Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Editor's Appreciation/The Beacon--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Writing Friends,

I appreciate all those who have opened the pages of Whispers this month.  Each poem submitted, each page view, and each encouraging comment broaden our horizons.  Writing is about communicating ideas…such an honor to share contributors’ poetry with you. 

What a joy to work with Jack Horne from England and Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) from The Netherlands!  We blend together sharing ideas.  If you have some suggestions, please contact me at

We celebrate 12 new writers this month—

                                    L.Shapley Bassen, United States
                                    Linda Imbler—United States
                                    Vivian Wagner—United States      
                                    Ellen Huang, United States
                                    Jack M. Freedman—United States
                                    Justine Johnston Hemmestad—United States
                                    Swapan Kumar Rakshit—India       
                                    Jessica Swafford—United States
                                    Robert Filos—United States
                                    James Dean Chase, United States
                                    Alicja Maria Kuberska, Poland (New Country)
                                    Sravani singampalli, India

Please stop by and congratulate our new poets and welcome them to Whispers.  Thank you to each and every one that has shared the gift of words for Whispers this month.

In closing, I would like to share my poem accepted by Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) for an individual poem to be published—

The Beacon

and caring
lights up many  lives
                           by love
                           share light too…
                           becoming beacons

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 including, Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, Haiku Pix, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. Karen is our editor.  She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

Blessings to all of you,

City I--By Feby Joseph--India

City I

This is the house of metallic and steel sounds
            Of grinding machines rushing on to tomorrow
As the green fields and skies fade fast
            And the sun delays in its path on the morrow.
This dissonant symphony serenading deaf ears
            As truth from its way clears
            Marching steadily to a finale of sorrow

Yet if I smile, it’s only because of you
           That hope lives on, deep within this dark shell.
Your lessons of empathy and kindness
            Causes doubt in the face of gold to dispel
Your promises pull me past all the imminent sorrow –
            I can see on that beautiful morrow
            Butterflies thriving where moths now dwell.

Feby Joseph is a spiritual vagabond still trying to figure it out. He hails from the beautiful South Indian coastal state of Kerala seeped in green and poetry. He's currently working in a desert – counting other’s money while words waltz about in his head.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Beth Winchcombe & Jack Horne--England

Childhood Memories
By Beth Winchcombe & Jack Horne

(In Memory of Beth Wincombe
October 2, 2015)

The aroma of hops
wafting forth as I pass 
the High Street Brewery.

The white suspension bridge
with slatted wooden walkway,
the river flowing beneath,
puts fear in my childlike heart.

Grandparents living nearby
in their cosy cottage,
reflecting an image of quaint shops,
full of candy in jars...
Candy! My mouth salivates;
Granny quells my longing -
she buys me some to take home.
She loves me, I love her.

The nearby park, a square 
cordoned off with swings;
a playground full of happy delight.

I like to ride my red bike
around the pond with no ducks
Dad lets go and I fall off.

Wearing my cousins' castoffs or old clothes 
from jumble sales at the church where Gran works.
New clothes at Christmases or birthdays 
(that I'm not allowed to play in!)

School dinners, their smell instilling dread;
at least a welcome break from lessons.
The crowded playground,
its chatter and laughter carrying far.
I always add to the noise,
but I'd rather be at home with my mum
(although I'm in love with my teacher
and swear I'll marry her some day!)

Ah, so much has changed since then, 
but fond memories stay alive in my heart...



Jack’s Thoughts—

For many years, Beth & I were close friends. We shared the daily dramas of our lives, laughing & commiserating with one another; and we shared our poetry & prose, offering one another honest feedback. We also enjoyed writing together (quite a few of those pieces have been published). 

Geoff, her husband, phoned one evening to me to tell me the awful news.  Beth had died that day. It was all so sudden. I had spoken to her the day before, as normal.  

With Karen's encouragement & Geoff's blessing, I decided to write with Beth one last time. Geoff chose a poem that Beth had written, & I have written & added my part to her words. I believe Beth would have liked this. 

Broken--By Maurice J. Reynolds--United States


She lies still, her body frozen
in a nightmare that repeats
itself day in and day out; her
breath faint, signs of life are
just pants; wings broken,
unable to fly; hope entangled
in a net woven to inflict fear
and false truth.  Her dreams
crushed under the weight of
mankind’s evil intentions to
satisfy flesh and greed.

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:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Heavenly therapy--By Andrew Ntchindi Jere--Malawi

Heavenly therapy

Weary of self-trials in lifting off hardships
My head tilted up into the sky; knees bowed
Constant prayer resonates from my lips
Looking for a speck of dark cloud

My open hands raised up into worship
Waiting to receive a light of heavenly hope
From the Lord of great stewardship,
Like Israelites traveling to a land of milk and honey

My tongue denied a taste of any deliciousness
No food piles up my stomach base;
Craving for a comeback of righteousness
To manifest in spirit from paradise

My eyes turn red from lacking a blink
As they peruse through the Christian dictionary
Searching for an understanding to fill the blank
So that I am no longer earthly stationary

The confession of my in-depth worries
To the greatest therapist in heaven
Frees my mind full of problem series,
Success and restoration attained through His sessions

Andrew Ntchindi Jere is a youthful Malawian poet. His poems have been extensively published in his country’s leading local newspapers, magazine and online publications. He is an alumnus of Mzuzu University, Malawi. He believes that God is his source of creativity.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Train Frozen--By Diane Webster--United States

Train Frozen

The petrified train emerges
from the rock formation
with the caboose still hidden
within the wind/rain imagination.
Fog pretends smoke from the stack;
thunder mimics the iron horse
rolling across tracks not yet laid.

An old train display frozen
in the national park museum
where juniper trees cordon off
the area so visitors do not touch,
and a mountain wren
whistles in the distance.

Diane Webster's goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life or nature or an overheard phrase. Many nights she falls asleep juggling images to fit into a poem. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia PoetsIllya's HoneyRiver Poets Journal and other literary magazines.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Dreams--By Peggy Dugan French--United States


In younger days they would reflect a simple longing
Then I moved on to loftier thoughts
like finding true love
and friends to spend my time with
Once found
My dreams turned to the future
and building a foundation to launch them from
Now I just want us all to be safe
Sit across the table and share stories from time to time
Dreams now soar on loves wings

Peggy Dugan French is a California girl with Minnesota roots. She has been the editor of Shemom since 1997. She welcomes this opportunity to share her work with the Whispers readers and thanks Karen for starting such a wonderful shared space. 

Rise Up and Follow Me--By Allan Ball--England

Rise Up and Follow Me 

Slowly without relish
Dawned a brand new day
Long ago he realised
No one cared in any way

Unloved by anybody 
Called out one final time
Jesus, can you hear me
I'm not guilty of this crime

You know that I am innocent
A victim of circumstance
I was in the local vicinity
Lord, I never stood a chance

He felt his heartbeat quicken
Soon to take his final breath
A lonely anguished figure
Only seconds from his death

An inner voice of reassurance said
My son, I heard your heartfelt plea
You asked for my assistance
Rise up and follow me.

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

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Afterglow--By Arthur Turfa--United States

The Afterglow

In your purgatory the flames plagued you,
especially in the year of silence.
Did my words deliver any solace
to you as you wandered in the wasteland?
My orisons rising, crashing like waves
against a distant, unresponsive shore.
When you reached the ridge leading to the light,
the downward path proved easier. Once more
you smiled. Healing poured over you in waves
of light. Again, you shone with the brightness
of unending sunlight and loving warmth.
The afterglow burst upon me, giving
renewed hope and rejoicing beyond words.
As best as I can, I give them expression.

Arthur Turfa lives in South Carolina, but his poetry reflects the many places where he has lived or traveled.  His next book, Saluda Reflections, comes out from Finishing Line Press in June 2018. He has two other books of published poetry.

My world--By Sravani singampalli--India

My world          

I always wondered about strange things
I had my own fantasies
In my endearing little world
I would wander like a dandelion
Among the blooming trees.
There were fishes which could sing
Birds which could dance like me
And flowers which could talk to me.
I had wings to fly high
In the sky of rainbow colours.
I had no desires
I had no impure thoughts  
No secrets to be kept
In my world, I was a perfect person
At least I had the freedom
To be truly myself and
No fear of being caged
In a desolate cave of limitation

Sravani singampalli is a published writer and poet from India. She is presently pursuing doctor of pharmacy at JNTU KAKINADA university in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Translation Poetry Feature--By Karen O'Leary, United States and Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend), The Netherlands

By Karen O'Leary

the pilgrim pauses
for a silent moment...
twilight whispers

Dutch translation--
By Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)

de pelgrim pauzeert
een moment van bezinning ...
schemer gefluister


January Activity Featuring--The Brevette--Hosted by Jack Horne--England

Dear Writing Friends,

It was a delight to read your Brevette poems today.  The form was developed by Emily Romano, a talented short verse writer.  I hope those that participated found this a enjoyable experience.  Thank you, contributors, for sharing your thoughts in different perspectives.

Special thanks to Jack Horne, Whispers' Activity Features Editor, for gathering our poems and for making the opportunity possible.  I hope you enjoy this garden of poetry.


Karen O'Leary
Whispers' Editor

s p r e a d s

Gert Knop, Germany

f i l l

Gert Knop, Germany

b e c o m e

Gert Knop, Germany

r e f l e c t s

Barbara Tate, United States

w a i t i n g

Barbara Tate, United States

h u n t

Barbara Tate, United States

n o u r i s h e s

Paul Callus, Malta

r e j u v i n a t e

Paul Callus, Malta

a w a k e

Paul Callus, Malta

k i s s e s

Linda Imbler, United States

U n i t e s

Sunil Sharma, India

t r e m b l e s

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) the Netherlands

n i b b l e

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) the Netherlands

c h e r i s h

Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) the Netherlands

s h o w e r e d

Charlene McCutcheon, United States

g l o r i f i e d

Charlene McCutcheon, United States

c o n q u e r s

Charlene McCutcheon, United States

s t r e t c h e s

Martha Magenta, England

e a t s

Rajnish Mishra, India

e a t s 

Rajnish Mishra, India

p u k e s

Rajnish Mishra, India

p r e c e d e s

Mary Gunn, Ireland
c o m p l e m e n t s

Mary Gunn, Ireland
d     e     l     a     y

Mary Gunn, Ireland

E x h a l e

Sara Kendrick, USA

b r i n g s

Andrea Dietrich, USA

b e c k o n s

Annie Jenkin, England 

b l e e d s

Karen O'Leary, United States 

c o m f o r t

Karen O'Leary, United States 

s o o t h e s

Karen O'Leary, United States

T h u m p s

By Dr. Upma A. Sharma, India


Robert P. Hansen, United States


Robert P. Hansen, United States

s e e k i n g

Robert P. Hansen, United States


Carol Butson, United Kingdom   

R U I N 

John Butson, United Kingdom

C O N Q U E R S  
Godfrey Ackers, United Kingdom

C H E W   

Godfrey Ackers, United Kingdom

t e m p t

Nick Spargo, United Kingdom

s c r e a m

Nick Spargo, United Kingdom

c o v e t

Nick Spargo, United Kingdom

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Thief of Dreams--By Alicja Maria Kuberska--Poland

Thief of Dreams

I was silent, smiling, undemanding.
You did not expect that I would take without consent.
I was too close, and everything was within the reach of my hand.

Like a thief, I stole your glances and loneliness.
Your thoughts, I tied in a myriad of knots, creating a dense net,
And from dreams, I wove a gentle curve of a woman’s figure.

I stoked the spark of passion in your eyes, and a fire erupted.
I wrapped us in a sweet scent of flowers in my hair
And we glided towards many, distant nights.

Day has no right to enter the precipitous depth.
It is a place, in which the contours of black shadows fall asleep.
Only at the bottom of the abyss, can dreams and starlight be seen.

You are from Mars, I am from Venus.
Far planets are the bright points on a firmament of tenderness.
Our words and hands attract to the force of gravity of life.  

Alicja Maria Kuberska – awarded Polish poetess, novelist, journalist, editor - she writes both Polish and English. She has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines worldwide. Alicja is a member of the Polish Writers Associations in Warsaw, Poland and IWA Bogdani, Albania, she's also a member of director's board of Soflay Literature Foundation.