Friday, July 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  Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable.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.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Editor's Thoughts--Contributor Tribute--A Writer's Wings

Dear Friends,

I would like to dedicated this monthly column to our talented contributors.  Not only have I been privileged to publish creative pieces from different views, I feel blessed to be working with so many wonderful people.  Many of you are lights in the writing community at large.  As kind and caring people, our contributors share their knowledge and experience to insure poetry will live on in generations to come.

Many of our writers have volunteered to host activities that give readers something new to try and help our community grow.  Others share collaborative poems that people really enjoy.  I appreciate all the encouraging comments people leave for other writers.  These are special gifts I am truly grateful for.

A Writer’s Wings

Creativity whispers
in the wind.
Sometimes it blows
in gusts.
Sometimes it trickles
like sprinkling rain.
Sometimes it dries
up for a season.
Then, it whispers
once again.

Thank you, contributors, for spreading your wings to bring joy in so many ways.  May your words keep whispering here and in other venues.  Best wishes to all of you.


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Sweat and Its Fruits--By Andrew Ntchindi Jere--Malawi

Sweat and Its Fruits

Fruits, to be loosened in coming times’ light
on the knot of future strings so bright.
Eyed from hope’s view sight.

My sweat drops in the field
knowing sweetness comes in return as a yield
at the edge of a fruit cycle shield.

I sweat with failure thoughts pinned down
the entire journey to my dreamed for orchard town,
letting me throw my worries off-board to drown.

My hands shave off flowing seas from my face
to a lower place
on which my feet ride this sweat-full fruits race.

Sweat, a sour pure portion for success.
Fruits, a veneer for sweat produced in the process,
makes up for the pain (with sweetness in excess).

A flower on my nostrils – scenting,
its sweet smell keeps me going
that I will reap from my present sowing.

Andrew Ntchindi Jere is a youthful Malawian poet. His poems have been extensively published in his country’s leading local newspapers, magazines and online publications. His poem, “The Charcoal Maker” was nominated in the 2013 Wisdom Dede Kamkondo Poetry Competition; the most prestigious Malawian poetry competition. He is a second year student at Mzuzu University, Malawi. He believes that God is his source of creativity.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Traveler--By Janet Vick--United States

The Traveler

Sorrow sparks,
settles in fears
thickened pain...
Weary tendrils,
dark flicker
curled, restless beast,
the traveler without trust.

Janet lives in rural Suffolk, Virginia with her husband, Randy. She loves the fresh air and space of country living. She works as a Registered Nurse in surgery. She is a mother of one and grandmother of two.

The Glass Sea--By David Williams--England

The Glass Sea

The tide stroked at my toes.
It reminded me how… gentle
Your touch used to be.

A gilded sun enveloped the glass sea,
Glistening; the way your
Eyes lit a darkened room.


Semi-translucent images
Come and go on a waning tide
Ebbing as only life itself can
To remind me that tomorrow
There will be no kiss…

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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer Silence--By Maurice J. Reynolds--United States

Summer Silence

a morning Dove adds to the
awe of clouds accented with
radiant hues of a rainbow; sort of
a lazy day after the soft rain, this
perfect evening of summer where
noise and disarray are in the
bottomless pit of “not today, this
is a wonderful time for meditation,
reflection, and the silence of summer.”

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:

Just the Bear Facts Ma'am--By Charlene McCutcheon--United States

Just the Bear Facts Ma'am

Don't tell me he knelt on a pad on his knees,
and with wax, polished your laminate floors?
Golly, it sure is nice to have such a caring man
who enjoys helping his wife with all her chores.

Hon, you better hang on to this incredibly man.
Not many like him left or in this world around.
'Course I might be just a little prejudice 'cause
he's my dear brother; best in the west I've found.

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.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Back to the Days of Creation--By Lanette Kissel--United States

Back to the Days of Creation

I wish I could go back to the days of creation,
when there was nothing but the black void of night.
God desired something that would shine through the darkness.
Then God spoke the command, “Let there be light.”

I wish I could go back to the days of creation,
when God formulated a plan for the birth
of the creatures to dwell in the land and sea,
the variety of species that would populate His earth.

I wish I could go back to the days of creation,
when God was conceiving and forming His plan,
when He desired a likeness in His own image.
Then He formed and created the first man.

I wish I could go back to the days of creation,
back to a much simpler day and time,
when man walked with God in a garden
and peace and harmony reigned sublime.

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.

Children’s Books--By Raamesh Gowri Raghavan--India

Children’s Books

I'll stick to reading children's books.
I've made forays into adulthood:
all it seem to have
is the acrid smell of burning dreams.

...there are no fairies in the world of adults,
though plenty of witches;
no redemption, merely a grave;
love is so full of conditions
it doesn't seem like
happily ever after.
Puppies grow up you know,
And teddy bears wear out.
The books have no pictures
- or they do: terrible word-pictures
of the fallacy of human existence

I'll stick to children's books.

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, July 26, 2015

Haiku--By Carolyn Noah Graetz--United States

cotton ginning time
my hometown
one flurry, then another

sky in the boondocks
the moon
the stars

dinner on the ground
prayer over
gnats fly in

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.

In The Quiet of the Night--By Lisa DeVinney--United States

In The Quiet of the Night

I’m listening in the quiet of the night;
As leaves are rustling softly in the wind.
I strain to hear the voice of my Beloved,
For I have fixed my heart on only Him.

I wait, but my Beloved has not come.
I must remain awake, to hear His call.
His voice is sometimes softer than a whisper.
If I should sleep, I won’t hear Him at all.

There…I hear Him now. His voice like music
Gently lulls my anxious heart to sleep;
Whispering that He’ll stay with me forever.
And as I dream, my heart He’ll safely keep.

Oh, my Beloved, stay with me tonight.
And wake me gently with the morning light.

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

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Haiku--By Archana Kapoor Nagpal--India

between the thunderclaps my baby's first cry

under the waves
remains of my sandcastle ...
ancestral home

farewell ...
falling with the rain
the cockatoo's nest

first light ...
on the tinkle of bells
chanting 'om'

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.

Beyond My Nights--By Dan Tharp--United States

Beyond My Nights

The smallness of the sparrow flitting...
upon the fence where it is sitting –
      is as me upon the fence I sit.

And, so I flinch to see such sights,
those visions of my days and nights...
      and I am torn upon this since I’ve lit.

To my right there lies the sun
and to the day will I succumb
      or shall I spread my wings in darkened flight?

To my left there lies the moon
adorned in her melodious tune...
      while I am torn between what’s wrong and right.

And yet I see, if I have flown
upon the dark winds having blown
      across the land to light on distant shores...

the sun will find me resting there;
the wind shall hear my every prayer
      and I will find my days beyond my nights!

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.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Kindness Doesn’t Cost A Thing--By Emile Pinet--Canada

Kindness Doesn’t Cost A Thing

From a beggar to the President,
it is not about what you've got.
When God assigns you a value,
being wealthy won't mean a lot.

Your true self is all that matters,
when your soul is judged in the end.
And you have no better resume,
than a lifetime shared with a friend.

You may not be rich or famous,
but some things in life are still free.
Hope doesn’t come with a price tag,
and there's no cost for air or sea.

There are so many priceless things,
like freedom and a setting sun.
There's nothing more precious than love,
or the joy of just having fun.

You cannot buy a warm spring breeze,
or pay a nightingale to sing.
Pity’s rightly given away,
and kindness doesn’t cost a thing.

Emile Pinet was born in a small city, (Bathurst) New Brunswick, Canada, the third eldest of thirteen children, ten girls and three boys. He is the product of a semi-dysfunctional family, brought up by a physically abusive and controlling father, versus a loving, nurturing mother. Many of his poems reflect the uniqueness of nature, which he loves, and his poetic observations of life in general. Emile is 66 years old and has been writing poems since he was about 35.   The ideas started to come to him rapidly one day at work-- he decided to write them down and express himself through his poetry.

Eyes of Mother Nature--By Suzanne Delaney--United States

Eyes of Mother Nature

Not just the sky itself they are every ocean and stream
Windows of beauty fringed in verdant shades of green.

Look deeply, in there, for rainbows, flowers and rain
Not a trace of sadness shows for things that cause her pain.

Content within her powers of evergreen renewal
Her eyes so often soft are secret, mystic jewels.

Resplendent, they reflect bright fires of sunset hues
So much she gives us, yet we never pay the dues.

These eyes- so beautiful, we her children fill with hurt
Beware, the day will come, her precious gaze she will avert.

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.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tanka--By ayaz daryl nielsen--United States

this tenderness
scampers on
ahead of me
your door opens
before I arrive

ayaz daryl nielsen, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (26+ years/127+ issues), homes for poems include Lilliput Review, SCIFAIKUEST, New Verse News, Shamrock, Kind of a Hurricane, and! online at: bear creek haiku poetry, poems and info

Dogs & Cats--By d. n. simmers--Canada

Dogs & Cats

        " Seeing, seeing on the dead leaves
            flying, plunging and expire."
                            Allen Tate 

She smiles while at the pet store. She smiles and waits.
It is a sad smile just the same. I am here to get some
kitty litter and she is after dog treats.
I see here at the mall, days later, sitting by herself.
Munching on a half sandwich while I sit four stalls
away with a bowl of soup.
What makes the dog in her like the cat in me ?
Is there smoke in the air?
Her smile is so close to the earth.
I don't know here. I did not date her as a child. Nor
did our children play sports together.
She does not have a ring nor do I.
I remember the last time I came back from a flight.
I was a kid then and maybe she was waiting for her parents.
Someone in the bunch as we got off our plane.
My cat has moved away. She left awhile ago.
I do not go to the same pet store now.
I have moved on. Maybe I will go back to
where I was. Someday.

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.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Wale Owoade--Nigeria and Laura M. Kaminski--United States

After a Generation

By Wale Owoade and Laura M. Kaminski

After a generation of listening
to wind tapping out its words
in softened Morse upon leaves,
this tree is ready, trained
sufficiently in silence, practiced.

After a generation of listening
to silence that doesn’t flinch
to fading lyrics of furnace ghosts,
this street is cold, washed
the way gone bodies are.

After a generation of fading heat
this cold street still listens,
waits for the first of the wilderness
to return, the first refugee reclaimed
the voice of the first bird.

After a generation of fading calls
the first bird returned to the tree
rhythms recalled the lyrics of a blue song
the ghosts forgot to hug friends
the first bird preached a dream.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Shining Fruits From A Solid Tree--By Robert Lindley--United States

Shining Fruits From A Solid Tree

As I rest on this high mountaintop
blessings come, they never stop
All my family are blessings to me
shining fruits from a solid tree

The clouds parting early each dawn
sunshine on flowers on the lawn
Looking closer I am content to see
smooth waves upon my family sea

Whenever this life sends some bad
I reflect on blessings I've had
Bow my head and settle in to pray
good Lord, thank you for every day

As my time for leaving comes near
I stand in faith not abject fear
Seeing my family in heaven my goal
praying God's mercy on every soul

As I rest on this high mountaintop
blessings come, they never stop
All my family are blessings to me
shining fruits from a solid tree

Robert Lindley is poet from the Southern USA. He has been writing poetry since 1969. Robert writes with the intent to offer others words to enjoy and with high hopes he may inspire and brighten lives in some way.

Communication--By David Austin--United States


He spoke so softly, so lovingly,
Words that caught a summer morning’s breeze
And they flew about the sleepy town
Gathering aroma, color and body
From the various flowers
And from the various trees

Oh there were garden flowers and wild flowers
Oh yes, but there were unruly green weeds.
There grew the sturdy oak, the weeping willow,
But there were sick trees with rotting fruit had
                  lately gone to seed

Well, the caring breeze swept right along,
But was cruelly changed by negative flow,
And words of honey began to sour
In blazing sun and rooster crow

Thus was born a tale old as Babel,
A semantic puzzle don’t you see
All ain’t sweetness, loving, lightsome.
Careless mouths don’t blend together
Through human fault and fickle weather

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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Silver-Eye--By Maureen Sudlow--New Zealand


a soft sound
as small grey feathers
from darting flight
to darkness

I hold in my hands
the remnants
of a song

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.

Mayday--By Kelley White--United States


The rules we keep
for newborn sheep
are difficult to fathom:
they have to stay
behind the gate.
I want to take a lamb home.

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.

Monday, July 20, 2015


This month’s activity features writers’ connection with nature, something that is innate in most writers.  Thank you to Sandra Stefanowich, July’s Activity Editor, for developing this idea and compiling the wonderful poems below.  We open with her poem, “World of beauty - in a universal voice we revelled in the gifts of nature.”  In sharing our gifts, we open the world to a greater beauty.  Thank you to all the contributors of this creative column.
                                            --Karen O’Leary, Whispers’ Editor

Mountain Fog

A soundless night of winter's chill.

By Barbara Tate


Rainbow of hope - spanning the river, east to west and west to east.

By Anne Curran


Susurrus playing in my mind stories of the wind.

by Yesha Shah


One ragged leaf clings to the bough.

By Joan McNerney

Vivid Spectrum

Volcanic eruption spews forth wall of molten ash towards village below.

By Beth Winchcombe

Blistering Heat Wave

Zen master contemplating the sweat on his brow.

By Robert P. Hansen

Picnics With Children

Laughter and games in wildflower meadows, what beautiful days.

By Annie Jenkin

A Cry in the Woods

The owl stretches her great wings.

By Kelley White

Beach Poem

Starfish lie there waiting to be picked up.

By David Fox

Weeping Willow

Wrapped in another widow's rain.

By Karen O’Leary

A Haunting Thunderstorm

Bones crack - fractured skeletons light up the night.

By Sandra Sefanowich

Memorial Day at Mt. Calvary

In time, vines grow over tree stumps, and new trees sprout.

By Marianne Szlyk

It Takes Two

An "I" implies a "Not-I."

By Ron Larson

The Bare Tree

Ashen moon; the last song of the mistle thrush.

By Ralph Stott

A Spoonful of Sugar

Fog, filling the mountain hollow, glistens like snow cream in a chiseled bowl.

By Elizabeth Howard


Silvery moon reflects upon still waters that soothe the soul.

By Phyllis Babcock

The Heavens

The stars faint, then gradually bright and immaculate against the black night.

By Shirley Smothers

Misty Moor

Miles of lonely greyness makes the walker a philosopher.

By Jack Horne

A Summer's Drenching Rain

A yellow swallowtail butterfly clings to tiger lily's blossom

By Sara Kendrick


Sun rays reflecting on a rain soaked cliff face produce a dazzling, sparkling necklace.

By Annie Jenkin


Almost dawn the morning star fades with my dreams.

By Yesha Shah


How many stars fit inside my windowpane!

By Joan McNerney

Night Splendour

One moon beams down and lights the world for everyone.

By Beth Winchcombe

Spring Rainbow

I see the auras of a thousand dancing angels.

By Barbara Tate

In the Neighborhood

Tui song - his eloquent oratory creating ripples

By Anne Curran

At Evening

A fallen birch arches over my path.

By Kelley White

A Revelation

The night reveals the day.

By Ron Larson


A scatter plot on concrete depicting changing weather patterns.

By Robert P. Hansen

Walled Garden

The castle's keep; admiring roses.

By Ralph Stott

This Stormy Summer

Trees armor themselves in lichen against wind and rain, against thunder.

By Marianne Szlyk


The faces of blue pansies, peering through the melting snow, glow softly in the morning sun.

By Elizabeth Howard


In timeless measure the rolling waves make music under the setting sun.

By Phyllis Babcock

An Italian Opera

Swallows in flight delightful chatter

By Sara Kendrick

A Night Time Stroll

The biggest, brightest moon shines tonight as we walk together, hands held tight.

By Annie Jenkin

Gnarled Oak

In its branches...woven memories

By Karen O'Leary

Lost Treasures

Memories left in a sandcastle upon an abandoned beach.

By Sandra Stefanowich

Stand and Deliver--By Anna-Marie Docherty--Wales

Stand and Deliver

Shot out like a cannon ball
As mother lay there in her bed
Twisted and contorted
Push down hard the nurse had said
Audience at bottom end
Were quick to save the head
What a pair of lungs cried out
Went from purple blue to red
Cleaned up cord cut and swaddled
Poor child's hungry wants be fed
Mum and dad proud as can be
Holding babe that they have bred

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.

Clouds--By Tom Davis--United States


Columns of Cumulus clouds
Stacked one upon the other
Toward heaven
Reach far into a Carolina blue sky

A grand buzzard
Black as Satin’s heart
Circles below
Searching for his dinner

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, July 19, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Peggy Dugan French & ayaz daryl nielsen--United States

the wild one

By Peggy Dugan French & ayaz daryl nielsen

within a shallow night
the wind shifted softly
hidden, snug and sheltered
the wild one slept soundly
time-spawned storyteller
weaving a magic tale
of those who live for others
warming decades of hearts
the souls of storyteller magic,
enhancing the world forever . . .

The Haven--By Pam Murray--Canada

The Haven

I lift my eyes to a piece of sky
Framed by the trees that I’m walking through
Feeling a summer rain’s soft kiss.
Morning has come and I think of you

Still fast asleep in your warm, safe bed.
Knowing you’ll smile when I return,
Fix me a coffee and sit with me,
I feel emotions begin to churn.

I count my blessing and take a breath
Of moisture filled morning, take it deep
And listen as wind whispers in my ear,
Secrets that called me up out of sleep.

My soul wants to walk for a little while
But I think of you and my feet must turn,
Hurrying back through the gentle rain,
Back to the haven for which I yearn.

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.

The Adventures of the Polka Dot Girls--By Marianne Szlyk--United States

The Adventures of the Polka Dot Girls

Last evening at the carnival next door,
the polka dot girls were running,
cotton candy
and pink balloons
on their way to all the rides
that they were much too old for.

This morning, the polka dot girls dance,
long, white skirts swishing.
They are waiting for the van to church,
singing hymns in Amharic,
their language,
the one that looks like
a secret code for Nancy Drew.

On their way home
past the sleeping carnival,
the girls will still be

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.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Widow's Walk--By Robert L. Hinshaw--United States

The Widow's Walk

The sea captain's weathered house still stands above the shore.
'Tis said that the old place is a century old or more.
Its long-shuttered windows face out t'ward the restless sea.
From the widow's walk his bride yet makes her mournful plea!

On dark and stormy nights 'tis said she can still be seen,
As she haunts the widow's walk acting out a spectral scene.
Her plaintive plea is heard e'en above the shrieking gale:
"Hurry home to me my love!" as she espies a distant sail!

'Tis said she lights a lantern to guide her lover home,
As he steers 'mongst the treacherous shoals and roiling foam.
Her heart is aflutter anticipating his arms and tender kiss,
Praying that this be his final cruise to e'er enjoy eternal bliss.

A phantom ship is seen to founder, according to local lore!
A sorrowful moan is heard e'en above the ocean's roar!
Alas, the ship sank 'neath the waves in the tempest tossed!
When ecstasy seemed within her grasp, all the souls were lost.

And e'en today in this supposed enlightened age,
The widows walk is transformed into an eerie stage,
Where, e'er young, faithful still, sobbing soft and low,
A sorrowful wraith awaits his coming, her true love to bestow!

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.

Stye--By Sheikha A.--Pakistan and U.A.E.


It is night again, no deed of wonder
as the sun clock’s her departure time
for normalcy to take over extra shift;
the moon peeks out head first, cocking
his eyebrow at a dullard world, shifting
in drabs from brown - to grey - to black.

He dominates the black with his frame,
robust, radiant, glorious; striding man
fully to his rightful throne. Reclining
into the night, arms go lazily over head
blinking away sleep’s impish fingers
strumming symphonies on his lids.

The moon blinks, hopelessly imposing
rank on sleep while drooping ample
weight on the night’s squinting eye.

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

Friday, July 17, 2015

Haiku--By Barbara Tate--United States

tidal pool
an oyster clams up
to hide its pearl

beach house
nothing but a month
of sundays

the scent of horse sweat
on my hands

morning star
folding her wings
the night owl sleeps

Barbara Tate resides in Winchester, TN., and is a member of the Haiku Society of America, The United Haiku and Tanka Society and the Gulf Coast Writers Assoc. Her work has appeared in Frogpond, Cattails, Modern Haiku, The Heron's Nest, Contemporary Haibun Online, Magnolia Quarterly, Iconoclast, Santa Fe Literary Review, Bear Creek Haiku and Storyteller Magazine, among others. This year she was a finalist in United Poets Laureate International Competition in the Short Free Verse in Chinese or English Category, won 1st place in the Magnolia Quarterly Yearly Competition in the poetry category and was a finalist in the Poetry Society of Tennessee/NE yearly competition.

O, patient sea…--By Richard Carl Subber--United States

O, patient sea…

    wait for me.
I will always return.
I cannot forget the sea.
The constant sea will wait for me,
    I will always return.

The breaking sea o'erflows my view,
    it tumbles and splashes and glides to me,
        I will return to gaze anew.
I will return to face the sea.
O, patient sea,
    you need not wait for long for 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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer Clip--By Ali Znaidi--Tunisia

Summer Clip

(after “Winter Poem” by Pierre Joris)

It is ‘summer’ lying out there
in a cold December day atop
the wet walls of that house.
Then, it vehemently, but silently,
climbs the arch, with a warm
smile of a glowing sun
that has a dream to burn ice.
—I mean the freezing blood.

Ali Znaidi (b. 1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia, where he teaches English. His work has appeared in various magazines and journals worldwide. He authored four poetry chapbooks including Experimental Ruminations (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Moon’s Cloth Embroidered with Poems (Origami Poems Project, 2012), Bye, Donna Summer! (Fowlpox Press, 2014), and Taste of the Edge (Kind of A Hurricane Press, 2014). Links to his published and forthcoming works can be found at

Prestidigitator--By Lois Greene Stone--United States


Healthy fingers
kept hurt away; sturdy
nails covered by flaking
pearlized polish tickled
while soothing childhood
fears. Fingers
swollen by persistent
arthritis continued
protection from harm.
Unadorned nails, though
brittle, smoothed my
adult frowning forehead.
Lean with waste of
terminal illness, those
fingers had the slender
feel of a young woman.
I circled them.
digits have no magic;
her breathing disappeared.

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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Poet of the Month--Leokadia Durmaj

Please Don’t Forget Me!

By Leokadia Durmaj

In an old chair a man sits alone
Tears have filled his eyes,
Looking at the pictures on his dresser
Remembering all the years
That have passed him by.

His hands are worn and wrinkled
From years of hard work,
Alone he sits and waits
Hoping someone will remember,
To visit him before he leaves this world.

Once he was loved and cared for
By the woman he called his wife,
Now the Angels in heaven protect her,
As she waits for him to join her
With sadness in her eyes.

For she sees the loneliness he feels
And how his heart aches for her,
His frail body can hardly move around~
As he takes her picture from his dresser
And holds it close to his heart.

A teardrop from heaven falls,
As he cradles it in his hands
Just like a precious gift of art.
A smile forms upon his lips,
As he kisses the teardrop away.

An Angel appears, it is time to go ~
Your wife is waiting for you
Do not be afraid!
With wings outstretched
He reaches up.

The man’s body is limp now
His spirit is with his beloved,
No longer sad and lonely
But rejoicing in the heavens above
In the arms of his one true love.

From the editor--It is an honor to announce that Leokadia Durmaj is July’s Poet of the Month.  Lee is a talented writer who has been published in a variety of venues.  Readers at Whispers relate to her heartfelt poetry.  Lee has been an encouraging voice at our online journal.  She regularly leaves thoughtful comments which others appreciate.  Lee has collaborated with other writers on several poems that have been featured at Whispers.  It is a pleasure to present Lee with this honor!

Thoughts on “Please Don’t Forget Me!”--The emotion flows through Lee’s poem in a heartfelt way.  I could feel the loneliness of the main character, wishing someone would have remembered to visit him to bring a little joy to his days.  It speaks to the skill of this writer’s ability to be able to journey with her as story unfolds.  I don’t want to give away the ending.  This is a poem you will enjoy. 

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


Karen O’Leary, Editor

Wordy Wilds of Nyika National Park--By Wabweka--Malawi

Wordy Wilds of Nyika National Park

In this jungle I’ve been
Hills and valleys I’ve seen
Zebras, blacks and whites
A flower bed of beasts, sights and bites
And life is living and dying

They call it a wilderness safari like no other
Rowdy loneliness away from any buzzer
In woodlands and grasslands, fast or slow
Captivating creatures, big and small
And life is an adventure roughly smooth

Whispering in her sprawling solitude
A lost Paradise on foggy attitude
A roaring ride in dust, up and down
Escaping hard and heavy crosses of hometown
And living is a mix of burdens, beasts and feasts

Waking up to cheery game on the doorstep, Eden lives on
Moans and perfumes of marauding flowers embracing lovebirds
As elephants mount guards of honour—big, brownish and beautiful
Antelopes slashing grass—slim, stout and awfully plentiful
Such is another world in thieving Malawi—rotting, crying and dying

Wabweka is a Malawian journalist and protest poet writing to express himself differently. He believes poetry does not only mirror our world as it is today but also as we want it to be when his daughter Tiwonge grows up to think about her children and their children.

Haiku--By Elizabeth Howard--United States

pondering their fate
fifth grade boys caught
in a pea fight

the football quarterback
blind in one eye

old armoire . . .
maternity ward
for three blind mice

first driving lesson
the neighbor’s mailbox
too close to the street

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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

If I could only stop the downpour of hourglass--By April Mae M. Berza--Philippines

If I could only stop the downpour of hourglass

His voice echoed as the cold droplets of mist
Streamed deep into the core of being.

As he turned back and stepped away,
Crystalline beads of rain broke into despair.

I pelted, I melted. Knelt…with the rain
Falling against the faint impulses of twilight

He is gone, with the burst of drizzle
From the starry nightfall of bitter dreams.

He is gone, with the violet crocuses
Entwining around the harmony of his neck.

He is gone, with the old tomorrows
Of sweet lightness gleaming upwards.

He is gone, and now he left me with nothing
For the honeyed nectar of Aphrodite.

If I could only stop the downpour of hourglass,
If I could only stop the downpour of his time.

First appeared in Maganda magazine

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.

Highest Awards--By Russell Sivey--United States

Highest Awards

I enjoy the finest sights of the high
those that entertain my mind’s eye
and proclaim my desires to seek
the highest awards of the dark sky.

The heavens glow with the pinpricks
of the greatest and most gorgeous
light from all the ages gone in the past
and those that are to become true.

Without a notice of grandeur
they filter the sky with minor light
and I enjoy their lovely development
of mighty beauty, of their justification.

Now I seek imitations of their fine
but noticeable position within the high
stations of the universe, unlike my
humble existence here, lonely and plain.

For the next moment I feel their
honored presence before me and harbor
their light, growing with each breath
and living between my life and theirs.

I wrote this after my Uncle died. This poem helped me get through the loneliness and sorrow that I felt after he passed away. 

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.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Strange Blue Solitary Door--By Andrea Dietrich--United States

The Strange Blue Solitary Door

I stood before a door; it was ornate
and tempted me with ornamental gold.
A life of luxury should be my fate
were I to open it, but I’d been told
to ponder carefully what I would do.
I looked around and saw so many more -
doors big and small and doors of every hue!
I spied a strange blue solitary door
far off! It seemed to whisper, “Come to me.
I’m different, but behind me is the way
that leads you to a poet’s destiny.
Those other doors will lead you far astray!”
I’d longed for ease, but heard that strange door’s call,
and then I opened that door after all.

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.

Her Pictures--By Jack Horne--England

Her Pictures

She sits upon a chair, a rug around her knees
and smiles at strangers entering her little room,
they ask before they polish stuff, she answers, 'Please'
and nods as they admire her daffodils in bloom.

One cleaner mops the floor, another dusts a shelf
and flicks the duster over faded photographs,
he glances at a pretty lady, says, 'Yourself?'
She nods. 'You haven't changed,' he lies. She laughs.

The cleaners' work is done, she thanks them with a grin.
Alone: her room is clean and the grave,
she presses 'play' and hums along with Vera Lynne,
and views her sailor's picture: Clarence was so brave.

Her life in black and white: a bride, a mother, widow, gran.
She sighs and tells the pictures: 'Yes I'm still the same: just Anne.'

Jack Horne enjoys reading and writing poetry.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Poetry--By Robert Epstein--United States

lamp off
the silence
of sheet music

into the old phone booth
bird chatter

late in life her rainforest reseeds

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.

A Crack on the Wall--By Ndongolera C. Mwangupili--Malawi

A Crack on the Wall

Moss eats the monumental wall
Where statues of our dead heroes
Stand in perpetual awe
To fulfill the prophecy:
Every wall shall fall.

A dish of dull-politics
Descends upon the wall. And,
Like lunatics locked in a struggle,
Heroes fight for nothingness.

The two bits of the wall stand apart
Like volcano mouth laughing
At human folly:
What did they want to be-
The barbarians or buffoons?

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.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Alzheimer's"--The Old Iron Gate--By Marcus Omer--United States

The Old Iron Gate

The old gate,
its usefulness gone,
hangs by only one hinge.

Weather worn pickets,
like faded dreams,
once new and bright,
lie scattered across the yard.

Inside the old farmhouse,
wasting away through years of neglect,
where once lived the laughter of children,
there is only silence.

Miles away in a drab joyless room,
where echoes of blurred memories
bounce off bare wall,
lies a once beautiful lady
at the end of a plastic tube.

An old iron gate
hangs by only one hinge....

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.

Candy Life 's Addictive Store--By Elly Wouterse--Netherlands

Candy Life 's Addictive Store

for every child
divine store close at hand
sweetest temptation

Mrs. Life lavishness
sweet salty sour or spicy
and all in between

height of the counter
whether or not at arm's length
destiny defines

all flavors strengthen
bitterness defines sweetness
acid colors all

here randomness reigns
clay yellow jar on the counter
each time a free pick

always the challenge
here at Life's addictive store
for every child

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.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Simple Pleasures--By Christine Tate--United States

Simple Pleasures

At the downtown river walk
we love to stroll while we talk,
taking in God's natural view,
rippling water, skies of blue;
little ducklings with web feet
waddle by for a treat...
speedboats, sailboats, jet skis,
folks enjoying the cool breeze...
East coast living can't be beat
where water lovers like to meet.

But, the ocean is the place
to get away from life's fast pace;
seagulls cackling overhead,
swooping down to be fed...
thunderous waves crash on shore,
buried seashells to explore...
tots frolicking in the sand
while couples stroll hand in hand.
Thank the Lord for simple pleasures,
gifts for you and I to treasure!

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.

Haiku--By Ralph Stott--England

eco-bag in a tree
wind-flap sounds of a
prayer flag

winter weeds
in a herb garden
aromatic fingers

apple tree logs in a hearth
a song bird sings
from a chimney

day greets night
silhouetted poplar trees

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.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Creating--By David Fox--United States


In a cozy café
Of soft repose
I write a harmony
of original and
aesthetic masterpieces
In rhythm with the rain.

David Fox’s writing has appeared in over 100 venues, including newsletters, blogs, print journals and websites. He has been published in the U.K., Canada, India, Finland and the U.A.E.  He edits a print journal, The Poet's Art, (see his ad in the Whispers Ad column).

I have to push deep...--By Allison Grayhurst--Canada

I have to push deep,

pray deeply, as the ground
ripples and opens wide.
This last year’s consciousness will be pulled from my mind
as a searing light radiates through, knowing me,
showing me the road released.
Glory will come and free me of this bile,
changed at last - like a larvae into a ladybug,
like a tadpole into a tiny toad - nothing can turn me back.
I am listening. I have built myself a new main floor.
I am ready to plunge naked into this pool,
to know myself at the moment of creation.
My throat will be dry of speaking,
but I will not stop speaking -
                                            It is all God.

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 600 poems published in more than 300 international journals. She has eleven published books of poetry, seven collections, seven chapbooks and a chapbook pending publication. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay. See more or her poetry and her artwork at

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

For Some--By Scott Thomas Outlar--United States

For Some

For some there is love
like a fire
through the night…burning unquenchable

For some the love is a flood

For some it is simple…
For some it is pure…
For some it is right…
For some it is even holy...

Scott Thomas Outlar spends the hours flowing and fluxing with the ever changing currents of the Tao River while laughing at and/or weeping over life's existential nature. Links to his chapbook and other published work can be found at

Still More to Love and Beloved--By Pijush Kanti Deb--India

Still More to Love and Beloved

A good man’s sound slumber
allows as usual
some of his dormant imps-
quite opportunists and devastating,
to wake up and try another round
to climb the stairs up
leading to his luminous roof- a para-paradise,
he composed and collocated with great care
arranging a remix of
the feathery songs and the colorful fragrances,
with a devilish purpose of trampling
the soft goodness of the good man down
forgetting his sensitive sub-consciousness
resulting in
one sided win of the good over the bad
when the climbing imps are apprehended,
pulled down and sent back
to their dark den
by the ever-wakeful good man
assuming still more to love and be loved.

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.

Slowing Down--By Barbara Siekierski--United States

Slowing Down

Aging creeps up
like a shadow
on a wall.
Steps seem
like mountains
and eyesight
a faded sunset.
The birds still
are singing
in the trees
to ease growing
old, a reminder
that hope is still
a part of life.

Barbara Siekierski is a writer from Swarthmore, PA.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Michael Todd, Linda Thurmond, Sandra Canfield, and Christine Wichman--United States and Alba Hernández Abrego--Costa Rica

Every Word a Whisper

By Michael Todd, Alba Hernández Abrego, Linda Thurmond, Sandra Canfield, and
Christine Wichman

I am inherently happy... not a care in the world... scary moments;
Still, going to roll with it as long as there is a downhill in my path.
A great portion of these portents come from your sweet presence,
Let me not take this for granted, before fending off inevitable wrath.

Retrospection, unexpected guest,
Past's picture of cherished faces;
Blessed life, fulfilled with the best,
Tears, smiles and treasured places.

Memories in the mind, lost and hard to find,
the way remains of the day not to fade away,
Heart visions point to path, all to remind
Memories buried within the soul never to stray.

Tentative glances leading to tentative words, a smile,
And the holy miracle of the very first touch,
And I wonder at the smell, the light, the incredible
joy of discovering, that I could love anyone that much.

Ghost or Angel, all I feel is the love,
of a presence here, now and past somehow...
Every word now a whisper, every thought below, as above,
Life or death, it is all the same in the end...just energy, just a glow.

As she shook...--By Vasanthi S. Pillai--India

As she shook a little,
bits and pieces
of her, fell gracefully
and the earth shivered at
her scintillating charm.
Seeing this, a little girl
asked "how is that
you look beautiful,
both in whole and in part?"
The tree blushed and said
"you'll know when you plant one."

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.

Poems--By Shirley Smothers--United States

Inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s Poetry

The heart ache and pain
If only to find relief
Help this weary gal.

I tried to love You
But You left, never returned
Good nite my once love

Eyes windows of soul
But the nite has eyes that see
My darkest of fears

A blue velvet couch
Left my doll in her carriage
The doll was stolen

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

Monday, July 6, 2015

My Faceless Friend--By Patricia Ann Farnsworth-Simpson--Canary Islands

My Faceless Friend

I have a friend that is faceless,
Yet is always there for me,
Whenever I speak out in need,
So I don't care if its He or She!

All I know is that, it is wonderful,
To know this friend is there,
Ready to help and listen too,
The burdens I always share.

Always caringly taking on board
Everything that I have to say,
Then helping me to wrap it up
In a lovely consoling way!

It's always good to have a friend
Be they faceless, where you can’t see,
For friendship created from the heart,
Will last for all eternity!

Then one day when you are ready
Then when it's truly, the time to be,
That very special faceless friend,
Will be there for you to see!

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.

December’s Snow--By John Polselli--United States

December’s Snow

When spring evokes again the blushing roses,
And bluebirds herald summer’s gifts with song,
Despondent winter mournfully reposes
Upon her glacial bed, bowed-down, forlorn.
Yet when she wakes from slumber’s depths to bid
Adieu to autumn’s waning gilded hours,
She greets the sovereigns of her season mid
A slow cortege of dying leaves and flowers.
Beneath her silver thaw the glow of youth
Is quelled, and time creeps heavy on the brow.
The whimsies of the past succumb to truth;
The gleaming sunbeams to the shadows bow.
But even while December’s snow descends,
The Maytide of our love never ends.

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.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tanka--By Anne Curran--New Zealand

at Confirmation...
two old timers
about the names
of their patron saints

reading her list
of instructions
left on the counter...
'back soon
love mother'

shouting at ghosts
in the deep of night ...
I start to understand
why politicians perform
the way they do

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.

The Eminent Chief--By Ndaba Sibanda--Saudi Arabia

The Eminent Chief

He became chief at the age of 26 in 1939.
An illustrious trailblazer and negotiator,
he was among the leaders who attended
the 1979 Lancaster Conference in London
where the country’s independence
was discussed. He was both a remarkable
visionary and a thoughtful realist. A heroic
proponent of self-rule, he did not mince
his words when it came to human rights.
Chief Khayisa Ndiweni was certainly
the most revered and recognised
traditional leader across the breadth
and width of Matabeleland. A unifier,
his noble deeds and vision have a great place
in the progressive people`s history and life.
A voice for the voiceless. A bold voice.
A principled and pragmatic figure,
the chief passed on in the year 2010
in his home area of Ntabazinduna.
May his soul rest in peace.

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".

Old Flames--By Richard Sponaugle--United States

Old Flames

Their recall triggers…
can be a faded 8 X 10 photo
you stumble across,
a snowstorm that rekindles
tender memories,
a hurricane that shares
his or her name,
or a burnt cigarette,
recalling the time your ex
torched your residence
to ashes.

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. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Village Near Bangkok--By Isha Wagner--New Zealand

A Village Near Bangkok

Shadows stroll along the dimly lit road
slowly begging clear light of day
to give semblance to illusion's play

And I speak soft words so they may
hear the whispers that surround
inaudible to the little Thai woman
carrying a straw basket of white eggs

She thinks she is alone on the grey pave
but the shades of dark pursue laughing at her
tiny wrinkled face that belies wisdom

I stumble across her holding out my hand
for one fragile egg
so she can sense my reality

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.

May love be with you always--By Gerald McBreen--United States

May love be with you always

Wrap yourself in its shelter
Like a sunbeam feel its warmth
As a moonbeam let it charm you
Fill your cup with laughter
Fill your eyes with cheer
If you keep a faithful lover near
Love will be your life’s companion
And thankful hearts will gather here

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.

Poetry--By Aju Mukhopadhyay--India

tiny off-white
neem flowers dance-
fragrant spring

dry winter ahead
dews are still on grass-
a moyna searches for insects

a hanging
river bridge we walk on
till our journey's end

child sleeps alone
under the purple sky-
bare beauty

hung from the sky
golden ball illuminates the earth-
Buddha Purnima

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.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Insidious Time--By Jean Calkins--United States

Insidious Time

Our mantle clock, when it needs winding,
goes faster, as if it knows there is
little time left and much to do.
I, who have been running down for years,
plod mindlessly onward, forcing
into each day what little my allotment
of energy allows, knowing too well
there is no key to wind me up,
no battery to be recharged.
Yet each of us serves a purpose,
neither knowing exactly when the last knell
will sound, doing our best to complete
our perceived duty in the time
remaining. Like the clock, tolling slowly
while struggling to accelerate,
I am emboldened by the knowledge
time is a device of man
existing only in the mind.

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

Fog Image--By Gert W. Knop--Germany

Nebelbild (German)

Der Tag verschwunden schon im Nebel
und blaue Schatten fallen dort,
wo Häuser standen.
Nur dünne schwarze Arme
winterlicher Bäume
dringen durch die weiße Wand,
und wiegen sich im leichten Wind
mit sanftem Flüstern

Fog Image (English)

The day yet disappeared in fog
and blue shadows fall
where once were houses.
Only thin black arms
of brumal trees
penetrate the white wall
swaying in the breeze
with gentle whisper

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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Charleston--By Caryl Calsyn--United States


A young man filled with racial hatred
observed a Bible study in a church.

After an hour he pulled out his gun
and shot nine black people to death.

His hope it seems was to have others
join him in his campaign of hate.

Instead the community came together
perhaps as they never had before.

Hands of many colors reached out
to console, to mourn and to pray.

Nine candles were lit for the dead.
I’d like to raise another in tribute

to those in Charleston, South Carolina
who stepped up in love—not hate.

Caryl Calsyn is a retired Interior Designer with involvements in many areas including history, writing and singing groups. She has had a total of 75 poems published by nine different publications.

Invitation--Michael Todd--United States


Whispers in the wind:
Words and phrases, poetry laced;
Who has some to lend?

Join in, bring a friend;
Others here will share your taste,
As your voices blend.

This offer we extend,
Is sincere, not made in haste;
Stone carved, not a trend.

Read and comprehend;
Nary a post goes to waste;
I highly recommend.

Tie up a loose end;
Your efforts will be embraced,
Just around this bend.

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...



            Ron Larson--United States
            Lynn DeVrieze--United States
            Christopher Mitchell--United States
            Donna Brumback Nalley--United States
            DeAnna Metcalf--United States
            John McDonald--Scotland
            Sri N. Srivatsa--India
            Aruna Singh--India
            Sangeeta Talwar Suneja--India
            Ashwini Kumar Vishnu--India
            Parveen Sethi--India
            Shirin Hasrat--India
            John Judson Roe IV--United States
            Rohini Gupta--India

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, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, U.A.E., 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 August column by July 25


Robert P. Hansen's forthcoming novel Angst (Book 4 of the Angus the Mage fantasy series) will become available in June or early July. In anticipation of this event, he has made the first book of the series free as an eBook through several retailers. For more on this and his other books, visit his blog at:

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, keywords=beneath+the+shadow+of+a+white+pigeon

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

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

Marianne Szlyk is looking for poems (under 20 lines each) on the theme of summer music. Haiku are welcome. Only 3 poems per poet please. The deadline will be July 15.  The poems will be paired with visuals and posted at The Song Is..., Marianne's blog-zine. For more information, please email .

Stacy Savage is seeking submissions for a Christmas poetry anthology. Send one to two Christmas poems, up to 32 lines each, to: Deadline is August 15, 2015. Proceeds will go to Operation Gratitude -- an organization that sends care packages to U.S military.

Maurice J. Reynolds would like to announce that To God be the Glory! Publications and Creative Inspirations are 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 $7 an issue or $25 for a 4 issue subscription. Checks should be made to cash.  Foreign contributors should pay $10 an issue or $35 for a subscription 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.