Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Editor's Thoughts/global village--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Whispers’ Family,

What a joy to close this month with an interactive journal that Inge and Jack have made possible.  Each contributor is a part of making our family whole.  Our editor team hopes to bring past contributors back while seeking new voices to extend our journal across cultural borders.  It is those of you that support Whispers month after month that are base of our writing community. Thank you for all for being a part of our writing journey.

It is a pleasure to introduce thirteen new writers to Whispers this month--

                                    Haminia Haar, Romania      
                                    Eddie Awusi, Nigeria
                                    Jack Waller, Canada
                                    Joanne Olivieri, United States
                                    Blessed Ayeyame, Nigeria     
                                    Jagari Mukherjee, India
                                    Nick Spargo, United Kingdom 
                                    Michael Griffith, United States        
                                    Vatsala Radhakeesoon, Mauritius     
                                    Mary Bone, United States 
                                    Partha Chatterjee, India
                                    Danny P. Barbare, United States
                                    Graça Costa, Portugal

Please stop by and welcome them to our community.

We could use your help with page views and commenting.  Each time you access Whispers is a view.  If you could get your friends to help with this even if they aren’t interested in submitting, I would greatly appreciate it.  It is part of getting our journal visibility.

global village

hope reach
from gentle branches
as words heal broken

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, ND.  She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including, Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, Haiku Pix, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. Karen is our editor.  She enjoys sharing the gift of words.

Blessings to all of you,

Grandpa Toots--By Cindy Hutchings--United States

Grandpa Toots

The people from Coast Salish tribes
drum in my heart, my blood

Great-grandfather, though not born of
was born with tribe of Steilacoom

lived his life
by the water

heart blood of the people

gave his love of Puget Sound
to his children, grandchildren

and I, youth of his longing
trace his footsteps, walk the sands

my heart chord struck

by dawn, help of Kingfisher
I skim sunlit waters
sing to ancestors
answer the drum.

This poem is included in Cindy Hutchings’ poetry collection, Drumbeat’s Calling. Her first poetry chapbook, Tree Talk, was published by Her poetry is shared at and She's a member of Northwest Renaissance & Striped Water Poets in Auburn, WA, USA. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English and Women Studies.

Destiny--By Graça Costa--Portugal


I knew we were bound
long before we met.
Deep inside I felt your love
as a feather caressing my soul
and your voice whispering
smoothly in my skin
an unwritten song
floating in time
waiting for our embrace.

Fate put you in my path
in the most unexpected way
when days were grey
and nights were stormy.
You came and I was frightened.
Still, I've let you in...
bath myself in your scent
and allow sparkles of happiness
to enlighten the room.

Love flew like tides in summer nights
and I … I surrender to your smile.

Graça Costa is a 54 years old Portuguese, mother of two. Sociology, behavior analysis and counseling are her life, dance, poetry, reading, cinema and music, her passions.  Family is her safe Haven. She believes in a better world and knows that the change has to start in herself. Poetry is a path to that goal.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The White Castle--By Danny P. Barbare--United States

The White Castle

A wondering snowflake lifts
and falls
choosing a place to stick
with a little love and the luck
of the wind
it lands in a blessed peaceful
fit to be a white castle as tall
as the trees.

Danny P. Barbare resides in the foothills of the Carolinas. He enjoys writing poetry about nature and daily life. He has a deep Southern accent.

Flee--By Partha Chatterjee--India


burnt sky 
brick kiln in one corner
hiccuping streetlight

tenant crowds rolling up luggage
in search of a new address
like floating clouds

holding our hands tight
like a pen and a cap
we are gliding down from the
river's head to its estuary.

the sun, a one - rupee coin, drops down
into the pocket of a blue shirt.
a firefly descending like a meteor.
we are fleeing.

Partha Chatterjee lives in India. He loves poetry and music.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Thoughtless--By Mary Bone--United States


My friend tried to get into my head
To see what makes me tick.
She took a broom to sweep
Through cobwebs
And reclined on a couch,
Flushed a commode
And checked to see if there were
Bats in the belfry.
Dust had collected and sneezes
Leaving flowing lava.
There was nothing to be
Found except
Traces of
What was once
An imagination.

Mary Bone resides in Wilson, Oklahoma. Her poems have appeared in magazines and online journals. She has written two books of poetry and is working on a third book.

Flow--By Sravani singampalli--India


As I smell the sweet earthy scent
Of the immature rain
I remember those pleasant moments
I start aging with memories
I see the soft fall of a magnolia flower
And warmth emanates from my saffron love
I get lost in my little world
It stops raining
The first rays of sun
Hit the earth
And somewhere at a corner
A small flower emerges
Out of the dead leaves
Just like a spark of light
In the increasing darkness
I have become petrichor
I am the fresh perfume
Issued from cardamom thoughts!

Sravani singampalli is a published writer and poet from India. She is presently pursuing doctor of pharmacy at JNTU KAKINADA university in Andhra Pradesh, India.

lesson from my grandson--By Richard Carl Subber--United States

lesson from my grandson

I gave him some snacks
   and I learned he’s a giver:
      he shared a pretzel.

Richard Carl Subber is a poet, freelance copy editor, and writing mentor.  Rick has two chapbooks on Amazon: Writing Rainbows: Poems for Grown-Ups, and Seeing far: Selected poems. His poems appeared in The Four Elements: Effects and Influences, an anthology by Poets Collective; in the Aurorean, and elsewhere.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February Activity Featuring--Thoughts on Dedication--Hosted by Jack Horne--England

We wondered where the word 'dedication' would take you. Would you think of dedicated individuals, or would you go for a dedication to someone or something? We couldn't wait to find out, and we certainly weren't disappointed! 

Jack Horne--England
Your Activity Feature Editor

1952 State Champions

The men’s high school basketball team
traveled across state for the championship
game and headed home with the trophy.

They stopped at a restaurant on the way.
Two players were black.  The manager
said they’d be served on the back steps.

The entire basketball team walked out.
In terms of being proud, winning the
championship took second place.

Caryl Calsyn, United States

Luminous Passion

A young girl, only twelve years old
I wrote down in my little notebook
Back then, I didn't know what the word
meant, it sounded like a joyful melody

A smile, a tear, bliss, discouragement,
and perseverance to fight for my beliefs
I traveled an emotional journey to understand
Dedication is an act of luminous passion

Inge Wesdijk, The Netherlands


No eye can see
Nor tongue can speak
Of that inner radiance-
A subtle release of that life force,
Which pulsates and rekindles
That sense of awe-
Blending that which was from time eternal,
Freeing, in awestruck thanksgiving
One whom is permitted to share
Agape, unconditional love

Jack Waller, Canada

Always remembered
being kind and warmhearted
my late Grandmother

Immer in Erinnerung
freundlich und warmherzig
meine Großmutter

Siempre acordaba 
amable y cariñosa
mi difunta abuela

Gert Knop, Germany

D evoted for life
E ternally pursues
D etermined to win
I  deals set high
C aptivated by good
A llured to win
T errific human being
E nthusiastic in endeavors
D iligent humans who achieve goals.

Sara Kendrick, United States

Dartmoor Dedication

My eyes scan lowering clouds
That shroud strong hills and harsh tors;
Weak sunlight battles indifferent rain,
And both fall unheeded on lazy bracken and bright heather;
A laughing wind shakes the brittle gorse
And blows sardonic kisses into my eyes.

Nick Spargo, United Kingdom


That single word
commencing all friendships,
opening all doors.

It crosses bridges, 
it travels across and between continents,
is said with handshakes or hugs
or with a wave, but always with a smile
and the lucky hear it.

In any language it means the same.


Linda Imbler, United States


students, teachers, and staff
with a single goal
a wheelchair for Clara
who has cerebral palsy
fundraiser after fundraiser
gift after gift
at last the magic number
$16,000--and they celebrate
Clara in her new chair
with a big smiley face 

Elizabeth Howard, United States

 around the world
 poetic hugs

*Dedicated to each & every haiku poet
 who makes this world a better place.

Barbara Tate, United States


standing steadfast
on shaky ground

with resolve,
one step for now

seeking the light
to calm fears

words with wings…
a season of hope

Karen O’Leary, United States


Could this mean that you are trying to make life easier
for those in dire need of support,
and putting their needs before your own;
and by doing so becoming self less and dedicated.
I have my own cause which I support from the heart,
providing warm clothes and sleeping bags for the homeless.
Buying the Big Issue weekly helps the homeless
to help themselves and get off the streets.
I pray each night that they survive the winter,
these brave and courageous people. God Bless.

Jan Stalker, United Kingdom

Love Well

Love is a well. Deep and pure.
And just as water nourishes the body
Love refreshes the soul
It has to be cradled, revered 
Or it slips through the fingers.
The more you love, the more you give
An ever flowing cycle.
From a trickle it can become an ocean
Given time and tenderness.

Tess Leyreloup, United Kingdom

To Teachers

Like the forgotten hands that erect palaces –
Toiling away hours, distilling Shakespeare
And arithmetic so that they may see that
There’s more to life than the edges of the street.   
Aware of being used… by some to cross the yellow brick road
Others – to while away time, yet never wavering –
Always encouraging – giving to others – hours – dreams
and one day forgotten, retiring to hide behind the wallpaper
without fame of glory – An existence dedicated to a passion.
The real brave knights – the pillars of humanity.

Feby Joseph, India


Perseverance of the intense bees;
and iron-will of the frisky spider,
Tiny self-disciplined ants queue up;
ascend cliffs in endeavour,
Subtle Moth embraces flame;
while robust win the muscle game,

Passion at borders sets ablaze; 
high heaps of enemies at the gate,
Dedicated heroes of war return;
as twenty-one cannons decorate.

Dr. Upma A. Sharma, India

year after year
students enjoy their classes...
dynamic teachers
who enthuse their students
with a love of learning

Mary Gunn, Ireland


I have come, Mother, to your eternal resting place,
a gathering of small birds hold onto a fragile bare tree;
then, fly up, gaining and falling, fighting a dark wind,
leaving me to my grief over your cold frozen tomb.

I am lonely, oh so alone, Mother, since you left me,
standing helpless, I watched your beauty fade away;
every moment with you was a treasure in my heart,
I could not keep you here, so I sadly said, let her go.

Constance Lafrance, Canada

Friday, February 23, 2018

Daddy's Girl--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States

Daddy's Girl

Removing the library card from my wallet
the picture, her first day of kindergarten,
comes to view through the plastic sleeve.

That morning she woke me early, wanted
to watch cartoons rather than go to school.
This photo Mom took, us cuddled under

covers eating dry cereal, hugging pillows
in television's glow, her eyes on the screen,
my eyes closed, fingers combing her hair.

Brought from my reverie, a small child's
voice somewhere behind me, "I'm so glad
you're my Daddy, Daddy. I love you."

"I love you, too," I whisper.

Carl "Papa" Palmer, United States          

Carl "Papa" Palmer of University Place, WA is retired military, retired FAA, now just plain retired without wristwatch, cell phone, alarm clock or Facebook friend. Carl is a Hospice volunteer and president of The Tacoma Writers Club. 

MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever

Purity-By--Vincent Van Ross--India


True love
Is as pure
As Sunshine,
Or, water…

They touch us;
Hug us;
Kiss us;
And, caress us!

They never
Violate us!

Vincent Van Ross is a journalist and an editor based in New Delhi in India. He writes on national and international politics, defense, environment, travel, spirituality and scores of other topics. Apart from this, he dabbles in a little bit of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and humorous writings. He is also a renowned photographer and art critic. His poems are littered in anthologies and journals across the world.

Spending Time with Jean Calkins--Interview

Dear Whispers’ Friends,

It is a pleasure to share this interview of Jean Calkins.  As the editor of four publications, she has encouraged and offered an array of publications over the years, giving writers a chance to share their words.

Many of you have been published at The Jokester. Being an editor for 55 years is an accomplishment many will never come close to.  It is an unselfish road of time and personal expense to share the gift of words, especially when computers weren’t available. 

Presenting and congratulations to our friend Jean!  It has been a pleasure to share the gift of words with her. Please take time to congratulate her too!


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

1. Where are you from?

I was born Alpha Jean Wyant in Dansville, NY. My parents always called me Jean. The Calkins was added in 1951.

2. I understand that you were the editor of four publications. Could you share them with our readers, along with a few lines about each?

Jean’s Journal, a quarterly, began in 1961. By the time it ended, I had published 25 years and subscribers had grown to nearly 500. I did it all myself on an electric typewriter, printed on a mimeograph. It grew quickly to 100 pages. Its demise, in 1988, was mostly due to failing health.

Haiku was just hitting its stride when I started Haiku Highlights about 2 years later than Jean’s Journal. This was bi-monthly. Lorraine Harr of Portland, Oregon, took it over 5-6 years later, renaming it Dragonfly.

My 3rd effort, Humoresque, was published from 1998-2006.

The Jokester ran from 2006, after we had been in Waynesville, NC for five years. My illness grew much worse and publishing costs were so high (despite many generous contributions) I was forced to shut it down in 2016.

3. What motivates you to write?

Poetry was always a part of me. As a young teenager, I used to take long walks along a creek that ran through our farm, making up poetry never writing down my verse. My first published poem was in the school paper.  One editor told me I was a versifier and would never be a poet. Knock me down, and I come back fighting to prove them wrong. I hope I have succeeded.  I never had any trouble finding something to write about.

4.  Have you any preferred style of poetry that you like to write in?

Originally, everything I wrote was rhymed, but then I got into short forms like haiku and senryu. Later, I let the poem decide.

5. If you could make a wish and have it come true, what would it be?

To have my best poems printed in a handback book and sold in bookstores!

6. Are there any words of advice you would like to share with other writers?

Don’t scream at editors who make suggestions for changes. Listen, decide for yourself if you should make changes or try a different editor. Most won’t take time to make suggestions. If they do, don’t ‘reward’ them with negative feedback (often nasty). Read the work of prize-winning writers and keep trying to improve your poems. There is always more to learn.


Here is one of Jean’s award willing poems for your pleasure—

  Somebody Used to Live Here

It crowns a desolate, shaggy hill.
A jewel of disarray,
It toasts the seasons of harsh intent,
A mottled hulk of decay.

And the wind whispers through the pine trees
In a questing, won'dring tone.
Where are those who lived here,
Who called this remnant, home?

Drooping from rusty brown hinges
Are shutters, fragmented and gray.
Smoke curls no more from a chimney
Where stone is crumbled away.

And the wind rattles through loose mortar,
Searching, forever alone,
For someone who used to live here,
Someone who called it home.

Clapboards are agéd, sagging jowls;
Shingle chips litter the sod.
Weeds, thigh-high, choked by brambles,
Hide a pathway once well trod.

And the wind rustles through the grasses
With now and then a groan:
"Oh, somebody used to live here.
Somebody called it home."

Rain whispers now on the hard-packed earth
Devoid of a plow long years.
It gossips aloud on the tin-roofed shed,
And cracked panes shed its tears.

And the wind moans a dirge under sagging eaves —
Oh, a somber, mourning tone —
About those who used to live here
When I called this shadow, home.


Thank you, Jean, for sharing your words with us.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Endless Meadows--By Gopal Lahiri--India

Endless Meadows

All day long a voice carries an echo
One who lives once and can’t return
And there through the open window
Ascending the high-rise
The emerald green dreams float,
Cosset love into ears.

A new moment of truth and waiting
Day after day in cloak of white in winter
Leaping flames in night after night,
Grey clouds and refreshing rain dance
Leaving behind the emptiness and void
Across the brown fields, into the thorny woods

Keeping it to itself, not a word is ever said
about life and endless meadows.
Let us sing to the stroke of time, one soul
In the world in laps of the lofty mountain
To climb step by step, stone by stone
And conquer the heights.

Gopal Lahiri is a Mumbai-based poet, critic, and author with seven collections of poetry; one translation work of short stories of Israel, edited one anthology on poetry. His poems are widely published in journals and magazines from India and abroad. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ Poet of the Year award 2015.

Attending the Olympics--By Caryl Calsyn--United States

Attending the Olympics 

The Winter Olympics are about to begin,
and my mind revisits the year I attended.

The time, every two years, when countries
from all over the world gather in peace.

When the Parade of Nations surpasses
by far, all others in a lifetime of parades.

I’d never sung the National Anthem with more
fervency than when our flag topped the pole.

The TV cameras never focused on the hugs
exchanged between nations, win or lose.

The cameras missed the women in beautiful
saris, wearing tennis shoes on their feet.

I felt proud to be an American, and the joy
of exchanging smiles with those around me.

The sporting events were wonderful, but the
gift I kept forever was the display of diversity.

Caryl Calsyn is a retired Interior Designer who only began writing poetry about five years ago. About three years ago, she began submitting to publishers. Her first try was accepted, and she now has 124 that have been published. She is a board member for the county historical commission and the local museum.  She sings in a chorale and her church choir and loves family gatherings.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Silence’s Music--By Vatsala Radhakeesoon--Mauritius

Silence’s Music

At dawn
in meditative mood
I can feel
silence playing its tunes
Birds, leaves, insects
and mammals glow
with an aura
all joyful, serene
Silence reminds me of
tunes of positivity,
tunes of forgiveness,
inner calmness
Silence’s music fills
my heart, mind and soul
with its magical angelic
eternal wisdom.

Born in Mauritius in 1977, Vatsala Radhakeesoon is the author of the poetry books
When Solitude Speaks (2013), Depth of the River (2017) and Hope (2018).
She is the representative of Immagine and Poesia (Italy based group) for Mauritius.
Vatsala also writes poems in French, Mauritian Kreol and Hindi.

The Other Side--By Michael Griffith--United States

The Other Side

Clouds may have gathered over your horizon,
but the sun still shines bright behind those clouds.

And those clouds will pass.

It will take time, patience, and effort,
but you can help the clouds move on
by staying strong, having faith, and trusting in a better tomorrow.

You have come through other dark times;
you will come through this one, too.

Friends will be there not only to greet you on the other side,
but to coax you from inside the eye of your storm.

Michael Griffith began writing poetry to help his mind and spirit heal as his body recovered from a life-changing injury. Recent work appears online and in print in such outlets as The Blue Nib, Nostalgia Digest, The Wild Word and Poetry24. He resides near Princeton, NJ. 

A Year of Space--By Nick Spargo--United Kingdom

A Year of Space 

One small broken twig
floating, awkward and alone,
in a Spring puddle.

The puddle dries and
leaves the twig, short and shabby,
in the Summer dust.

In Autumn leaves fall
gently covering the twig;
a belated shroud.

Cold rains wash the twig
into a stream and away;
a Winter’s blessing.

Nick Spargo writes poetry, short stories and monologues. He has been published extensively and has won a number of prizes with his work. He lives in the South-West of England.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Sonnet #1, Where Tall Trees Dance--By Ken Allan Dronsfield--United States

Sonnet #1, Where Tall Trees Dance

Afternoon's here in the valley of wood
where the tall trees dance; as long walks covet
ambiance of romance and gentle calm.
silence, serene, the only sound being
light snow falling; like twinkling glimmers of
diamonds tapping branches on the way down.
snow covered and my candle is alight
on the window sill near the warming fire.
The reddish orange glow and falling snow
elicit memory of marshmallows,
steamy mugs of delicious hot cocoa.
our boots, hats and scarves hang by the back door.
time to remember those grand youthful days
and the simple ways here; where tall trees dance.

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, poet and fabulist from New Hampshire, now residing on the southern plains of Oklahoma. Ken enjoys music, writing and spending time with his cats Willa, Hemi, Turbo and Yumpy. He has two poetry collections, The Cellaring and A Taint of Pity, just released.

Wind chime--By Anne Curran--New Zealand

Wind chime

seashells fallen
scattered and broken
from a cobweb- shrouded
wind chime
shells and a piece of driftwood
moss- covered, disintegrated
hanging from a rusted washing line

sitting in her armchair
eyes bright, she sometimes hears
the wind chime playing, she tells
me of walks along the beach
morning swims in the sea
collecting shells at low tide
how this is the place
she knows as home
but will never return to
letting go
the wind chime playing
her lover’s ashes
scattered to sea  

(first published A Fine Line, April 2016)

Anne Curran writes in Hamilton New Zealand where she resides with her pet car Misty and extended family of parents, brothers and sisters. She loves art, going to see films, and walks.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

My Forever Home--By Blanca Alicia Garza--United States

My Forever Home    

In your eyes I saw the sunset;
I saw the full Moon rising high.
I see a love that will never end
through the twilight of our lives.
I see us waltz lovingly every day
carefree, innocent and beloved.
Move with an enchanting grace
fear none of the evil displayed.
Drift away into sweetest dreams
enjoy your journey without harm.
Hold my hand and kiss my lips
at sunrise, dreams will be gone.
In your eyes I saw the answer to 
my prayers from the one above.
In your eyes I found the peace 
I was looking for, in your eyes
I found my forever home.

(Previously published in Indiana Voice Journal)

Blanca Alicia Garza is a Poet from Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a nature and animal lover. Her poems are published in several Anthologies and can be found in many venues. such as The Poet Community, Whispersl, The Winamop Journal, Indiana Voice Journal, Tuck Magazine, Raven's Cage Ezine and Scarlet Leaf Review.