Sunday, May 31, 2015

Submission Guidelines

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

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  Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable.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.

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/Carry On--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Friends,

I am so proud of our Whispers’ contributors.  Thank you for reaching out to others, encouraging them in their journeys.  We have truly become the community I envisioned when I opened our online journal over two years ago.  We are growing with eight new writers this month.  Our reader base is increasing thanks to many of you that are promoting Whispers in a number of ways. 

I feel gratified and humbled by the outpouring of support for the People of Nepal.  In addition to sharing prayers, poems and thoughts, some of you have also contributed financially.  I can’t thank you enough.  Please continue to stop by as this is an ongoing outreach.  Words have the power to life others up in challenging times.  With that said, I would like to share a poem with you.

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.

Keep on writing and sharing the gift of words.  Thank you for being a part of Whispers.



Karen O'Leary is a freelance writer/editor from West Fargo, ND.  Her poetry, short stories, and articles have been published in a variety of venues.  She released her first book of poetry in 2011 called Whispers... published by A.P.F. Publisher.  Their second project, anthology of short verse, contains poetry from 73 talented writers from across the world and was released in 2012.  Karen is a member of The Writers and Poetry Alliance and the Haiku Society of America.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Obituary--By Colan Hiatt--United States

The Obituary

As I observed the obituary page
One column was extremely long
Many short anecdotes were proclaimed
Of the executive, who now is gone

Since his teens, the records show
Many accomplishments he had made
Plaques, and awards, he had amassed
He was top of the list, in his trade

All this is to be admired
If priorities have been aligned
But as I search for spiritual status
No records did I find

Matthew 7:1, tells me not to judge
I cannot discern his heart's intent
But could it be that Luke 12: 16 - 21
Would be his plight, when life is spent

If you're critical of my analysis
Then read Matthew 6:19 - 21
Only what we have done for Christ
Will be important, when day is done

Colan Hiatt resides in Mt. Airy, NC. with his wife. A retired electronic technician, he has been writing for several years. Most all the poetry, is derived from observing "down-to-earth" events that occur around us. A personal "mini-story" is often associated with the majority of compositions. Usually a metaphor is found with spiritual implications that portray God as the ultimate solution to life's problems. To direct the reader to this "Source", is the desired goal.

Canvas--By April Mae M. Berza--Philippines


your back is a blank canvas
where my skillful hands paint
with desire, bathing the nude canvas
with oil as my hands feel
the smoothness of your back like
a night sky with a constellation
of moles

I inhale the scent of grief as I
color the canvas with the tint
of tears

painting your back follows a pattern,
burying the alphabet is an art,
lost until love found reason

pressing, pressing my fingers
against the virgin canvas, I stroke
with my gentle hand, brushing
your back, back and forth, I mix
my salty tears with oil
as I imprint my signature
on your back

April Mae M. Berza is the author of Confession ng isang Bob Ong Fan (Flipside, 2014). Her poems and short stories appeared in numerous publications in the US, Canada, Romania, India, Japan, UK and the Philippines. Her poems are translated in Crimean, Tatar and Filipino. Some of her poems are published in The Siren, Poetica, Metric Conversions, Ani, The Manila Times and Contemporary Verse 2, to name a few. Her poem "E-Martial Law" was broadcast on IndoPacific Radio on KPFA 94.1FM/ She is a member of Poetic Genius Society. She lives in Taguig, Philippines

Friday, May 29, 2015

Small Town Fantasies--By Suzanne Delaney--United States

Small Town Fantasies

It makes a heart glad to know, there are still small
country towns like Woodford, where homes with large, old trees sit
scattered between small shops and local businesses,

To think - the spirit of Elvis exists in a greengrocers’
called “Grapelands”-‘Elvis Parsley’ swiveling his hips
amongst the carrots and parsnips, imitating “Blue Suede Shoes.”
I select a punnet of strawberries, as a smile slips out
at the absurdity of how some can live out their fantasies
“Blue blue “…you can do anything

I cross the street to check out a “Second-hand” furniture store.
It is closed so I peer in the window -A group of old, store mannequins
pique my interest, draped in 50’s fashions.
It seems like a time warp as there are no opening hours posted on the door
I wonder if the mannequins are an eccentric collection,
or if they were for sale, which one I would buy? The one with the eyes demurely cast 

down or the arm-less one, looking enviously past her.

Back on the street I inhale sun-warmed earth as I walk past a garden’s bright picket fence.
A shiny black crow flaps up, startled. Suddenly I smell, what the scent of home
is like for somebody else.

Suzanne Delaney is a retired Registered Nurse. A resident of Hawaii, USA she was born in Tasmania. She now has time to pursue her passion for writing poetry, creating collages and for traveling.

The River--By Patricia Ann Farnsworth-Simpson--Canary Islands

The River

From the mountains high does a river flow
And as it flows so it does grow
Often flowing and trickling at a gently pace
Sometimes rapidly rushing as if in a race

But always lovely and exciting to see
As it makes its way through lovely country
Towns and villagers along its pathway
With the Sun setting on it at the end of the day

The river does attract much wildlife too
Both in its waters deep and in the sky so blue
Such as Kingfishers when they hover in a loop
Till they see a fish then down they swoop

Water voles, beavers and otters that play
Are a delight to see as you pass on your way
Gently cruising along keeping afloat
Be it in a Kayak, yacht or a longboat

Yes! Being on a river is wonderful when its serene
Like it always is whenever I have been
With my son cruising on his longboat in France
His home that I visit whenever I get the chance

Patricia Ann Farnsworth-Simpson is a coal miner’s daughter, the only girl among 6 lads.
A young mother to a son, she became a widow before she turned 18.  Patricia, then, married her childhood sweetheart who fathered her lovely son and two wonderful daughters.  Her children encouraged her to pursue her own talents.  After 51 years of marriage, she became a widow again recently.  She fills her time with poetry, helping others whenever she can.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Haiku--By Robert Epstein--United States

piggy bank
our fiscal life

children’s library
a row of ducklings
follow her in

trail’s end
runaway boys build
a stone totem

Robert Epstein is a licensed psychologist who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has edited several anthologies: The Breath of Surrender: A Collection of Recovery-Oriented Haiku; Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness; and The Temple Bell Stops: Contemporary Poems of Grief, Loss and Change; as well as two books of haiku: Checkout Time is Noon: Death Awareness Haiku; and A Walk Around Spring Lake: Haiku.  His most current anthology, The Sacred in Contemporary Haiku, was released in 2014.

When All of Nature Weeps--By Anna-Marie Docherty--Wales

When All of Nature Weeps

Tears too late to regenerate
and all because we acted too late
Future generations will face decline
If we continue to be ignorant to every sign

Ozone has odor like chlorine bleach
It’s now to stop, now to teach
For exposure produces headaches, burning eyes
irritated respiratory passages, asthmatic sighs

All of nature in decline
Don't waste water treat it like wine
Be careful that you sort your rubbish
Recycle everything we publish

What you buy is important too
As is how much liquid flushes down the loo
Then the factories where the 'stuffs' produced
need reduce the smog that they've induced

Stop pollution at its source
And where possible walk of course
Or otherwise, let’s travel together
Protect our plants, trees and our weather

Anna-Marie Docherty lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK and is often inspired by nature and the world around her. Having been writing poetry now for 4 - 5 years, her works have developed in structure and form as well as using free verse in her writing as she walks this endless art form and creativity in her thirst to further learn. Letting the pen and the muse dictate topic and form both humour, religion, nature or the serious subject might be touched upon therefore keeping the writing fresh and easy to read by those who follow. Writing both as given name above and pen name anaisnais through the net, examples of poems can be found both in Snippets, an anthology of short verse by various international poets, compiled by Karen O'Leary and Patricia Ann Farnsworth-Simpson; also Pink Panther magazine, an anthology written by several poets and artists on feminist issues in our environment and various poems on the internet for taster.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day Rain--By Cynthia Smothers Carter--United States

Memorial Day Rain

But I have come to the conclusion that
it has always rained on Memorial day
and I have figured out why.

The rain is the tears of all our fallen
Soldiers past, present and future.
Thank You for Your service and the
ultimate sacrifice You have made for
our freedom!
Let it pour today!

Cynthia Smothers Carter live in Texas. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant. This poem is her first effort.  Her Aunt Shirley Smothers is very proud of her.

Memories of the Sea--By Andrea Dietrich--United States

Memories of the Sea

Memories of the sea wash over me
on days when clouds are drifting cottony
above my head through placid azure sky.
Such images flit like a butterfly
across my mind; I seize them gratefully!

They bring with them sweet thoughts of family
and times of which I now can testify
flowed out like tides to leave me by and by. . .
                                                 memories of the sea.

How young we were in days so summery!
Through waves we leapt, expending energy.
Sated, we lay sunning on the beach to dry,
till sunlight - like our youth - sank down to die.
But I will keep for an eternity
                                                memories of the sea.

Andrea Dietrich grew up in Iowa and now resides in Utah with a spouse and two cats. She has two grown children and six grandchildren. Having graduated BYU with a Spanish major/ESL minor, she has spent most of her adult life teaching. It wasn't until 2000 that she began writing in earnest and discovering her "niche" as a writer of lyrical poetry. The internet opened up a new world for her, and 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.

Spring’s Soft Kiss--By Pam Murray--Canada

Spring’s Soft Kiss

The early Spring is singing songs
As sunlight dances in the heights
And I am drawn towards the path
To share the joy of golden lights.

The air is fresh from last night’s rain
And life awakens everywhere.
My spirit laughs out loud and I
Am grateful for this world I share.

The Winter’s cold has drifted off
And gentle breezes take its place.
I feel my worries slip away
With Spring’s soft kiss upon my face.

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Early Bird--By Stacy Savage--United States

The Early Bird

When Mr. Robin
Sings off key
With his song
So merrily,
Before the sun
Peeks in the sky
And sparrows rest
In trees nearby,
My sleep is paused
Because of him,
But that’s okay,
I find a grin,
For his ramblings
Bring me cheer,
When he reveals
That spring is here!

Stacy Savage has published six books. Her recent anthology, Naturally Yours: Poems and Short Stories about Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs, benefits Indiana Natural Resources Foundation's "Discovering the Outdoors Fund.” Stacy believes in mixing poetry and good causes together. Visit her Facebook page to keep up-to-date on her poetry contests:

Haiku--By Maureen Sudlow--New Zealand

nikau fans
cooling the face
of the breeze

warm wind
dozens of white butterflies
sun dancing

autumn garden
dried leaves rustling
into heaps

a small dog
sniffing down the breeze

Maureen and her husband Rod live in Dargaville in the Kaipara (New Zealand). Maureen has had poetry published both on-line and in magazines such as A Fine Line, and has recently published her first poetry collection Antipodes. She has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Whitireia, and was short-listed for the 2012 Joy Cowley Award for her children’s picture book Fearless Fred and the Dragon.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Secret Game--By Rhoda Galgiani--United States

A Secret Game

I had been hungry all these years
for dreams to come my way,
to fill the empty hollow hole
that pains the words I say.

I look at the windows of my dreams
that could not be gently opened,
‘Twas within the reach of fingertips
I hear words my lips softly spoken.

Nature and I often share a vision
or two during a daydream full of gleam,
wish for moments of splendor to appear,
visions reflected on a babbling stream.

Hurting wasn’t new for the quest has
been buried deep within thy frame,
the heart searches the hungry dreams
seeking to win this secret game.

Rhoda Galgiani is a published Poet and Author of two books, Expressions from the Inside Out and No Snow for Johnny - a Child’s Story listed at or Rhoda is a retired senior that delights in maintaining her own website entitled Expressions Poetry Journal which is dedicated to the world of poetry. Come visit her at -

The Cat Limerick--By Shirley Smothers--United States

The Cat Limerick

The cat stood before the pearly gate
Saint Peter said, "Hurry don't be late."
Angry began to shout
"Either come in our stay out!"
This is why nine lives is a cat's fate

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

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ode to My Friends--By Peter Dome--United Kingdom

Ode to My Friends

To all my beloved friends
All over the world
And vast oceans
Your friendship and kindness shown me
Fills me with such joy and emotion
And a golden glow of eternal thanks
And utmost devotion
As I keep you all in my loving heart
And carry you around where ever I go
For you are my world
My family
The only one I know.

Hi, my name is Pete. I live in Sheffield, U.K. I hope you enjoy my poems. I look forward to reading yours. My best wishes. Pete.

Let the Dreamers Who Sleep Beware--By Joe Flach--United States

Let the Dreamers Who Sleep Beware

Lost in thoughts about what might have been
As the opportunity of today passes by
Regret from inactions is a mortal sin
Paralysis from fear prevents giving it a try

Security from harm keeps bad things away
While also keeping experiences from getting inside
Sometimes you should charge into the foray
While the mundane run off to hide

Scars may be your only reward
Tears, like a river, may flow
But to keep your journey moving forward
You cannot be afraid to go

Dreams are just realities yet to come true
Achieved only by those who dare
Take my hand; I’ll go there with you
And let the dreamers who sleep beware

Joe Flach is an amateur poet living in Gig Harbor, WA. Joe has been writing poetry, short stories and song lyrics his entire life but has only recently found the courage to share some of his work with others through internet websites and his own Poetry Facebook Page – “Poems, Lyrics and Stuff by an Average Joe”. As a professional consultant working in the fields of crisis management and disaster recovery, Joe uses has writing as a form of stress release and an opportunity to expand his horizons. Joe is a father of four children who he often relies on as a source for inspiration.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Giving From The Heart--By Charlene McCutcheon--United States

Giving From The Heart

If I can be of help to anyone as I journey along my way,
that is what I desire the most and for which I daily pray.
I am wanted, needed, special, talented and important.
Help comes with this kind of honesty and self-judgment.

Give and it shall be given is perfect advice from above.
I'll give out of a pure heart; motives must be out of love,
With no thought of reward, only Gods' glory as my prize.
Yet, many precious moments with Him description defies.

Rising to heights that are new, feeling approval of heaven,
Guiding me to lovingly serve; bringing to me good fortune.
What I focus on comes back twice fold. It's the going rate.
Giving from my heart, brings back more than I anticipate.

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.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Sheikha A.--Pakistan/United Arab Emirates and Suvojit Banerjee--India

In Kafka Dreams

By Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee

The keys have been tapping on their own;
my pen moves to its metronomic ticking
the way Marquez poured under the rain
in his head; the silence lengthy, the story
trapped in air; Kafka’s ‘giant insect’

metamorphosed; black like the unknown
Morse codes travelling from Austrian graves
where Kafka sleeps in his box of magic

when my Marquez self looks for relationship
with life – from his ghost the way to move
away from intellectuality – towards Aracataca,
and heat, dusty swirling banana leaves

in anticipation for the greatest singular line
that can capture fish falling from the sky –
the man that disappears isn’t really a man
but a brave leaper ready to strike a deal –
a dead space in between – a proliferation

of poetry seeking mind’s warmth and insanity.
Kafka, the provocateur/Marquez, the lover; dying
railroads to nowhere, the sounds of inconsequential
things. Faceless people haunt me to create Odysseys
from where I disappeared into the fog to come back
unscathed in body and tattered in soul, waiting
for the taps of keys to turn into whispers, the sea
to divide the Noah’s Ark. Miracles seldom happen.

Kafka’s insect hangs in my dream by a thread;
and all I see is a house, like a spectre with eyes
glowing green.

Authors' note : Inspired from an interview of Marquez in the Paris Review. Link:

Up In the Sky--By Russell Sivey--United States

Up In the Sky

I look up
The sky is filled with twinkling little specks of filtered light
Bright at one point
But still illuminated with small amount of twilight
Nothing states their presence
As much as their omnipresent grandeur of pleasant beams
That only shine
Within their own presence, never glaring beyond the sky’s edge
I smile with their beauty
Of their grandiose presence that I so long to hold forever
Within my very hands
But cannot do so as the stars act in their own accordance
Of their own special flare
Which I delight in pathos of divine entities, prodding the times relevance
To my ego, lost in space
Only to find peace with its hovering splendor, bright and grand they bloom
With simplicity
Never honored more than what’s seen this very night, this ever flowing
Classical ponderance of a moment
In grace and peaking display of highlights, mainstream deliverance tonight!

Russell Sivey lives in the United States and has been writing poetry for 26 years (after his major car accident that left his arm paralyzed). He has been improving year after year. Russell enjoys reading poetry as well as writing it He finds himself listening to almost any type of music. Russell has been with Poetry Soup for almost 3 years and enjoys the poetry that he reads there from his friends. He is currently attending school for a Creative Writing degree with a specialization in Poetry. Yes, that means he will have a poetry degree. He looks forward to reading everyone's poems here on this site. His muse is the moon.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Peacekeeper's Tears Still Darkle--By Elly Wouterse--Netherlands

Peacekeeper's Tears Still Darkle

fathers or mothers, sisters or brothers
uncles or aunts , sons or daughters
when in uniform
on behalf of their leaders and relying on their mates
afar from their home and loved ones

peacekeeper's lamed druthers
decreed military yachters
with a tent as a dorm
stationed at designated states
on guard for safer places under burning suns

a reality that, at times, thoroughly bothers
tucked tears forming invisible waters
every sound, flood or storm
might cause intense and painful dates
continued in countless affiliated reruns

each panicking moment hopefully smothers
with the help of human or canine spotters
such a lifesaving warm swarm
of invaluable fates
muting bit by bit the perpetual thud of guns

Dutch poetess Elly Wouterse is oftentimes focused observing the world surrounding her. While watching, noticing, listening, thinking, dreaming and - or fantasizing she often finds the inspiration resulting in Poetical Visuals published on her own website - and in her first publication, Between Moonset and Sunrise.

The Rose of Horners Lane--By Marianne Szlyk--United States

The Rose of Horners Lane

Here, in Rockville, I am a springtime flower,
leaning over the chain link fence.

I spring up
red yellow orange white
sometimes even pale lilac
almost blue or gray.

I join the cherry blossoms
the dogwood
and the lilac--
if she can make it.

My humans cherish me,
bringing my blooms in
to color the cool, dark rooms.

The last rose of summer comes early here.
I bide my time until fall.

Marianne Szlyk recently published her first chapbook, Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking Up at Trees of Heaven, at Kind of a Hurricane Press: Her poem "Walking Past Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Winter" was nominated for the 2014 Best of the Net. Her poems have appeared in print and online, most recently in Poppy Road Review, bird's thumb, Black Poppy Review, Of/with, Walking is Still Honest, and Literature Today as well as Kind of a Hurricane's anthologies. She edits a poetry blog-zine at and hopes that you will consider submitting a poem there or voting in one of its contests.

as the earth turns...--By Carolyn Noah Graetz--United States

as the earth turns
light and darkness

     on edge
blue heron
waits to eat

funeral process outside
       dying to get

       sheltered under
  my flooded furniture
“The Mighty Acts of God”

camera bug
memory simulators

Carolyn Noah Graetz was born in a small country community of 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, May 21, 2015

The Seasons of You--By David Williams--England

The Seasons of You

I saw it the first time we met
Your face like a spring day; youthful, fresh,
A blossoming smile like new leaves unfurling
Tasting the spring air for the first time.
Your eyes as clear as two new born stars
Radiating into my head like fork lightening
I knew then that I would spend my life with you.

Your personality emanating like summer
It was like laying down in a field of poppies
Under a lazuli sky; carefree
Breathing new life into me.

Then as your illness got worse; it was like autumn
Slowly watching your leaves fall one by one
But even at your worst I have never heard you complain
So thankfully you have no winter
I remember carrying you up the stairs for the first time,
You were in great pain,
As I looked into your eyes, it was spring all over again!

David Williams was born in England and has resided there all of his life. He started writing poetry at the tender age of 14. He was encouraged to enter a local school poetry contest and went on to win it. In later life, he joined many local poetry groups and writers circles, eventually becoming chairman. He has had 9 poetry books published and is collating material for two more books which will hopefully be out later this year. He holds workshops to help and encourage writers to understand the many different forms of poetry. He has won many contests and is also a recognised poetry judge.

The rain comes in--By Richard Carl Subber--United States

The rain comes in

The rain comes in, spattering, thin,
            staining high sand, sparing the lee.
Seabirds aloft, lifting, drifting,
            unhurried, as they scan the sea.
The rain comes in,
            then fades, silence,
                     my delight is quiet in me.

Richard Carl Subber (Rick) is a freelance editor, a writing coach and an amateur  historian. He’s a former newspaper reporter/editor who transferred his love of language to more satisfying expressions. Rick is a proud grandpa who is patiently teaching his granddaughter how to write, in case there is poetry in her future. His blogs are: and

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ode To The Dung Beetle--By Marcus Omer--

Ode To The Dung Beetle

Oh noble beetle you never paid toll
for strange little balls you're compelled to roll.
From pastures green the treasures you find,
to others seem bizarre, but you don't mind.

You select a dish, it must be precise,
ingredients fresh, yet ones you can slice.
The cow-patties cut and divided with care,
you begin your journey with a certain flair.

While others may cringe, you manners condemn,
still proudly you march with that smelly gem.
With winter coming on you know there's need,
you've a mate to support and mouths to feed.

Now you may ask, pondering God's green earth,
what in the world is a tumblebug worth?
But as walks we take over meadows clean
and see him working, must never be mean.

For you see, my friend, if it wasn't for he
just in how much danger we might be.
So give a salute to this trustworthy trooper,
for in him we have nature's own pooper-scooper.

Marcus Omer got serious about writing after he retired in 1997. He draws his inspiration from the many emotions we experience in life. He has published Of Sunshine and Clouds with iUniverse and The Winding Road with Shadow Poetry. He’s also published in Snippets, The Magic of Words and several issues of Golden Words.

Haiku--By Archana Kapoor Nagpal--India

full moon sunset -
silhouette of the bare tree

emptiness -
once again peacock
awaits the rain

circle of light …
through the forest canopy
this summer sky

dusk settles…
from my room window
a shooting star

purple sunset -
rush of sea foam
over my feet

Archana Kapoor Nagpal is an internationally published author of 6 books so far, and her winning stories are now part of international anthologies. She writes inspirational content for corporate newsletters, websites, blogs and print publications. Her inspirational poems touch every area of a person's life. She enjoys writing Haiku and Tanka as well. Visit her Amazon Author Profile to know more about her.


Dear Friends,

It is a pleasure to share with you the 9-1-1 poems selected by our talented Joan McNerney, Activity Editor for May. Evie Ivy developed this wonderful form which was fun to work with.

9-1-1 Form Criteria

It is basically a poetic sentence with a bit of urgency to it. It can be titled or untitled. It can be lyrical, funny or both.

First line is 9 syllables (this is not so strict, can be 8 or 10)
Next line is 1
And last line is 1.

Thank you to all the contributors and especially, Joan, for sharing these enjoyable poems for us to read.  Please take time to comment and thank Joan for her hard work on this.  If you missed the deadline, feel free to share 9-1-1 poems in the comments section.

Happy writing!

Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

How do you keep from reaching for what’s

By Evie Ivy

Interfaith Council

A priest, a rabbi, and an imam

By Robert P. Hansen

The fragrance of a new-born poem…

By Ralph Stott

True love: riding each threatening wave

By Paul Callus

Queuing round the block for a concert

By Jack Horne

Writing a note with disappearing ink

By Barbara Tate

I feel the warmth of her outstretched arms

By Anne Curran

We’ve found the owls’ nest—mother owl asks:

By Kelley J. White

All the greens of spring are opening

By Joan McNerney

And so you said you “loved me” . . . and so
said . . .

By Evie Ivy

Tragedy, floods and earthquakes!

By Beth Winchcombe

Stories surround us, daily begging

By Charlene McCutcheon


She weaves spider-web plots--shimmery

By Elizabeth Howard

Weather prediction tornado watch

By Sara Kendrick

His mate checked twice before yelling out,

By Karen O’Leary

Hooting at midnight, shadow silent

By Kelley J. White

Spring brings lots of flowers, blossoms and

By David Fox

It was finally  music  that  set

By Evie Ivy

A playful autumn breeze lifts girls' skirts

By Anne Curran

Distressed, yet visibly popular

By Paul Callus


politicians will make promises

By Robert P. Hansen

When I am worried and all alone

By Charlene McCutcheon

Fairies, floating, towards earth

By Beth Winchcombe

Like clothing that has been washed—you hang

By Evie Ivy

High winds, giant rain drops and hail fall

By Sara Kendrick

Rustling of leaves tell the story

By Barbara Tate

Pigeons take flight up on the rooftops

By Ralph Stott

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Poems--By Kelley White--United States

sun coming out
crow calls into
the light

how many years since
I’ve heard the whippoorwill?

Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

Moonglow--By Joann Grisetti--United States


I kneel on the waxed white oak boards
and lean, elbows rest on the narrow sill,
cheek against the frigid glass
breath expands crystals of rime in circles.

I stare at the moon, bright enough
to blot all but the highest stars,
when full, it stabs my pale irises
with silver shafts, and draws in shades of grey;

fractals from trees, tessellations where houses stand
in rows along unseen streets frozen under snow –
fallen and melted and refrozen –
this diurnal pattern repeats through winter.

I feel a creeping cooling from extremities inward,
a shivering procedure unable to break the shackles
of moonglow.

I ride a roan Arabian mare
over the mid-night silver sands
we race the flat desert into dawn
as hot as the other was cold but still enflames the same

Joann Grisetti has been writing for 45 years. She is a retired teacher from Florida. She receives encouragement from her daughter and has recently enrolled in a creative writing workshop. She is a member of Poetry Soup. You can read more of her poetry there.

Lady--Jack Horne--England


Your nearness makes my heartbeat race,
I smile and look into your face.
Surrounded, kisses cannot be,
Although your eyes are all I see:
Your thoughts revealed by loving looks.
We must return to reading books!

I wish we were alone to talk,
And maybe take a little walk,
Your hand in mine, I’d know such bliss,
With no one there to thwart a kiss.

We’d travel time and space today,
And dance around the Milky Way,
The planets spinning like my mind.
My thoughts untamed but warm and kind.
Such magic at my fingertips.
My hungry kisses on your lips,
A floral crown upon your hair,
I’d demonstrate how much I care.

As secret passion floods my head,
I write a poem for you instead…

Jack Horne enjoys reading and writing poetry.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Just Passing Through--By Lisa DeVinney--United States

Just Passing Through

I am content with what I have,
But not enough to stay.
My heart still longs for something else -
It’s somewhere, far away.
So, while on earth, I’ll not complain,
‘Cause I’ll be looking toward
A home, a crown, an angel choir -
In Heaven, with my Lord

Lisa DeVinney is a homemaker and mother of six in upstate New York. She enjoys photography and writing devotional poetry in her spare time. Lisa is the author of several books, including a devotional entitled I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes. She also maintains her own website at

Haiku--By Raamesh Gowri Raghavan--India

a million stars
switch on

swinging in the rain
myriad droplets
spray from my hair

summer hols
-- the jamun tree
ripe with boys

yellow leaves
grandma sweeps up

headless statue –
long before me
and long after

Raamesh Gowri Raghavan moonlights as an award-winning copywriter by day and daylights as an award-wanting poet by night. He thinks he is funny, but his friends vehemently disagree.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Nalini Priyadarshni--India and D. Russel Michener--United States

Just Before Dawn: A Sedoka

By and Nalini Priyadarshni and D. Russel Micnhimer

Aspen glow reflects
Your warmth upon my face, add
Streak of love to my dusk

Your beams reach me far
away though I maybe, your
rich warmth always near

Distance just measures
How far and swift love travels
I exhale breaths you inspire

Inhaling your joy
Awakens my sleeping bliss
Each dawn a new dream shines bright

You fondly burnish
Pieces of my existence
Nurture me to flowering

Polishing edges
Buffing your glistening joy
To shimmering reflections

Light of our loving
Unlock enchanting visions
Sweet symphony to twain souls

Focus of living
Shining key to ecstasy
Opens all chests of treasures

Mother Remembered--By Jean Calkins--United States

Mother Remembered

White carnations on the altar;
Young head bowed in silent prayer.
Second Sunday of the May-month,
Longing brings a deep despair.

Vivid recall of a casket.
Tender was her face in sleep.
How he misses you, lost mother;
Blonde head bowed as blue eyes weep.

Jean, at 82, has been writing poems since she was 18. For 25 years she published a popular poetry quarterly of up to 100 pages, with a subscribership of nearly 500. Illness in 1986 ended the magazine. She currently publishes, by email, a 2-page monthly of clean humor. Contact her at

Welcome Home--By Elizabeth Howard--United States

Welcome Home

the door open
pinto beans simmering
in the kettle,
thin white curtains
beckoning welcome,
he takes off his beret
and enters, knowing
his ma and pa will
fluff up the featherbed
kill the fattest fryer

he sits down
in his plush chair
vacant the long months
he’s been overseas--
when they come in
he’ll lay down the crutches
that brought him home,
rise up and walk

Elizabeth Howard lives in Crossville, Tennessee. She writes poetry and fiction. Her poems have appeared in Comstock Review, Big Muddy, Appalachian Heritage, Cold Mountain Review, Poem, Still, Mobius, Now & Then, Slant, and other journals.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Lonesome Song--By Ndongolera C. Mwangupili--Malawi

A Lonesome Song

I am a lonely frog's egg,
Missing parental care and love,
Surrounded by hungry fishes,
Carried away by angry waters
To a non-existent place.

I am a lonely butterfly in whirlwind,
Whirling, swirling
To a bizarre hearth.

I am a lonely soloist
Without a mirthful audience,
Singing cumbersome lamentations
Memorized by migrating birds
Flying away from this wild world

Ndongolera C. Mwangupili works as a Senior Inspector of Schools in Malawi. He has vast experience as a teacher of English and Bible Knowledge. Many of his short stories, poems and essays have been published in the Malawi News and Weekend Nation. His stories are anthologized in Modern Stories from Malawi and The Bachelor of Chikanda and Other Stories. His poem “The Genesis” was anthologized in The Time Traveller of Maravi: New Poetry from Malawi. His other poem “Letters to a Comrade” is published online in India on He believes that there is a thin line between fiction and reality. All that people write is a re-creation of what is already known to the writer and exists not only in the mind of the writer but also outside the writer, therefore, fiction is actually facts written as if they are not facts. He is married to Angella, and they have two daughters Mary Magdalena and Princess Cleopatra.

The Least of These--By Lanette Kissel--United States

The Least of These

Can we manage to feel concern and compassion
for those we meet on any given day,
those who are trying to roll with life’s punches,
the forgotten lambs who have wandered astray?

Some people practice wearing a brave façade
while on the inside they are falling apart.
Can we show concern for what happens to them?
Can we offer them a piece of our heart?

Our Jesus consorted with the diseased and destitute,
the ones society was afraid to touch,
the overlooked, the ostracized, the outcasts,
the ones who needed His kindness so much.

We can attempt to make a difference.
If it’s our Lord we are hoping to please,
we can search out the hurting and lonely.
We can do it for the least of these.

(Previously published in The Pink Chameleon Issue 13, July 2012)

Lanette Kissel lives in southern Indiana with her adopted Yorkie-Poo, Benjy. She enjoys writing Inspirational poetry, essays, articles, and some secular fiction. Her work has been published in small print publications and in online magazines. Some of her fiction has been published as e-books at Red Rose Publishing.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Poet of the Month--Peggy Dugan French

in my dreams

By Peggy Dugan French

across the table

30 years ago
we were surrounded
by family and friends
now we have a seasoned past
to keep us company
the kids
old friends
a grab bag of memories
pains, sorrows, pleasures, joys

whether it be across the breakfast table
or a candlelit dinner
we brave the future side by side
not knowing where the path will lead
but always full of faith in us

sifting through the decades we’ve traveled
since embarking on this journey
i smile with remembrance
of our days of youth
and discovery
gently reminding me
that every twist and turn through the years
steered me in the right direction

always to you

and today
the man of my dreams

From the editor--It is an pleasure to announce that Peggy Dugan French is May’s Poet of the Month.  She is a talented published writer and the editor of Shemom.  Readers at Whispers enjoy her creative poetry.  Peggy is an uplifting voice at our online journal, regularly leaving thoughtful comments which others appreciate.  She has collaborated with a writing friend on poems that have been featured at Whispers. She regularly shares her talent by participating in our community activities.  Peggy’s honor is richly deserved.

Thoughts on “ in my dreams”--Right away, I was drawn to the artistic presentation of Peggy’s poem.  Her clever use of spacing gives the reader a chance to pause and absorb what she has to say before moving on to the next stanza.  As I journeyed along with Peggy, I found my self relating to facets of my own life.  Drawing the reader in is so important to a successful poem.  This is truly a different slant on a love poem, one with depth and honesty.  Her talent is evident in this wonderful piece.

Congratulations and thank you Peggy!  I appreciate all you do and have done for Whispers.


Karen O’Leary, Editor

Hope--By David Fox--United States


Be happy now, don't you cry,
Hope will keep your spirits high
Keep hope and you definitely will
Climb every mountain and every hill
Let yourself grow forever more
And the hope in you will surely soar

David has been published most recently in Smile, Poet's Digest, The Pink Chameleon, Creative Inspirations, Pancakes in Heaven, The Shine Journal, The Jokester, Weekly Avocet, Aphelion, Poet’s Expresso and Forte Green Literary Review. He publishes and edits The Poet's Art, a print journal that accepts family-friendly poetry.  Contact him at for more information.

Tyke Kids--By d. n. simmers--Canada

Tyke Kids

" Jump away, jumping boy;
the boy I was shouts go."

           Geoffrey Hill

There on a three wheel tricycle with a yelling push
with his love, blonde, holding on behind.

This is the image of a hill and to be pushed
towards and the going up that will take us

down. Going down.

Is this what will happen? Does it come from a dream?

Love. Holding on to his back. Their screams.
while winds are hot against their necks.

Feelings fresh.

And then coming back down
together. Alive.

Finding her still holding on
while the wheels are going down

all the hills, then

up again.

Knowing they are together.
With the wind and the sky.

d. n. simmers is an on line editor with Fine Lines. He is in will be in Poetry Salzburg Review, the Storyteller, Iconoclast, Plainsongs, California Quarterly, Poets Touchstone, Bluestem, and  Nomad's Choir. He is on line in, red river review, new american digital, storyacious, and word press. He is in an newly launched anthology Royal City Poets ( 4) and was in Van Gogh's Ear, Paris France.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Melody--By Gerald McBreen--United States



I've heard wind chimes tingle softly

Irish tenors from across the sea

Mantovani conduct a symphony

I've heard violins sweet and exotic

doves coo in the rain

babies giggle as they learn to run

There is one sound sweeter
I hear it when I head for home
and mother calls my name

Gerald McBreen is the Coordinator for the Striped Water Poets of Auburn, WA. They host an "open mic" every first Monday of the month. He is Poet Laureate of Pacific, WA. (2009-2015) His most recent award - winning the online Cover Letter Contest for July, 2014 - River Styx. He loves to see members of the Striped Water Poets advance and get published.

Passion’s Desire--By Maurice J. Reynolds--United States

Passion’s Desire

A welcoming sight to behold,
the anticipation of your rising, and
the striking beauty of your setting,
oh sun, a longing to reach out
and touch you….to be a part of the
picture that you paint over the blue skies,
lush oceans and plentiful mountains.

Hearing the waves embrace the shores
on a lazy summer’s day, while the taste
of a ripe peach, or a juicy melon accents
the evening’s gentle breeze; a moment
that can only be described as tranquil;
to touch you, Mother Nature, would
satisfy the passion burning deep within.

Passion’s desire to reach out and touch
the Earth’s goodness and humanity’s smile.

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:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kinuginu Tanka--Nalini Priyadarshni--India

eight petals cherry
drifts silently to ground
softening footfall
only noise breaking stillness
throbbing hearts at parting

aching limbs now rest
besides vacant warm pillow
distant notes of fue
bring perfume of promises
mingled with cool breeze of dawn

my heart is full of
memories of our meeting
untold bygone tales
we could tell, if it wasn’t for
cock’s crow that stole you from me

Nalini Priyadarshni is a poet, writer, editor and amateur photographer. Her work has appeared at numerous magazines and international anthologies including Up the Staircase Weekly, eFiction India, Mad Swirl, Camel Saloon, Lipstickparty mag, Tanka Undertow, Locution Mag, and Earl of Plaid. Her forthcoming publications include Learning & Creativity and Dukool. She lives in, India with her husband and two feisty kids.

The Eagle--By Christine Tate--United States

The Eagle

The eagle flies solo,
it soars with wings on high;
with keen eyes and great ease
it dominates the sky.

Lord, way above the turmoil
beyond the tallest trees,
like the eagle grant me wings
to soar o'er raging seas!

Sharpen my five senses
and my spiritual eyes,
so as the mighty eagle
I too can quick arise.

Keep me on course Lord
despite the winds that blow,
and help me glide peacefully
wherever I may go!

Christine Tate has been writing since 1994. She's the mother of  3 sons and has 8 grandchildren. She was widowed in 2007 and met her husband Artie, a widower with 6 children & 12 grandchildren, in a nursing facility where their mothers resided. They've been happily married 4 1/2 years. They describe their meeting as "God's divine appt." because of their faith, and the fact that they swore they'd never marry again.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Unwinding With The Cool Crooners Of Bulawayo--By Ndaba Sibanda--Saudi Arabia

Unwinding With The Cool Crooners Of Bulawayo

One lazy afternoon I listened to a light track,
It cruised into my ears and heart and crooned
Its way down my spine and vibrated my legs
Till they made some calculated cool swings.

The radio personality intercepted
The mellifluousness of it and said,
“Welcome, welcome to the music
And the magic of the Cool Crooners”.

The Cool Crooners were formed in 1998
By longtime friends -Abel, Lucky and Ben;
In 2001 their album -Blue Sky-about a South African jail
‘Inside of which one only sees the blue sky’-- cooled ears.

Their melodies are mesmerizing and soothing,
They mix African rhythms with western music;
They blend SiNdebele, SiZulu and KiSwahili --
Wowing the audiences with their classy voices.

Foot-tapping their way into international stardom,
Sweet smart men in suits, singing Bulugwe Lami,
(The fate of ‘my’ tattered trousers haye haye!)
These young old boys` laid back music is cool!

Ndaba Sibanda is a Zimbabwean-born writer. His poems, essays and short stories have been published in Africa and the USA. Ndaba currently lives and teaches in Saudi Arabia. Of his career, he says, "writing is my life, and my second wife".

Alone--By John Polselli--United States


I stare long though my window now, and hear
Faint voices I remember from the past.
They seem to whisper softly, far and near,
Like crickets heard, unseen within the grass,
Or restless children murmuring during Mass;
Each rustle conjuring a friend I’ve missed,
Some fond acquaintance, or a girl I’ve kissed.

And in the calmness of this cloudless night,
With stars the only comrades I can claim,
I sit amidst the swaying candlelight,
And dream they’ve all come back to me again,
To make me feel like the moon; a swain
Without a sweetheart in the heavens’ dome,
Slow-dancing in a darkened hall, alone.

John Polselli’s poetry has been published in many literary journals and is the recipient of several Editor’s Choice Awards.  As a poet, John enjoys composing in all traditional forms including free verse as well as inventing his own.

Monday, May 11, 2015

At the Market in Katoomba (Australia)--By Isha Wagner--New Zealand

At the Market in Katoomba (Australia)

Sausages on sizzle with bread surrounds

Man busking his lonely songs
Catching the air as an odd coin
drops to his melancholy way

A white-haired man gobbles at a pie
the sauce drips down his dirty shirt

A pretty woman argues loudly with
an older man while her child cries

A mean-faced girl sells old clothes
calling to passers-by to buy

A woman such as me
watches the absurdity

Should I weep
Should I laugh
No. It's the Buddha's half-smile today.

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

Summer in the Smokies--By Tom Davis--United States

Summer in the Smokies

Like an old man’s hungry stomach
Through the green capped Smokies
Rain will come
To cool a summer’s lazy afternoon

In his younger years, Tom Davis served as a Special Force Combat Diver. It seems to him that he spent more time on, in, and under the water than as a landlubber. This and other adventures he has written about in his memoir, The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On: A March From Private to Colonel.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tanka--By Aju Mukhopadhyay--India

in the vast sky
a star throbs-
afraid of falling
at any moment

pregnant with
mango and neem flowers
spreading fragrance around
intoxicating spring
seeks its victims

Ganga laughs
in sweet metallic voice
eddies dangerously whirl
inviting in its depth-
men and boats struggle

Aju Mukhopadhyay, a bilingual award winning poet, author and critic, writes fictions and essays too. He has authored 32 books and received several poetry awards from India and USA besides other honours. Recently he has received Albert Camus Centenary Writing Award, 2013 from Canada / Cyprus. He is a regular contributor to various magazines and e-zines in India and abroad. He is in the editorial and advisory board of some important literary journals. His poems and short stories have been widely anthologised and translated.

Geese--By Robert L. Hinshaw--United States


I think that I shall never see,
A more magnificent scene to me,
Than skeins of geese in pure flight!
'Tis truly an awe-inspiring sight!
'Tis a wonder of God's Creation,
That they fly in perfect V formation!
As they glide thro' autumn's lowering skies,
I harken to hear their haunting cries!
I stand in awe as they pass in review,
Blessing my soul as all too soon they fade from view.

Robert L. Hinshaw served 30 years in the Air Force retiring in 1978 in the grade of Chief Master Sergeant. He began writing poetry in 2002 at age 72 and has composed over 1100 poems.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lost--By Vasanthi S. Pillai--India


Smoothly penetrating
into the numbness of time
and breathing calmly through
the long pauses,
everything around dissolves,
seeking invisibility,
to experience a hollow peace by
meditating on the randomness
of an empty world.

Vasanthi is a dreamer who completely enjoys writing and reading poetry, and every piece of her work is the result of a conversation with her soul.

Time Pieces--By David Austin--United States

Time Pieces

grandfather clock
time so easy to take apart
this child
with broken heart
couldn’t piece back together

that moment
she frowned and closed the door
i checked my watch
second hand stopped
gone forever more

summer vacation

hour hand
locked on 3:00 o’clock
minute hand
but a tick tock away
“tick tock” hooray!

in my closet
out of body  out of mind
out of time
nor even strong wind
can rattle the door

David Austin is professional violinist and teacher, who communicates through poetry. He has played with the Cincinnati Symphony, taught at Colorado College and various public schools. He is a published author, who has been writing poetry and novels for over 40 years. His pride and joy is a shelter in which he feeds and cares for animals.  David is a member of Poetry Soup.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Michael G. Smith and Laura M. Kaminski--United States

Discarding Axioms

By Michael G. Smith and Laura M. Kaminski

“discard an axiom” and “take away elements in order of apparent importance” –
Oblique Strategies by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt

Two parallel lines meet as we stand on opposite
sides of this world. You might say we are perpendicular
to each other at that rare juncture in space-time
where and when two things form a singular point,
a pair of invisible hands stacking clouds that scatter
light into double rainbows and sunflowers.

All I know is a fearless towhee flew through the open
door and perched on the passenger seat headrest.
Her tiny claws planted in the soft fabric, she chirps
at the me absorbed in the fragrant verse of you,

at the you crisscrossed by absorption meditation.
Let us erase the lines.

Anchor-points that let her set her chirp-song free,
the towhee’s claws must be the most important
elements. Once released, all the angular directions,
rarity and singularity are mere confluence.

Next to go, folded clouds. Quick to follow, the rest
of the bird (feathers, bold persona) wing an exit.
Colors leave last, an arm of a doubled rainbow
curved around Van Gogh’s riveting yellows.

What’s left now? Is there enough connection
to warm your heart in this last drift of fragrance
through an open door? If we asked Seung Sahn,
the master of discarding axioms, he’d say Don’t Know.

Haiku/Senryu--By Shloka Shankar--India

blank page
the scent of thought

chicken breast
i marinate my ego
a little longer

singed at the horizon a lace of pink

Shloka Shankar is a freelance writer residing in India. Her work appears in over two dozen international anthologies including publications by Paragram, Silver Birch Press, Minor Arcana Press, Harbinger Asylum, Kind of a Hurricane Press and Writing Knights Press among others. Her poems, erasures, haiku & tanka have appeared in numerous print and online journals. She is also the editor of the literary and arts journal, Sonic Boom.

Let Me Give You the Proton--Nila Webster--United States

Let Me Give You the Proton

How can I ever tell you
What it is I need to tell you?

Let us become lexicographers
Let us write a new language
Where love equals love,
Where yes means yes
And no means resurrection from the dead
Where the geographical time scale
Turns out to be microscopic
And where the proton of an atom
Contains the whole universe.

Let me give you the proton:
If I can only find you

Thoughts from Nila--Two years ago, my beloved mother, Rochester poet jani johe webster, left this earth. She will always be my guiding light and my North Star, and it is because of her magical ways that I treasure the gift of poetry, and the wonder of our imagination. In some ways, I will never get over losing her, and yet in other ways, I know her light is shining more brightly than ever.

Nila J. Webster has been writing since a young age, thanks to the encouragement and support of her beloved mother, poet jani johe webster. In the last six months, Nila has donated over 41,000 picture books in her mother's honor, with more to come. If anyone knows of schools or hospitals that would like to receive a picture book donation, please let her know at

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Midnight Shadows--By Richard Sponaugle--United States

Midnight Shadows

Matt’s mood matches the pitch black sky
and tightly nailed coffin,
disguised as his lifeless bedroom.
He sits up in bed and reflects
on last week’s employee of the year award.
The sweet scent of success
is now a dead but laughing skunk.
The rising crescendo of cheers
from his fellow co-workers,
have faded into that silent, fickle thing
called ‘time.’
If Matt could recapture time,
he’d spend less of it working overtime,
and more of it,
getting his blood pressure under control:
Now that he’s had a massive stroke.

Richard Sponaugle was born 4-20-60 in Maryland and raised in Northern Virginia.  He received a BA from George Mason University.  A prolific poet and songwriter, he has been published in many venues. 

Tanka--By Anne Curran--New Zealand

she touches
the foot of a statue
near the altar ...
I wonder how it feels
a faith like that

a fine fellow
this yellow canary
who whistles a pretty tune…
he sings to free us from our cage
to dilute our winter gloom

at the art gallery
with an artist friend ...
I am seduced
by her explanation
of light and dark

Previously published--hedgerow #16, 2015

Anne Curran is a Japanese verse forms poet from Hamilton, New Zealand.  Anne has been writing poetry for about ten years with the encouragement of friends and family. She draws inspiration from the world around her. She has been fortunate to enjoy the wisdom of some fine editors and fellow poets.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Life in the Circus--By Victoria Anderson Throop--Alaska, United States

Life in the Circus

My life is a circus--complete with parade,
6 children, 3 cats and 2 dogs newly strayed,
My children refuse to perform as they're told,
Unless I play ringmaster–screaming and bold.
Up on a scaffold my babe toddles by,
A fifty foot drop! And I freeze---mortified!
Using twelve jump ropes secured in twelve knots,
My four year old daughter climbs up like a shot.
Grabbing the baby she tosses him down
To five year old arms in the guise of a clown,
The clown--older brother-- his ears painted blue,
His costume my best dress--unworn and brand new.
He juggles the baby–puffs on a cigar,
Hops in with the lions behind mom-proof bars,

The big top is shaky but patched up and snug --
The price of a ticket--a song and two hugs.

Sometimes grant writer and avid reader, Victoria and her binoculars haunt a lands end highway at Valdez, Alaska. Closer to Russia than New York, she spends her time writing and absorbing the magnificence of nature. As an ESL teacher she has lived in China, Kenya, Israel and the USA. Single Mother of six grown children, she fills the empty nest with words.

…Bees in the Meadow--By Dan Tharp--United States

…Bees in the Meadow

Keep running.
There are bees in the meadow…

Search out the citrus grove that you
may know her intimacy, her refuge, her resistance
seeking asylum from the pursuit.


The darkness stings; surrounds me
in the midst of obscurity
as her branches reach out hospitably
to impede my progress and
that of the ensuing swarm.


In that moment when insanity
would surpass the senses;
when intellect seems to be a
distant lover whose affections (now listless)
are the arms no longer capable of a warm embrace,

all you can do is lie down; shiver in the night and
hum until you can no longer hear their song.

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

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Haiku--By Ralph Stott--England

moonless night
white peacock
challenged by searchlight

empty biro
of ever decreasing circles

setting sun
striding home
staring-stance of alpaca

Ralph Stott was born in Kent, England in 1957. He is married and has two daughters.  He studied design at the Medway College of Design in the mid-70's. Expressing ideas through the written/visual media, has always interested him. Ralph began to dedicate more time to poetry with The Writers and Poetry Alliance, in particular the 'Stylists' forum, over the last 3 years. He has self published one book called Legends For Lunchtime; a collection of short stories and has a second book pending called The Sounding.

Gentle Breeze - A Love Poem--By Michael Todd--United States

Gentle Breeze - A Love Poem

I love you more than mere words can express,
Would there was a way my thoughts to contain;
No cunning notions for you to address,
Just me speaking to you, in words arcane.

I love you more that flowers love the rain,
Heavenly blessing sent to earth below;
Make sense of this topsy turvy domain,
When it goes well with you, style apropos.

I love you more than you will ever know,
With all I am and all I would possess.
Your waltzing eyes dealt my stone heart a blow;
Drift before me in your red dancing dress.

Some say love comes with thunder, lightning, keys;
Our love is carried... on a gentle breeze.

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...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hands and Their Committed Mistakes--By Pijush Kanti Deb--India

Hands and Their Committed Mistakes

Hands and their committed mistakes
carry unknowingly a mirror
reflecting an image –
dark or luminous,
drawn by their mesmerizing power
on the canvas of the watchful eyes.
An ugly hand with its uglier image
assumes the ugliest definition
of its micro mistake as macro one
from the witnessing eyes
along with a bonus of scolding
from the babbling tongues
before these are sent back to restart.
A handsome hand and its beautiful mistake
ensnare the judging eyes
reflecting its luminous image
and win an affectionate definition
of their horrible mistake
as an innocuous slip of hand
though it pours hemlock into nectar.

Pijush Kanti Deb is a new Indian poet with more than 210 published or accepted poems in national and international magazines and journals like Down in the dirt, Tajmahal Review, Pennine Ink, Hollow Publishing, CreativicaMagazine, Muse India, Teeth Dream Magazine, Hermes Poetry Journal, Madusa’s Kitchen and Grey Borders. At present, he is working as an Associate Professor in Economics.

Letter To A Young Girl--By Sheri Stanley--United States

Letter To A Young Girl
A Malala Yousufzai Dedication

Dear Malala Yousufzai,
you are such a beautiful child,
gentle and mild
to dream of a world
with pages curled
burning and yearning
to learn, to grow
your passion so deep
so real in sleep
in the heat of day
too excited to play
but to speak for those
who couldn’t say …

In innocence to share a cause
a moral obligation pause
the little child shall lead the way
upon the bus that very day
he called her name and up she got
the coward raised his gun and shot …….

Sheri is an artist, song writer and poet. She is also a graphic and digital book illustrator. A citizen of the United States she enjoys golf and music and quiet evenings at home with her much cherished family. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

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

Mr. and Mrs. Wright

By Beth Winchcombe and Jack Horne

Where was her Mister Right?
He was nowhere in sight.

He wondered, "Could there be
A girl out there for me?"

No matter how hard she tried
Always the bridesmaid – never the bride!

At weddings, it's his doom:
The best man, not the groom.

She'd look at a dating site,
hoping to find a Mr. Right.

He'd join a dating site;
Yes, go for it tonight!

Could she give that a try?
She might find a guy.

Would anyone respond?
A brunette or a blonde?

The first one was rather stout.
She ruled him out.

A wrestler winked her eye:
He trembled, hoped to die.

Could "looks, unimportant" mean
He was handsome, tall and lean?

No, she was just too bold;
And not the sort he'd hold.

Pride goes before a fall... goes, she'd give it her all.

He looked into her eyes,
While smiling with surprise.

She tossed her bride's bouquet;
He loved their wedding day!

Today, my tears--By Sheikha A.--Pakistan and U.A.E.

Today, my tears

reach out to the castles at the Empyrean,
where the light is a different illumination
from what the earth receives; where erudite
is the river that beings drink from, finding
what had been sought in just one sip of fate’s
mysteries – a fate that which exists, or had
been a word to sheathe the truisms whispered
into our ears by a guard superior to our soul’s
rambunctious tumults. I reach out to the anthem
of the sky laving upon skies, husked
is my voice that hymns of my severed heart,
calling for cessation; or truancy of the clock,
giving me a new shadow I pride afore the sun
or send me a battle, I saboteur, and you rage
over me – send me your existence, so I feel

Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and U.A.E. and often finds herself in a world of oscillation that most of the times motivates her writing too. She maintains a (or tries to) blog on

Haiku--By Barbara Tate--United States

spring solstice
soft falling snow
another last chance

summer pond
swimming in sunshine

weekly schedule
my husband tells me
where to go

baby's breath
bride's bouquet
a hint of things to come

gene pool
holding hands with a shadow
I take a leap of faith

Barbara Tate is a member of the Haiku Society of America, Gulf Coast Writers Association and the United Haiku and Tanka Society. Her work as appeared in Bear Creek Haiku, Frogpond, Cattails, Modern Haiku, Contemporary Haiku Online, Magnolia Quarterly, Poet's Art, Storyteller Magazine, Iconoclast, Santa Fe Literary Review, WestWard Quarterly, Restoring the Circle and Haiku Journal among others. She currently lives in Winchester, TN.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Dream--By Gert W. Knop--Germany

Ein Traum (German)

Ein großer Vogel
wie ein Traum,
und grüne Wiesen
lockten mich
noch tief in meinem Schlaf,
da klangen alte Lieder
in mir nach,
ein fernes Licht
kam zu mir
in der Nacht
und tauchte mich
in stilles Gold

A Dream (English)

A big bird
like a dream,
and green meadows
lured me yet
still deeply in my sleep,
and old songs
lingered on,
a distant light
came to me
in the night,
immersed me
into quiet gold

Gert W. Knop, born in 1943, studies art and tropical agriculture in Germany and Scotland (University of Edinburgh). He has lived in many different countries and writes mainly in German, English and Spanish. He currently resides in Zittau (Saxony), Germany.

Birthday Party--By Lois Greene Stone--United States

Birthday Party
No pretty paper wrap
not colorful streamers
extend from satin bows.
I can’t guarantee you’ll
enjoy; it’s nothing to
play with, or a present
you asked for. Later
I will carefully tape corners
of boxes you’ll touch with
anticipation marking
special events, but this
is the most cherished gift
I shall ever give you:

Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & soft cover book anthologies. Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Whispers of Your Soul--By Olive Eloisa D. Guillermo--Philippines

Whispers of Your Soul

Gentle voice within-- murmurs to shake my thoughts
carrying me to a lair of lavenders and roses
as the wind sways choir with an echo painting poses
it matches the twinkling stars in their bright tons of shots

I shut my eyes from around to listen in silence
Hugging myself in surrender to ardent breeze of remember
tender are the words seeping slow in my heart's chamber
freeing me from dangling touches of conflict and shyness

Candy wrapped around these whispers permits me to move
for like a laughing water, it's lapping, caresses my ears.
ah! how it melt my tangled threads of salad fears!
Arising above to display an open jolly groove,

I breathe an ounce to utter a single prayer
to forever beget these nectarine whispers
where to timeless counts of thorns, I may not shiver
instead-- before despair, I will stand for I'm spared.

Upon twin trial pools of impossibles,
embrace my heart; oh! embrace my soul
Answer my yearning; fill me whole
for if I twine with you, I am unstoppable... !

Olive Eloisa D. Guillermo, 28 year-old from The Philippines, is a nurse by profession. Poetry writing is her new found hobby, since 2012. She is a member of Poetry Soup where she submits most of her poems. Her writing inspiration is driven by God, experiences and nature. She dreams of publishing a book someday.

further--By ayaz daryl nielsen--United States


unkempt words, joining
unfolding, becoming
wayward byways
of resilience, of
heightened awareness,
seemingly pursued
to further
    from just beyond
      an everyday thought

ayaz daryl nielsen is a husband, father, veteran, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/120+ issues), homes include Lilliput Review, Jellyfish, Whispers, Shamrock, and! (translates as joie de vivre)



            Arvinder Kaur--India   
            Kala Ramesh--India       
            Yuan Changming--Canada
            Virginia Johe--(In Memory)--United States
            Laura M. Kaminski--United States
            Su'eddie Vershima Agema--Nigeria

Please welcome them to our community.  We now have representatives from the following countries--Australia, Botswana, Canada, Canary Islands, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Malawi, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Wales.  I look forward to expanding this list in the future. Thank you to everyone that has supported Whispers in any way.                                                                                                                                                              --Sincerely,  Karen

We have a world wide audience. If you are currently reading Whispers, please consider submitting a poem for consideration. You may contact Karen at for guidelines. Thank you.

Note--Ads due for June column by May 25


Jack Horne announces the release of his second novel, Cyber Vamps: a paranormal-fantasy romance. This book is currently available from, price $3.99

John W. (Bill) Williams published a science fiction book that he also illustrated called The Dream Hill.  To order copies from Xlibris Company call 1-888-795-4274 or go to  The website provides sample pages of the book for interested readers.

Sheri Stanley illustrated an e-book titled, The Morning Dream, which is now available on Amazon. It is a collaboration publication and will soon be available in actual book format soon very soon. It is a children's book targeted for kids from the age of 4 to 5th grade. Stop and leave a comment for Sheri's illustrations if you have the chance to do so.

Paul Callus published his first ebook of poetry called Meander in December 2014. It is a collection of 86 poems and songs which should appeal to those who read poetry for pleasure and relaxation. It is available at Amazon.

Pijush Kanti Deb released a poetry collection, Beneath the Shadow of a White Pigeon,
published by The Hollow Publishing. More information about the book is available at,

Marianne Szlyk has released a new chapbook, Listening to Electric Cambodia Looking Up at Trees at Heaven, through Kind of a Hurricane Press' Barometric Pressures Authors Series. You may download the chapbook for free at this site: Thank you.

John Swain released his first collection of poetry, Ring the Sycamore Sky. Ordering information and reviews are available from Red Paint Hill Publishing at

Celine Rose Mariotti has a new mystery/detective book called Minister’s Shoes in which Rev. Castle helps Sada Sampson find her husband and he also proves that Trevor is innocent of killing Cartwright. The story involves casino deals, infidelity, gambling and some big town gossips who are knee deep in the casino deals.  Price of book is: $11.00. If you live in CT, sales tax is 6.35 so price would be $11.70.  Postage is $2.70.  You can order from Amazon or you can order from me:

Peter Dome released his first book of poetry called Love, Life and Inspiration, a collection of poems written from the heart. It is suitable for everyone with a wide range of topics including, nature, wisdom and spirituality. Peter hopes his book will bring a lot of
pleasure to others. It is available at

Maureen Sudlow has a poetry book, Antipodes, was released in early December. More information available on her website

Maralee Gerke has published a new book of poetry called A New Lexicon. If you are interested please ask for more information at

Shloka Shankar has a poetry page on Facebook called 'Shloka Shankar: a rasika's musings'. To read more of her poems, please visit:

Lisa DeVinney has a website for her devotional poetry called Lifting My Eyes, at

Karen O’Leary released Whispers, her first book of poetry in 2011, published by APF Publisher. It has been getting good reviews and is available at online at (Search Whispers under Karen O'Leary) or contact Karen at


Please consider supporting The Jokester and Creative Inspirations by sending stamps or other small donations to help with postage.  Thank you for considering this.                                                                                                             ---Karen   

Maurice J. Reynolds would like to announce that To God be the Glory! Publications and Creative Inspirations is undergoing some new and exciting changes. At this time, Creative Inspirations is accepting poetry submissions. For more information and guidelines, go to:, or write to: To God be the Glory Publications, Attn: Creative Inspirations Guidelines, P.O. Box 19051, Kalamazoo, MI 49019.

ayaz daryl nielsen's print publication bear creek haiku is always open for postal submissions, mail poetry to bear creek haiku, po box 3787, boulder, co, 80307, USA, 11 lines and less, include SASE. Can be contacted at, blog site is

Tom Davis, publisher of Old Mountain Press, invites all to review his eBook site (Kindle and NOOK) where numerous Old Mountain Press Anthologies of poetry and prose are listed see: Self-publish an electronic book e-book with Old Mountain Press. Visit Old Mountain Press' eBook site at

Jean Calkins, editor: The Jokester, 2 pages of clean jokes free by email monthly, a forever stamp by snail mail (monthly or quarterly). Help bring smiles to shut-ins by contributing forever stamps. Even one stamp helps. Jean Calkins, 260 4th St., Waynesville, NC 28786-3762.

David Fox is seeking family-friendly poems for his magazine, The Poet's Art. Rates for the publication are $5 an issue or $20 for a 4 issue subscription. Checks should be made to cash.  Foreign contributors should pay $10 by international money order or American cash only.  Send submissions and  money for subscriptions to David Fox,171 Silverleaf Lane, Islandia, NY 11749 USA.

Whispers is always looking for new writers to join our community.  Please send family friendly poems 20 lines or less to  Complete guidelines posted at the end of each month.  Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to the site.

Ads are placed by the underlined names.  Whispers has not verified the accuracy of all the information.