Thursday, December 31, 2015

Submission Guidelines

Thank you for considering Whispers for a place to share your writing.  The guidelines follow:

Update--11/14/2016 (see below)

1.  Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable.  Please do not send quotes from others unless they are in the context of the piece submitted and that the original author is given credit.  It is up to the author to obtain permission if needed for reprints.  By submitting to Whispers, the writer is assuring that the work is his or her own. Whispers reserves the right to delete any work that has been copied from another writer without credit or authorization. (Please do not send simultaneous submissions--as above previously published poems and unpublished poems are welcomed. Thank you.)

2.  Send one of the three following:

    ---1 poem 20 lines or less

    ---up to 5 haiku/senryu (please make sure to clearly identify that separate poems are being submitted)

    ---up to 3 tanka (see above)

    ---for people that are not poets, 1 short paragraph of encouragement will be considered

Writers are eligible for publication every other month.

3.  You may include a bio of 4-5 lines written in third person style.  See “Living Wings” published January 15, 2013 for an example.  A bio is not necessary for publication.

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

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

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

7.  Children’s poetry is appreciated.  Parent permission is required.  Please email before sending.

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

9.  Preferred method of submission is to send poetry as a works document or in the body of an email with your name and country.  Please email your submission to Karen O’Leary at  If you would rather submit by snail mail, please email Karen for her address.  You may email her with any questions you may have.

10.  I hope you also participate by commenting on others’ writing. 

In this challenging time for many, it is the hope that Whispers will connect people in a way that is supportive, encouraging and inspiring to others.  Thank you for considering being a part of this community.

Editor's Thoughts/Of One Song

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

As we close another year, I am so grateful for all the talented people that make up our online journal/poetry community.  We are touching lives.  With our words, as stretched out hands, we have the opportunity to make our corners of the world brighter.

Of One Song

I hold
hope in my heart…
vision that each new day
opens new opportunities
for dreams,
and rainbow views.
Melding of ideas
from souls blended in harmony
the goal
of common good.
With a mission of peace,
people join hands seeking freedom
for all.

I hope you continue to walk forward with me into the New Year, sharing our poetry and encouraging words.  Wishing all of you the best in 2016!  Thank you for being the beacons you are.


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Spring Rain--By Rick Parise--United States

Spring Rain

Free as the wind
in song and verse
visions tumbling within my soul
quenching my poetic thirst

As vibrant as the wild daisy
each teardrop upon my face
I twist and turn in posy
lapping up the springtime rain 

With each pitter patter 
racing to greet my heart
I melt with each breath of beauty
drowning as I impart

Forever in crystal showers
as I fall back to paint the day
from the rumbling clouds of dynasty 
quickly I am taken away

Free as the wind
in song and verse
touching the grace of purity
beauty falls upon my heart

Rick Parise, known as “A Pondering Poet”, is from the beautiful land of Salem, Oregon.  The main focus of his poetry is to take the reader to a meaningful, personal time in their lives, to a place where spirit's are touched and memories unwind. He hopes you enjoy his work. To Contact Rick please email him at

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

close your eyes...By Su'eddie Vershima Agema--Nigeria

close your eyes for a second
as you hear the howling harmattan winds blow
it is the sound of a child somewhere
shouting from their heart
their mouth sealed from a deep hunger
and a missing parent, lost to the earth

the blanket you cover at night
that doesn’t seem okay
is one they pray for today
to give them warmth against the coldness
that life has become

some others are there – and you see them
in the streets

they move with fear, having lost all they hold dear
they will be there this Christmas
maybe they will come to your gate
it might be early, it might be late
when they say ‘Happy Christmas’
don’t just offer rice
open your heart, offer hope and give a surprise

Su'eddie Vershima Agema was joint winner, Association of Nigerian Authors Prize for Poetry 2014 with his second collection, Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile. He lives in Nigeria, blogs at and can be reached at @sueddieagema on Twitter.

That Little Ole Bear--By Celine Rose Mariotti--United States

That Little Ole Bear

That little ole teddy bear
Sitting in the big old rocking chair,
His big eyes so happy and bright,
His little face, such a delight,

That little ole teddy bear,
His soft paws folded in prayer,
He makes a wish for Santa to bring
Him a toy with which to play,
What he wants on Christmas Day,

That little ole teddy bear,
Give him a hug and a big kiss,
Christmas magic is such bliss,
The little bear he will pray,
And be so dear forever and a day.

Celine Rose Mariotti is an accomplished writer whose work has appeared in magazines all over the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Australia and India. Some of those magazines include: Green’s Magazine, Poet’s Review, Poet’s Art, Tombigbee, Hindu Young World, Magnolia Quarterly, Lone Stars Magazine, Pablo Lennis, Coffee Ground Breakfast, Pink Chameleon and many more. She has had six books published. She plays the guitar and banjo; has her own home business and lives with her family in Shelton,CT.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Winter’s Storm--By Yvonne Sparkes--England

Winter’s Storm                              

How silently the snowflakes fall,
In darkness they appeared,
New winter blankets, white and tall,
Each plant wears hat and beard.
A covering like fondant cream,
Whipped by those winds on high
An Angel cake, that looks serene,
Without the wings to fly.
Silence covers all the land,
now that the winds have ceased,
And where the snow has blown and lands,
The rifts, like waves, have creased.
On virgin snow, no footprints lay,
Where man and beast have pressed,
Soon with the onset of new day,
Are patterns all have dressed.
The dream of nature`s canvas new,
One cold, dark, winter`s night,
Show`s she alone is artist true,
Gives joy for man`s delight.

Born on Feb. 27, 1940 in Barkingside, Essex, England, Yvonne Sparkes,  immigrated to New York in April, 1948 with her parents.  She now resides in Chelmsford, Essex and has two sons.  She has a book published by Cyberwit called Captured Images.  A writer for many years, Yvonne has been published in Israel, Germany, France, Australia, America, and Britain.  She has read her poetry in public at Church and Knockout Competitions. Her hobbies are travel, the arts, reading, hiking, taking her Scottish Terrier for walks, and spending time with family and friends.

"His Hands"--By Vernon Norris--United States

"His Hands"

His hands were the ones 
That said "Do as you’re told
And look both ways                                      
Before you cross the road!
His hands were the ones
That showed up in a flash
And pulled you from a burning
Car that had crashed!

And remember 
When you almost drowned
And those hands kept you
From going down.
Or the stranger’s hands
That pointed the way
Out of the forest 
Where you were lost that day.

Those were the hands
That pulled you up to Heaven
When you passed away
At nine past seven.

Vernon Norris, age 56, was born and raised in Houston, Texas.  He works full time in the auto industry. Vernon has published work published in Conceit Magazine and the Ultimate Writer, specializing in silly, scary and inspirational poetry. He hopes to soon to release his first book. "I hope my writing will inspire you or make your day".

Monday, December 28, 2015

Canes of Red and White--By Marlene Million--United States

Canes of Red and White

Shepard's crooks, spun stripes of sweet delight
and crisp, minty flavor await in crystal cup.
You call out in bright red and white array,
originating in Cologne, Germany.  

Mass marketed in 1920, you decorated trees,
enhanced wreaths, centerpieces, crushed,
sprinkled over cookies.  In bunches or single,
people love to mingle with peppermint sticks.

December is lucky to showcase your essence.
You give succor, a festive touch, stand tall,
ready to be unwrapped, savored.
Shaped like a "J" for Jesus. . .

The true reason for each Christmas Season!

Marlene Million is a retired insurance secretary from her husband's business and grandmother of four. She has published two chapbooks and belongs to several writers’ groups. She had a poem on display at Indianapolis Arts Garden the month of February, 2013 and has been published in a variety of venues.

Eugene and the Christmas Tree--By Terry O’Leary--France

Eugene and the Christmas Tree

Eugene awoke on Christmas morn
to find the Christmas Tree'd been shorn
and presents strewn around, forlorn,
midst bows and tinselled paper torn.

So blowing on his little Horn,
Eu called Eunice, the Unicorn.
The duo flew away airborne
(straped to Eu's side his Sword, a Thorn).

Escaping back to Yesterday,
in search of thyme and Santa's Sleigh,
Eu sought to brave the grinchy Fay,
reclaim the joy of Christmas Day .

Then Eunice and the Reindeer Corps
chased fey Fay to a sandy Shore
where Santa banned forevermore
the Fay to mop and scrub the floor.

Then Santa iced the windowpane
(thus waking Eu from dreams again),
left gifts arrayed, and candy cane,
beneath a Tree with candled mane.

Terry O’Leary defines himself as "A physicist lacking gravity...".

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Kissing (for Alba Leigh)--By Michael Todd--United States

Kissing (for Alba Leigh)

What is a kiss, an emotional act?
Essential to foreplay, without doubt;
Spontaneous, not a science exact,
For sure; something we cannot do without.

Give me one who kisses, eyes open wide,
As closed eyes might lend to thoughts that wander.
Eyes are a window to what lies inside,
A moment we might otherwise squander.

Taking keen note of the tell tale signs that
Separate kiss of life from kiss of death;
Some lift you, others take you to the mat,
Those that deprive life or just take your breath.

The question, "What does a kiss mean to me?"
What it means to you, what I hope to see.

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...

Dementia--By Annie Jenkin--England


It crept in deceitfully
almost imperceptibly,
Snatching a word here or thought there
Leaving defenceless those who care,

Confusion is disguised as ribbons of lies
and thought retention unravels before our eyes,
More bold and open it erased memory
crushing remnants of personality,

Kindly words viewed with deep suspicion
provoking erratic aggression
Comprehension faltered...
then forever deleted.

Inability to dress,
read a newspaper
or handle a fork to eat their dinner,
Dissolving dignity into the abyss... 

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.

Merry Christmas--By Joyce I. Johnson--United States

Merry Christmas

When the bells of Christmas Eve ring out
I'd like to find my way
To the little town of Bethlehem
Where Baby Jesus lay
All cuddled in his mother's arms
Upon sweet fragrant hay.

And as the animals come close
And gather all around
To see this precious newborn Babe
The moving star has found,
They seem to know this innocent
Will all the world astound.

Though we can't go to Bethlehem,
We still may see the star,
If we look East with expectance
And keep our hearts ajar.
Some where in God's heavens,
It still shines on from afar.

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 96th birthday in July of 2014.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

White Christmas--By Jan Allison--United Kingdom

White Christmas

My thoughts drift back to my childhood days
Of so many years ago
All the family gathered by a roaring fire
Whilst outside glistens with sparkling snow

We had such fun making snow angels and snowmen
Our little frozen fingers and rosy faces were aglow
Memories of Christmas now firmly in the past
I look back on happy days of so long ago

Our Christmas tree was draped with tiny twinkling lights,
Bright baubles, tinsel and candy canes just for our delight
Oh how the years have flown by so fast
Sadly, like the snowflakes our childhood days don’t last

I scan the list of Christmas cards that I’ve got to write
Each year it grows shorter, with loved ones we now miss
I dream of turning back the clock and returning to the past
My memories of Christmas are ones I hope will always last

Jan Allison is a relative newcomer to poetry. She didn’t start writing poetry until her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery at the end of 2013. She wrote her first poem ‘Splendid Isolation’ whilst he was in hospital. Since then has discovered a love of poetry and has written over 500 poems. Jan also wrote collaboratively with her writing partner Darren Watson under the name Jadazzle United.

Poetry Aloft--By Diana Dalton--United States

Poetry Aloft

Up in the attic
Useless static
Old clutter
In my nutter

My poor brain
Driven insane
Tossing the old
Fables told

Junk forsook
A renewed look
Still & profound
Peace is found

Diana Dalton was born in England. She grew up loving the county side which later developed and inspired her desire to capture those beautiful moments which she does through her poetry, her spiritual nature and photography. Though not a prolific writer Diana has had her poems read on Dutch radio, and has been featured in some American compilations of poetry. She will dabble and challenge herself with some recognized forms, yet most often, Diana likes the freedom of words and will take some poetic license even to inventing non existent words together with her husband and fellow poet, Yancy Dalton.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Haiku--By Phyllis Babcock--Canada

summer rain
upon hand
a fallen tear

autumn wind
upon her hair
braid unravels

spring breeze
upon her cheek
breath exhaled

Phyllis Babcock was born in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1951 and currently resides in Regina with her husband. She has been blessed with two wonderful sons and daughter-in-laws. She has two grandsons and two granddaughters. She started writing poetry in 2004 and joined Poetry Soup site in 2006. She has been published in two anthologies, On Butterfly Wings and Snippets. Her work has also appeared on and in a local seniors’ newspaper. She feels writing has been a wonderful journey, meeting many new poets and writers along the way.

Christmas Year Round--By Charlene McCutcheon--United States

Christmas Year Round

Laying aside the things of this world, intently I listen.
How silently the soul-stretching gifts of the spirit come.
Seeking for things of a better, shelters from the storms,
they come simply with the asking; Jesus paid the price.

Soft sweet whisperings enter in, sacred engrafted words
speaking volumes, sufficient for my needs for added faith.
Kindly He wipes away my tears, replacing fear with hope,
Filling my doubting heart with Christ’s pure love; charity.

Charlene McCutcheon is a 73 year old, wife, mother of seven, grandmother of thirty and great-grandmother of 14. She has just discovered her voice through poetry within the last few years. Her former ways of expression have been through the media of arts and crafts. Her desire to share herself with others for their benefit has been the motivating factor in all her endeavors. She loves life, work, play and most of all people.

Haiku--By Carolyn Noah Graetz--United States

in the garden
song in the wind
 river's edge
  dog barks
swimmer yells
my reflection
in the water
another voice
  from above
 lean on  me

Carolyn Noah Graetz was born in a small country community of Blackmonton in
Carroll County, Mississippi. She graduated from the Vaiden High School in that county in 1956. In the fall of that year she entered the Touro Infirmary School of Nursing in New Orleans. A few years later she attended and graduated from the school of nurse anesthesia at the Charity Hospital in New Orleans. She has been married for 50 years to Dr. Roger Graetz, and they have two children and four grandchildren who were born on three different continents.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Waiting at a Bus-stop--By Sunil Uniyal--India

Waiting at a Bus-stop

He waits for his bus to take him home,
His head like a quiet, derelict dome.

Brooding on his blighted years?
Future hopes? Present fears?
Homely cares? Office rows?
Fleeting joys? Staying woes?
Friends coming disguised as foes?
This, or anything else? Who knows !

Sunil Uniyal was born and brought up in Lucknow, India. He has been writing poems and haiku for over thirty years and these have appeared in various print and e-journals in India and abroad. He is also engaged in the translation of Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu poetry, besides Garhwali folk songs. His publications include The Target is Behind the Sky- Fifty Poems of Kabir (Low Price Publications, Delhi 2012) and Tears of Blood- Selected Verses of Ghalib (Partridge Publishing, 2014) 

It is enough...By Jim Teeters--United States

It is enough
to let the candle burn
watch the flame
linger in the evening light

It is enough to sit
breathe slowly
let the night thicken
around you

It is enough to
be alive
         with the flame
                    in the dark
and to breathe

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.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Ken Allan Dronsfield and Blanca Alicia Garza--United States

"Autumn Skin"

By Ken Allan Dronsfield and Blanca Alicia Garza

"My beautiful lady with Autumn Skin;
do not be ashamed of the marks
that time has left upon you.
Look deep into the mirror;
You're still beautiful; you're still fire.
burning with intense desire.
Your body once was Spring,
then Summer, and now Fall;
but there's still passion 
in your body and soul.
You're skin still gets goosebumps
with a gentle touch.
Look into the mirror once more;
You're beautiful; such fire; such desire.
My beautiful lady with Autumn Skin."

In Memory with Love--Beth Winchcombe--October 2, 2015--England

British Summertime

You put the clocks forwards,
You put the clocks back,
How are we meant to keep on track?
The morning will now be light,
And the evenings dark!
How are we meant to get it all right?
Why can’t we just leave the clocks alone?
Twenty four hours is all we have when all’s said and done.
Twenty four hours in each and every day
Is quite enough for anyone, I’d say,
The clocks were put back last night—
Today has been so long, although it had shorter hours of light!


Dear Whispers Family,

It is a pleasure to share another poem in tribute to Beth. Sadly, we said good-bye to her in October. Beth embraced the Whispers community, supporting and caring about others with her kind heart.  She was a blessing in my life.  Beth shared her gift of words for monthly activities, collaborative poems, individual poems, and uplifting comments for other writers. She was our September Poet of the Month, an honor she richly deserved. She touched my heart. Thank you, to her husband, Geoff, and Jack Horne for allowing me the honor of publishing this poem.         --Karen O'Leary, Editor

Found in Translation--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States

Found in Translation           

She gasps, waves her hand as something
is announced on the radio, motions me
to listen as she turns up the volume.

Being in her country, not at all fluent in
her tongue, no trace of comprehension
as I stare between her and the radio dial.

Turning the sound back down, she repeats
distinctly, slowly the same words I heard,
yet still fail to understand their meaning.

She tunes to an English-speaking station,
I hear the report. Paris is under attack. Our
tears speak a language we both understand

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Loving Friends--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

Loving Friends

For those who have touched
my life in heart and soul,
I have been rewarded
in numerous ways.
I remember these dear friends
with a heartfelt love
and deep appreciation. 
How blessed to be connected
to the souls of caring people…
my path has not been easy.
But for those God sends my way,
life is made a little easier.
These are not just friends,
they are special people
who include me as part
of their family circle.

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.

Haiku--By Ali Znaidi--Tunisia

winter sky…
the pomegranate trees
turn into ghosts

evening sky…
maple syrup drizzled
on a stack of pancakes

gentle exhalation…
just the disappearing shadow
of fence posts

lingering hailstorm…
jasmine flowers on the ground
or hailstones

gentle drizzle…
the sound of clay
being dissolved

Ali Znaidi (b.1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He is the author of several chapbooks, including Experimental Ruminations (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Moon’s Cloth Embroidered with Poems (Origami Poems Project, 2012), Bye, Donna Summer! (Fowlpox Press, 2014), Taste of the Edge (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2014), and Mathemaku x5 (Spacecraft Press, 2015). For more details you can visit his blog at – and follow him on Twitter@AliZnaidi

Missing Home--By Laura M. Kaminski--United States

Missing Home

for Antoni Okafor

The missing it never passes, it is a fire that never
goes out, a love and longing that never consumes
itself into embers. It is the parched dust of harmattan

in the mouth, sitting in sight of a jug of shade-cooled
water, and having no hands with which to pick it, bring it
to the lips. It is remembering the warmth of the soil on

the feet, the sweetness of ripe mango on the tongue,
but being ever confined to socks and shoes, with stale
white bread in the kitchen instead of fruit or cocoyam.

The missing is when the well has gone dry, and you check
the flame tree daily to see if it will blossom with the promise
of rainy season returning, but each day, nothing. Missing

is the sleepless night, and the dawn that never comes.

Laura M. Kaminski grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in rural Missouri. She is an Associate Editor at Right Hand Pointing, and writes poetry in both English and Hausa.  Her most recent poetry collection is Dance Here (Origami Books, an imprint of ParrĂ©sia Publishers Ltd in Lagos, Nigeria).

Monday, December 21, 2015

One in Peace--By Sandra Stefanowich--Canada

One in Peace

On this silent night
candles lit all around
hands held in prayer
for peace to be found

some where in the dark
a bird sings softly low
its melody fills your heart
in this moment you know

as the snow begins to fall 
together we'll all stand true
when angels come to call
it's love that surrounds you

spirits roar without a sound
above stars ever so bright
holding you spellbound
on this silent night

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Sandra 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. 

Christmas Morning--By Mary Jo Balistreri--United States

Christmas Morning

In the pale glint of dawn, a hawk darts
across the marsh. I wash dishes from last night’s supper.
Coffee gurgles, filling the glass carafe.

Alone at this hour, husband and children still asleep,
I breathe in peace—my hands deep in warm suds,
china and silver soaking amidst the bursts of bubbles,
their reflections tinged pink.

Outside a streak of mauve swirls and widens
over the pond, feathery as angel wings
on childhood holy cards. The sun paints
peach hibiscus, dusty blue asters, chrysanthemums,
yellow and spiky—all sprouting from the dark
of December like the star that once glowed
in Bethlehem.

Mary Jo Balistreri has two books of poetry published by Bellowing Ark Press and a chapbook by Tiger's Eye Press. She has more recently been enjoying learning and writing haiku type poems. She finds it helps her see differently and experience life in a new way. For more information, please visit her at

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Haiku--By Niranjan Navalgund--India

midnight sun-
    as if there is
    no tomorrow

day moon...
    not willing to say

reflections the pieces of my past

Niranjan Navalgund is a chess lover from India. Reading and writing are his leisure time activities. He is fond of Zen Stories and the cute creature - Panda. He blogs at 

Christ Mass--By James Rasmusson--United States

Christ Mass

Around an azure earth
there shows a golden aura
for in Christmas there is
a knitting of humankind.

Yet there is sadness
in the tinsel and trappings
that stand as road blocks
along the way that leads
to the real Christ Mass.

James began writing in the 1960’s and immediately showed a love for seasonal, humorous, and philosophical poetry. In the late 70’s, he became an ardent photographer and soon found that the two artistic mediums cross pollinated each other. West Michigan is an art Mecca with over 100 galleries and art camps with Jim residing in the lovely coastal town of Holland, Michigan. A practitioner of Surat Shabd Yoga since 1972, his art is an expression of his lifetime love affair with nature and his quest for truth. James is the winner of many awards in both photography and poetry including the 2005 Shadow Poetry 5th biannual chapbook competition. The artist says he likes to underscore the abstract and tease the mind and be ever alert for juxtapositions that express irony, absurdity, and poignancy, desiring for people to feel both tension and resolution in his compositions.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Barbara Tate with Karen O'Leary--United States

Tan Renga--

Barbara Tate, Winchester TN
Karen O'Leary, West Fargo, ND

pointing the finger
at phantom pain

her eyes sparkle
as she calls my name


Barbara Tate, Winchester, TN
Karen O'Leary, West Fargo, ND

the distant growl
of a coming storm

dad's slurred voice roars
outside the door


Editor’s note—It was such a joy
to work with Barbara on these
Tan Renga.  Thank you, Barbara,
for all you do for our Whispers

Haiku--By Chen-ou Liu--Canada

young widow
sunflowers wilting
in her garden

crow after crow ...
what remains
of this harvest moon ?

last leaves
cling to a maple tree ...
another temp job

first day of winter...
morning fog binds together
the red and blue states

another new grave
in winter mist
war cemetery

Chen-ou Liu is the author of four books, including Following the Moon to the Maple Land (First Prize Winner of the 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest). His tanka and haiku have been honored with many awards. To read more of his poems, please go to Poetry in the Moment,

A Time To--By Shirley Smothers--United States

A Time To

A time to
be thankful
a time to give.
A time to
be generous
a time to forgive.

A time to
say prayers
a time to rejoice.
A time to
be with loved ones
a time to
sing with a happy voice.

Shirley Smothers is a poet. A few of her poems have appeared in Lone Stars Magazine, The Poets Art, and The Poetry Explosion Newsletter.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Snowflake--By Mary A. Couch--United States


snowflake twirls,
dances with wind,
leaps over oak branch,
pirouettes in brisk breeze,
tumbles down to frigid earth,
and joins its brethren in a pile
of luminous crystalline delight
bringing joy to every child’s waiting heart.

Mary A. Couch resides in Noblesville, Indiana, and works as an Admin Assistant for Taylored Systems, Inc. a local telecommunication company. She is the Premier Poet for the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs, and she learned poetry from her mother and two grandmothers who were writers, artists and storytellers. She has been published in a variety of venues.

Voyage to Infinity--By George L. Ellison--England

Voyage to Infinity

A long, long distance you have travelled since your seventy seven launch !
Rocketing into the wide blue yonder thence to outer space
Clocking up all those space miles as you visited all the planets
Sending back your pictures of wonder and of awe
Continuing ever onward you descriptions ever more surprising
Our knowledge the more enlightened by your trek to the edge

Knowledgeable one
Off you go
Find your way

Your path laid out to the edge of our solar system
As you passed the outer planets Clear of the solar winds
Now in this year twenty thirteen sees you drift away with ease
With your job done for us back here on earth it’s time for you to take your leave
Beyond our system to the interstellar breeze
To voyage into infinity Go where your flight prevails
Travelling ever further May you someday tell our tale!

Searching space
Alone adrift
Pioneer thou art

George L. Ellison is a writer of poetry and short stories. He as published two books called Poetic Reminiscences and Weaving Words. 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. He is currently working on his new project as well as learning to play the saxophone at the Sage Gateshead! 

Santa Paws--By Alice Couch--United States

Santa Paws

A light snow was falling
when Santa Paws came calling.
Me-ow, I heard her softly sing
landing on our old porch swing.

With fur silver as Moonlight,
she was quite a lovely sight.
Dad said, “Not another stray!”
Then agreed, she can stay.

He could not resist a present given,
tangled in weatherproof tinsel and ribbon.
Yet vowed as he set her free,
Next year, no decorating the outdoor tree!”

Alice Couch is a retired nurse’s aide who spends her days playing with her dogs, Nibby and Squeakie, while writing poetry for her three children, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and four great great-grandchildren.  One of her stories published in Living with Children. She studied yoga and Buddhism and has a gift for blending the rational approach of the Western mind with the deep spiritual wisdom of the east in her poetry. She was named Noblesville’s Senior Poet Laureate in 2012.