Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May Activity Feature--Reflections of Home--Hosted By--Jack Horne--Whispers’ Activity Feature Editor

We could hardly wait to find out what you call home, and we were delighted with these wonderful poems.  Thanks so much to everyone who took part in this month’s activity.

                                                            Jack Horne—Whispers’ Activity Editor


Pine Needle Path

Beneath the towering red pines, deep
in Superior National Forest, Dad took
me on a trail of discovery. He showed
me how we fit in among majesty. Filling
our lungs with pine scent, we set out,
sharpened blades on our hip. Dad was
relaxed, told me to take it all in, forest
creatures, wildflowers underfoot, this
was real, where all life was equal. "Keep
this feeling in your heart son" he said.

James Marshall Goff, United States



early morning...

Thanksgiving thanks
for biscuits with gratitude

sweet fragrance
of pumpkin spice
waffles through our home

Pat Geyer, United States



There is love, care,
Belonging and security
Within the four walls
Of our family home
And, there’s freedom
Riddled with insecurity
And unknown consequences
In the mean world outside
The mind is often perched
On a dilemma that haunts the threshold

Vincent Van Ross, India


Home-and-away Games People Play 

Overseas they work for their families
Egos and luggage they carry home

Who wants to go home empty-handed?
They feign happiness and brightness

They can’t afford to be mocked back home
This is a game of putting up good appearances

Ndaba Sibanda, Zimbabwe


Grey Place

This is a grey place, there's no denying.
Grey slate, grey granite.
And it rains a lot, there's no denying.
But when caught by a sunbeam
it makes glistening slides shimmering across the slate 
and falls in bright white tails or snakes like silver
spilling heavily over rocks,
it’s cascades catching rainbows as they crash
then spitting them back out in a fine spray of colours.
No grey at all in this place now, there's no denying.

Lynn White, Wales


My Home's

an active listener. When I tell a tale
It gives verbal nods. Floorboards

reply with I see…
radiators with I understand…
Armchairs creak  I’m with you…

and kitchen sink squeaks  Okay.
Bright cutlery mirrors my words.

Lit bulbs flicker acknowledgement.
At least she isn't here to confuse them.

Paul Brookes, England


A Home for Spartacus

His name is Spartacus, he was a stray;
He was eight when he came to Gables Farm,
Where a routine blood test showed he was FIV positive,
Bad luck and rough living or a fight with another cat
Means he needs an indoor home with no other cats.
With these needs met and a loving home
He has a normal life expectancy.
He’s a handsome lad, talkative and friendly,
And a real lover of cat treats.
His name is Spartacus and he needs a home.

Nick Spargo, United Kingdom


An Eternal Home

Sharing with other bums,
Living off the crumbs,
In the neighborhood slums,
These are my chums,
My buddies, my pals.
We share community towels.
Knowing God shares our pain,
We have eternal gain.
Many miles we’ve trod,
We’re just thankful-we know God.

Mary Bone, United States


Rambling Man, Where is your Home?

Where is my home? Where do I belong?
I really don’t know, always moving on to another place
Moved every other year it seems the last 45 years
Traveled to 49 states, 45 countries, drove across the U.S. six times
Lived in Berkeley, Yakima, Stockton, Seattle, Alexandria, DC, Oregon, Korea, Thailand, India, The Eastern Caribbean, and Spain

Where do I belong?  Where is my home?
Neither here nor there, nowhere and everywhere
And so is that my rambling man’s fate
Never to really belong anywhere at all

Jake Aller, An American in South Korea



back at his childhood home
with two children of his own
mommy's baby boy returns

served all his favorite dishes 
given constant hugs and kisses
hearing “I remember whens”

as his sons learn of times
Daddy did those same crimes
they get “time outs” for today

Carl "Papa" Palmer, United States



A place of peace and true love,
A place of unity and warmness,
Home, the abode of angels.

Trespassers and intruders, resisted
Scavengers and enemies, subdued
Home, the dwelling place of God.

East, west, north or south
Far, near, up or down
Low, high, rich, or poor
Home, the best: a God.

Ngozi Osuoha, Nigeria


Happy childhood memories
At home and school...
Of course, I grew up

David Fox, United States


The world is my home
being never alone
with memories and dreams
and with always good spirit it seems.
Feeling always at home
where friendly people live,
as to love and be loved
is the most precious gift

Gert Knop, Germany



I am in the womb
Of my mother, Earth.
Sweet home of mine.
I stoop to drowsiness
hearing the rhythm of flowing
blood into her vein. No scissors can
cut the umbilical cord now and separate
me from her.

Partha Chatterjee, India


Room Walls

Room walls –
Childhood canvas
I colored with crayons…
My masterpieces make me feel
At home.

Jagari Mukherjee, India


A Visit

I know every cobblestone in the small village
The ancient oak trees on Mill Street and the peaceful
park where you can sit and muse while watching
the gaggling ducks in the pond
Rosewood Hotel still breathes hospitality,
a warm haven for visitors
My roots lay here, made me the person I am today
I followed my heart, settled down with you abroad
The friendly receptionist greets me at Rosewood's
'Welcome, I hope you will enjoy your stay with us'

Inge Wesdijk, The Netherlands


Moving away soon—
shall I still plant flowers
in the window boxes?

Kelley White, United States


A Good Day
(witnessed from my front porch)

silent breeze flowing through
a screened window; robust
orange flavor infuses the sun
as it begins to set; chirping
crickets draw a close to the
evening; reflection tied into
emotion; a good day at home,

Maurice Reynolds, United States


A Sweet Home

A home filled with warmth and kindness
Surreal the scene that flashes to mind
Within this dream there is love divine
Ethereal glow radiates fineness
Eternal home not made by human hands
Territory beyond, all God's design
Heavenly home, oh! so fine
Overjoyed at my arrival 
My loved ones will want life's recital
Every detail of family, since upon earth's sands

Sara Kendrick, United States


Grandma & Grandpa

You were "Home" to me

Going hunting and fishing
Riding horses
And reading stories
New to me
Day after day
Protected and loved, you're
Always in my heart.
          "Home"--I had one once.

Barbara Tate, United States


A Home Sweet Home

At long day’s end, our thoughts may stray
 to where we long to wend our way
- a peaceful place where we dismiss
all things in life that are amiss,
and none are wont to cause dismay.

Our footsteps hasten us to this:
the warmth of hearth, the welcome kiss.
For those less fortunate I pray
a home sweet home they'll find one day.

Andrea Dietrich, United States


birthday stars
the bread crumbs
on the way home

Eren & Ece Cehreli, Ankara, Turkey

Eren is a 6-year-old and Ece is an 11-year-old.




Mary A. Couch, United States


Home is where the heart is...
Or so I’ve been told
Though, I’ve often wondered
Is the heart...
at home?
For once the heart has broken,
can it truly still reside,
with the memory
of love's token,
living deep inside?

Lynn Long, United States


Hate Has No Home Here 

My welcome mat’s worn with decades of dirt,
baby shoes, oxfords, high heels and sneakers.
Laughter and joy have passed through our door,
hate, locked out. But hate slithers like a cobra

in the grass, spitting venom at everyone it fears.
I am unafraid of fangs of rancor. A sign rises tall
among mums by my door to make my feelings

Shelly Blankman, United States


The House He Built

I sit by broad windows watching birds 
flock to feeders, squirrels and chipmunks 
scurry about, dogwoods abloom at forest 
edge.  For years, my husband planned 
this house.   After he retired, he built it, 
doing most of the work himself. Now years 
later, as night falls, I watch cardinals enjoy 
their bedtime snack and rabbits sashay 
out of the woods to dance on the dewy grass.  

Elizabeth Howard, United States


The New House

Suitcases packed, boxes in the van,
we backed down Stipp Street’s driveway
one last time—leaving friends, leaving home.
Eight hours later we pulled small items
from the car, to fill the empty rooms.
Four white walls, no furniture—
a new house—I put a pot of tomato sauce
on that new stove’s front burner.
Soon that familiar aroma filled the house,
making it a home.

Joan Leotta, United States


Last Leaves of Home

burying parents
in pouring October rain--
her final tears fall

By Karen O'Leary, United States


My Roots

Home, root of my foundation
Begun on cattle ranch station
Riding range, punching cows
Brand calves under tree boughs

Work was hard, days were long
Responsibility made me strong
Thinking of my younger days
I enjoyed growing up these ways

Yancy Lee Dalton, United States 



for me
was a small farm
with animals and fowl,
on the shores of Lough Erne - scenic,
near gran's

of two children   
"a lovely quiet child",
i'm told the dog sat by my pram.
Big sis...

Mary Gunn, Ireland


No Place is Home

Friends talk of home
Something existent

Each house lived in is my home
But only for a little time
Mind wearies of the sameness
There is no comfort one can find
In a place that has no bind


The next place will be home
This I always know!

Isha Wagner, New Zealand


Sweet Home

In Paris was her home as her birthright
She then lived in many a home in many a country
But meeting Sri Aurobindo once she realized
That her Real Home would be in Pondicherry.
After a tedious journey’s end as she disembarked there
After five more years, an air of joy and success greeted her.
Gradually establishing her Divine reign
She expanded her home to earth’s far end
Embracing all sentient beings in her Sweet Home
with love and spiritual centrifugal wisdom.

Aju Mukhopadhyay, India


Dear Activity Contributors,

What a wonderful outpouring of words and different visions of home! Home has been a happy place for me but burying my in-laws was sad time in our lives—my parents are alive and my husband is a son to them. I expect all of us have happy and sad times related to home but for most of us the ties remain strong.  It is something about home that seems to draw the human spirit even when things aren’t perfect our families, they are a part of who we are.

I hope those of you that have not submitted individual poems to our Poem Editor, Inge Wesdijk, there is still room in the May issue and since this is a rolling opportunity those that we cannot accommodate in May will be considered for June.  Her email address is daginne@gmail.com  If you have collaborative poems, or other ideas for special features please send them to Karen O’Leary at karenoleary@gmail.com  The guidelines for all our opportunities are at the top right of Whispers’ main page. We are looking for ways to give our contributors increased visibility and are open to writers of all levels.  Best wishes with all your writing endeavors. Thank you for participating in Jack Horne’s Activity.  Stay tuned for June’s activity due out on June 1.


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor


  1. Wonderful writings!
    Enjoyed the many ideas of what "Home" is/was.
    Refreshed similar memories in my mind.
    Thank You, All!

    1. Dear James,

      Thank you for your lovely thoughts on the "Home"series. It is the melding of many that make the community of Whispers. It is good to have you a part of the journey.


  2. Great thoughts here!!
    Awesome poetry .. memories to cherish !
    I am tempted to share one of my acrostic on home with ya all ...


    Hues of twilight melt to embrace tranquil darkness,
    Only to find a solace after wandering is put to harness,
    Moments back home when very air soothes the restless soul,
    Every morning croak of raven is a feel of heaven.

    Dr. Upma A. Sharma, India

    1. So glad you posted this lovely acrostic, Dr Upma

    2. Thanks .. appreciate your kind words Jack.

    3. Dr Sharma,

      I second Jack's thoughts and love the tranquility of your poem. Thank you for sharing your home poem at an extension of the column. Wishing you the best always.


  3. Love these poems. It is such a pleasure to get to know each and every poet a bit better through their writing. A great job from the "Whispers" family. Thank you all for sharing & caring.

    1. Dear Barbara,

      Thank you for sharing your lovely poem reflection--no matter where you go those moments will travel with you in your memories.

      Yes, when we come together in encouraging others, sharing our words or basking the poetry home that I, like you, find in Whispers. Our family lives in our words.


  4. I am glad most of these are happy memories. I had mostly pc childhood memories, but of course, we all can't stay children.
    Your friend,
    David Fox

    1. Dear David,

      Thank you for being a part of this wonderful collection Jack has gathered. Our memories still travel on in many ways through our thoughts of "Home," which can be different depending where we are in life, the sharing of today and the thoughts of tomorrow. No matter what, I think most are invested in home.


  5. Thoughts of Home from around the world. Moving art from the
    international Whispers family. And, for me, especially touching was the piece from Eren & Ece Cehreli, Ankara, Turkey. Everyone, thanks for sharing.

    1. Dear Pat,

      Thank you for our kind words and for singling out Ece and Eren's poem. They are so talents at the ages of 6 and 11. It has been such an honor to publish their poetry. Best wishes to you always.


  6. Thanks, again, to everyone who took part - each & every poem was a real treasure

    1. Dear Jack,

      I agree with you. Kudos to everyone that has taken a part in this activity by contributing poetry and/or commenting on this wonderful collection that Jack has gathered.


  7. Home is a feeling, a feeling that's different for all of us. All poems breathe that sentiment. An outstanding collection of poetry talents brought together

    1. Dear Inge,

      The fact that people chose a different voice to share for this activity. Even though my poem doesn't reflect my overall vision of home. It grew for me especially at the loss of Gayle's parents so close together.

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful poem for this column. It's something I can relate to also.

      Blessings and best wishes,

  8. Such wonderful, moving poems,personal and from the heart...I very much enjoyed reading them and give my sincere thanks to "Whispers' for not only the invitation to participate, but for also including my poem alongside so many outstanding poets from around the world <3

    1. Dear Lynn,

      Thank you for sharing your introspective poem for this activity. You give readers thoughts to ponder. You are right, the subject of home, drives a passion in all of us. That writers writers like you offered a fresh view made this article work well as a whole. Best wishes with all your writing endeavors.


  9. Enjoyed the variety of ideas about home. Some sad, some happy, and some showing that life issues some changes. Each poet has a quality about their work that spoke to me in such creativeness and descriptiveness that I wanted to keep on reading. Sara

    1. Dear Sara,

      Thank you for sharing your lovely view, not only of the past, the here and now, but also the last resting place which will be are home until the end of times. I wish you and your family the best, my friend.


  10. What a magnificent array of talent. I so enjoyed each one. Thanks to all for sharing.
    Sincerely, Charlene

    1. Dear Charlene,

      Thank you for your lovely thoughts on Jack's wonderful column. It is a creative mix that I'm glad you found enjoyable.

      Blessings, my friend,

  11. I enjoyd every one of these. Home is a wonderful place,
    Knight Writer

    1. Dear Yancy,

      Growing up on a cattle ranch, I enjoyed your heartwarming poem. I appreciate your contribution to this column. Thank you for your ongoing support of Whispers.


  12. I am staggered by the wealth of talent; momentarily stunned to express how profoundly moved I am by each writer who gave us a glimpse into their hearts. I envied, I coveted, I sighed, I commiserated and yes even shed a tear(s), but most assuredly rolled with each reactionary moment the poem(s) presented. I'm indelibly impressed by all of you. Bravo, and a grateful thank you for sharing these stirring words.

  13. Dear Leslie,

    Wow! What a wonderful tribute to all the writers that Jack gathered together for this month's activity. Like you, I was moved by the variety of poems including writers from many countries, many ages, many thoughts... Thank you for stopping by to share your insightful and encouraging words.


  14. Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful collection by some very gifted poets! Continued blessings to all!


  15. Dear Maurice,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging thoughts. You are so good about supporting others and me. I really appreciate all you do for our online community.