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The Associative Principle

I think I have found

the new form of writing I have been waiting for.

- Free Verse Poetry-

Unlike Haiku or Tanka or many other forms of poetry, where you have a formula to follow with a syllable and line count, Free Verse is more like speaking, with a focus on bringing out the senses and emotion.

Rajani LaRocca is an author and poet who is a master at this form. Her latest middle grade verse novel RED,WHITE AND WHOLE is amazing. When I attended her webinar on writing verse poetry and she shared excerpts, I was in awe. The form and her heartfelt words touched me so.

Check it out here:

Today I would like to share with you one of my first free verse poems. It is about a coffee mug I found as I was going through my mother's house; one of the precious items I carefully wrapped and flew home with. Writing poetry has been helping me in the grieving process. Thank you, Rajani for opening my eyes to this form.

I welcome your feedback!

The Associative Principle

By Cathy Stenquist

I thirst.

Mindlessly reaching for a cup,

I curl my finger around a random handle,

and notice the shiny black and white image.

I don’t’ remember this being mine.

The cardinal’s song

trills on the breeze

that whispers in my window.

The clock stops.

A slight downward mumble

escapes me

in a shallow hush.


that’s right.

It’s your mug.

The one that you loved so.”

Padre Pio looks back at me.

With a kind, sympathetic glance.

But something’s wrong.

It’s not filled with Dunkin Donut’s coffee

or your hazelnut creamer

Nor in your Alabama kitchen

cupped between your cold hands

trying to get warm.

But rather,


like me,

here in my kitchen

cupped in my aching hands.

Trying to comprehend

this cold

ceramic reminder


your gone.


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