Thursday, August 27, 2015

Escaping the Matrix: A Choka--By Nalini Priyadarshni--India

Escaping the Matrix: A Choka

We remain same though
Something dies in us each day
To pave way for new
That did not exist before
Evolution perhaps, or
Endless possibilities
Exist outside the matrix

Nalini Priyadarshni is a poet, writer, editor and amateur photographer. Her work has appeared at numerous magazines and international anthologies including Up the Staircase Weekly, eFiction India, Mad Swirl, Camel Saloon, Lipstickparty mag, Tanka Undertow, Locution Mag, and Earl of Plaid. Her forthcoming publications include Learning & Creativity and Dukool. She lives in, India with her husband and two feisty kids.

Aftermath--By Tim Ryerson--United States

Aftermath -

tree frogs are singing
to orange-black tinted clouds
against purple sky

set in the foreground
an A-Frame rooftop peeks out
between long-leaf pines

further off due south
thunder still rumbles and rolls,
threatening the peace

a single raindrop
draining from the carport roof
tickles down my nose

the sight and the sound
of the eternal present
in the perfect now

Tim Ryerson is a published poet from Ponchatoula, Louisiana who retired from the printing business in 2011. He began writing in the 80’s but did not take it seriously until 2001 after the untimely death of his then 21 year old son. He does not have a ‘signature style’ but prefers writing different forms of poetry. Many of his poems use southern slang and Cajun dialect. He also enjoys writing humorous poems, especially limericks and senryu and was among the winners in the latest Humor Press writing contest with his entry “Emergency Rooms Just KILL me.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

October Sky--By Jan Allison--United Kingdom

October Sky
dusky marmalade
drips onto the horizon
eyes feast hungrily

fiery embers glow
painted with swirling brushstrokes
artistry of God

waxing crescent moon
peeps through rich tangerine clouds
dream time approaches

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.

Dreams, Thoughts and Moments--By Robert Hewett Sr.--United States

Dreams, Thoughts and Moments

Every little dream I dream at night
has you safe in my arms holding me tight.
Every little thought I think each day
has your beautiful eyes looking my way.
Each little moment of my daily life,
I have happy thoughts of you as my wife.
My every heartbeat is for your love.
I sing with the raindrops sent from above.
But, alas, such deep love can never be;
that love would be strong as an oak tree.
Even roses don’t last, not even for me.
Dreams are just wishful thinking.
Thoughts are gone as quick as blinking.
Moments never stay around very long
So love of my life I will sing you a song.

Robert Hewett Sr. was born 1n 1933 on a Texas cotton farm. He moved to Oklahoma City at Age 14 and entered the U. S Army from there in 1953. Robert has been writing poetry and short stories for his family and himself since his teen years, but is just now publishing his collection of works. His hobbies include writing poetry and stories; clock and watch collections; gardening and growing flowers and shrubs from cuttings. Most of his poetry tells a story, a gift from his father who was a master story teller. He has received numerous awards for his work in his professional life and for his writing. You can find some of his writings at ""

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Love Everlasting--By Linda Hurdwell--England

Love Everlasting

I might have gone but you mustn’t fear
You can’t see me now yet I am here.
I’m in a snowflake or splash of rain
I’m the soft breeze that soothes your pain
You’ll feel my kiss in the morning dew
You’ll catch my love in a hazy hue
And when the sun is hot and strong
My smile is wide as I sing a song
You’ll hear my voice as the wind plays
Bellowing and blowing on gusty days
I’m in the flowers, the grass, the air
I’m a cloud, a leaf in nature’s lair
And when it’s dark and cold and bleak
My arms will hug you as I speak
Whisper to my children dear
Don’t weep, don’t fret, for I am here

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.

Shopping Question--By Suzanne Clement--United States

Shopping Question

I brought some cream of rice at the store
Because I found I needed some more.
It’s on a shelf quite high.
And so I say, why
Can’t it be on a shelf nearer to the floor?

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Butterfly Emerges--By Kelly Deschler--United States

The Butterfly Emerges

From the dark cocoon, the butterfly emerges,
Finally realizing she cannot control her urges,
To witness the beauty of the midnight moon,
The butterfly emerges, from the dark cocoon.

She flew from the shadows, out into the daylight,
The colors on her wings had never shone so bright,
She was meant to be here, her brave heart knows,
Out into the daylight, she flew from the shadows.

No more sitting alone, back in her little room,
No more hiding in dampness, darkness and gloom,
She had finally found a friend to call her own,
Back in her little room, no more sitting alone. 

Kelly Deschler lives in Big Falls, Wisconsin, United States.

Desi Chinese--By Shloka Shankar--India

Desi Chinese

Chinese takeout was our thing –
specifically – Desi Chinese.
My dad and I almost always made sure
there was enough vinegar in the rice,
much to the chagrin of my mother.
She would tell us about how

it was just right. Of course it wasn’t.
Now she knows. Few words were spoken,
but a lot of gesticulations in the form
of gustatory head banging and
garlic sighs peppered the table.

The crunch of a still reasonably warm
spring-roll would signal that we were really
starting to dig in to our meal. My dad would
ask me, “How is it?” and I would mumble
through a garden of vegetables, “Sho good!”

In between all the soy sauce, ajinomoto,
and vinegar (of course), we were just
the three of us – enjoying a family meal.

It was our little tradition. And it smelled of home.

Shloka Shankar is a freelance writer residing in India. Her work appears in over two dozen international anthologies including publications by Paragram, Silver Birch Press, Minor Arcana Press, Harbinger Asylum, Kind of a Hurricane Press and Writing Knights Press among others. Her poems, erasures, haiku & tanka have appeared in numerous print and online journals. She is also the editor of the literary and arts journal, Sonic Boom.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Treat your taste buds to an adventure. Read this month's activity. Poets from all over the world share their love of food: a traditional dish, a personal favorite or family favorite. We celebrate love and memorable occasions in our lives with the enjoyment of food. Thank you to all those poets who generously shared their taste sensations and heartfelt memories with us. As editor, I was fortunate to savor these memories with you, because food can bring people and words together in surprising ways.

Activity Editor
Anne Curran

Roast Pork Dinner

We’re finally warm after the snow.

By Kelley White

Mexican Enchiladas

Visiting Mama and her homecoming special: OOH enchiLA-LAdas!

By Charlene McCutcheon
Sunday Roast

dad sharpens the carving knife

By Anne Curran
Bacon and Sausage Pizza

three nephews and an empty box

By ayaz daryl nielsen
Stuffed Rump Steak

Dripping and appetizing;
Cholesterol hides behind the taste.

By Paul Callus
Beloved Sitshwala

mouth-watering stiff dumpling from maize
gracing today`s hot pot

By Ndaba Sibanda
Faschiertes (German for Hamburger)

Hamburger, luscious,
dripping ketchup and mayo,
gherkin, and fries - gone !

By Alan McAlpine Douglas
Pure Bliss

Electrically charged,
high vibration,
freshly squeezed
orange juice
sunshine -

By Scott Thomas Outlar

A dish only for swimmers in Upper Lusatia

By Gert. W. Knop

Country Sausage

the tentative first bite testing the cayenne's heat 

By Elizabeth Howard

Corn Bread

grandma saves crumbles for the birds.

By Rosa Clement

Food Sown In Culture 

If spices seldom miss your tongue,
you're in India.

By Vasanthi S. Pillai

Sweet Tea

grandma pours from an endless pot, our glasses full

By Barbara Tate
Lancashire Hot Pot

Highly recommended by the visitors guide

By Beth Winchcombe


So hot 'twas made by Satan himself!

By Robert L. Hinshaw

Gathered Together

fried chicken, mashed potatoes
and Mom's famous stuffing...
truly blessed!

By Karen O’Leary

Soylent Green

Mmmmm… Tasty.

By Robert P. Hansen

Sugar, raisins, nuts and ghee
Children relish it for free.

By Ranu Uniyal 

Fish and Chips

Wrapped in newspaper

By Jack Horne

A PC Cabbage

Sauerkraut today.  Victory Cabbage in 1917.

By Ron Larson

Roast Pork

Looking forward to the scratchings

By Beth Winchcombe

Sunday Night Popcorn

Watching Bonanza with bowl after bowl after buttery bowl.

By Andrea Dietrich

Wake up

to that first hot cup of java.

By Joan McNerney

Sunday Dessert

bananas and wafers added to the pudding

By Maurice J. Reynolds

Dumplings (Another German/Austrian favourite)

Light as air,
bread rolls soaked,
boiled, consumed with pork.

By Alan McAlpine Douglas

Slurping up delicious noodles.

By David Fox

my favorite uncle

madeira cake in the tin 

By Anne Curran

Fried Okra

Mother lifts browned slices from the cast-iron skillet

By Elizabeth Howard

Bean Soup

mother blows on mine to cool it.

By Rosa Clement

Hot Cross Buns

Who remembers Granny White’s recipe?

By Kelley White

Cherry Pie

ice creme already in my dish

By ayaz daryl nielsen

Mopani Worms

dried and salted
a delicacy  that saw an eater
swallow up his tongue!

By Ndaba Sibanda


no longer in season, I go to the freezer

By Barbara Tate

Aloo Puri 

Hot, spicy, puff and fry
Sunday mornings never dry. 

By Ranu Uniyal

Bakewell Tart

She's my favourite Derbyshire delight

By Beth Winchcombe

Frankfurt Green Sauce

Nice with potatoes if you are not a Martian

By Gert W. Knop

Sunday Pot Roast

Mom's tenderest dish I always topped with ketchup!

By Andrea Dietrich


from home made, banana bread fill my kitchen.

By Joan McNerney

What a joy to read these delightful poems!  So many of our memories are connected with food.  Special thanks to Anne for coming up with this activity and all her hard work as editor for this column.  Thank you, also, to all the talented contributors who shared their favorite foods and memories.  

Karen O'Leary
Whispers' Editor

Crossroads--By Peggy Dugan French--United States


She’s standing in her room
A rare morning
She no longer lives here . . . just visiting.

I soak up her warmth
Watch her get ready for her day
Perched in her doorway, coffee in hand.

Light pours into the room
Her highlights glisten
I remind her she’s beautiful.

She smiles
Tilts her head

I wonder
Where has the time gone . . .

Peggy Dugan French is a California girl with Minnesota roots. She has enjoyed being the editor of Shemom since 1997. She has worn many hats over the years, but being a Mom has been one of her greatest adventures; she’s had the pleasure of sharing that journey with her best friend.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Haiku--By John McDonald--Scotland

lit candles
tears as they melt -
Nagasaki day

a vase of lilies
dripping pollen
and: a Jackson Pollock

barbecue -
the sun's light sizzles
amongst the sausages

he said he saw
God dance once cranes

John McDonald is a retired stone-mason who came to haiku in the mid-nineties. He fell in love with the genre immediately. Being a writer in the Scots language this genre fitted so well with Scots: a language steeped in rural life and having a natural succinctness to it. John has his own blog in Scots, with English versions:  He enjoys being involved in translations, working with the very fine Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock on various ventures, the most recent being translations into Irish and Scots of the great haiku poet Buson: Moon over Tagoto and has appeared in many anthologies.

One Day--By Sara R. Vogler--United States

One Day

what to do when things can’t work,
what to say when words don’t come,
what to do?

feelings are power,
but emotions are brighter.
standing on a bridge,
where thoughts get higher,
when hearts collide,
all I want is you.

motions through the day,
prove irresistible, thoughts are irreplaceable.
today comes one day,
and I am here for one day only.

Sara R. Vogler is a published poet and writer, originally from Krakow, Poland. Currently living in Washington, DC, her work has ranged from poetry to critical essays. Recently, she has collaborated with her father on a three-piece book featuring work to honor their past. Vogler finds comfort in knowing that her words will someday make a lasting impression on someone's life.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I Hear Guitars a' Calling--By Terry O’Leary--France

I Hear Guitars a' Calling

I hear guitars a’ calling in the gloaming’s final fling
when sinking suns subdue their flames for fairies on the wing,
as day departs, a yawning ash beneath a dusky haze,
igniting one by one the jewels of midnight’s diamond blaze.

I hear guitars a’ calling from the clouds within the skies,
with tunes which flow as purple drops from sombre misting eyes
of misplaced muted homeless souls who roam alone in grief
beneath the vastness of the stars while trembling like a leaf.

I hear guitars a’ calling in the gentle splashing rain
which summons with a soothing purr upon my window pane
evoking vivid childhood dreams within a vagrant breeze
entwining me in cryptic webs of misty vortices.

I hear guitars a’ calling from the waves on distant shores;
they’re crashing out a monody upon the mystic oars
of phantom ships before the dawn, like spectral caravels,
a’ sail on seas of raven wings from moonlit citadels.

I hear guitars a’ calling in the morning’s reveilles;
they’re pouring fires in the skies and burning up the seas,
while waking flowers in the fields and setting trees ablaze,
and closing one by one the eyes of midnight’s starry gaze.

Terry O’Leary defines himself as "A physicist lacking gravity...".

Cat Quartet--By Joan McNerney--United States

Cat Quartet


Black and white kitten
lying under clothesline in
soft circles of sleep.


Windy afternoon
my calico cat leans forward
against the cold.


That tiger cat with
winking green eyes tossing
up balls of red yarn.


the gingersnap cat stares as
I get undressed.

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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Alas Fair Muse--By Yvonne Sparkes--England

Alas Fair Muse

Alas, fair Muse is filled with sadness,
Drowning in this life’s travails.
Though in her heart she’s filled with gladness
Hidden by a wintery veil.

When taste of sorrow cuts so deep,
A bleeding heart she tries to stave,
Her countenance of faith will keep
To rise above her earthly grave.

In rising, thus she breaks the mold,
Of pressures, sores and chains of yore,
As futures are so oft foretold,
Within the essence of the core.

To hold within the substance thus,
Where life cannot ingrain the grime,
There lives a part of will and trust,
To find such moments, and such time.

She rises like the ancient story,
From the ashes to the fight,
Finding her own place in glory
From the depths of darkest night.

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.

Adobe Abode--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States

Adobe Abode

The store bought balsa birdhouse
brought by my grand-girl today
hangs on the same bent rusty nail

hammered in our backyard tree
where the handmade house her
mommy mounted forty years ago

formed from two orange terra cotta
flower pots one upside down on top
of the other held with preschool paste.

Saved in my special place the broken
yellow pencil perch once poked below
the oval hole and a shard of aged clay

displaying initials etched by my three
year old daughter preserved forever
in an old man’s nest of memories.

Carl "Papa" Palmer, retired Army, retired FAA, now just plain retired, lives in University Place, Washington. He has seven chapbooks and a contest winning poem riding buses somewhere in Seattle. Carl has been nominated for the Micro Award and Pushcart Prize.

MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Limitless...--By Sandra Stefanowich--Canada


in a universal spiral


standing in the golden light of the sun


in an undiscovered forest of emerald trees


mountains of the purest silver


into oceans of the deepest sapphire blue


by the clearest of crystal winds


into the passageway of ruby red twilight

defying gravity... 

limitless, we are diamonds in a jet black night

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Sandra is a self taught writer. She has been writing off and on since an early age. Most of her writing revolves around what she sees in everyday life, nature and her concerns about mankind. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, animals and photography.

Murder at the Prom--By Kathryn McLoughlin Collins--United States

Murder at the Prom

Frankie Lyman shrilled his falsetto.
Gwendolyn Gould danced in stilettos.
So callously smothered,
they never recovered.
Poor little piggies, scrunched little toes.

Born in 1945, Kathryn Collins is a native New Yorker now living in Connecticut whose works have been described as “a gentle sort of poetry” by the editor of her first book No Need for Breadcrumbs, published by BeWrite Books, 2004. Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies. Inspired by her beloved grandmother, she developed a great love of poetry at an early age and has been writing for 20 years.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Burden of Silence--By Kala Ramesh--India

The Burden of Silence

I hear a child whimpering . . .

The black tar road shimmers with the heavy rain we've had since morning. Each lamppost creating a mockery of the halo around the bulb. The darkening street comes alive, responding to something in the air, like the burden of silence in a courtroom before the verdict is announced.

Again, this whimpering sound . . . the child utters a name in between other obscure sounds. Curled on the road I see a woman in a sari, deep red in patches. A hit and run case. A gang rape. I dig into my sling bag for the cell phone. I need to call the police. But, I hesitate. Do I have the time and space to be dragged into this ruthless act?

The ticking seconds juxtapose my heartbeats. I dial 100

 withered branches
 stirring colours
 within me
 the present becomes my past
 running into my future

First published in - A Hundred Gourds 4:1 – December 2014

Neck deep in haiku, her face barely visible, Kala Ramesh, an award winning poet has been instrumental in bringing school kids and college youth into haiku. Indian music being extempore in nature, has taught Kala to think within and without the box — to be creative, daring and innovative and still adhere to the demands of an art form. Her latest obsession is to paint city walls with haiku, to weave in a pause, a breather into our hectic lives!

Poolside--By Marlene Million--United States


Turquoise pool invited splash! Spotting
teen-agers plunging off diving board,
I stretched zig-zag printed towel atop
chase, and lathered oil over limbs.

Radio tunes herald leisure. Tiny toddler
in polka-dotted bikini munched cheesy chips.
Baby brother floated in canopied tube;
young girl lost green goggles.

Settling, I pulled can from cooler,
as ice cubes rattled to bottom. Ah, cold
liquid soothed parched throat, while
sun's sultry radiance sizzled!

Sweating under hot rays, I rise for a dip.
Sunshine sparkling over water like
sprinkled diamonds, soft wind whisks.
Wrapped in summer's heat. . .

I dive into cool refreshment.

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.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Haiku--By Angelee Deodhar--India

the shepherd’s hut
washed away

persimmon afternoon-
within the wisteria canopy
Shiki remembered

mowing the lawn-
cold golden beer slides down
my parched throat

well water
poured into my thirsty hands-
I, Chiyo-ni

while doing laundry
at the river's edge
the flow of gossip

Previously published in the Asahi Shimbun Haikuist Network, Japan

Angelee Deodhar, an eye surgeon by profession is a haiku poet, translator, and artist. She lives and works in Chandigarh, India. Her haiku/haibun/haiga have been published internationally in various books and journals, and her work can be viewed on many websites. To promote haiku in India, she has translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi, which she distributed for free. These bilingual books include: If Someone Asks: Masaoka Shiki's Life and Haiku (2005),Classic Haiku: A Master's Selection, edited by Miura Yuzuru (2006), Ogura Hyakunin Isshu: 100 Poems by 100 Poets (2007), Children’s Haiku from Around the World–A Haiku Primer (2007), Indian Haiku (2008), and The Distant Mountain: The Life and Haiku of Kobayashi Issa (2009).

Silhouette of Life--By Mary A. Couch--United States

Silhouette of Life

Your silhouette resides amid the field,
bleak skeleton remains of a home now lost.
Red brick rubble, once full of life that yield,
tears and laughter in days of sun and frost.

You stood beneath a scraggly old oak tree
whose branches harbored squirrels and tiny tots.
They climbed and swung upon its limbs so free,
but now like you, forlorn, it slowly rots.

Of brick and mortar, you were born one day,
enclosed by heather and golden flowers.
Naught but a shattered memory today,
an empty-eyed abode that’s lost it powers.

In life you were a home of joy for all,
you’ve gone, and what remains is one brick wall.

Mary A. Couch resides in Noblesville, Indiana, and works as an Admin Assistant for Taylored Systems, Inc. a local telecommunication company. She is the Premier Poet for the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs, and she learned poetry from her mother and two grandmothers who were writers, artists and storytellers. She has been published in a variety of venues.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Poet of the Month--Connie Marcum Wong

The Gift of Poetry

Connie Marcum Wong

A poet enters a private sanctuary,
A sacred place where the imagination
Dwells with a mélange of emotions
Conceived by aesthetic beauty
Often divine and esoteric in nature;
That comprehensive longing to
Express through common language
That which is so vitally uncommon.
Words that seek to form a bridge
Between intellectual abstract thought
And the world of the inarticulate.

A way to express the depth of sorrow
While having it become a cathartic
Release, thereby relating to others
In commiseration and heartfelt empathy.
Poetry has the ability to help, to heal.
To reach souls enduring that same pain
May be a blessed gift poetry genuinely
Offers in a nonintrusive manner, helping
Lonely souls know they are not alone.

No-one escapes the loving light poetry sheds.
It dwells inside each of us, realized or not.
It teaches with simplicity, expands the mind,
Ingratiates itself without any effort when
Expressed with forethought and integrity.
It may stir emotions from the most stoic.
Speech itself, lives and breathes, and is poetic.

Words may elevate our spirit with such intensity
To a generate a feeling akin to euphoric bliss.
Poets, honored in past glory with the status of Kings,
Now dwell in a world often misunderstood by the
Masses too busy to take the time to regard its worth.
How fortunate for the insightful that appreciate and
Embrace the ageless, immortal soul poetry provides.
They are blessed and will give birth to future poets.

From the editor--It is an pleasure to announce that Connie Marcum Wong is August’s Poet of the Month.  She is a talented published writer and the web mistress of a private poetry forum called Poetry for Thought.  She has promoted Whispers at her forum, helping us grow our online journal. Readers at Whispers enjoy her creative poetry.  Connie is an uplifting voice at our online journal, regularly leaving thoughtful comments which others appreciate.  She has shared her talent by participating in some of our community activities. It is a pleasure to honor Connie this month!

Thoughts on “The Gift of Poetry ”--The opening line captured my attention right away as I do believe that poetry is a gift that wells up from a special place within us.  Connie’s poem is rich in imagery, a true artistic experience.  She presents us with an insightful view of the writing experience.  The last line extends this experience beyond the individual’s sphere into the future. It is a gift to share Connie’s words with you!

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


Karen O’Leary, Editor

Tiger Snakes--By Paul Callus--Malta

Tiger Snakes

Along the coastal areas
in wetlands and by creeks
the tiger snakes are waiting
alert, with bloated cheeks.

They hide in expectation
where timber rots away,
in matted vegetation
and leafage in decay.

Thick-bodied, plain or banded
right down to robust tails,
with brightly varied colours
and overlapping scales.

Their venom can be fatal.
They strike in self defence.
When threats become a danger
they go on the offence.

The tiger snakes are waiting
to catch unwary prey,
betraying no emotion.
Their patience lasts all day.

Paul Callus is a Maltese author who writes both in Maltese and English. He has contributed to several anthologies. Apart from poetry he writes lyrics for songs and has published two books, one a story book aimed at children (related to his experience as a teacher) and a historical book based on research.

Haiku--By Ronald Grognet--United States

new robes, new names

summer break--
I find the assignment
the dog ate

now and again
the urge to call mom--
long dead

class reunion--
shaking hands
shaking hands

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.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Blinders--By Laura M. Kaminski--United States


This firefly that walks across my palm, he
does not realize he glows, knows only

he is drawn to others of his kind, approaches
them with his own sense of dark humility,

is suddenly blinded by their brilliant flashes.
He only feels his own smallness, meager wings,

short flights between eternities of crawling,
oblivious to his own longing

flexing into light.

Laura M. Kaminski grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in rural Missouri. She is an Associate Editor at Right Hand Pointing. Her most recent collection, Considering Luminescence, is available from Amazon, and more of her poetry can be found at

My Pole Star--By Sanju Clement--India

My Pole Star

I could recite my poems to the romancing ears
Of the curvy dunes residing in seashells' dreams.
They could share even to the unarmed-sands
Which were heartlessly trampled by every day.

Fetters, the winds attached on the ruined legs
Of my sail became prime bleeding flowers.
Peeling off the aromas petal by petal, I did
Soothe and eternize the cries of the breeze.

My soul dissected and deciphered melancholy
From the turbulent nucleus of its emotional travels,
Millimeter by millimeter.

But, you astonished me every night as you blossomed
In a peerless and predestined orb, as my only Pole Star
Of eternal love, creating the visibly infinite chemical dis-
Tance between a star and a cluster-less stardust, and with
The ever ageless temperature in your caring celestial smiles.

Sanju Clement is a writer from Kerala, India.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My World--By Joyce I. Johnson--United States

My World

In the middle of the universe I stand,
In the wonder of a world prepared for me.
God has provided all I need,
With some cautions I should heed,
As well as ears to hear and eyes to see.

He sends no bill to pay at end of day
And no millionaire could buy what he gives free.
It is really only fair
That he asks me to take care
And no being goes extinct because of me.

We don't know if in this universe immense
There is another world as wonderful as ours
Where even the fertile sod
Is a gracious gift from God
Along with all the sunshine and rain showers.

Everything this world needs, our God has given
And the only realm more perfect is God's Heaven.

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.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Taiwo Adetimole and Ajise Vincent-- Nigeria

Beyond Emotions

By Taiwo Adetimole and Ajise Vincent


Wuraola, bones of my bones,
you whose beauty never fades
for at your pose men stare involuntarily.
Can you imagine your beauty is the gossip at the town square?


My sweetheart, a dove amongst vultures,
a lily among thorns.
Thy smile not thy frown I want to see.
Wuraola, did I offend you again?


Okiki, the finest of the Orchard.
my heart beats heavily.
Who has enchanted you with the fragrance of her perfume?
I'm dancing in fear.


My darling bride, your cheeks are matched loveliness.
Wuraola, my heartbeat,
none as enchanted me and none can.
How fragrant your cologne.


Look! I leaped upon hills,
ran through vineyards to be here.
Okiki, Prove thy Love, take me with you.
Seal me in your heart with permanent betrothal.


Wuraola, How delightful I am,
surrendering my ears to your voice.
My heart lies in wait for you,
but life's pestilence has drilled holes in my pocket.

I. Okiki

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Duplicity--By James Rasmusson--United States


Doctor Jekyll
smart, urbane
nurturing, dreaming, scheming
inventive, anxious, lustful, violent
carousing, raping, murdering
drunken, debauched
Mister Hyde

James began writing in the 1960’s and immediately showed a love for seasonal, humorous, and philosophical poetry. In the late 70’s, he became an ardent photographer and soon found that the two artistic mediums cross pollinated each other. West Michigan is an art Mecca with over 100 galleries and art camps with Jim residing in the lovely coastal town of Holland, Michigan. A practitioner of Surat Shabd Yoga since 1972, his art is an expression of his lifetime love affair with nature and his quest for truth. James is the winner of many awards in both photography and poetry including the 2005 Shadow Poetry 5th biannual chapbook competition. The artist says he likes to underscore the abstract and tease the mind and be ever alert for juxtapositions that express irony, absurdity, and poignancy, desiring for people to feel both tension and resolution in his compositions.