Friday, April 17, 2015

Poems--By Jan Allison--United Kingdom

tiny snow angel
snowflakes kiss your rosy cheeks
white winter beauty

emerald green growth
dresses the rocks and pebbles
natural velvet

dainty daffodil
your golden trumpet fanfares
the dawning of spring

Jan Allison is a relative newcomer to poetry. She didn’t start writing poetry until her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery at the end of 2013. She wrote her first poem ‘Splendid Isolation’ whilst he was in hospital. Since then has discovered a love of poetry and has written over 500 poems. Jan also wrote collaboratively with her writing partner Darren Watson under the name Jadazzle United.

Special Feature--(In Memory 1911-2011)--Virginia Johe--United States

Virginia Johe --(In Memory 1911-2011)

It is privilege to share poetry from talented writers that are no longer with us.  It is a reminder that our words live beyond a lifetime.  Virginia Johe is the daughter of jani johe webster and the grandmother of Nila Webster, who penned her bio below.  It is Whispers’  first three generation family of writers. What a joy to publish their words!

                                         Sincerely--Karen O’Leary--Editor

A Lesson

I have learned my lesson well --
heard the ringing of the bell --
no more saying "Yes"
when I'm really thinking "No"
I'm important to myself.

Virginia Johe (1911 - 2011) began to write poetry after she lost her beloved husband of over fifty years. She did this with the encouragement of her daughter, Rochester poet jani johe webster. jani, who is my mother, and who taught me the magic of creative writing, saw this great grief consuming her mother's life, and bought my grandmother Virginia an electric typewriter. Virginia set up a work area and began to type out her grief in the form of poetry. With jani's help, she submitted poetry to print journals for many years. This poem was written shortly after her husband's death, in 1980.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Embers of Time--By Joyce I. Johnson--United States

Embers of Time

Time comes--time goes and we forget
The wonder of its being.
The sights it brings to dazzle us
We see without the seeing.

But lo, there comes a special day
When we mark every minute,
A time when everything is right
And every moment in it.

Such a day is this one
With Easter Sunday dawning.
I know I'll see all those I love
Before the nighttime's yawning.

Time to remember--time to keep
Within my book of living.
I am so grateful to my God
For the special times He's giving.

Joyce I. Johnson lives in the beautiful Skagit Valley of Washington State. She owns a small farm and rents her land to a bulb grower. She is surrounded by beauty in the spring from the tulips and daffodils that inspire much of her poetry. Joyce celebrated her 96th birthday in July of 2014.

Tanka--By Rita Odeh--Israel

koi tattoo-
he dives into
the water
unaware of my
heart’s ripples

foggy stars...
to see a mockingbird's
fading song
and hear the echo
of a frog's croak

In a dream,
I saw a caged bird.
When I woke up,
you were near me

Rita Odeh is the author of seven books, including Buds of Dream which was released May 2014 and is available from Amazon. Her haiku and haiga have been honored with many awards. To read more of her poems, please go to Catching the Moment,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Poet of the Month--Brian Strand

A Jade Elegy
(structured prose in phrasis form)

By Brian Strand

A rhapsody of summer, a symphony
of blue, green on white. Sand and spray
empty days remain in memory.
Advent of Autumn clouds, and midnight
rain, reunion of the last frontier of the year,
before nature falls asleep.
A prelude to counter storms, a jade
elegy in dream and vow offering enduring
portraits in polyphonic prose.

(a phrasis tribute to John Gould Fletcher an imagist poet of the early twentieth century)

From the editor--It is a pleasure to announce that Brian Strand is April’s Poet of the Month.  He is a talented writer accomplished in a variety of forms, several that he has developed.  Readers at Whispers enjoy his work.  I’ve know Brian for a number of years, and he has always been a willing teacher.  He was our Activity Editor in December, January and February, sharing his forms which writers enjoyed working with.  He has been a been a contributor to our online journal for over two years and can always be counted on to share something creative.  What a joy to present him with this honor.

Thoughts on “A Jade Elegy”--Right from the start, Brian caught my attention with his creative title, an asset for any poem.  His multi-sense imagery allows the reader to experience what his is conveying.  There is so much depth to this concise elegy that it begs for more than one reading, a hallmark of a talented writer.  Yet, again, Brian treats us to another of his forms for us to enjoy.

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


Karen O’Leary, Editor

Sky Movie--By Diana Dalton--United States

Sky Movie

I am as the sky
Clouds pass by
Sun shines
Darkening appears
Sky is still here
A bird glides
A storm rages
I am space
For all to be
Within the whole
Watch sky screen
See, be ......?

Diana Dalton was born in England. She grew up loving the county side which later developed and inspired her desire to capture those beautiful moments which she does through her poetry, her spiritual nature and photography. Though not a prolific writer Diana has had her poems read on Dutch radio, and has been featured in some American compilations of poetry. She will dabble and challenge herself with some recognized forms, yet most often, Diana likes the freedom of words and will take some poetic license even to inventing non existent words together with her husband and fellow poet, Yancy Dalton.

Summer--By Linda Hurdwell--England


So ethereal like a starlit dawn
A mysterious track beside the lawn
Perhaps fairy dust that shimmers and shines
A sun trapped sparkling silver line

I look to the end of this magical path
Then feel both sick yet want to laugh
Were I a toad I would croak with fun
Observing this shining beneath the sun

‘Oh joy, oh gladness something to eat’
The toad gobbles up his slimy treat
A rain filled summer is always the same
A deluge of slugs from no where came

I notice the toad disappear
Watch something both tender and dear
A bumblebee drones inspecting a flower
Before nature’s unexpected shower.

A butterfly dances with great delight
Observing a typical garden sight
Gossamer wings flutter and sway
On a normal English summer’s day.

Linda Hurdwell has been a widow for 5 years.  She has two adult sons. Living in the English countryside, she takes her dog, Bessie, for a daily walks and that's where many of her poems and stories are born.  She has always loved writing and has a few short stories published.  Although now a pensioner,  she enjoys working with adults with learning disabilities and running a mencap social club once a week.  Her hobbies are writing, tap dancing, and going to the theatre or cinema with my friends.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cardinal at my Windows--By Marlene Million--United States

Cardinal at my Windows

You tap at glass window
above the front door,
Cardinal, so robust red.

Back and forth you flutter,
perch, look in at me, then
fly to sun room's brick ledge
peeking in window, as I write.

You are my April friend come
to say "Good morning" and
"Good afternoon," pecking at bird-
seed in feeder, filled to brim.

With the budding of trees,
tulips and daffodils, you bring
a springtime message of rebirth
and promise of renewal. . .

You look in on me at sliding-glass
window door, then fly towards
berry bush, Cardinal mine!

Marlene Million is a retired insurance secretary from her husband's business and grandmother of four. She has published two chapbooks and belongs to several writers’ groups. She had a poem on display at Indianapolis Arts Garden the month of February, 2013 and has been published in a variety of venues.

Present--By David J. Kelly--Ireland


Here we are, again. Perhaps this is the only place we can ever be … here. Even if our footprints have faded, we cannot escape the place to which they have brought us. The present transports us from one moment to the next. Though we may try to slow or stop our progress, we continue to move forwards in time, forever meeting the future. Today, perhaps, you can pause to consider acts of giving and receiving across the world, the emotions they convey, the memories they provide. In keeping with custom, here is my present to you ... here ... in your hands, between these lines. With the greatest of care, I have taken and woven time through these words; fragments of my lifetime, impossibly frozen, awaiting reanimation. Now (or in the future), should you find you need a moment away from the busy world, please remember, it need not be a moment alone.

David J. Kelly is an animal ecologist based in Dublin, Ireland. While his day job revolves around science writing, his light poetry and Japanese verse forms (haiku, tanka, haibun and haiga) have been published in a number of journals and anthologies. He aspires to publish a book of poetry one day, when he has enough suitable material. David is a member of The British Haiku Society and Haiku Ireland.

Monday, April 13, 2015

At the Inlet--By John Swain--United States

At the Inlet

Riptides shift at the inlet
with a violent pull
back to the ocean.
Sun breaks the marine layer
to color the waves in places
of spectral entrance.
Grave-shaped winds bury
the shore with shore
to begin a new world.
A serpent completes the ring
holding me in change
I take from the watchful.
Crows darken the oak
like the hope of arising
from the masks we shadow.

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Red Paint Hill published his first collection, Ring the Sycamore Sky.

Tanka--By Ali Znaidi--Tunisia

I forget about
the stinging prickles
of cacti

all night long
admiring the full moon…
what more could
I possibly want?

summer again…
further ado
the sun returns
to its own glitter

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

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beauty Within--By Kelly Deschler--United States

Beauty Within

I can see
a beautiful soul
lies within me.
no mirror can reflect
who I really am.

Kelly Deschler is a poet from Big Falls, WI. Several of her works have been printed in compilations with Eber & Wein Publishing, including, Endless Horizon's: Nature's Embrace (2009), Best Poets Of 2010, Times Like These: Right Now (2010), Patience and Grace (2012), In My Lifetime, Who's Who In American Poetry, and This Time Around (2013).

The Stalwart Face Of Spring--By Yvonne Sparkes--England

The Stalwart Face Of Spring

There in that stock-piled mass of wood,
A Blackbird roosts, protecting her growing brood,
Patiently she faces springtime chills,
The cold damp air, that ruffles all her frills.

Such perseverance takes my breath away,
Would melt the heart, as if were made of clay,
Such joy to think that in each brand new morn,
She sits up on the nest to keep them warm.

I never cease to wonder with delight,
At nature’s own inimitable fight,
Driven by genes, and too the sands of time,
Evolutionary paths, forever upward climb.

Now God is never nearer to me than this,
Unfolding the wonder, and the bliss,
In my garden dramas must to be won,
Life own cycles end, and new life has begun.

Born on Feb. 27, 1940 in Barkingside, Essex, England, Yvonne Sparkes,  immigrated to New York in April, 1948 with her parents.  She now resides in Chelmsford, Essex and has two sons.  She has a book published by Cyberwit called Captured Images.  A writer for many years, Yvonne has been published in Israel, Germany, France, Australia, America, and Britain.  She has read her poetry in public at Church and Knockout Competitions. Her hobbies are travel, the arts, reading, hiking, taking her Scottish Terrier for walks, and spending time with family and friends.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Questions--By Joan McNerney--United States


Who composed this cosmic puzzle
sifting through dark dominions
from the empty before?

What ignited the blackness
with swinging lanterns of fire
through that longest night?

When did time begin careening
on its urgent journey to shake
something out of nothing?

Where is the mind who forged
such astonishing starbursts
hammering beacons of light?

Why did shadows turn to
brightness...the glory of
our sun becoming golden?

How can heaven be silent
while blue jays meet in concert
under mounds of sterling clouds?

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Camel Saloon, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane and Poppy Road Anthologies.

Haiku--By Chen-ou Liu--Canada

winter twilight
the one-legged veteran faces
a revolving door

winter mist ...
bookmarking a moment
with this haiku

no trace left ...
I weave her laughter
into my dream

my shadow and me
in the silence
a wall clock ticking

Chen-ou Liu is the author of four books, including Following the Moon to the Maple Land (First Prize Winner of the 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest). His tanka and haiku have been honored with many awards. To read more of his poems, please go to Poetry in the Moment,

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Grave Dug--By Sara Kendrick--United States

The Grave Dug

Pines release their yellow pollen
Gold coats all surfaces
Unaware of the fresh grave dug
Grief the family faces

A lovely spring day for some gathered
Rain clouds for others there
Standing side by side each person
Of emotions unaware

Yellow swallowtail butterfly
Floats 'pon springs gentle breeze
A pleasant surprise on this day
Graces the grave with ease

New life expressed through its soft flight
Yellow, bright, and sunny
Much like the deceased's pleasant life
She lived quiet and homey

Sara Kendrick married young and had a family soon after. After her last child went to school, she decided to pursue her GED. A gentlemen who worked with the GED program encouraged her to enroll in college.  She worked part time and cared for her family in addition to her studies. She graduated from Mercer University. Several years ago, after a health crisis, she started writing poetry. 

Reflection--By Phyllis Babcock--Canada


Take a deep breath of air
Look into the arc of the sun
Today we are full of life
Who knows what the morrow brings

Seasons come and seasons go
Summer rains and winter snows

Past memories engulf our mind
Thoughts of yesteryear left behind
We progress with each new day
Creating new moments to hide away

Seasons come and seasons go
Summer rains and winter snows

We can live in the present or past
Just remember life moves on fast
Life comes with no guarantee
Here today, gone tomorrow
Then life is but a distant memory.

Phyllis Babcock was born in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1951 and currently resides in Regina with her husband. She has been blessed with two wonderful sons and daughter-in-laws. She has two grandsons and two granddaughters. She started writing poetry in 2004 and joined Poetry Soup site in 2006. She has been published in two anthologies, On Butterfly Wings and Snippets. Her work has also appeared on and in a local seniors’ newspaper. She feels writing has been a wonderful journey, meeting many new poets and writers along the way.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Sheri Stanley--United States and Jack Horne--England

In A Natural High

By Sheri Stanley and Jack Horne

I feel the night belongs to me
The evening soft and peaceful

Alone, with no one there to see
As night embraces the warm lull

Deep silence fills me like a prayer
Sitting by the running stream

In this moment lingering there
I smile a cherished, secret dream

My eyes look up toward the sky
Soaking in the glorious moon

Basking in this natural high
Glorious moonbeams play their tune


    The hooting owls and flapping bats
    Disturb my blissful, dreamlike state

    A howling dog and fighting cats
    I’m going home, it’s getting late!

Primal Dust Among The Stars--By Ronald Grognet--United States

Primal Dust Among The Stars

When my grandchildren ask,
Where do you go when you finally die?
"To primal dust among the stars.
It’s there I’ll be, in the sky."

As plausible an answer
As any I have heard before
Replaces a heaven too complex,
Fashioned by ancient lore.

Stars are present and ever changing
Drifting about in an infinite space,
Occupying those regions
Our defining forces set in place.

There are those who may ask,
What does religion say about such a plan?
I will be content to answer that.
"Religion left me where I began."

Ronald Grognet is a retired Clinical Psychologist who practiced private individual and family therapy for thirty-five years. He lived and worked in Washington D.C., and Sarasota, FL before retiring in New Orleans to be close to his grandsons. Besides his volunteer time spent on disaster assignments for the Red Cross, he fills his time devoted to haiku poetry. His interest in poetry came as a gift in retirement. Reading an article about haiku filled with many examples, he recognized its similarity to the reflective stance of the meditation he practiced for many years. He has vigorously pursued its study for the last two years, personally experiencing its healing and enlightening qualities.

Broken Heart Menders--By James Andrew Fraser--Scotland

Broken Heart Menders

There is a little garden
Where ickle cherubs stay
They are hearts little menders
Under natures scented bouquet

Red threads they pull and spin
From the cotton tree behind
To mend our broken hearts
Their sewing so intertwined

They sit and sew and sew
To mend our broken hearts
As they bring two halves together
And wonder why they part

They have heard so many stories
As to why they drifted so
But these ickle little cherubs
Just sit and sew and sew

There is a little garden
Where broken hearts are mended
So if your heart gets broken
These cherubs will re-mend it

James Andrew Fraser resides in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, Bonnie Scotland.
His hobbies apart from poetry are music, art and football.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Freedom--By Connie Marcum Wong--United States


In solitude I dream tonight
And watch a moth in fevered flight.

It’s drawn toward my quaint porch light
And flies consumed with all its might.

Through open window I can see
Its desperation shared with me;

How freedom in this world is light—
And we as souls are drawn to fight.

Though freedom’s light may cause our death,
It’s worth the risk with every breath.

I understand the moth’s sad plight
When drawn to the glorious light.

Though it knows not of human trust,
It buzzes on because it must!

Connie Marcum Wong has been the Web Mistress of a private poetry forum Poetry for Thought since October 1999. Her poetry has been in many publications, anthologies, magazines, and e-zines over the years. She published her first poetry chapbook, Island Creations in 2005. In 2007, Heart Blossoms was published. In January 2010, an anthology, A Poetry Bridge to All Nations, was published by Lulu Enterprises, Inc. Connie created the 'Constanza' poetry form in 2007 and Con-Verse form in 2010. She has resided with her husband in Hawaii since 1980.

Silver Dreams--By Annie Jenkin--England

Silver Dreams

of a new moon -
promising new beginnings
uplifting brightness, rays of hope
and growth

Annie Jenkin lives in Plymouth, England. Having not written poetry for many years, Annie has returned to poetry writing with enthusiasm. Her writing explores several subject areas that are insightful, humorous but can also be sensitive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Brevettes--By Robert P. Hansen--United States

p u n c t u r e

f o l l o w

p r o  o k i n g


t a k i[mage] n g

s h a r p e n

Robert P. Hansen teaches philosophy courses at a community college. In addition to poetry, he also writes genre fiction. His recent eBook publications include a free Story Sampler (14 stories from his collections), The Golden Key (Book 3 of his Angus the Mage fantasy series), and 2014: A Year of Poetry. For more information on his writing and where to find what he has published, visit his blog at:

Her Dream--By Beth Winchcombe--England

Her Dream

She noticed it for the first time
whilst walking her dog.
The mist rolled around
surrounding it – yet
at that precise moment
she fell in love!
Where was that magnet?
Somewhere it lay hidden from view.
It stood forlorn,
no windows, no doors -
just an empty shell on the moors!
She felt compelled to enter,
it was full of emptiness
yet, she wanted to make it her home.
She meandered from room to room,
sunlight flowed in the gloom.
Cobwebs hung – spiders -
the only sign of life.
She saw it inhabited – full of warmth...
...her dream was to make it her home

Beth Winchcombe is now a retired housewife and enjoys writing poetry, also painting in oils.  She lives in Derbyshire, England.

Monday, April 6, 2015

jani johe webster--(In Memory-May 2013)--United States

jani johe shared her unique style and insight which left readers in awe.  But more importantly, she was a bright light in the writing community, always ready to support others in their journeys.  I am glad to have been able to call her my friend.  Her words live on in various publications, continuing to be a gift to the world.                                                                                          Sincerely, Karen O’Leary--Editor

dancing poems

the sea whispered to the shells
and the mountains whispered to the clouds
the wind whispered a song all its own
    and we listened
        and we heard the secrets
            and held them close

we were free then
with wild swans and dancing poems
mist a dawn and rippling light
    and no news anywhere

This poem was recently published in Where the Poems Dance, a collection of her poetry and photography by Suzanne Webb.  It includes an introduction by her daughter, Nila Webster, and reflection questions about the poems to stimulate the imagination of the reader.

Tanka--By Yuan Changming--Canada

the sun builds a bold
buffer between day and night
yet leaves a thin limbo...
between sea and sky
I am in that limbo

Yuan Changming, an 8-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in a remote village, began to learn English at 19, and published several monographs before leaving China. Currently, Yuan tutors and co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. His poetry appears in 1009 literary publications across 32 countries, including Asahi Shimbun, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Ginyu and Threepenny Review.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pages--By Gerald Heyder--United States


With the slow turning
of pages, life changes,
it rearranges in stages
so insidiously we
do not see or feel
the snail’s pace creeping
of time in our tenure
of existence on earth.
Sand in the hour glass
passes by and we sigh
wondering why we didn’t
comprehend the end result
of events presented to us
on the carousel of life.
The cradle is rocking
turning our pages
until the book is done.

Gerald Heyder is a published poet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Day of The Dead--By Jan Oskar Hansen--Portugal

The Day of The Dead

The cemetery in Loule is on top of a hill, today
early spring the steep hillside is full of luscious
yellow flowers. Not like ripe lemons, more like
Swiss butter, from the rich milk of cows will bells
and horns; sturdy feet able to carry big, rose-pink
udders and be milked by smiling maidens with
strong arms creamy white as a Valkyrie’s bosom

What you didn’t see- all this life- when blinded
by the intensity of every sun lit flower came
from a rotting coffins, the few day in early spring
when the dead are let out, sway on a hillside and
soak up the sun.

Jan Oskar Hansen is a published poet from Portugal.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

she thought she heard--By Jim Teeters--United States

she thought she heard

angels breathe
soft as desert sand
wind that gently stirred the leaves

beneath her feet – solid earth
above – the firmament
all was still
as a country wheat field
on a summer evening

then – their breathing
             she thought she heard
                          she wept

not despair
but something
like a child’s arms
reaching for a mother

so she breathed
with them in unison
knew how small she was
how far from home

Jim Teeters has published poetry in several anthologies. He conducts poetry workshops for children and adults and is active in poetry readings in the Seattle area through the Striped Water Poets. He is the author of six poetry collections and the book, Teach with Style, (ASTD Press July 2013). Jim is a retired social worker living in Kent, Washington.

Porter, Madam ?--By Alan McAlpine Douglas--United Kingdom

Porter, Madam ?

Were I not such
a gentleman,

I would notice the bags
under your eyes,

and offer to help
you carry them.

Alan McAlpine Douglas, father to 5 and grandfather to 3, has been writing poetry since 1993. His idiosyncratic voice has produced thousands of poems in this time, and he finds it quite hard to stay serious, even when he means to. He also enjoys writing spoofs, using well-known poems or songs like Clementine or In the Ghetto as his models.