Their Stories: Poetry by Freda Jepson

This week’s Their Stories postings are both poems by the same person: Whitby native Freda Jepson. Freda submitted 5 poems, despite the limit of 2 submissions. She dropped them off in person, and her enthusiasm for the project was contagious. It’s always nice to see someone take an idea and run with it!

Freda Jepson received Honourable Mention for her poem Night Train. It, and one other submission, is included in the exhibition. Be sure to see them in person!

Portrait # 8 (above)

Jenny’s Dream


Before the day broke forth

with forty thieving winks to go,

I dreamed a dream.

A happiness dream it was;


Where I, a young girl,

looked up at the skky and

twirled a twirl.


My curls were bobbing

and heart a-throbbing

with happy beat.


For no certain reason

but that the season

caused my joy and

my skipping feet


And I made miniature

crop circles in the grass.


By: Freda Jepson



Portrait # 1

vintage portrait

Unidentified Portrait from the Thomas Bouckley Collection. Collection of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

The Writer


I will maintain my defiance

Allowing a runaway mind to

Seek out infinite realities.


No woeful citizen of a

Humdrum world, but

A resident of a wonderland

Rewriting my story.


Each chapter opens with

Creative dreams,

Opportunities occur on

Every page


Possibilities hide behind

Paragraphs, and

Laughter peeks from

Between the words.


By: Freda Jepson



Unidentified Portrait #2 – Story by Freda Jepson

This past fall, I put a call out to the community to submit creative writing entries to accompany unidentified portraits in The Thomas Bouckley Collection. With ten portraits to choose from, submissions included diary entries, letters, short stories, poetry and even a dating profile. I was so pleased with the number we received and the quality! The project resulted in an exhibition that is currently on display at the RMG until May 1st. Due to spatial restrictions, I wasn’t able to include all of the submissions, however, I will be posting two additional stories each week on the blog for all to enjoy. A huge thank you to everyone who participated!

On April 7th, join us for an evening with the Durham Folklore Storytellers. Using the submissions to the Their Stories exhibition as inspiration, the Durham Folklore Storytellers will take listeners on a journey to imagine the lives of these unidentified people.

– Sonya Jones, Associate Curator


Portrait #2



Am I to know no one as me

And to be known by none

To have no one to walk with me

As I approach my home.


Other lonely paths ‘longside of

mine run parallel

Yet join not mine to make a road

That leads where love can dwell


Should kindred spirit call to me

“We two now one shall be”

I’d kindle then the fire of life

To blaze for eternity.



By: Freda Jepson