Tag Archives: free verse

#FlashFictionFriday: Dreams and Shadow Truths

Dreams and Shadow Truths

Tales, dreams,


The fabric of the multiverse.

One universe touches upon another, and

The dreamer dreams.

The faerie queen leads her court though the forest and

One more mortal falls in love.

Books are evidence that once upon a time

A mortal slept, and dreamt.

Within the pages of dusty, leather-bound books

Lies proof the philosophers’ stone

Exists in the realm of imagination,

Spinning words of straw into gold,

Bequeathing immortality to those who possess it.

The multiverse is yours for the taking

If  you believe, and

Are unafraid to dream.

Open a book, and

Step into a realm


Credits and Attributions

Dreams and Shadow Truths, © Connie J. Jasperson 2015.

Fantasy Digital Painting, By Boxiness (Painting using tablet PC.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


Filed under #FineArtFriday, #FlashFictionFriday, Poetry

#FlashFictionFriday: Ballad of Jennet Adair


A Fairy Tale, Arthur Wardle, via Wikimedia Commons

Jennet, she lies

‘Neath the white rose tree

And never again will she

Play false to me


T’was not my hands

Round her lily-white throat

But would that I could

Drown her deep in the moat


Her hair was as dark

As summer is fair

Her lips were for kissing

Sweet Rose of Adair


Jennet, she lies

‘Neath the rose tree white

My brother will hang

For her murder tonight


Jennet, she lies

‘Neath the white rose tree

Never again will

Those lips lie to me


T’was not my hands

Round her lily-white throat

She ruined my brother

She ruined us both


Played us like pawns

In the age-old game

Until she did misstep

To her sorrow and shame


My brother will hang

‘Neath the town hall light

And who will tell mother

What happened tonight?


Jennet, she lies

‘Neath the white rose tree

And never again will she

Play false to me.

Ballad of Jennet Adair (as composed by Huw the Bard) © Connie J. Jasperson 2016, All Rights Reserved

The Ballad of Jennet Adair was first published July 31, 2015 on Edgewise Words Inn


Filed under #FlashFictionFriday

#FlashFictionFriday: Laundry Day Blues

Politics and fashion may come and go, but laundry is eternal. I originally wrote this poem in 1996 as a bit of joke-on-me, when I was living in Olympia and working two jobs, one of which was 2-hour commute every day. I had no washing machine. My children and I decided that the $20.00 every two weeks I had budgeted for the laundromat would be better spent on a movie matinee or making a day trip to picnic by the ocean.

Thus, laundry was done in my bathtub and hung on lines to dry. My neighbors thought I was nuts.

Nowadays I have that miracle of modern technology, the washing machine, and still, I resent being taken from my book just to sort, wash, fold, and put away clothes.

vi edgewise words inn, the laundry meme


I’d love to claim I’m reading

the best book of the year.

I’d love to swear I’ve read it

but laundry day is here.

clothespin tiny

My book rests by the sofa

tempting and serene.

But I’ve a pile of laundry

to somehow sort and clean.

clothespin tiny

The cover art is lovely

with elves and all their kin.

It’s by my favorite author–

would reading be a sin?

clothespin tiny

Alas for me it would be

for socks don’t wash themselves.

When the task is finished.

I’ll run off with my elves.

Laundry Day Blues © Connie J. Jasperson 2016


Filed under #FlashFictionFriday, Fantasy, Humor

#flashficFriday: New Years Eve at The Drunken Sasquatch

Bloody Bill reigns from behind his bar

Over the rowdy throng.

And I shall nurse my cider mulled

And sometimes sing along.


The Leprechaun plays Hendrix, loud,

The vampire sings the blues.

The dragon racks the billiard balls,

The Reaper chalks his cue.


We’re having such a lively time

The floorboards sway and heave.

The Drunken Sasquatch is the place

To spend a New Year ’s Eve.


In a Roman Tavern, Louis Ducros Piffari (via Wikimedia Commons)

“New Years Eve at The Drunken Sasquatch” © Connie J. Jasperson 2016 All Rights Reserved

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Filed under #FlashFictionFriday, Fantasy, writing

#FlashFic Friday: A Million Lights


Tarantula Nebula, Hubble Image courtesy NASA and Wikimedia Commons (PD)

A Million Lights

A million lights above me

Candles in the sky

Beacons in the dark of night

Cannot tell me why.


This fragile rock we live on

Trivial and lone

A home so small and simple

The only one we own.


Many voices on the wind

Striving to be heard

No matter how you dress us up

We’re petty and absurd.


A million lights above me

Darkness here below

Can’t we all just get along?

We’ve nowhere else to go.

A Million Lights © Connie J. Jasperson 2015, All Rights Reserved


Filed under #FlashFictionFriday, Literature, writing

#FlashFictionFriday: Irene (and Robert Hooke)

The Coffee House

copyleft symbolArtist: Rita Greer, 2008

Title:    The Coffee House,  copyleft

About this painting (quoted from Wikimedia Commons)

English: Coffee Houses played an important part in the social life of Robert Hooke. Only coffee and chocolate were served (no alcohol). Here news could be had, conversation, arguments, meetings, card games, wagers made, workmen could be paid, etc. (Hooke would sometimes carry out a scientific experiment in front of a coffee house audience as witnesses.) Hooke is shown writing (bottom left) at a table with people waiting to talk to him.

Rita Greer is a history artist, goldsmith, graphic designer, food scientist and author/writer. On retirement in 2003 Rita began the Robert Hooke project, “to put him back into history.”

According to the Institute of Physics article of Jan. 12, 2012: “Chroniclers of his time called him ‘despicable’, ‘mistrustful’ and ‘jealous’, and a rivalrous Isaac Newton might have had the only surviving portrait of him burnt, but, three centuries on, Robert Hooke is now regarded as one of the great Enlightenment scientists.”


I spend a large portion of my life in coffee houses too, writing and meeting with other writers, and artists. The friend who inspired the poem today was introduced to me in a coffee house in Olympia, on a dark November night in 2012. It was the kick-off meeting for NaNoWriMo that year.


I met you in a coffee shop.

Knitters and authors vied for tables

In a dark, polished, coffee-scented room.

Texas wit met Northwest irreverence

And the world was never the same.

A sisterhood built on words

And books

And commonalities.

We met as old ladies, too wise to raise much hell.

We’d have been dangerous

Had Austin met Olympia in the young, wild days.

It must have been divine intent

That our lives converged in the quiet years.

Sisterhood binds and unites us

Because family is more

Than marriage or blood.

Leaf_Decoration 1_clip_art_small

Irene © Connie J. Jasperson 2015, All Rights Reserved


Filed under #FlashFictionFriday, Literature, writing

#FlashficFriday: Talisman (and events you won’t want to miss)

 Albert Bierstadt - Autumn Landscape PD|100 via Wikimedia Commons


A humming bird

A peaceful garden

The evening sun lingers

Red, golden, unwilling to set


Time seems to stop

This moment

Will be

A talisman


Hanging in my heart

Warming me

When winter’s fist

Is closed.



authors-240x300Tonight, December 4, 2015 I will be signing books in Chehalis, Washington, at the Lewis County Historical Museum’s 5th Annual Evening with the Authors,  from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. 

Besides me, participating authors include Sandi Crowell, Jan Pierson, Mary Stone, Karen Frazier, Jake Blake, Roy Wilson, Buddy Rose, Julie McDonald Zander, Jennifer Shaw Wolf, Lisa Burnett, Michael Hurley, and many others.

This event will feature many genres of books from local history, fiction, non-fiction, inspirational, and children’s books.

Shakespeare goes punk 2Also–on Saturday December 5 my friends at Writerpunk Press will celebrated the release their second charity anthology, with all profits going to benefit PAWS animal rescue and shelter in Lynwood, WA. If you are on Facebook, please come help celebrate the release of Once More Unto the Breach: Shakespeare Goes Punk, vol. IIfollow up to Sound & Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk with them.

The link for the Facebook event is: Release Party for Once More Unto the Breach: Shakespeare Goes Punk 2

The Blurb:

Welcome to the world of Shakespeare Goes Punk, where the Bard is remixed and nothing is sacred. Our fearless writers are back by popular demand to give you a ride on the punk train.
Five punked-up tales and three sonnets inspired by Shakespeare. All profits to charity.
As You Like It
The Tragedy of Livingston (Coriolanus)
Blast the Past: Fae and Far Between (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Dogs of War (Julius Caesar)
Hank (Henry V)
Clockpunk Sonnets (18, 105, 127)

Sounds like an intriguing mix of creativity! Along the way, there’ll be some great authors and contributors, some giveaways, and some fun people talking about the Writerpunk project. I will also be participating from 12:00 to 1:00 PST and giving away signed copies of Huw the Bard and Tower of Bones to some lucky winner.

Talisman, free verse  © Connie J. Jasperson 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Fantasy, Publishing, Uncategorized, writing

#FlashficFriday: Silence and Love #FreeVerse

Paul Cornoyer Winter twilight along Central Park

Silence and Love

There was a time when we talked,

A time when words connected us the way kisses join lovers.

You mind amazed me as much as your body did

And I knew them both better than I knew my own.

You still amaze me but years have wedged silence between us.

Not the stony silence of anger or hurt—thank god, not that.


It is the silence of comfortableness,

The soundless speech of two old people

who sometimes read each other’s minds.

The quiet sharing of a back porch in the summer.

Side-by-side on a second-hand settee with a blue cushion,

You reach for my hand, and I am swept away.


Now when we speak, it is a more cerebral sharing,

Mind to mind, heart to heart,

Two old people still in love, but with little to say.

Did we say it all in the young wild days?

Did we spend our words the way we spent our kisses?

If so, then many more remain, waiting to pass between us.


No. We were learning each other, discovering truths

and facing our self-deceptions.

Now it is a calm sharing.

I still know your mind and your body

and love them better than my own.

I still love it when you hold my hand.


And when we speak it means something.

And when we kiss it means something.

And when we hold hands in the silence

Of an evening on a back porch,

Side-by-side on a second-hand settee with a blue cushion,

It means everything.

“Silence and Love” © Connie J. Jasperson 2015, All Rights Reserved


Filed under Literature, Uncategorized, writing

But what about poetry?

ode to the west wind-shelleyI love poetry because I love the many ways words can be manipulated on a blank page. To me, poetry is something beautiful and visually simple, a thing that looks like it should be uncomplicated. But nothing could be farther from the truth.

I guarrantee you, this post will not scratch the surface of why poetry is so much more than naughty limericks (which I do know a great many of and which are quite hilarious).

Bad poetry can be written by anyone, but writing great poetry takes a certain genius–I don’t consider myself a poet, although I do sometimes feel compelled to attempt poetry.

Poetry doesn’t always rhyme and it frequently involves complicated aesthetics that are both auditory and visual. This is because the reader may not always be reading the poem aloud, and so the visual art of the piece comes into play.

Sometimes, poetry is long, epic in actuality. Consider Manfred, by George Gordon, Lord Byron (From Wikipedia, the font of all knowledge): Manfred: A dramatic poem is a poem written in 1816–1817 by Lord Byron. It contains supernatural elements, in keeping with the popularity of the ghost story in England at the time. It is a typical example of a Romantic closet drama. (end quoted text)

Byron himself referred to his works as “closet dramas,” since they were intended more for the theater of the mind than the actual theater.

manfred-lord byronExcerpt from Act III, scene I of Manfred

There is a calm upon me–
Inexplicable stillness! which till now
Did not belong to what I knew of life.
If that I did not know philosophy
To be of all our vanities the motliest, 10
The merest word that ever fool’d the ear
From out the schoolman’s jargon, I should deem
The golden secret, the sought ‘Kalon,’ found,
And seated in my soul. It will not last,
But it is well to have known it, though but once.

And a “theater of the mind” is what Byron’s work sparks in me.

Words are bent and shaped by poets to evoke meanings, bent and formed into precise shapes. We novelists and writers’ of short fiction have the luxury of creating a long narrative. In poetry, space is intentionally limited by the author, forcing the the poet to write within narrow constraints. Thus, allegory, allusion, and indirection are common motifs in poetry.

Traditional forms have precise constraints: Sonnets are fourteen lines, following a set rhyme scheme and logical structure. Sonnets use iambic pentameter, which is characterized by the familiar “da dum da dum da dum da dum da dum” cadence of five sets of syllables.

Even in free verse, one must pay attention to the meter, the basic rhythmic structure  of a piece, the rhythm and cadence of the syllables. A clear example of this can be found in Walt Whitman’s poems, where he repeats certain phrases and uses commas to create both a rhythm and structure.

I love the poem,  When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, written in free verse in 206 lines. Whitman used many of the literary techniques associated with the pastoral elegy. He composed it during the summer of 1865, a period of profound national mourning. The country was reeling in the aftermath of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, that occurred on April 14, 1865.

Despite the poem being an elegy to the fallen president, Whitman neither mentions Lincoln by name nor does he mention the circumstances of his death. Instead, Whitman used allegory–symbolic imagery:  the lilacs, a falling star in the western sky which was the planet Venus, and a shy bird, the hermit thrush. It is most definitely an elegy because he employed what scholars consider the traditional progression of the pastoral elegy: moving from grief toward an acceptance and knowledge of death.

It is is a beautiful poem, and is one I often return to. Lines 18-22 of Whitman’s leaves of grass-whitman When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d:

In the swamp in secluded recesses,
A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.

Solitary the thrush
The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
Sings by himself a song.

And how has poetry evolved into the 21st century? For one unique direction of evolution check out the works of Seattle poet, Bill Carty on Pinwheel

For more famous contemporary poets, check out 31 Contemporary Poets You Need to Read.

I have always been a fan of the classic masters: Dickinson, Browning, the Brontë sisters, Byron, Shelley, Frost, Whitman. Wordsworth, and my beloved Yeats, among many.  I was raised in a home with their works proudly displayed on the bookshelves in the living-room, massive tooled-leather volumes from Grolier, smelling of romance and ideas.

I didn’t always understand the works of the great poets, and I still don’t–but I love them.

I leave you with a rhyming poem, The Song of the old Mother by William Butler Yeats:

I rise in the dawn, and I kneel and blow
Till the seed of the fire flicker and glow;
And then I must scrub and bake and sweep
Till stars are beginning to blink and peep;
And the young lie long and dream in their bed
Of the matching of ribbons for bosom and head,
And their days go over in idleness,
And they sigh if the wind but lift a tress:
While I must work because I am old,
And the seed of the fire gets feeble and cold.


Filed under Books, Fantasy, History, Literature, Publishing, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, writer, writing