Thursday, September 21, 2017

Liberty...--Hosted by Inge Wesdijk--(DaginneAignend)--The Netherlands

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

Thank you for sharing your words for the September activity.  I really appreciate all the time Inge Wesdijk put into this wonderful column.  She opens the door for a variety of views, one that gives us a chance to pause and reflect about the idea of liberty…especially in the context of “anything goes” versus moral responsibility.  I have missed our writing family, your light and your encouragement of others.

We don’t have control of the sands of time. And sometimes, we may feel a bit adrift, the title of Jim Teeters opening poem.  As writers, we do have a chance to embrace the lonely, uplift the down trodden and shine a light in our international community.


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor


I am anchored to nothing but the wind
passing aimlessly beneath a pale sky
a lone seagull dances the expanse

I float toward the shallows
seaweed sways, encircles my legs
then lets me go waving goodbye

Jim Teeters, United States


They provide cool shade for all who pass
Without regard for race or class.
Their strength and beauty they freely share
With people in nations everywhere.
Noble teachers are these steadfast trees
That exemplify true liberty.

Molly Moore, United States

A Joyful Dance

Birds of Paradise,
those lovely colourful gems
high up in the Jacaranda.
Can still hear their mating call
Their brilliant plumage,
a fluttering feast of splendour

Gert W. Knop, Germany

In Pursuit of Liberty

When I see our flag
a surge of freedom penetrates
my soul with grateful memories
of brave men and women
who gave their lives
in pursuit of liberty

John W. (Bill) Williams, United States

Hand me a hammer

This lightening sky pulls my eye
   upward from newly darkening earth,
too many gulfs, too few bridges…
I will build one bridge today,
I welcome this lightening sky
   to ease my work.

Richard Carl Subber, United States

Sweet Charity

There’s a door
In the floor
Of heaven,
And it’s made
Of silk
That sighs.

Stefanie Bennett, Australia

Weathering Storms

Earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis!
Being saved brings me to grateful knees.
But do I wait for rescue from a flood
Before I'll bow my knee in gratitude?
Gratitude rescues me from spiritual death!
Sometimes I foolishly reject "living breath"?

Charlene McCutcheon, United States


Archons give rules and freedom both at once.
Breath in and then you must let go your breath.
Chains keep some locked up, climbers safely linked.
"Depend": a word for slaves or friends in need.
Events can be controlled or not, with help.
Freedom is not yet liberty, not yet.

David Leslie, United States

Meteor Shower

My eyes above nightfall
Equal to any streaking point of light
My spirit is free to journey without limit
To the destination my soul inspires
Without end

James Marshall Goff, United States


This is the world in which we live
we all must share and that means to give,
terra firma could be a star
if we were diamonds to glitter afar.
Love, compassion and truth would exist
if all earth’s people would simply persist.

Gerald Heyder, United States


He left the confines of his cell,
and sniffed the morning air,
he squinted upwards at the sky,
the sunshine on his hair,
he turned to view the jail and vowed,
"I won't go back in there."

Jack Horne, England

World wide free expression

Every where people should be free
Say as they will in expression spree
Spreading love all around in victory
With no fear or hate troubling any
Just a people writing in cause of we
United, we plan in a world of plenty

Yancy Lee Dalton, United States

We Need Friends

Feeling free
is a necessity.
Whether a dinosaur
is at our door
or a current enemy,
we all need help.

Eleanor Michael, United States

Praying for Peace

Forward thinking staying the course
Applying logic instead of force
Taking heed of good advice
Diplomacy works it's nice to be nice
Calming fear relieving tension
Peace in North Korea, no armed intervention

Allan Ball, England

The Right to Grow

Liberty is the right to grow,
to push out beyond our roots,
no matter how pinched and needy, 
no matter color, sex, or traditions,
         to cultivate the person
that makes the world a better place.

Elizabeth Howard, USA

Liberty City

About a half mile inside the city we turn around.
It was just a joke, there's nothing good downtown.
We've work to do, tillen the crops and seedlings abound.
Take some time, smell the fresh air, help a friend with a frown.
Liberty City folks are free, be who you want to be, all is sound.
They don't want folks like us around, so I made a u-turn out of town.

Constance Escobar, United States

I Am Privileged

I have the power of choice
able to respect your opinion
while being free to express mine
without fear, pressure or deceit
I am at liberty
to live and let live.

Paul Callus, Malta

Global (acrostic)

One and all
Both equally
Allowing us to be individual in the
Lord's name.

David Fox, United States


That world
adults discover—
certainties of
black and white.

Joan Leotta, United States


Some earthly time ago it was clear
Shadow free, glitteringly alive
Filling the head with extravagance
Without need to complete or empty
Reaching a zenith .... then slow decline
Now, but the memory while I'm in captivity.

Isha Wagner
New Zealand

Land of Liberty

The Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore,
Yellowstone, Yosemite, Carlsbad,
Denali, the Everglades, Great Lakes,
Smoky Mountains, white sand beaches

--spirits of the earth sing
  their welcoming song

Barbara Tate, United States

Lamp of Welcome

In the United States,
we have a Statue of Liberty.

She asks the tired, poor,
and huddled masses to come.

Now some say, douse the lamp,
and send the immigrants home.

Caryl Calsyn, United States

Polishing and flourishing process

I wish every soul could thrive
Wherever it seeks to dine and live
Everyone desires humanity's pat
I wish l could listen to the diversity
Of songs whose lyrics define and refine
Dignity and generosity into divine pebbles

Ndaba Sibanda, Zimbabwe. 

The Bee

I found a bee upon a stone today
While sitting in the shade a palm tree away
Through wings that were translucent and as fragile
As a pair of ghosts who shimmer through
The haunted halls of dreams I saw myself.
What better place than Earth to rest one’s wings?

By John Polselli, United States

A Lyrical Swell

Starlight stirs my coffee
the moon a soft croissant
new tidal ebb in accession
impassioned lyrical swells.
biscuits await on the doily
August eclipse a memory.

Ken Allan Dronsfield, United States

A cherita (untitled)


is not always valued
when we have it

but is much-desired
when we're deprived of it . . .
a world in need of care not warfare

Mary Gunn, Ireland


side by side
in good times
and bad
united together…

Peggy Dugan French, United States

Basking in Liberty

with lilies
in a field of dreams…
free from clutter, spreading my wings

Karen O'Leary, United States


No time pressure
False expectations
Empty promises
Time to

Inge Wesdijk (DaginneAignend), The Netherlands

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Whispers’ Guest Editors--Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands and Caryl Calsyn--The United States

Dear Whispers' Friends,

It is such a pleasure to share with you our first two guest activity/columnists in an effort to provide words that matter in a global outreach. This new version of Whispers gives us an international format for sharing the gift of words. I chose a poem previously published at Whispers in their honor.  I'm deeply grateful for their contributions.

I hope many of our past contributors will join us in this new view.  I wish all of you the best always. Keep you candles burning brightly!



Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--September 2017 Activity Editor

The old lady's wisdom

Morning dew, wandering through the city
A lonely passenger, trying to clear my head
Suddenly the invigorating scent of coffee
The appetizing aroma of fresh baked bread
A voice, inviting me friendly
Girl, why do you look so sad
Come over and sit down here with me
My coffee is the best you ever had
She smiles, the wrinkled old lady
When you are refreshed and well fed
You will expel your melancholy
And treasure every day's joy instead

Inge Wesdijk is a Dutch writer, poetess, and photographic artist who works under the pseudonym Daginne Aignend. She likes hard rock music and fantasy books. She is a vegetarian and spends a lot of time with her animals.


Caryl Calsyn—September Columnist/Thoughts to Ponder

The Golden Door

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to be free, the retched refuse of your
teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-
tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
(as it appears on the Statue of Liberty, by Emma Lazarus)

I am an immigrant. You are an immigrant.
Whether coming to America in recent times
or many generations before, we all came from
other lands. Only a few are Native Americans.

There is an indignant underground and above
ground cry that we should allow no more
immigrants to touch this country’s shores.

Advocates propose that man's humanity to man end.

The tired, the poor, and tempest-tossed, if these
advocates have their way, would find the lamp
extinguished and a closed and locked Golden Door.

Caryl Calsyn is a retired interior designer and currently serves as the President of the Highland Lakes Writers’ Club.  She serves on history related boards and sings in a church choir and a chorale.  She is a widow and has two sons living, one deceased and feels blessed with grandchildren.  She loves writing poetry and still finds it amazing that 113 have been published at Whispers, Creative Inspirations, Westward Quarterly, The Storyteller, The Oak and other publications.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Are Writers Unique?--By Caryl Calsyn, United States

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

Caryl Calsyn shares thoughts to ponder about.  I thank her for sharing this introspective search, a challenge for each of us to dig beyond the surface to capture a unique view.  Please post your thoughts in the comments' section.

I hope you share your words and thoughts that may help our Whispers’ family find the right mix to continue forward.  This is a welcome to past contributors and new writers.  May you all find joy in writing.


Karen, Whispers’ Editor


Are Writers Unique?

Are writers a different breed?  Are writers more observant?  Do writers ponder meanings below the surface?  Are writers more contemplative?  Do writers have greater sensitivity?

Yes, I have a lot of questions and no, I don’t have all the answers.  However, I can and intend, to tell you what I think.

I think writers are unique.  They don’t aimlessly meander only half seeing what they see.  They don’t just pass through life intent only on where they need to be next.  They tend to wonder about the importance of what they see on their journeys.  That awareness can emerge in the form of sadness, humor, nostalgia or in other ways.  Perhaps non-writers see none of these things.  Yes, any writer can tell you that at times putting words on paper can be a chore, but they feel a need to do so for themselves and for others who may read their words.

I did not come to these conclusions on my own.  They came as a result of being a member of the Whispers’ family of writers and a local writers’ club.  The written word quite often reveals something about the author.  I sometimes feel as if I know someone I have never met.  Often more so than some I have met, where the dialogue doesn’t go beyond the usual, “How are you?” and “I am fine” level. I treasure the uniqueness of writers.

Caryl Calsyn, United States

Friday, September 1, 2017

Whispers' September Activity--Hosted By--Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend)--The Netherlands

Dear Whispers' Friends,

It is such a joy to be able to bring our writing family back together to share another season of creative joy.  With help from all of you, we can enjoy Whispers with the treasured gifts from our talented community.

September's activity comes from Netherlands' Writer and Editor Inge Wesdijk (Daginne Aignend). Her idea gives writers of various levels a chance to share in her inspiring opportunity. Both Whispers' contributors and new writers to our community are invited to share their poems for this activity.

From--Inge Wesdijk, Whispers' Guest Activity Editor

Title: "6 line poetry celebrations"

Subject: Liberty


1)  To allow writers to explore ideas in a concise format and allow different voices to capture ideas without the restriction of styles.

2)  Present poetry with depth and insight to share with an international audience.

3)  Celebrate the gift of words to uplift people up in this climate of challenges.


To present a poem of 6 lines that is relevant for a global community

Please use the following format:

Author’s name and country

Please share your poems with Inge for consideration for publication at Whispers--

Deadline: September 20                            Publication date: Shortly after deadline.

Of note--Whispers does not publish profanity, erotica, violence or other derogatory writing.
It is a gift to have Inge share her talent and willingness to open Whispers for activity submissions.  I hope all of you will appreciate her willingness to give our community a rebirth.


Karen O'Leary
Whispers' Editor

Saturday, August 19, 2017

whispers...editor's thoughts--By Karen O'Leary--United States

of dreams

To My Whispers’ Friends,

I miss you.  This three-line poem encompasses much about the talented and caring people I’ve come to know in the four years I have been blessed to share with you.  Our journal has surpassed my dreams when this North Dakota gal opened it in 2013.  That’s a tribute to all of you.

It’s so good to read poetry by many of you in other venues—books, anthologies, journals, etc.  That was one of my goals for Whispers.  Words are meant to be shared.  Thank you for the cards, books, words of encouragement, invitations to share my words… I can’t even explain how much it means to me.

Wishing everyone the best.  Happy Writing!



Saturday, July 29, 2017

Editor's Thoughts--For Today...--Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

I miss you and hope that each of you continue to enjoy the gift of poetry. The light of our words can reach beyond borders and time to uplift others up, share challenges to foster understanding and for readers to enjoy.

My daughter and I are working of a collection of my short stories and a tribute to my publisher.  This is the first time Megan and I have shared the writing-editing experience. I am grateful to Connie Marcum Wong for writing the forward for this book.

For Today…

true friends,
of sun,
and life’s

I hope you can take a moment to update our Whispers’ community on what you are doing with writing, share a poem, or any thoughts you have.  May you continue to lift others up and be a light in the world.

Blessings and best wishes,


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The City’s Light…--By Karen O'Leary--United States

The City’s Light…

I hope your lives
have been made better.
I thank you for the gift
of faith, love, hope
and encouragement…

Keep the city of light
alive by shining poetry
candles to share hope
in the dark of our world.

May Whispers walk on,
making a difference,
as a community in lives
that we touch.  Wishing
all of you the best always.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Whispers Closing for Submissions--Thank You for Your Poetic Hearts--Karen O'Leary

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

It has been such a joy working with you for over four years.  I can no longer keep up with submissions for a journal that publishes several poems each week.  Our season will always be a special part of my own journey.  I hope it was a treasured time for you too. 

Although our journal is no longer able to accept submissions, I hope you will stop by from time to time to read a wide array poems by many talented people that have graced the pages of Whispers with their words.  I want to thank you for your encouragement and support.  Wishing you the best always!


Your Whispers’ Editor


Poetic Hearts

Gentle voices, inspiring lights,
pour through words ever bright.
Uplifting strains and tender songs
help others sing along.
Faith flows out of kind, caring souls
into verse where love glows.
Poems blossom from life’s insight.
Gentle voices ever bright, burning beacons shine with light.

By Karen O’Leary


Monday, May 15, 2017

From the Archives--Yancy Dalton's Triodyne Challenge--Revisitied

Gaining Wisdom (Triodyne)

Darkness brightens the light
Experiencing bad brings out the good
Knowing the difference is wisdom

Yancy’s Challenge--Try a Triodyne

(note--you can submit your poems
in the comment section below)

Yancy's new style of poetry
Title--One word or phrase
Three lines to define title
Rhyme--A-b-b or free style
Syllable count--with or with out, your choice
Meter--With or with out, your choice

Original Challenge 6-4-2014--With more Triodyne poem examples

Gaining Wisdom--By Yancy Lee Dalton--United States

Thursday, May 11, 2017

About Me—Community Activity

Dear Whisper's Friends,

In developing the art of sharing thoughts in a few words, I would like to challenge you, my friends, to share something about yourself in five words or less. I hope to keep our poetry community living despite my health. (Post Responses below.)

Here is my response--

in light…living love

This exercise is in keeping with the model of Pope Francis’—love without judgment.  In this chaotic world where life is often defined by how much people can get, there are leaders that stand up for truth. We have another couple that we have committed to praying together.  We support each other in challenging times for the four of us.  We have become the four-candle journey.  They have enriched the lives of my husband, Gayle and me.

Wishing all of you the best!  My love goes with you.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Festival of Ribbons--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers' Family,

I hope you enjoy another dimension of me.
Thank you for all the support and encouragement.

Many blessings,

Friday, May 5, 2017

Transformation--By Hifsa Ashraf--Pakistan


opens the door of a deep valley of time
radiant colours of flowers reveal spring
grasps my attention to conceive a rhyme
imagine the colourful rainbow and swing.
subsumes my emotions into hues of sight  
scribbles a melody of dawn with soft twigs
plays with a symphonic tune of subtle light
awake creative dreams to spark and sing.
morning breeze unties the knotty thought
discloses the enthralling secrets and briefs
cleans the canvas of my heart from spots
and paints my feelings with inspiring beliefs.
spring to summer, time passes in a blink
‘tis shades of petals bathed in a subtle ink.

Hifsa Ashraf is from Pakistan. She is a lecturer and HR consultant by profession. She writes short stories, columns, and poetry in different languages (Urdu, English, and Punjabi). Her short stories have been published in a UK based English magazine. She regularly shares her poetry on G+ with different poetry communities. 

Papa--By Lois Greene Stone--United States


In freshman beenie,
white buck shoes,
page-boy hair bouncing, I
skipped from vacation train
to his arms.  Parenthood's
pride reflected in his face.

In black gown and cap,
thin tassel hanging;  bachelor's
degree at hand and master's
anticipation, I fled from
my seat seeking approval.

Behind a quiet, fatherly,
exterior, there would have
been an exhilarated man.
If only
he had lived
to see it.

(Previously published in Green's Educational Publication, 1994)

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

That Day on Calvary--By Helen Dowd--Canada

That Day on Calvary

Oh Jesus, I was with You, with You on that day.
I was among the women who walked along the way.
I winced at seeing soldiers poking You with spears.
My heart was filled with sorrow; my eyes were filled with tears.

I gasped that time You stumbled. I saw Your weary face.
The memories of that cruelty, I just cannot erase.
The sun was rising higher, higher in the sky.
I saw the women weeping. I heard their desperate cry.

And then I saw You turning, turning toward the crowd.
Your eyes searched for the women who are calling out to God.
I heard You tell them gently, “Oh, do not weep for Me.
Weep only for your children, that they will be set free.”

And then the vision vanished. I was no longer there,
Walking with the women, sharing their despair.
However, I am praying that the scene will stay with me,
Of being with the women on the walk to Calvary.

Helen Dowd enjoys spending time at her computer, along side her husband of 60 years, writing poetry, story poems, stories about pets and life in general, as well as inspirational and Bible stories. She has one book published. Her stories and poems have been published in several Anthologies. Helen hosts an inspirational online publication,  She is presently a caregiver for her husband and sister, one dog, five cats and 6 gold fish.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Expanding--By Pam H. Murray--Canada


Like whispers from a distant place
I feel you close.  You touch my face
And though the distance lies between
I feel you’re standing where I’ve been.

The years have flown and you and I
Shared all those years.  Now when I fly
Into my sunset years, I know
You still reach out and help me grow.

At night, I lie in solitude
And feel your presence.  You conclude
Each day.  You drift in memory
Expanding what is best in me.

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 Spirit of God--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

The Spirit of God

Courage walks
in the shadows
of loneliness;
it faces shouts
of self-willed
crowds.  But always
it looks ahead
with hope;
it flies
like the spirit
of an eagle,
trusting the wings
of faith; it moves
ever so steadily
toward higher
mountains, building
its nest in the safety
of God’s
watchful eyes.

John W. (Bill) Williams is a retired language arts and children’s literature educator.  He lives in Martin, GA, where he stays busy with his art and poetry.  He has been published in a variety of venues.