Frazier, United States


a honeybee and her happy life
swing and swirl in nature’s ride
lick and lift the nectar of flowers
feel and fight with toxic powers
drain and drop a sweet viscous
present a precious heaven liquor.

Hifsa Ashraf, Pakistan

The Theater Calendar

Fitful flurries sift onto the orange primrose.
Morning warms and we two gardeners
wait for a daytime high that will keep
pea seeds from freezing. We want
to remember to watch for the stage
of this night’s moon, sliver seekers.  

Tricia Knoll, United States 

"Unkind, Undaunted ... and Unpublished"

There once was a pompous poet
Her poetry did definitely show it
"If you don't absolutely love it
You can take it and shove it"
With every poem she'd send, she'd blow it

David Fox, United States

Great Grades

when our college students
study seriously and systemically
exam fear fades away fast for some
every paying guardian or parent expects
cool scores, not crappy, creepy grades
or curt remarks from careless educators

Ndaba Sibanda, Kuwait

Misty Dreams

In stealthful shadows,
the pensive pilgrim
pauses for a moment…
nature whispers
to his searching soul…
a twilight adieu

Karen O’Leary, United States


This enchanted evening seems
full of grace and goodness.
Your gown of silk and lace
draped in velvet folds cascades
down and around your silver slippers.
We dance in this my dream romance.

Michael Escoubas, United States

Winter Guardians--By Connie Marcum Wong--United States

Winter Guardians

Rows of heavy snow flocked pines
in varied heights, stretch to touch
white cloud dappled azure skies.
Their blue-gray shadows cast across

pristine snow and swift river's flow.
Steep hillsides lure camera lenses
with picturesque clear alpine air
sharing serene senses with dawn.

Rounded river rocks dressed with
snow covered marshmallow tops
greet the beauty of the celestial sun,
in divine display of this blessed day.

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.

The Way She Dissipated and Danced Over There--By Ndaba Sibanda--Saudi Arabia

The Way She Dissipated and Danced Over There*

She left some villagers wet but devastated.
Will she reimburse them for their losses?

Her love for gamboling was so strong in 2017
that it engulfed cars and flooded away bridges.

Sis C Dineo cavorted with muscular winds and rain
in Mozambique and South Africa and Zimbabwe.

*Cyclone Dineo`s trail of blessings and destruction.

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".

Channeling Maya--By Peggy Dugan French--United States

Channeling Maya

I wonder what Maya would have told me if I’d had the opportunity to ask her for guidance? Would she have said “stand tall girl and walk your walk” in that big booming voice full of hard-earned wisdom?  Or remind me to be gutsy and adventurous and to always be my own person, whatever the cost?  She might have told me to think with my head but lead with my heart and not let fear be my guide. She would no doubt advise me to work hard and be passionate, share my gifts and soak up life’s goodness.  She would certainly want me to be generous and kind, be a good friend and love a child – be a blessing to somebody. Her solid truths would have rained down on me and I would have soaked them up like a welcoming summer rain. Perhaps she would have invited me into her womanly tribe and help pilot me to my true center, making it easier to see the light shining within. Maya enlightened generations with her insightfulness and tasteful originality, she lit the road for many and fueled my own curiosity for life and living well. I’m thankful for her clear headedness and her courage, I have found a richer road to travel because her words mixed with my young soul and have strolled along with me through the years. I vow to always try to be a blessing to somebody.

volumes full of brilliance
traveling companions
channeling Maya

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.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Partners in Poetry--By Annie Jenkin--England & Michael Escoubas--United States

About Moonlight . . .
By Annie Jenkin--England & Michael Escoubas--United States

if on your journey
the sun dims over one path
you will find it again
lighting the way
along a different path

the receding sun
signals night’s purple curtain
full of chandelier shine—
an illuminating presence
as if by destiny sent

may the wind always
blow gently against your back
to fill billowing sails
suffused with dreams
toward your new horizons

the journey engaged—
moonlight with a billion
silver sequins shows the way
by points of light dancing
on a moonlit stage

Friday, March 17, 2017

Shrines--By Maralee Gerke--United States


My grandfather’s inkwell,
a small silk doll,
and a red bucket filled with multicolored pens.

Dried lavender in a pale blue vase,
poetry books in jumbled rows,
words piled like salt cairns holding the tide.

Among tattered scraps of wisdom,
fragments of prayers, the past folded
into long white pages, I seek my inheritance.

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.

Finding Spring--By Linda Hurdwell--England

Finding Spring

Nodding heads and waving arms
Cheerful and exquisite charms
Yellow, resembling gold
Imagination does unfold.

A yellow crowd looks to smile
As I stop and stare for a while
Fish will swim and the birds will fly
Sometimes there's blue in the sky

My heart sings with certain joy
Bright heads turn a little coy
Bringing optimism around
Winter goes and Spring is found.

Gold covers the grassy hills
A gang of careless daffodils.

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.

Conjunction--By J. T. Milford--United States


Stately is the rising moon

Sliced and starred
edged with darkness
presiding over our town below
with ancient grace

As the star climbs
with the crescent moon
they flood the town
with a steady stream of light

And I, who have come
to see this celestial event
am overtaken by an
exuberant joy in being alive

For in a mystical way
the luminaries dim
my old persona
to reveal the aerial soaring
of a secret life

J. T. Milford began writing poetry when he retired as a CPA from public accounting twenty-two years ago. He has lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana most of his life and uses life there as a background for his poetry. J.T. feels he doesn’t really write poems, they seem to arrive and demand to be written.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Partners in Poetry—By Diana Marie and Yancy Lee Dalton--United States

March Madness?
By Diana Marie and Yancy Lee Dalton

February blew march winds away
Stole Marches thunder in a windy play
March Plots eastern Stella storm
Yet leaves Arizona toasty warm

American citizens in hot debate
Whether Trump is horrid or great
To New York's snowy blizzard scene
St. Patrick adds a pinch of Green

 On earth march madness reigns
 Unless we break worldly chains
 Love from spirit to each impart
 Tuning in with God’s Loving heart

One Regret--By Elaine George--Canada

One Regret

Now walking through the autumn of my life
Where maple leaves have turned from green to gold
I watch them fall in breezes turning cold
In a whirl-wind of harmony and strife
And I ponder, on the fact that I might
In the light, as another day unfolds
Have like these dying autumn leaves, grown old
Slow, spiralling toward the pending night

Moss grows along the path where I now step
That rocky road now softened by the years
Seeing for the first time, so crystal clear
That I will leave this life with one regret
This vision, that these old eyes now behold
Those blazing flames, when autumn leaves let go.

Born in New Brunswick, Elaine George spent the early years of her life living in Lorneville (a small fishing village along the Bay of Funday) still inhabited by many of her family members.  Much of her writing is inspired by the memories of that place and those wonderful people.  She has published two volumes of poetry and is currently writing a novel entitled Out of the Darkness.  Many of her poems and short stories have appeared in magazines in both Canada and the United States. Currently she lives with her husband in Wainfleet, Ontario.

Tree Branch Dives--By Diane Webster--United States

Tree Branch Dives

Wind-broken branch dives
into the river and seeks
the strongest current
rafting downstream
over startled carp
and envious stones.

It laps through rapids
for miles until the thrill
calms into a back float.

A limb snags and swirls
the branch aside, against
shore bobbing up and down
for another ride but beached
bleached dry in fish-line tangles.

Diane Webster grew up in Eastern Oregon before she moved to Colorado.  She enjoys drives in the mountains to view all the wildlife and scenery and takes amateur photographs.  Writing poetry provides a creative outlet exciting in images and phrases Diane thrives in.  Her work has appeared in The Hurricane Review, Eunoia Review, Illya's Honey, and other literary magazines.

An Old Bore--By Jack Horne--England

An Old Bore

A poacher, who hunted on moors,
decided to stay with the boors,
and walkers at noon
reported full moon,
as, naked, he roamed on all fours...

Jack Horne enjoys reading and writing poetry.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

From the Archives—Featuring Michael Escoubas

Dear Whispers’ Readers,

It is a joy to travel back into our Whispers’ archives and read poetry from past issues.  Today, it is my pleasure to honor our, Features Editor, Michael Escoubas. Congratulations Michael!  “Asphalt Petunia” reminds us we can rise above the realities of a harsh world.  That is what we do at Whispers, giving writers and readers a chance to hope.

Michael, it is such a pleasure to honor you, today. Thank you for all you do to offer contributors, a variety of ways to share the gift of words.  Best wishes always.


Karen O’Leary—Whispers’ Editor


Asphalt Petunia

The simplest things
seem most amazing.
In my morning rush
I almost missed you
rising up and out
of your black tar
prison, drinking sun
defiant of limitations
fighting for life
rooting through poison
finding in cracked earth
just enough support
to live, to thrive, sending
a soft message in
a hard world to
a heart in need.

A Lonely Night--By Blanca Alicia Garza--United States

A Lonely Night

Looking at the moon
through my window,
it's dark, but she shines
like never before.
A glass of wine in my hand,
but the other is empty,
empty as my heart without him.
Through the moon 
I sent him my love,
through the breeze 
a sweet and tender kiss.
Despite the distance
we are looking at
the same moon,
like two hearts 
beating in one soul.

Blanca Alicia Garza is from Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a nature and animal lover, and enjoys spending time writing. Some of her poems are published in the Poetry Anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, now available at Blanca's published work can be viewed at The Poet Community, Whispers, The Winamop Journal, Indiana Voice Journal, Tuck Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review as well as Birdsong Anthology 2016, Vol 1.

Beyond the Midnight Blue--By Martha Magenta--England

Beyond the Midnight Blue 

I love to love you in the Spring,
When nesting birds take to wing. 
When sunlight glints on morning dew,
My heart sings melodies for you.

And when the sun drops behind the hills,
When all is dark and evening chills,
When the moon is high up in the sky,
Love gives me wings and lets me fly.

When cold winds blow the leaves in fall,
Amidst the winter’s bitter squall,
I run my fingers through your hair,
And sense the fragrance that you wear.

When the first crocus breaks the snow,
That's when my love for you will grow,             
The time for loneliness has passed, 
For now, the love spell has been cast.

When winter's winds no longer bite,
On fine and moonlit summer nights,
As we dream beyond the midnight blue,
I will love to love my dream come true.

Martha Magenta lives in England, UK. Her poetry, haiku, senryu and tanka have appeared in a number of journals and magazines. She collects her published work on a blog:              

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

agreeing on spring--By jani johe webster--(In Memory-May 2013)--United States

jani johe’s shared her unique style and insight which still leaves readers in awe.  But more importantly, she was a bright light in the writing community, always ready to support others in their journeys. Her words are butterfly’s wings. I am glad to have been able to call her my friend.  She is missed by many.          Sincerely, Karen O’Leary--Editor 

agreeing on spring

you know how you could feel the days
getting warmer
little by little
you could see the slight hesitating
the early morning hours
meeting in a coldness

in the late afternoon
you could see
how these hours
would find the new sunlight
and agree on spring

for another year

From Nila Webster--"jani johe webster, my beloved mother, wrote two poems entitled 'agreeing on spring.'  Both were written many decades ago, and both carry a sense of wonder at the miracle of spring.  The final words of this poem convey a longing and a fragility that is her trademark."

Haiku--Muskaan Ahuja

barren tree...
for a naive artist
an easy escape

falling leaf –
how things settle

Muskaan Ahuja is a student pursuing graduation in English honors.  She loves challenging herself and writing poetry. She considers haiku as her journey in three lines and aspires to become English professor. 

A Whiff of Spring--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

A Whiff of Spring

Spring comes in:
trees, wild flowers and blades
of grass fill my nostrils.
I rejoice that Nature is retrieving
its path from winter’s ice and snow…
My heart is stirred
by the colorful embroider
of butterfly wings and the hum
of bees in clover fields…
I echo from my heart a praise
that I am here once more
to celebrate the season
I love so much.

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.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Suppression--By Pam Murray--Canada


She struggled to find her wings
Beating against the walls
Built from her way of life.
Nobody heard her calls.

Her only crime was she
Was born as a female child
Something to which her world
Had never reconciled.

Her dreams still fought endlessly.
Deep in her hidden soul
Slowly she built her life
On small things she could control.

With no one to celebrate
Achievements along the way
She learned to be alone
Still rising to meet each day.

Now she is getting old.
Nobody knows her name.
She’s done the best she could
To nurture her tiny flame.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Pam Murray has been writing poetry since the mid-1960’s.  She was married for over 41 years and has two daughters, a son-in-law, and a grandson.  Pam has been published in a variety of venues.  Her proudest writing accomplishment was a poem she wrote for a United Way fundraiser, which was later framed with a French translation and hung on the wall of the legislature in Ottawa, Canada.  To her, poetry is a transposition of a vision she sees in her mind. Writing and crocheting are her passions.

By Your Presence--By Dan Tharp

By Your Presence

The smallness of the sparrow flitting
reminds me of the fidgeting moments
intermingled with the winds of change
blown in on a northerly breeze fluttering
toward a distant shore.

As the wind scatters her seed
across the terra firma, likewise she has
carried me to the epicenter of your existence
where I have established my roots
in the richness of your soil.

If you have ever considered whether trickling streams
rejoice to meander their way to a turbulent ocean,
you must then consider the paths that have led me to you
through the inconvenience of circumstance and
the rending of hearts.

And as surely as the sun licks the morning clouds;
ascends the eastern horizon,
the scent of dawn has left your fragrance
upon the air I breathe, in the moments
of intimacy, when I am refreshed by your presence.

Dan Tharp is the author of four books of poetry, 3 of which are in chapbook form... Side by Side, Yielding Desire to Fate, A Season Made for Wondering and A Rose in the Briar Patch. Dan resides in Southern California.

To you...By Jan Oskar Hansen--Portugal

To you…

It is so difficult of you to hear
I can`t be the elegant man in a magazine
I do not shine in a group
You must let me be and hear me

Jan Oskar Hansen is a published poet from Portugal.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Partners in Poetry--By Gert Knop--Germany & Jack Horne--England

The Shadows of the Night
By Gert Knop--Germany & Jack Horne--England

The shadows of the night,
fall on me like autumnal leaves,
forgotten in the wind,
lost like
snow breeze in the evening

Memories of the day,
in the network of thoughts,
lost in the invisible,
blur with the shadows of the night
into nowhere

Between the days
lies hope
as dew on the meadows.
Future times,
like the memory,
lose themselves
between wind and clouds

This sleepless night,
the clock ticks
like your heartbeat
on nights long gone
when I lay in your arms.

You chased the nightmares
into shadows;
and turned the shadows
into beautiful moonlit dreams.

I walk the room,
wipe the windowpane,
and wonder if you too
watch the moon and stars -
and if you think of me tonight...

...just for a heartbeat.

Friday, March 10, 2017

In Fond Memory of a Poet--By Joyce I. Johnson--United States

In Fond Memory of a Poet

He, a man of many talents,
Rationed what he let us see.
Wit and wisdom he exuded
In his unique poetry.

We familiar with the poet,
Perhaps didn't know the man,
Finding him where poets travel
With the great and also ran.

There are others who have judged him
As he played another role.
But perhaps we knew him better,
A true poet bares his soul.

We will find him in God's future,
But we know that until then,
We shall miss the gentle humor
Of his over-flowing pen

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 98th birthday in July of 2016.

And the winner is…..!--By George L. Ellison--England

And the winner is…..!

The big night has come around again
The red carpet is rolled out for everyone
For the confident, the shy and the vain
All basking in their glory like a shining sun

Making their way one by one into the auditorium
With expectant faces and some with good graces
The hall slowly fills with a distinct vocal hum
There are people from all places and many races

The time has come the light becomes subdued
The anticipation is palpable as it rises
The compare for the night enters right on cue
Now is the time for handing out the prizes

The night goes well with the occasional song
With all categories covered and well shared
Like clockwork the ceremony ticks along
Is it too good to avoid any trouble can we dare?

The climax is fast approaching still everything goes well
Now for best picture, The winner will be, can you guess?
On the stage come the actors Warren and Faye who looks swell
And the winner is…..La La La…Moonlight, Oh dear what a mess!

George L. Ellison is a writer of poetry and short stories. He has published three books called Poetic Reminiscences, Weaving Words and Reflections. 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 and owner of Poetry and short story ink.  George has a Facebook Author page and is currently working on various projects as well as learning to play the saxophone at the Sage Gateshead!

110 Percent--By Gary Glauber--United States

110 Percent

Absolute certainty is dangerous.
Many powerful convictions
have led to convictions of another sort.
Fact: inflated notions reach limits
& burst, leaving us to tell stories,
pick up pieces, assess logic, & determine
how history shall convey it.
As such, we are all on trial.
Patriotic pride is no excuse
for irresponsible actions.
Language is only one barrier to overcome.
We train killing machines,
then act dismayed when one malfunctions.
War is hell. This oversimplified cliché
doesn’t begin to touch upon
intricate annoyances & horrors
that turn this absolute certainty
into someone’s absolute nightmare
in a blink of an eye,
the flash of a soldier’s weapon.

Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist.  His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. He champions the underdog to the melodic rhythms of obscure power pop. His collection, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) is available through Amazon, as is a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press). His next collection, Worth the Candle, is forthcoming from Five Oaks Press.