Thursday, January 17, 2019

Tribute to Inge Wesdijk--Our Beloved Friend and Talented Writer/Editor--From The Netherlands--We Miss You

From Karen O’Leary--

It is with sadness I share with you that Inge Wesdijk  (Daginne Aignend) passed away in December.  She was our Poetry Editor at Whispers. Together with Jack Horne and I, we were your editorial team until our journal closed in June 2018.  We worked well together, and our journal was better for the partnership we shared. It seemed fitting that Jack and I do this tribute here where she was cared about and respected for her knowledge and kindness.  She was easy to work with and share with. Our friendship developed quickly; Inge and I were soul-sisters, a blessing that I treasured and still do.  I would like to extend my sympathy to her good friend James and to all her family and friends that mourn her loss. 

From Jack Horne--

When Inge worked with Karen and me at Whispers, it really was a pure joy. She was always positive and encouraging, and never failed to come up with great suggestions for my monthly challenges - in truth, her ideas were always far better than mine, and, even when she became ill, she was always willing to help. We remained friends after Whispers closed to submissions, and her messages were always positive. As her illness progressed, she still took an interest in others - and always wanted to know how my mother and I were, rather than focusing on herself. She was a talented poet, a true friend and a wonderful human being. My condolences to all Inge's family and friends. May she rest in peace. I'll never forget her.

In Inge’s words, a poem published at Whispers—Published June 2018

I will overcome

Sometimes ...
I only want to lay down,
close my eyes, and sleep.
Turn reality into oblivion.
A fading spirit,
my inner strength falters.
Please, let me linger
in pleasant dreams,
and never return.

Your hand in mine, our tears
mingle in an unvoiced understanding.
The pain in your eyes
reflects your silent suffering.
For you, I will fight until
I raze all barriers.
With you, I will overcome.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing in this tribute to our talented and caring friend.  We hope you consider sharing a few thoughts too.


Karen O’Leary
Jack Horne

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Your Whispers’ Editor—Gratitude and Best Wishes—By Karen O’Leary

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

It has been a special gift sharing our words, friendships and accomplishments.  Today, in an
effort to share some thoughts, my final poem ended up in the stratosphere…all the Whispers’
blessings and joy that you shared with it, my friends.

We have been an encouraging family…my dreams surpassed anything a gal from North Dakota could hope for. Yet, it is time to let go.  I’ve enjoyed the creative community we shared.

Though it is time, it is hard to let go. Special thanks to Jack and Inge for giving me more time to spend with you.  I will leave you with a poem that many of you have probably read but it seems fitting.

Love and blessings,

--Karen O’Leary


Carry On

Some days are long;
the road gets tough.
We give it our all
and that is enough.

Friends share our toils
and carry us through.
We learn about love
and generosity too.

We sing of the gift
of a warm embrace.
It lifts our burden
from a weary place.

We learn to look
for others in need.
With grateful hearts,
we spread love’s seed.

Some days are long;
the road is tough.
We give our best
and that is enough.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Tribute to My Colleagues—Inge Wesdijk—The Netherlands and Jack Horne—England

What to joy to share Whispers with my talented colleagues.  Jack and Inge enhanced our online journal’s experience and allowed us more time to share the gift of writing with others. Both, experienced writers, provided a diversity and crossed borders to expand our journal’s horizons. Their willingness to share their light has been a blessing in my life.

I chose a poem from each of them below.  Please stop by and thank them for the hours and hours they put into Whispers. Thank you so much Inge and Jack for the experience of working with you.

Blessings and best wishes,


Delicate Dreams
By Inge Wesdijk

In the upper drawer
of my small cabinet
I stored them, safely
Afraid otherwise
they might get lost
When times are tough,
my secret cache opens
and I cherish myself
by the warm compassion
of my delicate dreams


Hospital Cafe:
By Jack Horne

Sorrow sat at this table;
tears dripped down onto it
from eyes too blurred to see,
as trembling fingers fumbled 
with a bereavement booklet,
and pale lips sipped tea
that tasted only of loneliness.

Those at other tables turned away
fearing sorrow should sit with them...


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Celebrating Our Blessings--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers’ Family,

It has been a joy to share Whispers with you.  Despite it is the season for our online journal to close tomorrow, new opportunities await our talented contributors.  Thinking of the last 5 ½ of sharing the gift of poetry, has me smiling. It’s time to spread your wings, my family.  I hope some of you will stay in touch.

I will be sending you closing thoughts tomorrow.  I hope you allow me some extra emails as we celebrate the gift of words.  Please congratulate our new writers for June! (below) 

Wishing you the best always!  Happy Writing!

Karen, your editor



                                                Miranda Lloyd-Gregg, England          
                                                Eliza Segiet, Poland 
                                                Artur Komoter, United Kingdom--Translator
                                                Kelly Sauvage Angel, United States   
                                                deb y felio, United States 
                                                Lucy Wight Farmer—United States

Angelee Deodhar (In Memory—June 2018)--India

Double Helix
(Originally published, Poet of the Month honor at Whispers, December 2015)

Now a housewife, once a surgeon
a template for the DNA chain
like the double helix of her being
she’s reduced to wearing latex gloves
only while housecleaning every week
meticulously she dons cap, mask, apron

on a trolley arranged with surgical precision
lie her gloves, brushes, dusters, solutions
she drapes furniture with sheets of cotton
then pulls on her gloves tightens them
her size a neat seven

she prepares the area to be cleaned
with a weak Savlon solution
swabs it as she would an abdomen
in précis deft strokes
from above below left to right
never using an extra movement

and just as she had once done in the OR
she keeps soft music on – Strauss, Vivaldi
she wonders if now her DNA double helix
carries two genes
one for housewife one for surgeon

squeeze-drying the mop each time
she scrubs the floor surgically clean
removes the trolley
absently counting her instruments
removes gloves, cap, mask, apron
the overshoes

washes off the excess powder
from her hands and creams them
looking at them critically thrombosed
blue-veined yet soft supple
she warms them with her mug of coffee
and then takes up her pen
to write a poem.

Dr. Ms Angelee Deodhar, an eye surgeon by profession as well as a haiku poet, translator, and artist, who lived in Chandigarh, India. Her haiku, haibun and haiga have been published internationally in various books, magazines and journals. An award winning poet, Angelee has also edited several translation books and encouraged others at our online journal, an uplifting beacon of light in the writing community.

Editor’s note—I was informed that Angelee Deodhar has died. Angelee has referred writers to Whispers, allowed readers to share in her expertise with Asian poetry and supported many in our writing community. She will be missed by me and others. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.

Frozen In Time--By Michael Todd--United States

Frozen In Time (for Donna)

Nostalgic thoughts and remembrances, frozen in time...
A large get together, neighborhood gathers for croquet,
Or, for one or two, find that special tree to climb.
Cares of the world, a world away, was a time to play.

Late of the day, we would listen for the bell to toll.
Eskimo Pies, Bullets, Shivers, one or more if you please.
Frozen treats awaited, as the Merry Mobile would roll.
Push Ups, Dreamsicles, Twin Pops, provide the freeze.

No cares in the world, nothing could rain on our parade.
We held the Buried Treasure in our hands, on a stick.
One dime at a time, and we were off to find out shade.
Lest you want it to melt, better off to eat it quick.

I am grateful for what brought this back to my recall.
It allows me to reflect on times past, in subtle mime.
I hope this allows the same for others, time to stall,
And gather in your youthful memories, frozen in time.

Michael Todd aka Myke Todd has been writing and posting stories and poetry on social networking sites since 2006. He can currently be found at his dedicated poetry site... 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Special Feature Collaborative Poem—By ayaz daryl nielsen and Peggy Dugan French—United States

among the roses

By ayaz daryl nielsen and Peggy Dugan French

the ecstasy of butterflies
as they dance between the flowers
warm summer sun across their wings
so gracefully they waltz among the roses
aflutter with the grace of the infinite
touching our souls with their elegant charm

Shaded-Tree Memories--By Maurice J. Reynolds--United States

Shaded-Tree Memories

On hot summer days
you provided shade
and a whole lot more.

Memories of relaxing in a lawn chair,
clear blue skies,
gladly enjoying lots of fresh air.

Mama bird finishing the nest,
papa bird searching the soil for food,
baby birds sorting out the rest.

Serene, not wanting this time to pass,
work still to be done,
the smell of fresh-cut grass.

Soft breezes offer a hug,
preparing to quench my thirst,
with a frosty root beer mug.

The good ole days I can still see,
times that will never leave my mind,
memories under that old shaded tree.

Maurice J. Reynolds (MJ) is an educator living in the great state of Michigan.  He loves spending time with family, working with children and youth, as well as writing.  He is the owner and editor of the email publication, Creative Inspirations.  Submission and subscription information can be found at:

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thank You for Being My Son--By James Keane--United States

Thank You for Being My Son (Excerpt)
Barely a child,
you had nothing to say about it
all those years ago. It was never
your decision to make. But where
there was no family, you made one.

Thank you for being my son.

The first word we heard from you,
hanging by your fingers outside
the crib you couldn’t sleep in (and
never did) was “Mama!” And later
the second word, and the third, I
heard when I came upon you, peddling
with furious joy in the driveway,
were one and the same when you
saw me, coming home to my family:
“Daddy! Daddy!”

Thank you for being my son.

James Keane's previous Whispers’ published poem, "Apology" (March, 2018), was awarded Third Place at the 2018 St. Catherine of Bologna Photography, Art and Poetry Exhibition, held annually in Ringwood, New Jersey USA.

The Skylark--By Connie Marcum Wong--United States

The Skylark – Alouette

Watch the birds in flight
As they soar from sight
Over verdant canopies,
With their nests below
Tiny feathers grow
On their fledglings in the trees.

Hungry mouths to feed
With the gathered seed
Found upon the dewy sod
Which the skylark brings.
Afterward she sings
Her sweet gift of song to God.

Connie Marcum Wong has been the Web Mistress of a private poetry forum Poetry for Thought since October 1999. 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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Misbehaving Letters--By Annie Jenkin--England

Misbehaving Letters

Lines appear
playing zig-zag
on the page - picking
words to distort and those
highlighted - soon fade away.
Letters start misbehaving like
a roof slate, caught by the wind, falling
out of place, letters sliding down the page 
landing on a different row.  A verse,
sentence or paragraph all sound so
wrong to my ears.  I try tracing
lines, but fine finger tremors
don't stop the jumbled words
tumbling from my lips.
Perhaps the wind
will bring change
some day

Annie Jenkin lives in Plymouth, England. Having not written poetry for many years, Annie has returned to poetry writing with enthusiasm. Her writing explores several subject areas that are insightful, humorous but can also be sensitive.

Petals in the Park--By Barbara Siekierski--United States

Petals in the Park

Petals fall to the ground…
    smelling the fragrance
    as I walk on soft grass

Looking at the sky…
     seeing the birds fly
     as I soak up the sun

Morning dew…
     the day begins

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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

What Is Poetry?--By Jim Teeters--United States

What Is Poetry?

In the beginning was the Word
            -John 1:1

It’s only words
words only
but wait

an arrangement of words
            offers meaning
            paints pictures of
how a pond can be your life
a branch of the elm
can tell a story
about being cut off from love
lopped and fallen
            now just a lonely stick
                        that only

Jim Teeters has published poetry in several anthologies. He conducts poetry workshops for children and adults and is active in poetry readings in the Seattle area through the Striped Water Poets. He is the author of six poetry collections and the book, Teach with Style, (ASTD Press July 2013). Jim is a retired social worker living in Kent, Washington.

Sunset in the Smokies--Tom Davis--United States

Sunset in the Smokies

Pink, beige, and grey


Green sprinkled


Night will come
and chase away
the day

Tom Davis lives in Webster, NC and his work has been published in numerous venues. He authored several books which can be found at Tom has recently completed his memoir, The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On: A March from Private to Colonel. Tom is the publisher for Old Mountain Press since 1992.

Monday, June 25, 2018

a bench in the woods--By James Marshall Goff--United States

a bench in the woods

a fine mist quiets the forest floor,

an acorn drops from above,
                                                   with a thud

a crisp oak leaf spirals,
                                            gently to the ground

a burbling brook,
                                   feeds it's trout

in a while, my heart joins in

 .... and worries drift away

James Marshall Goff brings a fresh voice from Minnesota, from the crashing waves of Lake Superior, to the drumbeat in his heart for social justice. His wish is for the reader to feel free to float above his poems, joining him in a dance of possibilities, celebrating the joy of love.

Special Feature Translation Poem--By Eliza Segiet--Poland and Translated by Artur Komoter--United Kingdom

By Eliza Segiet

Chowam się
w ciszy
niepewności jutra,
cieszę się,
że dzisiaj nade mną jest
Opowiadam bajkę z chmur,
choć nie wiem
jak się skończy.
Wiatr daje zakończenie,
póki niebo się nie otworzy
– patrzę,
bo w niebie widzę kształty z ziemi.

Piękne są chmurne podróże
i chmurność nieba
jest piękna.


Translated by Artur Komoter

I hide
in the silence
of uncertainty of tomorrow,
I am glad,
that today the sky is
above me.
I tell a tale from the clouds,
although I do not know
how it ends.
The wind gives an ending,
until the sky does not open
I look,
because I see shapes in the sky from down below.

Beautiful are cloudy travels
and cloudiness of the sky
is beautiful.

Sonnet 108, Healing Rose and Thistle--By Ken Allan Dronsfield--United States

Sonnet 108, Healing Rose and Thistle

The pious guidelines of a life are said
to be born of rose and thistle at dawn
evil briers or brambles grasping tightly
a long read of the sacraments to calm.
Left upon a box of reddish apples
or resting on a bed of fresh thistle
our working knives are sharpest at sunrise
grievously pray on a horned head.
raw sand and salt of ravaged ocean rock
the truth seamless or strewn in a tempest
albeit whispers speak shallow of plot
cherished as the woman's footsteps shuffle.
do quickly scuff along hither and yon
whilst gathering the red rose on Sunday.

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran and poet residing in Oklahoma. Ken enjoys music, writing and spending time with his cats Willa, Hemi and Turbo. He has one poetry collection, The Cellaring and is Co-Editor for 2 poetry anthologies. His work can be viewed in numerous (online) magazines and anthologies worldwide. Ken loves life!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

When the Night Comes--By Sandra Stefanowich--Canada

When the Night Comes

it's once more

in a wind
I’ll hear
your voice

in a song

with sleepy eyes
I’ll see you

among the stars

inside the lunar lounge
half the way -
for that cup of coffee

where we meet

for when 
the night

by the grace of God

a precious heart
always seems
to stay that way

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Sandra Stefanowich is a self-taught writer. She has been writing off and on since an early age. Most of her writing revolves around what she sees in everyday life, nature and her concerns about mankind. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, animals and photography.

In a Hidden Garden--By Andrea Dietrich--United States

In a Hidden Garden

In a hidden garden where
roses red perfume the air,
we can meet beneath moon’s glow.
There with you I long to go.

We shall sit where May’s soft breeze
wafts through leaves of Hawthorn trees.
Love and loveliness dwell there -
things with you I wish to share.

Andrea Dietrich grew up in Iowa and now resides in Utah with a spouse and two cats. Having graduated BYU with a Spanish major/ESL minor, she has spent most of her adult life teaching. In 2000, she began writing in earnest and discovering her "niche" as a writer of lyrical poetry. She has spent nearly a decade now participating in poetry clubs, acting as a judge of poetry contests for various magazines and for the website Shadow Poetry.

Weaving Words and Nets--By Mary Bone--United States

Weaving Words and Nets

Weaving words into the fishermen's nets,
a lady sat by the river, weaving diligently
before the sun went down.
Her work was second to none.
Her livelihood and the fishermen's
all depended on how well she weaved.

Mary Bone has had recent poems accepted at Whispers, The Poet’s Gig, Literary Yard and Magazine Record Blogspot among others. Mary has been writing since the age of twelve.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Gray Dawn--By Barbara Tate--United States

Gray Dawn

From this hill of old age pain
I grip the air for balance, nights
no longer friendly, sleep turns me away.

Did the sun ever rise at midnight?
Locked away in a night of loneliness
I wonder what yesterday's tomorrow will bring
and tonight will the Big Dipper pour out its stars?

Names and words cried into a nighttime pillow
dry with the dawn, shadows get lost in sunshine
and spring snowflakes dance on sparrow wings.

          Alone with myself--
          it's a good place to be.
Barbara Tate is an award winning artist and writer. She's 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.

Poems--By Patricia Geyer--United States

sun dogs
mock the morning...
they laugh
in rainbow
noisy din
in a pile of leaves
squirrel searches
for what might have been...
his long lost treasure
down the forest path...
a trace
of tree roots
yet to grow

Patricia Geyer lives in East Brunswick, NJ, USA. An amateur photographer and poet, her home is surrounded by many parks and lakes. She walks every day to find her inspiration in nature. She has been published in Bright Stars 1, Moonbathing, Kokako 21, The Bamboo Hut, Undertow Tanka Review and Akitsu Quarterly. 

June Activity Feature--The Tetractys--Hosted By Jack Horne--Whispers’ Activity Feature Editor

Some moving, some beautiful, some humorous, I loved your tetractys poetry! For many of you, this was probably a new form and you all did a great job. If you wrote a single (5 lines) or double (10 lines) tetractys poem, my thanks to each and every one of you.


The Sentinel

Who stands guard
At the fortress 
Is the true sentinel of the city

 Vincent Van Ross, New Delhi, India


Discrete Quantities

with everything ~
these quantum effects cannot be ignored

Pat Geyer, United States


Many Happy Returns

came by
serving others,
with no other motive than "His pure love".

Charlene McCutcheon, United States



to the sea
a long way down
She recovers her equilibrium

Isha Wagner, New Zealand



rolls back
to reveal
all the colors,
gauze-like mist dropping from in front of eyes.

Linda Imbler, United States.


Meditation Garden

flowers bloom
in the garden
her gifts to me, letting me know she's close.
Enduring love with her arms around me,
of days past,
I love

Barbara Tate, United States


Losing Vision

eyes go
dark as my
heart grows cold as
my mind goes to pieces over my fate.
I can blame others, I can blame myself,
I can blame God
but all this
blame is

Michael A. Griffith, United States


I Object

is not
just about
a certain style
it is all about writing from the heart.

Caryl Calsyn, United States



Your long
Nail and hair
Love growing fast
Towards me, restrain and feel no more pain.

Partha Chatterjee, India


Flying High

my child
spread your wings
and leave the nest
then fly as high as an eagle in flight.
You have the opportunity to soar,
to make your mark
in the world...
go for

Jan Allison, Isle of Man


Sour Grapes

do know
that writing
a tetractys
is really no more than just showing off.

Nick Spargo, United Kingdom


Fairy Tale Tetractys

a time” is,
by tradition,
a great way to begin a fairy tale.
 “And they lived happily ever after”
is the way all
good fairy
tales should

Carl ‘Papa’ Palmer, United States


love to
pick flowers
from her garden
the camellia blooms are like snowfall

Anne Curran, New Zealand


The Rhythmic Sea

waves that quench
the sun’s dry lips;
they wait for night to dance beneath the stars.

Paul Callus, Malta


Time Traveler

each step floats above the earth as time stops
to give us hope
seeks to

James Marshall Goff, United States


Popsicles with Friends

That bring
Many smiles
Are popsicles
Eaten with friends around the swimming pool

Mary Bone, United States


and lost
the fir tree
without candles
some parcels still awaiting collection

Gert Knop, Germany



of joy
spotting Dad
on the tarmac
safely returning from tour of duty.

Deb Felio, United States


Barnyard Swallows

In flight
Catch insects
To feed their young
Devoted parents, hover, feed, defend
Distressed by our presence on the porch
Fly in, retreat
Then slip by
Feed young

Sara Kendrick, United States


moments --
I still do
believe the light
will guide me and chase the shadows away

Inge Wesdijk, The Netherlands


Quiet Light

the twilight
waves' crests shimmer.
My spirit finds solace in swishing sounds.

By Karen O’Leary, United States


Our Side of the Street

by cherry trees –
it's a bloomin' gorgeous place to reside.
autumn-flowering then spring-flowering,
one at each end –  
like bright stars
short lived

Mary Gunn, Ireland.


Try Tetractys

As a
Good writer
I did not see
The true value of style, the Tetractys

Yancy Lee Dalton, United States


Candle of Hope

is one
small candle
against darkness
held tight in many hands to light the world
A flicker within nights inky chalkboard 
that ripples streaks
of freedom 
seen by

Mary A. Couch, United States


Holiday Cheer

is missing
this Thanksgiving.
I wonder if he’ll make it for Christmas.

Robert P. Hansen, United States


Chasing Rainbows

at the closed door;
For years waiting to see him return home.

Dr. Upma A. Sharma, India



red ball 
spreading out,
now fades and then 
a nice glissade over the rift valleys 

Gopal Lahiri, Mumbai, India