Thursday, April 17, 2014

Starlight--By George L. Ellison--England

Starlight

Stars they glow in the night sky
But they’re not always visible to the eye
When the glorious sun shining bright
Dispels the darkness of the night

As day dawns they start to fade away
But they always reappear at the end of the day
Though I know they are there I just can’t see
Their twinkling lights to infinity

Soon days end it approaches fast
The setting of the sun means nights return at last
Once more stars twinkle for all they are worth
A joy to behold till days rebirth


George L. Ellison is a writer of poetry and  short stories. He as published two books called Poetic Reminiscences and Weaving Words.  George lives with his wife and dogs in Chester-Le-Street, County Durham in England. He is a member of The Writers and Poetry Alliance. He is currently working on his new project as well as learning to play the saxophone at the Sage Gateshead!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Lavender Vehicle--By Brian Whatcott--United States

The Lavender Vehicle

Not intended to turn out that way,
rather an all-business battleship gray -
but wishes are only earnest wishes
and miles are as good as lunar misses
mix the base paint pristine white,
the black as dark as moonless night,
a little too much cerulean blue
to arrive at the predestined hue -
and what you get is lavender.
Spectators' conclusions hardly hinder,
who ever saw a manly horse trailer
painted in girly pastel purple pallor?

Brian Whatcott is a writer from Oklahoma. He and his wife, Norma, have three children. He enjoys flying, sailing and water-skiing.

Haiku--By Archana Kapoor Nagpal--India

spring hymn --
a nesting chickadee
warbles
_______________

monsoon clouds
over the coconut trees --
punting on backwaters
_______________

moonless night --
lanterns floating
in a lily pond
_______________

chaff blowing
over barley fields --
cirrus clouds
_______________

dappled sunlight --
melted snow on her
grave
_______________

Archana Kapoor Nagpal is an internationally published author of 6 books so far, and her winning stories are now part of international anthologies. She writes inspirational content for corporate newsletters, websites, blogs and print publications. Her inspirational poems touch every area of a person's life. She enjoys writing Haiku and Tanka as well. Visit her Amazon Author Profile to know more about her.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Poet of the Month--Robert Hewett Sr.

‘Neath the Willow Tree

By Robert Hewett Sr.

I saw you sitting there, ‘neath the willow tree.
The still waters of the pond, like a mirror
in the sun, reflecting back in time
to happier days in your mind.
A book of poems was in your hands,
but your mind was in distant lands,
searching for words to ease your pain.
An image of a happy moment long ago
brings a smile and a twinkle in your eye.
Looking into the mirror in the pond
reflecting back in time to a younger day,
when love bloomed with flowers in the sun,
brought to life by the mirror in the pond.

If I could write words like the ones in your book
I would fill your heart with love and joy.
Songs of love never lost, new each day, and
there for you even at that distant sunset.
Reflections in the mirror in the pond
forming images of happier days and times.
If my words could make you turn each page,
with thoughts of love and contented ways,
I would be blessed and you know the rest.
Read, fair lady, and let your mind float.
In those pages never lost in time
find the words that fill your lonely mind.
with dreams of times gone by.
______________

From the editor--It is my pleasure to announce that Robert Hewett Sr. is April’s Poet of the Month.  An award winning writer and book reviewer, his talent is evident.  He has actively promoted Whispers, bringing new writers to our community.  Robert collaborates with others in seamless poems that have been featured at Whispers.  He has been encouraging to me and others, offering suggestions to make our online journal better.  Robert deserves this honor!
______________


Thoughts on “‘Neath the Willow Tree”--I asked Robert to submit a poem, and I was immediately drawn to the relaxing style.  The imagery blossoms, allowing the reader to experience what he is conveying.  The emotion and longing to take away another’s pain is heartfelt and honest.  This poem was awarded 2nd place in a North Carolina statewide contest--others’ have discovered it’s merit.
______________

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

Sincerely,

Karen O’Leary, Editor

First Thing--By Brian Strand--England

First Thing (demi-sonnet)

No noise, silence,
the beating of my heart,
alone, with my thoughts;
Without, I see the breeze,
soundless, active, alive,
slowly I awake, arise
to another day

a demi-sonnet - a free form half sonnet

Brian Strand has created short poetic forms including 'broken monoku' (a haiku variation) and 'footle' (a trochaic monometer with witty, topical, etc themes) and Captioned Cartoon, an Ekphrasis combining his art and poetic interests. He has published a seven kindle ebook series Poetic forms; A Strand of Verse; My Choice Strand Verse; A Strand Guide; Christianity Explained; A Strand critique; and Captioned Cartoon Ekphrasis. Brian has written nearly 200 Amazon reviews and is a Wiki poetry and art editor.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nature’s Songs--By John W. (Bill) Williams--United States

Nature’s Songs

I find my greatest inspiration
In the solitude of nature,
Where melodies of whippoorwills’ shrills
Disturb night’s silence,
Here by this old mountain road
I listen and nod to each
Distant melody; it is never lonely
When my soul is absorbed with peace
That comes from nature’s songs.

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

Winter Recall--By Gerald A. McBreen--United States

Winter Recall

Spring runoff cascades its way into consciousness.
Stems push buds skyward promising a summer of kaleidoscopic splendor.
Where did winter go?
Cold breath against the window.
Shivering bodies wiggling out of polyester shells.
Happenings recalled from a mind yawning out of hibernation.

Gerald A. McBreen found poetry after he retired from the US Postal Service. He discovered he had a flair for romance. He has been publishing for ten years with True Romance and their related magazines. He is the coordinator for Striped Water Poets. They sponsor an “open mic” every first Wednesday of the month. They also post 'Poems on Posters' around the area. In 2009 Pacific, Washington celebrated its 100th anniversary, and he was appointed Poet Laureate. (2009 - 2013)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quilted Memories--By Robert P. Hansen--United States

Quilted Memories

The pattern built from tortured strands of thread
has burrowed in the warm material;
It stretched its lengthy folds across the bed,
A haven from the bitterness and cold;
Its thick and ruddy contours rise and fall
To comfort each and every breath I take;
The earthy tones resound its friendly call,
The hue of which I never will forsake;
Its fraying edge is not from weakened seam;
Its age has brought more beauty to behold;
I draw it near to me, and, as I dream,
I feel its soft caresses on my soul.
My mother sewed each stitch with loving care:
I know she did; I always feel it there.

Robert P. Hansen teaches philosophy and ethics at a community college. His novel The Snodgrass Incident (excerpts of which have appeared in The Fifth Dimension and The Martian Wave), along with collections of his poetry and stories, is currently available on Kindle at amazon.com/author/rphansen.

Tanka--By Asni Amin--Singapore

birdsong
for a moment
I forget …
drifting downstream
songs I'll never sing again

(LYNX XXVIII)

autumn twilight
the choices I didn't make
the path I have taken ...
is it too late
to dream another dream?

(NeverEnding Story, Feb 18, 2013)

things you said
wish I could string them together
like a string of pearls …
till then dance me
to the edge of twilight

 (LYNX XXVIII)

Asni Amin is from sunny Singapore. She works as a librarian full time and writes haiku for the love of it, after getting hooked on it in early 2012. Some of her haiku/tanka/haiga have been published in Simply Haiku, Under the Basho, Daily Haiga, Lynx, Moonbathing Journal, Manichi Japan, etc.  Asni won first place in the Second Edition Haiku Contest organised by the Romanian Kukai Group, Sharpening The Green Pencil in April 2013. She has a haiku blog, A Walk In Haiku, http://awalkinhaiku.wordpress.com

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Winging (Duo-rhyme)--By Connie Marcum Wong--United States

Winging (Duo-rhyme)

I feel so blessed to view the sky,
To watch God’s majestic birds fly;
To hear them wake, begin to sing,
Then leave their tree limbs on the wing.
As winter season turns to spring
Mating birds hunt for twigs and string
To build a nest for mothering.
Soon what joy little eggs will bring
When these new fledglings learn to fly
And leave their wing prints in the sky.

*Dedicated to the late Mary L. Ports who created this lovely form.

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.

The Easter Story--By Joyce Johnson--United States

The Easter Story

This Easter season let me stay
With my Lord, as He wends His way
To turn away would be high treason.
Let me stay this Easter season.

Let me be she who lifts the cross,
Who comforts Mary in her loss.
Right by his side I long to be.
Who lifts the cross let me be she.

I want to be of lonely few
Who are still there in morning dew.
First the rolled away stone to see.
Of lonely few I want to be.

Let me go forth to spread the news
Our dear Lord chose His life to lose.
He died for me of little worth.
To spread the news, let me go forth.

The Easters story often told
Is fresh as in the days of old.
Let me tell of its pure glory.
Often told, the Easter Story.

Joyce 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 will celebrate her 95th birthday in July of 2013.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Haiku/Senryu--By Shloka Shankar--India

still pond...
the growing ripples
within
_______________

night-long rain...
sinking into the beanbag
I read Neruda
_______________

summer blues...
the familiar scent of
dog-eared pages
_______________

spring dusk –
I peel away layers
of darkness
_______________

russet skies…
palm trees reach out for
the fading moon
_______________

Shloka Shankar resides in Bangalore, India. She is notable for her work in anthologies of repute including Traversal of Lines, The Dance of the Peacock, The Unsettled Winter and Family Matters. Shloka has also seen her poems published in numerous other literary journals including Urban Confustions, RaedLeaf Poetry India, Writers Asylum, The Literary Yard, Wordweavers India Asahi Haikuist Network and Creatrix.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Kristina Hooper and Robert Hewett Sr.--United States

Safe Harbor

By Kristina Hooper and Robert Hewett Sr.

Your arms enfold me tenderly,
you kiss away my tears;
in your warmth, worries fly,
releasing all my fears.

Each breath upon my tear-stained cheek,
a balm to heal my wound;
you gently lead my heart ashore
no longer left marooned.

Allow my love to anchor you
no more a drifting waif;
sweet vision, pay the storm no mind,
rest easy, you are safe;

True love so rare and seldom found
a lifetime to embrace,
united we withstand each squall,
together face to face.

Post-Thyroid Surgery Thoughts--By Suzanne Clement--United States

Post-Thyroid Surgery Thoughts

    It’s a miracle!
how could I be miserable
    with a swelled-up neck
and find out that I would need
to have thyroid surgery

    and then discover
after the operation
    the removed area
ended up not being the
    beginning of cancer.

    Thank you, God!

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Haiku--By Rita Odeh--Israel

cloudy morning-
a kite flies higher
than its string
_______________

that full moon-
a coin falls into
the beggar's palm
_______________

distant gunfire-
ivy leaves creep along
the old ruins
_______________

wailing wall-
the priest leans against
his own shadow
_______________

moonless sky-
military raincoats hung
on a bamboo fence
_______________

Rita Odeh is the author of seven books, including Buds of Dream which will be released May 2014 and will be 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, http://rita-odeh.blogspot.com

Dichtung--By Joe Maverick--England

Dichtung

meine inspirationen
teilwiese nür
bekkome ich.
doch jeder stück
grösser zum glück.

Translation

my inspiration
comes to me
in pieces yet
every one such,
enriches so much

Joe Maverick is a freelance author, from a widely educated background. He has been writing for 27 years. He is interested in feedback from the public; readers are the reason for his writing. Some of his poems are short and succinct, others tell a story. He would like to see the literary flame burn bright in any day and age, believing that it can feed the spirit and bring enlightenment.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

If Walls Could Talk--By Gerald Heyder--United States

If Walls Could Talk

The spooks are out
   come Halloween night
with giggled echoes
   from children’s delight,
take this lesson
   from unsettled life--
objects reveal more
   than chattering wife!
If walls could talk
   what tales they’d tell
as pictures are eyes
   in rooms they dwell.
Ponder your deeds
   both lady and sir,
could a haunting house
    someday occur?

Gerald Heyder is a published poet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Drawings Made of Chalk--By Pam Murray--Canada

Drawings Made of Chalk

I dream across the years
Of footprints in the sand,
Of splashing in the sea
And you holding my hand.

I see those long car rides
When you and I would talk.
Today those passing years
Are drawings made of chalk

And time becomes a hand
That brushes them away.
At night when I’m alone
I reach for yesterday,

For hugging as we passed.
You were my solid ground.
Your voice filled me with song.
I strive to catch that sound.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Pam Murray has been writing poetry since the mid-1960’s.  She was married for over 41 years and has two daughters, a son-in-law, and a grandson.  Pam has been published in a variety of venues.  Her proudest writing accomplishment was a poem she wrote for a United Way fundraiser, which was later framed with a French translation and hung on the wall of the legislature in Ottawa, Canada.  To her, poetry is a transposition of a vision she sees in her mind.  Writing and crocheting are her passions.

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Sheri Stanley and Maurice Reynolds--United States

Oh, But For The Butterfly!

By Sheri Stanley and Maurice Reynolds

Oh, how I long to ever see thy wings in glorious flutter!
I’m speechless and I stand in awe; thee melts my heart like butter!
To softly grace upon my hand a breath of fresh, soft breeze
I will not move, I will not breathe, I will not even sneeze!
For fear that I might scare you off; you vanish to the sky
Come flutter of thy blessed wings, O, lovely butterfly!

I watch you through my window pane
Spectacular in elegance and grace to match
It's hard to not get emotional over such beauty
Hues of violet, yellow, blue, orange and other!
Outstanding creature of admirable detail
Oh, how I wish I could soar with you!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Life’s Richest Treasure--By Erich J. Goller--United States

Life’s Richest Treasure

Within a love that knows no bounds or heights
It is life’s richest treasure
With beauty and pleasure

With two hearts mending
leading to a happy place
forever with joy
longing for your hand to hold
it is love that fulfills life

where red roses climb
with golden rays of sunlight
bright blue sky above

we shall always share
memories as twilight falls
gleaming in the sky

Erich J. Goller was born in Vienna, Austria. A close world war two survivor, in 1955, he immigrated to California, where he made his living as a mechanic and as an actor. He been married for 56 years, has one daughter and one son. He is a published author of seven books. He now resides In Nashville, Tennessee, still loves to write, also enjoys doing art work. His web site, www.poetvienna.com

‘noir’ broken monokus--By Ralph Stott--England

a contortionist…….
…….the face fits
________________

stop-and-search…….
…….for lost youth
________________

memory-lane…….
…….a flyover
________________

the wind of change.......
.......a flag at half-mast
________________

a man sleeps alone.......
.......heads full of crowds
________________

Ralph Stott was born in Kent, England in 1957. He is married and has two daughters.  He studied design at the Medway College of Design in the mid-70's. Expressing ideas through the written/visual media, has always interested him. Ralph began to dedicate more time to poetry with The Writers and Poetry Alliance, in particular the 'Stylists' forum, over the last 3 years. He has self published one book called Legends For Lunchtime; a collection of short stories and has a second book pending called Twist and Twist Again, which is a collection of Twister poems, a form he created.

Monday, April 7, 2014

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

for somewhere

we see dreams lost
in cloud shapes
while snow falls
in april
and we taste   the pain
that comes
from loving deeply

but smile

for somewhere
there's a pure unanxious place
where we can go
lifting us gently
across edges

Thoughts from Nila Webster--"This poem was one of my mother's very favorites. True to the poem, her hometown of Rochester, NY, had almost 10 inches of snow recently. I taste the pain of loving her deeply and missing her, yet I am comforted that she is now in a pure, unanxious place. I think of her always as happy."

What you are for me--By Gert W. Knop--Germany

What you are for me

You are the sunlight,
to lighten my face.
You are my beacon
shining through haze.
You are the light breeze
of clear summer's air,
with the scent of flowers
caressing my hair,
You are the song
of birds in spring.
You are the music
which makes me
swing.
You are the sound,
reaching my heart.
You are my Love,
nothing can tear us apart

Gert W. Knop, born in 1943, studies art and tropical agriculture in Germany and Scotland (University of Edinburgh). He has lived in many different countries and writes mainly in German, English and Spanish. He currently resides in Zittau (Saxony), Germany.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hello Dad--By Robert Hewett Sr.--United States

Hello Dad

Hello Dad, it’s been awhile since I talked to you.
Fifty Three years to be exact, but that you knew.
I am the only one of your children left here on earth.
Just want to tell you things I recall from our hearth.
Those wonderful adventure stories that you told
Chapter by chapter, night after night, treasures to hold.
I want you to know that I am doing my best
To keep alive your Miz Molly and all the rest.
You were a good father to us while here on Earth,
Respected by friends and neighbors, priceless your worth.
Loved by four boys you raised without reservation.
Your integrity was worthy of celebration.
My ingrained soul values about life and living
Were defined by your consistent life of giving.
You read the Bible, taught me the joy of a breeze.
The little church nestled among the Cottonwood trees.
Where I was saved and learned to love the Lord.
I was happy, times were tough, but never too hard.
Your stories, your faith, your character, your helping hand,
I cherish you father rest in peace in God’s land.

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 "roberthewettsr.hubpages.com"

Luna--By Phyllis Babcock--Canada

Luna

The clouds play hide and seek as they glide
Ever so playful among the starry heavens
Stars twinkle shining like diamonds
As the full moon smiles brightly.

Shadows softly engulf the forest below
A hush descends as twilight fades
Luna's blue hue lights the world below
Twilight disappears hiding our view.

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 Poetry.com and in a local seniors’ newspaper. She feels writing has been a wonderful journey, meeting many new poets and writers along the way.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Am I the Only One?--By Zona Rowand Lawrence--United States

Am I the Only One?

I am but a grain of sand in the universe
standing alone in the setting sun.
As the waves come in to shore and reverse
I wonder – am I the only one?

Those who have gone before –
were they grains of sands like me?
Is it just me who longs for more
than standing beside the sea?

Sometimes I feel so very tall
capable and serene.
Then again, less than small
dreaming of faraway fields of green –

where I can go play some ball
with friends and foe alike --
laugh and giggle through the day,
dance and ride my bike.

There must be another place to stand –
perhaps in poetry and verse –
to be more than a grain of sand --
in our beautiful universe.

After many years as a stage performer, Zona found she enjoyed writing. She studies at Paradise Valley Community College.  Her work has appeared in several anthologies at the school and elsewhere. In 2004, she won $20,000.00 for her poem, “Indiscriminate Sestina.”  She and her husband, Jack, are creating a Diet by Poetry Journal to help whittle away those pounds with a little rhyming fun. Last year in the Paradise Review her poem, “If He Had Hit Me”, won third place and her one act play, “A Shaggy Dog Story”, won second place.

Au re-voir Dawn--By Beth Winchcombe--England

Au re-voir Dawn

How does one mend a broken heart
when it's shattered in fragments
beyond repair?
The harder you love,
the harder the pain
when one dies!
How does one cope with a broken heart?
Everyone is different.
Does time ever heal?
Maybe, those un-shed tears, seal
the cracks one day.
Will this pain and sorrow
ease tomorrow?
Maybe it will after MANY tomorrows!
Grieving is a slow process,
for those living.
The end of life, for the departed is their relief.
RIP, my loved one.

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

Friday, April 4, 2014

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Jack Horne, England; Sandra Stefanowich, Canada and Carolyn Devonshire, United States

Ode to the Unwalkables

By Jack Horne, Sandra Stefanowich and Carolyn Devonshire

Jack's Carpet Slippers:

My slippers were backless and red
'So comfy to walk in,' I said
But I tripped and I slipped
Like a pancake I flipped
And bounced down the stairs on my head

Sandra's High Heels:

Walking in high heels I do dread
Pathetic sight to all ahead
Leaving me in dire straits
A foal on roller skates
On my butt my face cherry red

Carolyn's Cowboy Boots:

Leather toes so pointy and slick
For me cowboy boots did the trick
Until I forced them on
Scrunch! Where had my toes gone?
Had to pry them off with a stick

Christ Love--By Shirley Smothers--United States

Christ Love

Heart beats young,
heart beats old,
with a love of Christ
your heart beats bold.
Be ye rich,
be ye poor,
with a love of Christ
you'll have so much more.
The rain falls
on just and unjust.
But remember Christ
rain settles the dust.
Don't float listlessly
on a sea of confusion,
for a life without Christ
is a life of delusion.
Don't be the sand
upon the shore,
open your heart
Christ will open the door.

Shirley Smothers is a poet. A few of her poems have appeared in Lone Stars Magazine, The Poets Art, and The Poetry Explosion Newsletter.

One Line Haiku--By Chen-ou Liu--Canada

snowflakes on my left on my right her crimson lips

the sound of spring rain on top of our moaning

her face in our cracked bedroom window blue moon

day after the blizzard her razor-sharp words

cold snap breaking down thoughts of my ex
__________

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, http://chenouliu.blogspot.com/