Thursday, July 2, 2015

Insidious Time--By Jean Calkins--United States

Insidious Time

Our mantle clock, when it needs winding,
goes faster, as if it knows there is
little time left and much to do.
I, who have been running down for years,
plod mindlessly onward, forcing
into each day what little my allotment
of energy allows, knowing too well
there is no key to wind me up,
no battery to be recharged.
Yet each of us serves a purpose,
neither knowing exactly when the last knell
will sound, doing our best to complete
our perceived duty in the time
remaining. Like the clock, tolling slowly
while struggling to accelerate,
I am emboldened by the knowledge
time is a device of man
existing only in the mind.

Jean, at 82, has been writing poems since she was 18. For 25 years she published a popular poetry quarterly of up to 100 pages, with a subscribership of nearly 500. Illness in 1986 ended the magazine. She currently publishes, by email, a 2-page monthly of clean humor. Contact her at

Fog Image--By Gert W. Knop--Germany

Nebelbild (German)

Der Tag verschwunden schon im Nebel
und blaue Schatten fallen dort,
wo Häuser standen.
Nur dünne schwarze Arme
winterlicher Bäume
dringen durch die weiße Wand,
und wiegen sich im leichten Wind
mit sanftem Flüstern

Fog Image (English)

The day yet disappeared in fog
and blue shadows fall
where once were houses.
Only thin black arms
of brumal trees
penetrate the white wall
swaying in the breeze
with gentle whisper

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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Charleston--By Caryl Calsyn--United States


A young man filled with racial hatred
observed a Bible study in a church.

After an hour he pulled out his gun
and shot nine black people to death.

His hope it seems was to have others
join him in his campaign of hate.

Instead the community came together
perhaps as they never had before.

Hands of many colors reached out
to console, to mourn and to pray.

Nine candles were lit for the dead.
I’d like to raise another in tribute

to those in Charleston, South Carolina
who stepped up in love—not hate.

Caryl Calsyn is a retired Interior Designer with involvements in many areas including history, writing and singing groups. She has had a total of 75 poems published by nine different publications.

Invitation--Michael Todd--United States


Whispers in the wind:
Words and phrases, poetry laced;
Who has some to lend?

Join in, bring a friend;
Others here will share your taste,
As your voices blend.

This offer we extend,
Is sincere, not made in haste;
Stone carved, not a trend.

Read and comprehend;
Nary a post goes to waste;
I highly recommend.

Tie up a loose end;
Your efforts will be embraced,
Just around this bend.

Michael Todd aka Myke Todd has been writing and posting stories and poetry on social networking sites since 2006. He can currently be found at his dedicated poetry site...



            Ron Larson--United States
            Lynn DeVrieze--United States
            Christopher Mitchell--United States
            Donna Brumback Nalley--United States
            DeAnna Metcalf--United States
            John McDonald--Scotland
            Sri N. Srivatsa--India
            Aruna Singh--India
            Sangeeta Talwar Suneja--India
            Ashwini Kumar Vishnu--India
            Parveen Sethi--India
            Shirin Hasrat--India
            John Judson Roe IV--United States
            Rohini Gupta--India

Please welcome them to our community.  We now have representatives from the following countries--Australia, Botswana, Canada, Canary Islands, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Malawi, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, U.A.E., United Kingdom, United States and Wales.  I look forward to expanding this list in the future. Thank you to everyone that has supported Whispers in any way.                                                                                                                                 -Sincerely,  Karen

We have a world wide audience. If you are currently reading Whispers, please consider submitting a poem for consideration. You may contact Karen at for guidelines. Thank you. 

Note--Ads due for August column by July 25


Robert P. Hansen's forthcoming novel Angst (Book 4 of the Angus the Mage fantasy series) will become available in June or early July. In anticipation of this event, he has made the first book of the series free as an eBook through several retailers. For more on this and his other books, visit his blog at:

Jack Horne announces the release of his second novel, Cyber Vamps: a paranormal-fantasy romance. This book is currently available from, price $3.99

John W. (Bill) Williams published a science fiction book that he also illustrated called The Dream Hill.  To order copies from Xlibris Company call 1-888-795-4274 or go to  The website provides sample pages of the book for interested readers.

Sheri Stanley illustrated an e-book titled, The Morning Dream, which is now available on Amazon. It is a collaboration publication and will soon be available in actual book format soon very soon. It is a children's book targeted for kids from the age of 4 to 5th grade. Stop and leave a comment for Sheri's illustrations if you have the chance to do so.

Paul Callus published his first ebook of poetry called Meander in December 2014. It is a collection of 86 poems and songs which should appeal to those who read poetry for pleasure and relaxation. It is available at Amazon.

Pijush Kanti Deb released a poetry collection, Beneath the Shadow of a White Pigeon, published by The Hollow Publishing. More information about the book is available at, keywords=beneath+the+shadow+of+a+white+pigeon

Marianne Szlyk has released a new chapbook, Listening to Electric Cambodia Looking Up at Trees at Heaven, through Kind of a Hurricane Press' Barometric Pressures Authors Series. You may download the chapbook for free at this site: Thank you.

John Swain released his first collection of poetry, Ring the Sycamore Sky. Ordering information and reviews are available from Red Paint Hill Publishing at

Celine Rose Mariotti has a new mystery/detective book called Minister’s Shoes in which Rev. Castle helps Sada Sampson find her husband and he also proves that Trevor is innocent of killing Cartwright. The story involves casino deals, infidelity, gambling and some big town gossips who are knee deep in the casino deals.  Price of book is: $11.00. If you live in CT, sales tax is 6.35 so price would be $11.70.  Postage is $2.70.  You can order from Amazon or you can order from me:

Peter Dome released his first book of poetry called Love, Life and Inspiration, a collection of poems written from the heart. It is suitable for everyone with a wide range of topics including, nature, wisdom and spirituality. Peter hopes his book will bring a lot of pleasure to others. It is available at

Maureen Sudlow has a poetry book, Antipodes, was released in early December. More information available on her website

Shloka Shankar has a poetry page on Facebook called 'Shloka Shankar: a rasika's musings'. To read more of her poems, please visit:

Lisa DeVinney has a website for her devotional poetry called Lifting My Eyes, at

Karen O’Leary released Whispers, her first book of poetry in 2011, published by APF Publisher. It has been getting good reviews and is available at online at (Search Whispers under Karen O'Leary) or contact Karen at


Please consider supporting The Jokester and Creative Inspirations by sending stamps or other small donations to help with postage.  Thank you for considering this.                                                                                                                                ---Karen

Marianne Szlyk is looking for poems (under 20 lines each) on the theme of summer music. Haiku are welcome. Only 3 poems per poet please. The deadline will be July 15.  The poems will be paired with visuals and posted at The Song Is..., Marianne's blog-zine. For more information, please email .

Stacy Savage is seeking submissions for a Christmas poetry anthology. Send one to two Christmas poems, up to 32 lines each, to: Deadline is August 15, 2015. Proceeds will go to Operation Gratitude -- an organization that sends care packages to U.S military.

Maurice J. Reynolds would like to announce that To God be the Glory! Publications and Creative Inspirations are undergoing some new and exciting changes. At this time, Creative Inspirations is accepting poetry submissions. For more information and guidelines, go to:, or write to: To God be the Glory Publications, Attn: Creative Inspirations Guidelines, P.O. Box 19051, Kalamazoo, MI 49019.

ayaz daryl nielsen's print publication bear creek haiku is always open for postal submissions, mail poetry to bear creek haiku, po box 3787, boulder, co, 80307, USA, 11 lines and less, include SASE. Can be contacted at, blog site is

Tom Davis, publisher of Old Mountain Press, invites all to review his eBook site (Kindle and NOOK) where numerous Old Mountain Press Anthologies of poetry and prose are listed see: Self-publish an electronic book e-book with Old Mountain Press. Visit Old Mountain Press' eBook site at

Jean Calkins, editor: The Jokester, 2 pages of clean jokes free by email monthly, a forever stamp by snail mail (monthly or quarterly). Help bring smiles to shut-ins by contributing forever stamps. Even one stamp helps. Jean Calkins, 260 4th St., Waynesville, NC 28786-3762.

David Fox is seeking family-friendly poems for his magazine, The Poet's Art. Rates for the publication are $7 an issue or $25 for a 4 issue subscription. Checks should be made to cash.  Foreign contributors should pay $10 an issue or $35 for a subscription by international money order or American cash only.  Send submissions and  money for subscriptions to David Fox,171 Silverleaf Lane, Islandia, NY 11749 USA.

Whispers is always looking for new writers to join our community.  Please send family friendly poems 20 lines or less to  Complete guidelines posted at the end of each month.  Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to the site.

Ads are placed by the underlined names.  Whispers has not verified the accuracy of all the information. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Submission Guidelines

Thank you for considering Whispers for a place to share your writing.  The guidelines follow:

1.  Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable.  Please do not send quotes from others unless they are in the context of the piece submitted and that the original author is given credit.  It is up to the author to obtain permission if needed for reprints.  By submitting to Whispers, the writer is assuring that the work is his or her own.  Whispers reserves the right to delete any work that has been copied from another writer without credit or authorization.

2.  Send one of the three following:

    ---1 poem 20 lines or less

    ---up to 5 haiku/senryu (please make sure to clearly identify that separate poems are being submitted)

    ---up to 3 tanka (see above)

    ---for people that are not poets, 1 short paragraph of encouragement will be considered

Writers are eligible for publication every other month.

3.  You may include a bio of 4-5 lines written in third person style.  See “Living Wings” published January 15, 2013 for an example.  A bio is not necessary for publication.

4.  No profanity, erotica, violence or other derogatory writing will be accepted.

5.  Whispers reserves the right to select poetry based on the goal stated at the end of the guidelines.

6.  Spiritual poetry is welcomed but the editor would like to have a variety of pieces that will uplift and inspire readers.  Humor is appreciated.

7.  Children’s poetry is appreciated.  Parent permission is required.  Please email before sending.

8.  Poetry will be published along the left margin for consistency.  Please keep that in mind when submitting.

9.  Preferred method of submission is to send poetry as a works document or in the body of an email with your name and country.  Please email your submission to Karen O’Leary at  If you would rather submit by snail mail, please email Karen for her address.  You may email her with any questions you may have.

10.  I hope you also participate by commenting on others’ writing. 

In this challenging time for many, it is the hope that Whispers will connect people in a way that is supportive, encouraging and inspiring to others.  Thank you for considering being a part of this community.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Editor's Thoughts--By Karen O'Leary--United States

Dear Friends,

It is a joy to share a few thoughts with you.  Our writing community continues to expand with fourteen new writers this month.  Thanks to everyone for making this possible.

We, now, have representatives from the following countries--Australia, Botswana, Canada, Canary Islands, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Malawi, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, U.A.E., United Kingdom, United States and Wales.  It would be wonderful to expand this list as each country brings a different cultural perspective that enriches the community as a whole.  If you know anyone from a country that is not currently represented, please share Whispers with them.

The artistic group that would be nice to see represented is child/young adult writers.  Whispers has only had one child writer thus far share a single poem.  If writing is to continue in generations to come, it is important to encourage young people to share their talents.

                the rippling river
                flows on

May your words ripple around the world.  Best wishes to everyone in your writing journeys.


Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor

Empty Hands--By Linda Hurdwell--England

Empty Hands

And so the joyous tide of life
Is shrivelling ‘neath the sun
Its absurd complexity
Has almost had its fun

The subtle sunset covers up
The quickening hands of tine
And like a grotesque drama
Acts out a silent mime

The sea of breath ebbs away
To a salty shore
Confused and fearful of the day
Yet yearns to know much more.

Why has this tide sped on by?
Where is this promised land?
My soul it leaps toward the sky
And slips from both my hands.

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.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beyond--By Diana Dalton--United States


Beyond the word
Truth is heard
Beyond thought
Spirit is Sought

Beyond the self
Lies the Oneself
Beyond space & time
Eternity remains sublime

Always faithful and true
Heaven waits for you
Always here, always free
Beyond the vision of me.

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.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Haiku--By Arvinder Kaur--India

smoke ring...
the proposal
that never was

my last coin...
the silent ripples
in the wishing well

new mathematics-
still trying to understand
my x

painting class-
my grandson brings home
the ocean on a pebble

Arvinder Kaur is an Associate professor in English and Media Studies. She writes haiku both in Punjabi as well as English. She has four books to her credit which include poetry, a work of translation and her first collection of punjabi haiku, Nimolian. Her work has been published in several haiku journals and anthologies. She lives in Chandigarh with her family.

authentic life...--By Sara R. Vogler--United States

authentic life i lead,
where courage is reclaimed,
and souls are reborn.

travels are made now,
And will be remembered when the night crawls in a mind.

nothing else will stay,
for the memories will hold fast.

constant light bring me fire
i desire,
for it is now that i charge the strong waves,
i never fear,
for new strength is upon me.

i am ready.

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.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Tanka--By Ramesh Anand--India

a monarch flutters
against the train window
i set it free
from my fingertips
and wing along with it

across the border
everything feels fresh
this loneliness in me ...
being without you

still pond
reflecting the frozen stars
if only
i could stop counting
on her ignorance

Ramesh Anand is a engineer from Bangalore, India. He works for Philips healthcare as a manufacturing test strategist. His haiku, tanka and haiga have appeared in 15 countries and translated to 8 foreign languages. He released his first book of haiku poetry in 2012 called Newborn Smiles, published by Cyberwit. Akita Sakigake Shimpo President Award, Honorable mention in International Matsuo Bashō Award, Dr. Sandeep Chauhan Commendable Prize by RLP Award 2013 are his latest awards. He is a member of IN haiku group and blogs at

An Old Soldier--By Celine Rose Mariotti--United States

An Old Soldier

You’re an old soldier, Dad,
You’re an Infantryman,
You’ve been overseas,
In a foreign land,

You’re an old soldier, Dad,
You carry on through thick and thin,
You love your family,
You are always there for all of us,

You’re an old soldier, Dad,
You looked the enemy in the eye,
You were wounded in combat,
You’ve got that Purple Heart,

You’re an old soldier Dad,
You worked hard all your life,
You dealt with the ups and downs,
Your faith always keeps you strong,

You’re an old soldier, Dad,
Marching on
You’re a real trooper!

Happy Father’s Day!!!

I wrote this poem for my Dad, Peter J. Mariotti. He loved this poem. He was proud of his service to his country during the Korean War and was a Purple Heart Veteran. My Dad passed away on May 9, 2011. We miss him dearly.

Celine Rose Mariotti is an accomplished writer whose work has appeared in magazines all over the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Australia and India. Some of those magazines include: Green’s Magazine, Poet’s Review, Poet’s Art, Tombigbee, Hindu Young World, Magnolia Quarterly, Lone Stars Magazine, Pablo Lennis, Coffee Ground Breakfast, Pink Chameleon and many more. She has had six books published. She plays the guitar and banjo; has her own home business and lives with her family in Shelton,CT.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Cottage there by the Willows--By Keith Hunt--Canada

A Cottage there by the Willows

By the willows,
   where the sun shone gazing,
   streaming through arbors hazed,
And apple-cider scents were fermenting,
   by a pasture where the tree-people play ----
   sits a cottage by the bay

Where the willows weep long to seeking love,
   and sway they through will-o-wisps above,
Every evening the mountains moan with mists,
   with rainbows upon their darkling tips;
   polka-dot rocks along the path....
   and always butterfly's about the saplings,
   red earth rich from summer moons....
   (a cottage there by the willows)

Keith O. J. Hunt is a Classic-Romantic poet who generally prefers the older styles which he finds the greatest way to express his thoughts. He loves people, nature, spirituality and all things beautiful. Keith lives in Ottawa, Canada and has been writing poetry for 15 yrs.

Poetry--By Ronald Grognet--United States

lunar eclipse--
harsh things I didn't say
to my mother

lost in my writing--
cold coffee

still standing
after a flood of memories--
my first home

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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Relationship Destined--By Frances Simwinga--Malawi

Relationship Destined

We; torn between names--lovers, friends--,
bonded by silence, of tied tongues,
sustained by imagination, of you and me,
wallowing in oceans of love, leaping forward
for a ship, to set sail our relationship,
to a destination unknown; despised by
on-lookers as cheap, like oblivious to them,
we sing, it's sweeter than fried potato chips,
as we roll in love--calling on each
other, when one is falling, forgiving our
wrongs, and forging ahead with our strengths.

Frances Simwinga writes poetry that springs from wells of life experiences that he stumbles into, over space and time, crisscrossing a variety of themes.

Morning Come--By Robert A. Dufresne--United States

Morning Come

Swirling, cinnamon peppered, Neapolitan skies,
beckon like candy to my famished searching eyes.
Western honey colored rays
burning through shades of grays,
can’t penetrate the stacks of Nimbus blacks
but quick crackling shards of blinding  golden, silver slivers
pierce that formidable canopy as Sun’s pride withers.
The night and storm has won.
Morning,  come.

Robert A. Dufresne was born in Vermont and raised on a dairy farm. After four years in the Navy and trying his hand at a couple of trades, he settled in as a self employed remodeling carpenter for 31 years. He and his wife moved to Florida in 1998, where he continued his career. He began writing poetry in 2009 .

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Leap of Faith--By Chen-ou Liu--Canada

Leap of Faith
(a solo somonka for Søren Kierkegaard)

among shadows
in this attic room
I hear
years of lonely nights
stacked against my mind

the waves
lapping against my feet ...
am I afraid
to say a final farewell
to this sunny world

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,

Strengthen Me, Holy God--By Suzanne Clement--United States

Strengthen Me, Holy God
     (Proverbs 18:10)

Strengthen me, Holy God
For I need Your strong power.
Without You, I am weak.
To me, You’re a strong tower.
Though I may struggle, Lord,
I should not be alarmed
Because under it all
Are Your eternal arms.

Equip me, mighty God,
To follow Your plans for me    
For I do love You, Lord,
And I fall, now, before Thee      
Asking Your great guidance
And Your direction, God,
So  I will obey You                   
And do what’s right and good.

Suzanne Clement is a writer from Dover, New Hampshire.

Monday, June 22, 2015

ACROSTIC--By James Rasmusson--United States


A crostic poems are fun to do
C reating lines that are right on cue,
R endering verse when a line’s first letter
O ffers meaning yet doesn’t fetter the
S pelling out of a sonorous title
T hat describes your heartfelt recital.
I n a craft of alphabetic form
C ontrol is crucial to inspire and inform.

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.

Boy, Do I Need Some Rest!--By Alan McAlpine Douglas--United Kingdom

Boy, Do I Need Some Rest!

Beyond the clouds what can I see ?
Not much, or anyway, not much to impress me.

Beyond the clouds a ball of mud,
widely covered by severe flood.

Beyond the clouds some parts called land,
on which scurry things who style themselves man.

Beyond the clouds an unnatural realm;
seems quite confused, who’s at the helm ?

Beyond the clouds much hustle, bustle,
such effort used, far too much fustle.

Beyond the clouds - ow, my aching head
too much ambrosia, thought I’d wake up dead.

Beyond the clouds, ah, memory’s comes to me,
supposed to be a joke ! Never again, a 6-day spree ....

(As told to Alan McAlpine Douglas)

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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

To The Sea--By Sara Kendrick--United States

To The Sea

Waiting out the summer storm
Wind whipping the trees
Down pour of rain pelts the truck
Bounces, tumbles free

Short lived episode of rain
Freed water races down
Searches for lowest places
Onward journey bound

To the sea, to the sea, see
Its travels complete
A never ending cycle
Flowing to rhythm's beat

The heart's rhythm pulses right
Going day and night
A precarious rhythm
A change gives life flight

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. 

Limbo--By Terry O'Leary--France


Six steeple towers, cold as steel, drab daggers in the sky!
Their hallowed halls no longer call when breezes wander by –
for, filled with dread to wake the dead, they've ceased to sough or sigh.

Coiled candle sticks! Their twisted wicks no longer 'lume the cracks
with dying flame in smoky swirl mid pendant pearls of wax,
since deference to innocence dissolved in molten tracks.

Above! The dismal ditch of dusk reveals a velvet streak,
through which the winter’s wicked winds will sometimes weave and sneak,
and faraway a cable sways, a bridge clings hushed and bleak.

Thin shadows shift, like silver shafts, across the cruel moraine
reflecting white a wisp of light in ebon beads of bane
which casts a crooked smile across a faceless window pane.

Wan neon lights glow through the nights, through darkness sleek as slate,
while lanterns (hovered, high above, in lurid swinging gait),
haunt ballrooms, bars and dark bazaars, though no one's there to fete.

The souls who come with jagged tongue won't sing a silent psalm,
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor pray for mercy, grace deferred, nor beg lethean balm,
nor yet redress the emptiness that shifting shades embalm –
they've seen, you see, life’s brevity, and face it with aplomb.

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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

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

we have not lived such a long time

when autumn nights can move us so
when we know where the seagulls sleep at dawn
and hear the music of the years as a twilight lullaby

when we wear fog like an overcoat
write letters in the waves
then laugh when they disappear

we have not lived such a long time


The phrase "we have not lived such a long time", a line from one of my mother's poems, had been haunting me for months. Yet in all the folders of her poetry, I couldn't find it any where. I knew she had written it long ago, before I was born. I began to question, did the poem really exist? And then yesterday, opening a folder I thought contained some of my own writing, this poem was on top, as if my mother placed it there to greet me, across time and space. My mother is so right: we have not lived such a long time, that we cannot experience the wonder and magic of this life, day by day and hour by hour. ~~ Nila J. Webster


In an effort to help contributors and readers get to know others better, writers were asked to answer the question above.  I am delighted to introduce a variety of responses that are both insightful and creative.  I know you will enjoy this column.

Thank you to the artists that contributed to this column.  We are building a creative community at Whispers thanks to the many that share their words, comment, or read poetry at our online journal.  What a gift to be able to share in this journey.

Karen O’Leary
Whispers’ Editor


I write because I have to. Writing is not what I do; it is who I am. Without my books of poetry, I am not a whole person. ~~ By Joann Grisetti--United States

I write poetry, in different forms, relying a lot on rhyme. I love research, and I write articles for publishing; also wrote a historical book. A hobby of mine is writing children's short stories; one book has been published and a few are awaiting their turn. I write lyrics for songs, oratorios, hymns, and musicals. ~~ By Paul Callus--Malta

I write because it is my duty, my obligation, and promise to myself and to my grandfather, who was a Holocaust survivor, that I would not let the things that are inside of me, the bad and good, remain kept in Pandora's box. The need and the want continues to build in a positive light but is my go to when all other lights have gone off in the world. ~~ By Sara R. Vogler--United States

Just as some people lose themselves in reading a book, I lose myself in writing. Writing has become my savior, it's a challenge and I love a challenge! I began writing poetry seriously seventeen years ago when I retired, the same time that I began painting in oils.
Writing, painting is a gift...and if one has a gift, one should use it.  ~~ By Beth Winchcombe--England

I find that writing in poetic form is a splendid way to express my thoughts in a terse but expressive manner. I also write to leave a legacy for my children and grandchildren to cherish. I think I could sum up my love of sharing verse with others in this way: "I write never to become rich, but hopefully, for others their lives to enrich!" By ~~ Bob Hinshaw--United States

No one has ever seen the picture that’s worth a thousand words. I think words can be pictures, and lovely songs, and bodacious scents, and private flavors, and early morning caresses that wake each part of you, one at a time. I know some of those words, and, from time to time, I write a few of them….  ~~ By Richard Carl Subber--United States

I write to let my inner self out. I write to discover life’s wonders and dangers.  I write because I am compelled through some unnamed urging to be who I am. ~~ By Jim Teeters--United States

I write because I feel free when I write. The world seems to be at my fingertips, filled with all its emotions, and its feelings of expressions. It helps in a therapeutic way, to keep me sane and on the edge of possibilities, which these memories bring to me. Poetry is my life. ~~ By Russell Sivey--United States

Writing is that thin veil which I don when I wish to dig deeper and find my true voice. It allows me to express myself in ways I would never otherwise be able to. Writing transforms an idle thought into metaphors of my being, and it lifts my spirits when I'm down. ~~ By Shloka Shankar, India

This is why I write and post my poetry on youtube... For me a poem only 'lives' when it is recited to another...becoming a unique one off, two way experience, an 'as is moment ' much the same experience as when standing before a painting or sculpture. Only by hearing it spoken can one experience its poetic nuance. ~~ By Brian Strand-- England

I am writing poetry since the age of sixteen and published it together with short stories
in our school magazine at that time.  Writing for me is a "must" and I always feel satisfied once I have finished a poem or a short story, although I am not always in the mood to write and words and thought come suddenly into my head. For me to write poetry is a gift and a special talent as it is with my drawings and paintings or even photography. ~~ By Gert Knop--Germany

I write to create new worlds and make them my own. ~~ By Tom Davis--United States

I write because creativity is the bridge over the flow of life, which I need to traverse to cover the distance from the creation to the creator.  ~~ By Vidur Jyoti--India

"I write because I need to respond to whatever I perceive through all my senses. It is as natural as having to eat when I am hungry or drink when I am thirsty. I always carry a pencil and some paper, and when I haven't, I have written on paper napkins, grocery bills, ticket stubs, luggage labels, prescription slips, dry leaves, everything! Something inside me would crumble and die if I couldn't write."  ~~ By Angelee Deodhar--India

Writing is part of who I am, an extension of my artistic nature.  It has helped me deal with illness and other challenges.  I feel it is blessing, allowing me to develop friendships all over the world.  ~~ By Karen O’Leary, United States

I write for a living - so the stomach makes me write. But I also write for my eyes - because I like seeing black characters on white screens, I like the scritch-scratch of pen on paper. I write for my heart - I can talk of fewer things of beauty than a well-crafted sentence. I write for my mind - because the dance of words that happens within, is a gift that keeps on giving.  ~~ By Raamesh Gowri Raghavan--India

When life asks me a million questions during my journey, poetry tells me that my heart communicates with my hand to get in touch with my soul and find the answers I'm looking for and that's why I write. Writing is my voice, I identify myself with my poetry, it gives me a joy that words will fail to express. ~~ By Vasanthi S. Pillai--India

Why I write: To express my thoughts through the art of poetry, words that seek to form a bridge between intellectual abstract thought and the world of the inarticulate.  ~~ By Connie Marcum Wong--United States

I write because it is a way of self expression. It is a passion that must be filled. It is a place where deep inspiration, vivid imagination, spell binding mystery, universal
truth can all be expressed by my thoughts. ~~ By Phyllis Babcock--Canada

As far back as I can recall I've loved putting my thoughts on paper, & seriously wanted to write books for children, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord had different plans for me.  Nothing blesses my heart more now than to share words of encouragement & hope through poetry.  In a world where there is so much despair & pain, it's gratifying to sow seeds of inspiration that uplift the spirit & make people smile.
~~ By Christine Tate--United States

My mother, when I was young, said that, 'You will always have your art'.  Every one of my compositions, whether drawn or written, affirms this in me, and I hope, will do my mother proud. ~~ By Ralph Stott--England

I write to capture a "moment."  I enjoy life as a muse. Writing keeps creativity flowing.
~~ By Marlene Million--United States

Writing for me is a little bit instinctual, a way to channel my thoughts and release my creative energy. I was encouraged to write as a youngster so while I find its practice very challenging I have persevered with it. I enjoy the play of language, choosing words and putting them together to make something new and sometimes original. I think that to
have work published can be very exciting. ~~ By Anne Curran--New Zealand

: ) Seriously? Because I don’t know how not to write and stay sane in this crazy upside-down world. How do you not write about floods and moles, crows cawing and lightning flashing? I guess it’s the case of garbage in, garbage out; sweetness in, sweetness out. It’s about sharing my corner of the world. ~~ By Pat Durmon--United States

Why do I write? Well I've always been an avid reader, but writing comes as a release of the internal need to create and passion to speak out. I started writing after a period of feeling locked in through ill-health and as a means of reaching out to others similarly. I'm a big believer of an expression I heard some time ago - if life throws you a curved ball throw one right back. I'd got to a point I felt useless as so many things seemed to be snatched away and so started learning new and creative skills to take up the emptiness I felt and now look back with pride and forward with hope. ~~ By Anna-Marie Docherty--Wales

Books have filled me with the excitement of encountering different worlds and diverse characters. Life is so amazing in its myriad patterns of nature, art, dreams and daily life. I want to tell my story and to explain what I see, feel and think. ~~ By Joan McNerney--
United States

I enjoy writing, putting words and ideas in indispensable notebooks where I can entertain myself for hours "trolling" for a word or sentence that might turn into a poem, story or article. I love to write and have been at it as long as I can remember and enjoy picking up publications and seeing my work included among friends I've made through the years. It's also a way of validating myself, that somehow in this huge unending universe I've written something that someone, somewhere may enjoy. ~~ By Barbara Tate--United States

You write to meet yourself at the deepest and most profound level.  You write because without words to express it, the world is brittle and prickly and almost unlivable. You write to survive and you write to become. Most of all, you write because it gives you wings. ~~ By Rohini Gupta--India

I write because I like to share some of my thoughts. Sometimes, it's just something silly that I hope will make people smile. Other times, it's a catharsis for me, which may strike a chord with others. But mostly, I write because I love it! ~~ By Jack Horne--England

Forest Way--By Joyce I. Johnson--United States

Forest Way

I wandered down the forest lane
Just to see what joys I'd find.
The path was dry from lack of rain
And rimmed by plants of every kind.

A little frog came hopping by,
Focused on undisclosed intent.
With no response to my brief "Hi"
He kept on hopping without relent.

A group of other forest folks
Were in a circle on the ground.
I thought that they were telling jokes
As frog hopped to a grassy mound.

No one invited me to sit.
None held up a big welcome sign.
I felt a chilling quite a bit
And went back home some friends to find.

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.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Poetry--By Yuan Changming--Canada

The Fish in the Glass Jug

You keep jumping high
Above the mouth to escape
Far from this prison
Not knowing there’s everything
But water outside the wall


Seeing a Shadow

In the dark no one
Is moving, a fairy form
Surely, an alien
Is standing still, and surely
Never will we remain so


Yuan Changming, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of 5 chapbooks (including Kinship [2015] and The Origin of Letters [2015]), grew up in rural China, became an ESL student at 19, and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver and, since mid-2005, has had poetry appearing in 1039 literary publications across 34 countries, including Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Cincinnati Review and Threepenny Review.

Suddenly--By Connie Marcum Wong--United States


   Suddenly I was caught
In the whirlwind of you.
   Tumbling, tumbling...
My heart beating faster
   Flying, soaring into the heavens.
The universe in its vastness
   Swallowed me.
Your brilliance penetrated
   The darkness as a distant star
And I felt myself being pulled
   Into orbiting around you,
Eternally seeking to be eclipsed
   By your grandeur and beauty,
To be warmed by your nearness
   And kissed by your light.

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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Evening--By Jan Allison--United Kingdom


sapphire blue velvet punctuated by stars   heavens above 


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.

Sanctuary--By Mary A. Couch--United States


Within the glen a fairy ring,
and there the child did lie.
She heard the fairies sing
beneath a moonlit sky.

Safe from the hunter’s rage,
she slept peaceful in the dark.
Morning came, turned a page,
the child awoke; a lark.

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.