Tag Archives: Poetry

#FlashFictionFriday: Talisman

Talisman

 

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.


Talisman, Copyright © 2017 Connie J Jasperson, All rights reserved

Puget Sound Sunset, By Vladimir Menkov (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: Silence and Love

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.


Credits and Attributions:

Silence and Love © Connie J. Jasperson 2015–2017, All Rights Reserved (First Published Nov. 13, 2015 on Life in the Realm of Fantasy)

Sun in May, Józef Mehoffer 1911 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: Dreams and Shadow Truths

Dreams and Shadow Truths

Tales, dreams,

Shadow-truths…

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

Unknown.


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

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#flashfictionfriday: Old Peoples’ Gardens

Henry_Roderick_Newman_-_Anemones_and_Daffodils_(15815149940)

Chill and rainy, spring has come

The Ides of March are near.

And all around the garden brown

Shades of green appear.

Though wind and rain still beat the ground

And mud does claim the day,

A secret green lies tightly furled

And soon will have its say.

In gardens up and down the street

Are hints of green and gold.

In old peoples’ gardens, Daffodils

Are shining proud and bold.

Old people’s gardens keep the faith,

Their greening shrubs declare,

That Winter’s grip must surely fade

For Spring is in the air.


Old Peoples’ Gardens, © 2017 Connie J. Jasperson, All Rights Reserved

Anemones and Daffodils, Henry Roderick Newman (1843 – 1917) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: The Sea Doves (reprise)

I’m traveling for a few days, so today I’m revisiting a post from August of 2016. This little flash fiction, The Sea Doves, was written in Cannon Beach, Oregon, one of my favorite places.


sand-dollar-leodia_sexiesperforata_derivada_2013An older lady walking with a cane, and a young boy of about four strolled along the beach, following the line of shells and debris left by the retreating tide.

“Grandma, what’s this?” The boy picked up a round, flat shell, with a design that looked like a flower etched on the rounded top.

“It’s a sand dollar,” replied the grandmother. “When the little creature inside dies, it leaves its teeth behind. Their teeth are shaped like doves. If you shake it you can hear the doves inside, rattling around.”

“Real doves? Like the ones by our house?” He peered intently at it, turning it over in his chubby hands and then, holding it up to his ear, he shook it.  He  danced with excitement, his eyes bright. “I can hear them!”

They walked a while further and the boy bent down again, picking up another sand dollar. “This one is is broken. What happened to the doves? Did they fly to my yard back home?”

The grandmother chuckled. “Perhaps they did. Shall we open one and see if they’re the kind of doves that fly?”

“Okay. I’ll find one.”  After a few moments of searching, the boy shouted, “I found it.” Quickly bending down, he picked up his find and held it out to his grandmother. “Can you open it now?”

“We’ll need a rock,” said Grandma. “Get me a good rock for pounding on things, about the size of your fist.”

Soon the two were bent over a driftwood log, with the sand dollar lying ready to be opened. “What should I do?”

“Give it a good whack. Not too hard, but just enough to crack it open.”

The boy shook his head. “I’m too strong. What if I smash it? I’m much stronger than you, so maybe you should whack it.”

Laughing again, Grandma complied. Soon the shell was opened and the little dove-shaped teeth were exposed.

The boy waited for a moment, then asked, “How come they aren’t flying away?”

Grandma thought for a moment. “Perhaps they only fly when we aren’t looking at them. Maybe we have to close our eyes and wish as hard as we can.”

The boy did so and after a moment Grandma said, “Look!”

His eyes flew open and he saw in the distance five white birds, flying away. “They did it! We let them loose! But they turned into seagulls.”

Grandma fingered the tiny bones in her pocket. “You’re right. Those were seagulls. Maybe they only turn into sea doves if we let them break out naturally.”

“Okay. We won’t hatch any more. I think there are enough seagulls on this beach right now. What we need are sea doves.”

Grandma agreed. The two walked on, stopping occasionally and examining the amazing finds left behind by the tide.


Credits

The Sea Doves, © Connie J. Jasperson 2016 – 2017 All Rights Reserved

Leodia sexiesperforata, By Louis Agassiz (Motier, 28 de mayo de 1807, – Cambridge, 14 de diciembre de 1873) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: In February the House is Smaller

white-cat-470px-franz_marc_013

In February the house is smaller,

Shrinking to just my office, nearer the furnace.

The Room of Shame, decorated with

Files and dusty computers, books, and cat fur,

From Yum Yum the Cat, dead these seven years.

She was old, even in cat years, and

This was her domain.

 

Like Jacob Marley and Scrooge’s knocker,

Her ghost inhabits this room,

Lurking behind boxes filled with books

And lit by the glow of the computer’s screen.

Little tufts of white fur hiding in places

The vacuum can’t reach,

A dusty memory keeping me company as I

Write novels that may or may not be read.

 

Four inches of snow fell last night, wet and heavy with water

And then froze, solid.

An iceberg enshrouded my bungalow, overtook my mini-van,

And weighs heavily on the rosemary shrubs.

And I am safe and warm inside this much smaller house

With my books and my computer,

And the ghost of my feline, past.


Attributions:

In February the House is Smaller,  Copyright © 2017 Connie J Jasperson, All rights reserved

Cat on Yellow Pillow, Franz Marc 1912 [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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#FlashFictionFriday: Bond and Free, Robert Frost

Admiring the Galaxy |CCA 4.0 ESO/A. FitzsimmonsBond and Free

Love has earth to which she clings
With hills and circling arms about-
Wall within wall to shut fear out.
But Thought has need of no such things,
For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings.

On snow and sand and turf, I see
Where Love has left a printed trace
With straining in the world’s embrace.
And such is Love and glad to be.
But Thought has shaken his ankles free.

Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom
And sits in Sirius’ disc all night,
Till day makes him retrace his flight,
With smell of burning on every plume,
Back past the sun to an earthly room.

His gains in heaven are what they are.
Yet some say Love by being thrall
And simply staying possesses all
In several beauty that Thought fares far
To find fused in another star.


I have always loved this poem for iLouis_Français-Crépusculets complex serenity–the narrator is at peace within himself and accepts his turbulent nature.

Frost’s poems were a large part of my early life. I grew up in a house in the woods at the edge of a lake. It was quite rural, and the 1/4-mile long driveway leading from our house up to the road was a pleasant place to walk at any time of the year. Winter was especially beautiful, as the woods seemed to be peaceful, resting. When a blanket of snow had covered them they had a magical quality, one Frost had felt and written of so eloquently.

While many of Robert Frost’s poems show the tranquility of being in a quiet place close to nature, this poem, Bond and Free, is an internal poem, examining the soul and heart of a person.

When I walk in the woods or along the beach my mind strays to many places, absorbing both the sights and sounds, but also touching on ideas not previously thought of, small discoveries of “me.” Robert Frost was able to write about this simple yet complicated process, and have it make sense.

Quote from GradeSaver: The narrator describes the difference between Love and Thought. Love clings to the earth in such a way that makes it a denial of freedom and imagination. Thought, on the other hand, has cast aside the shackles of the tangible world and travels throughout the universe with a pair of wings. Yet, for all the freedom that Thought seems to have, the safe environment of Love is far more liberating.


Credits:

Bond and Free by Robert Frost, PD|1916

Images:

Admiring the Galaxy |CCA 4.0 ESO/A. Fitzsimmons

Crépuscule (Dusk) Louis Français, PD|100, By Ji-Elle (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Vincent, Caitlin. Jordan Reid Berkow ed. “Robert Frost: Poems “Bond and Free” (1916) Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver, 12 May 2009 Web. 6 January 2017.

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#flashfictionfriday: When You are Old, by W. B. Yeats

maude_gonne_by_sarah_purser_1898

Maude Gonne, by Sarah Purser, 1898

WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

 

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

 

And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.


When You Are Old,  by W.B. Yeats, first appeared in The Rose, a collection of twenty-two poems published by William Butler Yeats in 1893. His works entered the public domain in 2010, 70 years after his death.

Many poems in the collection, The Rose, express Yeats’ unrequited love for Maude Gonne. Though she had resisted his courtship at the time  The Rose was published, it is understood that her rejection of him was not complete, and during those years he did have some small glimmer of hope.

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#FlashFictionFriday:1998 Boxing up Michael

paul cornoyer rainy day in madison square

1998 Boxing up Michael

Putting his things in boxes,

Placing them on the wet grass by the street,

Rain on my face, stinging.

Tears in my eyes, also stinging.

Anger, hot in my heart because, stupidly

I believed.

Changing sheets, changing locks,

Changing passwords, changing banks.

Doubt should have prevailed.

Sanity could have prevailed.

My trust was his tool and, stupidly

I believed.

His books and tools and clothes resided

In open boxes on rain-damp grass,

And later he found them on Sylvia’s grass

Because some things never change.

He was a lesson learned because, stupidly

I believed.


1998 Boxing Up Michael by Connie J. Jasperson © 2016 All Rights Reserved

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#amwriting: Interview with Terry Persun, poet and author

Today we are continuing a series of interviews with published authors who are also instructors. They write in a variety of fields, and each approaches the craft from a slightly different point of view. Because they come from such varied backgrounds, I have gained a great deal of knowledge of writing craft from attending their seminars.

As it’s Friday and I often post poetry and flash fiction on Fridays, we are talking with Terry Persun, a poet and novelist who resides in the Northwest.

51eyfcn4pzl-_sx331_bo1204203200_CJJ: You write in three areas, poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Your fiction work ranges through three sub-genres, Sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and mainstream/historical. As are many poets, you’re well-known for questioning the political, spiritual, and cultural status quo.

How does your poetic bent shape your non-fiction and genre novel work?

TP: What an amazing question. I often think about how my poetry helps to shape my novels, but seldom my nonfiction. So let’s start with novels: much of the best poetry is about image, and the same goes for the novel. An image (showing not telling) can create an emotion that will stick with the reader. Poetry allows me to practice that. Even when you’re discussing cultural elements, an image is more important than abstract words like horrific or painful. A poet must know how to show those abstractions. Think about the last time you saw an image of a child in a war zone, it’s much more impactful than being told that there were several women and children killed in the attack. Even which image is important—movie directors know which angle to take. As for nonfiction: I think pacing and word choice stand out the most. In a poem, I can create a line break or a stanza break, similarly with nonfiction I might create a new paragraph or move the article from prose to bulleted copy. Again, an image might be best in nonfiction as well. For example, instead of saying, “Make sure your enclosure is leak proof.” I said, “Using the proper sealing approach will eliminate the concern of having grease oozing out of your enclosure.” Seeing the grease oozing out of something is much more impactual than telling someone to provide better sealing. There are probably many more things that poetry brings to my writing that I may not be completely aware of.

CJJ: You have published five poetry collections. I own one of them, And Now This. These poems resonated with me, as my father was also a WWII vet. These poems deal with the effects of your father’s wartime experiences on your family during the 1960s. Battle related PTSD is also a theme in my forthcoming novel. Reading your poetry made me feel less alone in that experience, and helped me develop my protagonist in the initial stages.

You seem to have an instinctive gift for meter in your free verse. One of my favorite opening passages of all time is from one of the poems in this collection, from the opening poem,

First Memory

I’m standing in the corner,

Crying.

My hands are not my own,

They’re trembling.

This passage drops the reader straight into your young reality, unapologetically showing the life you had then.  Because they are free verse, the lines don’t rhyme, yet they are poetic and speak to me on a level that the prose in a novel rarely does. I also love the opening passage from another poem in this collection, In the Story of My Father.

What advice would give budding poets in regard to meter and phrasing their free verse?

TP: Language has its own music. Even prose has music to it. It’s my assertion that the best prose can often be broken into poems. In classes I sometimes will take a Hemingway paragraph and create a poem from it. Having said that, the number of beats, the number of syllables, where you place commas or choose to create a complex sentence, all have an effect on the final work. What I advise new poets is to first of all read a lot of poetry—especially the kind you’re trying to write. Notice how much of a breath you need to take, where natural and unnatural breaks might occur (use both), and where can you end a line that leads a reader in a false direction. Poetry infused prose can only make it better.

Doublesight--Terry PersunCJJ: One of my favorite fantasy novels is Doublesight, in which you created a world populated by shapeshifters. Zimp is a wonderful character, and I like how you portrayed her growing into her responsibilities.

You have opened your Doublesight world to fans to create fanfiction in, via Kindle Worlds.

How has the work offered by others in your world affected your view of Zimp’s world, and has it changed your direction in anyway?

TP: That’s a tough question to answer, because anything written in that world changes the way I see it. Once it’s opened to other interpretations, each character becomes deeper and more mysterious. I start to see the character differently and wonder more about him or her. It also lets me see how others view the story, the time period, the characters. I become more interested in the world as others work in it. My hope is that it’s fun and expansive for the authors as well, offering them another viewpoint to explore, another idea to examine. Plus, every Doublesight story uploaded into Kindle Worlds helps to market all the other books in the world. This cross-marketing will eventually help each author gain a new audience for their own books.

CJJ: Your video course is quite extensive, and I’d like you tell the readers what the course entails, and how they can take it.

TP: I believe you’re talking about the “Make Money Writing” course. You can access it through my website or through Youtube. I have taught that class quite a bit and is often standing room only. I’ve been freelancing for 20 years and working with freelancers on the magazine side for another 20 prior to that. I know how magazine editors think, what they need, and how to reach them. I also know how to help a writer find their way into freelancing. In the course, I run through how to decide what to write, the parts of the magazine, the editorial calendar, how to touch base with editors, and the main types of articles they need for their publications. I’ve consulted with several major magazine groups about their editorial packages, as well as how to move copy through their company so that they don’t waist time and end up with the best possible pieces to publish.

CJJ: I’ve attended several of your seminars at the annual PNWA conference and enjoyed them immensely. You’re based in the Pacific Northwest and have taught many classes all over the region. Will you be offering any seminars over the next year?

TP: I will be at the PNWA Cottage in September teaching a course on working with Amazon’s 12+ platforms for writers (go to PNWA.org for the list of classes), then at Rivers of Ink in October where I’ll be one of their Keynote speakers and also teach a class called Use Your Writing as Marketing. In November, I’ll be in Kauai for their annual Writers’ Conference where I’m teaching Self and Independent Publishing, and will be working one-on-one with attendees interested in a variety of methods of publication. I was involved in three other groups/conferences earlier this year. I am always willing to come up with a program if there is enough interest. Just let me know.


Terry, thank you so much for your insights and advice, both here and at the annual PNWA conference.

I highly recommend Terry’s works. His poetry is deep and thought provoking, and his novels are fun and fantastic.  His books can be found on Amazon at:

tpersun_the_mug_shot_pic_b-w_400x400Terry Persun on Amazon Author Central

For any of you who are interested in attending his seminars, or looking into his video course, you can find him at any of these places.

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/TerryPersun

Website:

http://www.terrypersun.com

Twitter: @TPersun

Pinterest:

https://www.pinterest.com/terrypersun/ 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1219743.Terry_Persun

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=AAIAAAAwxc8B6UnSc6LNvK9rhZHPutf5VEgswes&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic


On  Monday, Scott Driscoll has agreed to join us here.

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