Thursday, May 24, 2018

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--Peggy Dugan French and Karen O’Leary, United States

across the miles... 

By Peggy Dugan French and Karen O’Leary

a perpetual light
nestled in warmth

a towering beacon
spreading hope

granite rock
mixed with shale

the noble plains
and tumbling sea

circle back 
to you and me

our friendship…

The Rainbow of Life--By David Fox--United States

The Rainbow of Life

Red the color of roses and apples
Orange, the color of many fruits,
Inside of mangoes and cantaloupes
Yellow, the color of the Sun as well
Of daisies, dandelions and daffodils.
Green, the color of grass and
The stems of many flowers
Blue, the color of blueberries and bluebells
Indigo, a color which can be found
In certain sunsets.
Violet, the color of the eggplant,
And of course, violets.
All colors of life's rainbow
Can be found in fields and meadows

David Fox edits the magazine, The Poet's Art. For info about submitting and submissions fee, contact David by postal mail: 171 Silverleaf Lane, Islandia NY, 11794, United States.

haiku/senryu--By Arvinder Kaur--India

as if
the unknown is all mine -
train window
---
holding mist
by the leash -
morning walk
---
ceasefire -
a soldier comes home
wrapped in moonlight
---
bean stalks -
height marks fade
in our childhood room
---
kitchen gossip -
the sound of her knife
on the chopping board
meteor shower -
my mother's first valentine
after father died
---
Arvinder Kaur is an Associate professor in English and Media Studies. She writes haiku both in Punjabi as well as English. She has four books to her credit which include poetry, a work of translation and her first collection of punjabi haiku, Nimolian. Her work has been published in several haiku journals and anthologies. She lives in Chandigarh with her family.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May Activity Feature--Reflections of Home--Hosted By--Jack Horne--Whispers’ Activity Feature Editor

We could hardly wait to find out what you call home, and we were delighted with these wonderful poems.  Thanks so much to everyone who took part in this month’s activity.

                                                            Jack Horne—Whispers’ Activity Editor

--------------------------------

Pine Needle Path

Beneath the towering red pines, deep
in Superior National Forest, Dad took
me on a trail of discovery. He showed
me how we fit in among majesty. Filling
our lungs with pine scent, we set out,
sharpened blades on our hip. Dad was
relaxed, told me to take it all in, forest
creatures, wildflowers underfoot, this
was real, where all life was equal. "Keep
this feeling in your heart son" he said.

James Marshall Goff, United States

--------------------------------

Home

early morning...

Thanksgiving thanks
for biscuits with gratitude

sweet fragrance
of pumpkin spice
waffles through our home

Pat Geyer, United States

--------------------------------

Threshold

There is love, care,
Belonging and security
Within the four walls
Of our family home
And, there’s freedom
Riddled with insecurity
And unknown consequences
In the mean world outside
The mind is often perched
On a dilemma that haunts the threshold

Vincent Van Ross, India

--------------------------------

Home-and-away Games People Play 

Overseas they work for their families
Egos and luggage they carry home

Who wants to go home empty-handed?
They feign happiness and brightness

They can’t afford to be mocked back home
This is a game of putting up good appearances

Ndaba Sibanda, Zimbabwe

--------------------------------

Grey Place

This is a grey place, there's no denying.
Grey slate, grey granite.
And it rains a lot, there's no denying.
But when caught by a sunbeam
it makes glistening slides shimmering across the slate 
and falls in bright white tails or snakes like silver
spilling heavily over rocks,
it’s cascades catching rainbows as they crash
then spitting them back out in a fine spray of colours.
No grey at all in this place now, there's no denying.

Lynn White, Wales

--------------------------------

My Home's

an active listener. When I tell a tale
It gives verbal nods. Floorboards

reply with I see…
radiators with I understand…
Armchairs creak  I’m with you…

and kitchen sink squeaks  Okay.
Bright cutlery mirrors my words.

Lit bulbs flicker acknowledgement.
At least she isn't here to confuse them.

Paul Brookes, England

--------------------------------

A Home for Spartacus

His name is Spartacus, he was a stray;
He was eight when he came to Gables Farm,
Where a routine blood test showed he was FIV positive,
Bad luck and rough living or a fight with another cat
Means he needs an indoor home with no other cats.
With these needs met and a loving home
He has a normal life expectancy.
He’s a handsome lad, talkative and friendly,
And a real lover of cat treats.
His name is Spartacus and he needs a home.

Nick Spargo, United Kingdom

--------------------------------

An Eternal Home

Sharing with other bums,
Living off the crumbs,
In the neighborhood slums,
These are my chums,
My buddies, my pals.
We share community towels.
Knowing God shares our pain,
We have eternal gain.
Many miles we’ve trod,
We’re just thankful-we know God.


Mary Bone, United States

--------------------------------

Rambling Man, Where is your Home?

Where is my home? Where do I belong?
I really don’t know, always moving on to another place
Moved every other year it seems the last 45 years
Traveled to 49 states, 45 countries, drove across the U.S. six times
Lived in Berkeley, Yakima, Stockton, Seattle, Alexandria, DC, Oregon, Korea, Thailand, India, The Eastern Caribbean, and Spain

Where do I belong?  Where is my home?
Neither here nor there, nowhere and everywhere
And so is that my rambling man’s fate
Never to really belong anywhere at all

Jake Aller, An American in South Korea

--------------------------------

34

back at his childhood home
with two children of his own
mommy's baby boy returns

served all his favorite dishes 
given constant hugs and kisses
hearing “I remember whens”

as his sons learn of times
Daddy did those same crimes
they get “time outs” for today

Carl "Papa" Palmer, United States

--------------------------------

Home

A place of peace and true love,
A place of unity and warmness,
Home, the abode of angels.

Trespassers and intruders, resisted
Scavengers and enemies, subdued
Home, the dwelling place of God.

East, west, north or south
Far, near, up or down
Low, high, rich, or poor
Home, the best: a God.

Ngozi Osuoha, Nigeria

--------------------------------

Happy childhood memories
At home and school...
Of course, I grew up

David Fox, United States

--------------------------------

The world is my home
being never alone
with memories and dreams
and with always good spirit it seems.
Feeling always at home
where friendly people live,
as to love and be loved
is the most precious gift

Gert Knop, Germany

--------------------------------

Graveyard

I am in the womb
Of my mother, Earth.
Sweet home of mine.
I stoop to drowsiness
hearing the rhythm of flowing
blood into her vein. No scissors can
cut the umbilical cord now and separate
me from her.

Partha Chatterjee, India

--------------------------------

Room Walls

Room walls –
Childhood canvas
I colored with crayons…
My masterpieces make me feel
At home.

Jagari Mukherjee, India

--------------------------------

A Visit

I know every cobblestone in the small village
The ancient oak trees on Mill Street and the peaceful
park where you can sit and muse while watching
the gaggling ducks in the pond
Rosewood Hotel still breathes hospitality,
a warm haven for visitors
My roots lay here, made me the person I am today
I followed my heart, settled down with you abroad
The friendly receptionist greets me at Rosewood's
'Welcome, I hope you will enjoy your stay with us'

Inge Wesdijk, The Netherlands

--------------------------------

Moving away soon—
shall I still plant flowers
in the window boxes?

Kelley White, United States

--------------------------------

A Good Day
(witnessed from my front porch)

silent breeze flowing through
a screened window; robust
orange flavor infuses the sun
as it begins to set; chirping
crickets draw a close to the
evening; reflection tied into
emotion; a good day at home,

Maurice Reynolds, United States

--------------------------------

A Sweet Home

A home filled with warmth and kindness
Surreal the scene that flashes to mind
Within this dream there is love divine
Ethereal glow radiates fineness
Eternal home not made by human hands
Territory beyond, all God's design
Heavenly home, oh! so fine
Overjoyed at my arrival 
My loved ones will want life's recital
Every detail of family, since upon earth's sands

Sara Kendrick, United States

--------------------------------

Grandma & Grandpa

You were "Home" to me

Going hunting and fishing
Riding horses
And reading stories
New to me
Day after day
Protected and loved, you're
Always in my heart.
          "Home"--I had one once.

Barbara Tate, United States

--------------------------------

A Home Sweet Home

At long day’s end, our thoughts may stray
 to where we long to wend our way
- a peaceful place where we dismiss
all things in life that are amiss,
and none are wont to cause dismay.

Our footsteps hasten us to this:
the warmth of hearth, the welcome kiss.
For those less fortunate I pray
a home sweet home they'll find one day.

Andrea Dietrich, United States

--------------------------------

birthday stars
the bread crumbs
on the way home

Eren & Ece Cehreli, Ankara, Turkey

Eren is a 6-year-old and Ece is an 11-year-old.

--------------------------------

HOME

Heart
Of
Memories
Everlasting

Mary A. Couch, United States

--------------------------------

Home is where the heart is...
Or so I’ve been told
Though, I’ve often wondered
Is the heart...
at home?
For once the heart has broken,
can it truly still reside,
with the memory
of love's token,
living deep inside?

Lynn Long, United States

--------------------------------

Hate Has No Home Here 

My welcome mat’s worn with decades of dirt,
baby shoes, oxfords, high heels and sneakers.
Laughter and joy have passed through our door,
hate, locked out. But hate slithers like a cobra

in the grass, spitting venom at everyone it fears.
I am unafraid of fangs of rancor. A sign rises tall
among mums by my door to make my feelings
clear ... HATE HAS NO HOME HERE.

Shelly Blankman, United States

--------------------------------

The House He Built

I sit by broad windows watching birds 
flock to feeders, squirrels and chipmunks 
scurry about, dogwoods abloom at forest 
edge.  For years, my husband planned 
this house.   After he retired, he built it, 
doing most of the work himself. Now years 
later, as night falls, I watch cardinals enjoy 
their bedtime snack and rabbits sashay 
out of the woods to dance on the dewy grass.  

Elizabeth Howard, United States

--------------------------------

The New House

Suitcases packed, boxes in the van,
we backed down Stipp Street’s driveway
one last time—leaving friends, leaving home.
Eight hours later we pulled small items
from the car, to fill the empty rooms.
Four white walls, no furniture—
a new house—I put a pot of tomato sauce
on that new stove’s front burner.
Soon that familiar aroma filled the house,
making it a home.

Joan Leotta, United States

--------------------------------

Last Leaves of Home

burying parents
in pouring October rain--
her final tears fall

By Karen O'Leary, United States

--------------------------------

My Roots

Home, root of my foundation
Begun on cattle ranch station
Riding range, punching cows
Brand calves under tree boughs

Work was hard, days were long
Responsibility made me strong
Thinking of my younger days
I enjoyed growing up these ways

Yancy Lee Dalton, United States 

--------------------------------

Home

for me
was a small farm
with animals and fowl,
on the shores of Lough Erne - scenic,
near gran's

eldest
of two children   
"a lovely quiet child",
i'm told the dog sat by my pram.
Big sis...

Mary Gunn, Ireland

--------------------------------

No Place is Home

Friends talk of home
Something existent

Each house lived in is my home
But only for a little time
Mind wearies of the sameness
There is no comfort one can find
In a place that has no bind

but

The next place will be home
This I always know!

Isha Wagner, New Zealand

--------------------------------

Sweet Home

In Paris was her home as her birthright
She then lived in many a home in many a country
But meeting Sri Aurobindo once she realized
That her Real Home would be in Pondicherry.
After a tedious journey’s end as she disembarked there
After five more years, an air of joy and success greeted her.
Gradually establishing her Divine reign
She expanded her home to earth’s far end
Embracing all sentient beings in her Sweet Home
with love and spiritual centrifugal wisdom.

Aju Mukhopadhyay, India

--------------------------------

Dear Activity Contributors,

What a wonderful outpouring of words and different visions of home! Home has been a happy place for me but burying my in-laws was sad time in our lives—my parents are alive and my husband is a son to them. I expect all of us have happy and sad times related to home but for most of us the ties remain strong.  It is something about home that seems to draw the human spirit even when things aren’t perfect our families, they are a part of who we are.

I hope those of you that have not submitted individual poems to our Poem Editor, Inge Wesdijk, there is still room in the May issue and since this is a rolling opportunity those that we cannot accommodate in May will be considered for June.  Her email address is daginne@gmail.com  If you have collaborative poems, or other ideas for special features please send them to Karen O’Leary at karenoleary@gmail.com  The guidelines for all our opportunities are at the top right of Whispers’ main page. We are looking for ways to give our contributors increased visibility and are open to writers of all levels.  Best wishes with all your writing endeavors. Thank you for participating in Jack Horne’s Activity.  Stay tuned for June’s activity due out on June 1.

Blessings,

Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Monday, May 21, 2018

No Comfort--By John Grey--United States

No Comfort

I made what I thought was
a kind and appropriate gesture,
words of genuine sympathy
and an expression to match.
But my presence
drew no response from her.
Touch, conversation…
nothing to hang an emotion on.
Eventually, she took her leave
without a word,
unless tears and a reddening
of the cheeks
are a language.
Certainly, silence is.
I continued to speak it
long after she was gone.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.

Alice's Azaleas--By Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands

Alice's Azaleas

The curtains are closed, almost
for two days now and I start to worry.
I already missed the sparkling laugh
of my neighbor next door, a cheerful
spirited woman of eighty years something.
Perhaps she stayed with her son,
a few times a year he comes to pick her up
and they spend some family time together.
But why didn't she ask me to water the plants?
When the doorbell stays unanswered,
I know something is wrong, an ominous feeling
is coming over me.
The ambulance arrived just in time,
she has been laying there for hours
incapable to ask for help.
When I visited her in the hospital
she says, she knew I would come
because I know how much she cares
about her Azaleas.

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.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Who Will See Her Colors Now?--By Arthur Turfa--United States

Who Will See Her Colors Now?

If we are blessed to any extent
to render the beauty we sense
into song, sonnet, or landscape,
we need to develop those gifts
however haltingly, and share them.
Our muses whisper to us of glories
yearning to find expression

Explosions of color I have seen,
images from one in youth’s blossom,
recalling those of others seen over
the years. Her eyes shone with
the radiance of a hundred suns
and the hopes for tomorrow.

Now those eyes turn elsewhere
to places far from former glories.
A mess of pottage received for
all that might have been.

Who will see her colors now?
If only I could see them again
before all colors fade to my eyes.

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 on June 22, 2018. He has two other books of published poetry.

Helping at Hospice--By Cindy Evans--United States

Helping at Hospice 

I took my place behind the desk,
settling in the familiar chair,
the feeling of peace I'd come to expect
was gently evident there.
As people passed, they seemed sad,
yet thankful for this place,
a cheery voice and fresh flowers
and a smiling, friendly face.
Some walked by the pond,
some sat in the chapel in prayer,
some people slept in the rooms,
you could see how much they care.
A chaplain walked by
and gave a little wave...
one of the staff let me know
an ambulance was on the way.
I take it all in,
just blessed to be a part
of God's love in action
and the expression of His heart.

Cindy Evans is a published poet living in the greater Atlanta area. She enjoys writing, serving at the local hospice, Ferris wheels and date nights with her husband. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Sea--By Anne Curran--New Zealand

The Sea

my curtains open
I see the low silhouette
of mountains on the horizon
I feel sea-spray on my face
from breakers lapping the shore
water fills my footprints
as I walk its length.

my curtains drawn
the sky is a pea-soup green
the sea an inscrutable blue
foam-crested waves
curl with cold
against a stony shore
only the wind stalks the beach.

Anne Curran writes in Hamilton New Zealand where she resides with her pet car Misty and extended family of parents, brothers and sisters. She loves art, going to see films, and walks. 

Spirit Questions--By Dwight Roth--United States

Spirit Questions (a Rubáiyát)

Where dwells the spirit before life begins         
Waiting to entwine with genes at man’s whims
Does it float in space riding red stardust
Or in ocean waves where the raindrops swim
                                                                                      
Where dwells the spirit when I took my first
Breath of life // drawing heart and lungs merged thirst
Spirit seems at home in this flesh and bone
Fragile body // heart pumping till it bursts

Where does my spirit dwell when life is done   
As eyes close in death and the race is run
Breath leaves the body and the spirit’s rises
Rejoining spirit with Spirit // lives on

The Rubáiyát is a Persian form of several quatrains. Its name derives from the Arabic plural of the word for "quatrain," Rubá'íyah. This, in turn, comes from the Arabic Rubá, meaning "four."

Dwight Roth is a retired elementary school teacher who enjoys writing poetry and posting photography on his WordPress blog: https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/  He has self-published several books and has books published on AmazonKindle. Dwight lives with his wife Ruth near Charlotte, North Carolina.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Special Feature--A Tribute to Editors, Inge Wesdijk--The Netherlands and Jack Horne--England

Dear Whispers’ Family,

It is an honor to work with my co-editors Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend) and Jack Horne. The positive feedback I get from contributors that work with them is a joy. I proposed a short interview for readers and writers to get to know them a bit better.  It is a pleasure to share their thoughts with you.

Please take time to thank them as without their commitment to our online journal, Whispers would cease to be. Inge and Jack, you are talented and insightful writers and editors.  It is a gift to be able to work with you.

Blessings to all,

Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor


Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)Whispers’ Poetry Editor—daginne@gmail.com


I live in a small village in the province Groningen which is situated North-East in the Netherlands. When I look out the window of my small apartment, I see the cows in the meadow. It's quiet and that's the way I like it. When I need some change of scenery, I stay with my friend for a while.


I started to write as a teenager to express my feelings, I had a diary and sometimes a poem popped up. I always liked it to play with language in a humorous way and wrote a lot of Dutch limericks which I sadly lost. About 6 years ago, I started to write in English. I felt I wanted to share my words and would reach a broader readership this way. At first, I wrote all rhymed poems about my feelings, but my poetry has evolved from describing the beauty of nature to more critical poems, all in free verse nowadays.  Sometimes I like to write special poetry forms but mostly it restricts my spontaneity because I have to think too much about syllables, subjects etc. My best poems are the spontaneous ones.


It has become a part of my life. When I don't write for a while I get restless as if something has to come out. Sure, I have these moments that I don't have the slightest idea what I should write about. The prompt that works for me is to take two sentences, each from different pages from a book as a basis for a poem. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jack HorneWhispers’ Activity Feature Editor—jack-marcus@outlook.com

Where are you living?  Can you tell readers the assets of living in your current community?

I live in Plymouth, Devon (South West England).  Plymouth is famous for its Drake & Pilgrim Fathers/Mayflower connections, but I live about 5 miles from the sea. Where we live is fairly close to the moors. In fact, my current workplace is on the threshold of Dartmoor. From my bedroom window, I can see hundreds of trees in the nearby woods - I often sit here at my desk & enjoy happy memories of walking our dogs, Pads & Nero...many years ago. 

When did you start writing poetry and why?

As a youngster, I enjoyed writing limericks, but it wasn't until I was around 11 & fell in love for the first time (with a girl in my class at school) that I felt the need to write serious poetry. I poured out my feelings for her in my secret notebook but was too shy to ever let Suzanne read any of my ramblings. (Maybe that was just as well...) Years later, I realised that ladies usually respond very favourably to poetry & I wrote sonnets for several women, who had stolen my heart. I also found that poetry can be a catharsis & was helped enormously by writing poems during bad times of my life - my gran & dad died of cancer; my wife left me for someone whom she'd met on the internet; I eventually met another lady, but the relationship was very short-lived... Well, no one's life is all sunshine & no rain - as someone once said, we need rain to see rainbows - but some of those poems were the most powerful I've ever written. 

What drives your passion for writing poetry today?

Sometimes, my muse just doesn't want to work! At times like that, I read my favourite poems - Frost's, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, Shakespeare's “Sonnet 29”, Wordsworth's “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, Carol Ann Duffy's “Valentine”, Spike Milligan's “A Silly Poem” - & by the time I'm halfway through reading those, my muse is positively champing at the bit. (When I want to write prose, I always read Susan Hill's “The Woman in Black” & that has the same effect!) When my muse is active, I find I have ideas dancing round in my head & they won't rest - or let me rest - until I put them down on paper (or on the computer screen). I don't think I could live without writing!

Invisible Light--By Damon E. Johnson--United States

Invisible Light

Like a moth drawn
to an extraordinary flame, I
sit and wait anxiously for you
to somehow notice me
imagining your arms caressing
my entire world as we
gaze at the stars that shine
as if they own the night, and
tomorrow would certainly be ours
if only you could see me
in a different light.

Damon E. Johnson is an accomplished freelance writer and poet currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of three dynamic poetry books; Rhythm in My Blues, The Vineyard: Exploding Grapes, Forbidden Fruit, and newly published Addiction.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

haiku--By ayaz daryl nielsen--United States

the evening rumbles
incomprehensible change
a day’s leftovers
---
gone in a fire-storm
the trees were pine and aspen
the house was our home
---
these hometown sidewalks
beside our pushy bruised streets
yearning’s alphabet
---
books we’ve read
unwinding in heart and thoughts
umbilical words
---
Spring morning
chilly tools held by patched gloves
bare feet on warm earth
---
ayaz daryl nielsen, veteran, hospice nurse, ex-roughneck (as on oil rigs) lives 
in Longmont, Colorado, USA.  Editor of bear creek haiku (30+ years/140+ issues) 
with poetry published worldwide (and deeply appreciated), he also is online at:  https://bearcreekhaiku.blogspot.com 

love/hate relationship--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States

love/hate relationship

shaved head nose ring black beard
frayed jeans leather jacketed arms
crude tattooed right fist spells HATE
across knuckles eyes daring comment
from strangers in the full visitors room

wheel chaired sleeping mother sighs
as he wisps a stray hair from her eyes
with his left hand labeled LOVE
gently touching his lips to her cheek
smiles shyly at new friends in the room

(first published Postcard Poem and Prose)

Carl "Papa" Palmer of University Place, WA is retired military, retired FAA, now just plain retired without wristwatch, cell phone, alarm clock or Facebook friend. Carl is a Hospice volunteer and president of The Tacoma Writers Club.

MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever