poetry and prose about place

on the rink

with 8 comments

Ice rinks are a part of all our lives in New Brunswick.  My son did not play hockey, but I know from friends how demanding the pursuit of ice-time and practice can be. 

My ice skating experiences have been a little tamer, but definitely part of the fun side of life. 

When my son was young, we had a backyard ‘rink’ for a couple of years.  Although we had fun pouring water and trying not to fall, my best memories are of skating with him on ‘Hoot-and-Hollow Pond’, the postage-stamp pond in our back woods.   

In my teenaged years, my family had a big pond where the ice was only smooth enough for skating during a few winters.  I called it ‘Singing Glass Pond’ because of the sound made when stones were skipped across the ice.   I remember skating there with my Mom who always sang as she skated and the oldest of my brothers who could jump up and do a spin from a position of standing still! 

When I was in grade school, our teachers took us to the public rink where I skated in endless circles next to the boards and learned to do a ‘toes-out circle’, my single figure-skating ‘move’ to this day.  When they were young, I used to watch my two nieces figure skate and was amazed at their fluidity and skill.

Today my knees are arthritic and my balance is pitiful, so my skates are put away.  But on the frozen marsh at the lake, I can still ‘skate’ with my boots and do a parody of a ‘toes-out circle’! 



a string of light bulbs


a string

of fifty

100 watt


casts shadows

along plywood walls

exposes gouges and splinters

collisions of small bodies


Charlie, caretaker, solidifies

light and water

lays down rainbows

and new ice



© Jane Tims 2001



Written by jane tims

February 18, 2012 at 7:55 am

8 Responses

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  1. Great memories! Thanks for this.


    Carol Steel

    February 20, 2012 at 6:53 am

  2. Oh my goodness. Beautiful description of skating outdoors, one of life’s special and infrequent pleasures. Thank you for this. Have you drawn all your life? Enchanting is the right word, for sure.


    Robby Robin's Journey

    February 19, 2012 at 9:14 am

    • Hi Robby Robin. I haven’t drawn for years, although I paint from time to time. I started to draw for my posts since I could not get my photos to focus properly! I love to draw… next to a pencil, an eraser and cottonswab are my best drawing tools! jane


      jane tims

      February 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm

  3. There are few experiences as lovely as pond-skating I lived in a small New Hampshire town for 18 months, and we loved Occum Pond…I now live in Tarrytown, NY where, when it’s cold enough, we can skate on our local reservoir and it’s heaven. Such an old-fashioned activity.



    February 18, 2012 at 11:02 am

    • Hi. Welcome! Today we were on a drive along the Saint John River and saw a large outside rink, hand-cleared on the river ice. The ice is getting soft now, and won’t be good for skating for very long. Jane


      jane tims

      February 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm

  4. Singing Glass Pond sounds like an enchanting place to skate! Was the string of fifty 100 watt bulbs at the public skating rink? I remember plywood walls at our public rink, too. I like the idea of stringing lights in the woods to skate at night – we never got to do that! 🙂


    Barbara Rodgers

    February 18, 2012 at 8:11 am

    • Hi Barbara. I’ve seen the string of light bulbs two places. The first was years ago, at the public skating rink (with boarded sides) at Jemseg. We drove there last weekend, but every vestige of the skating rink is gone now. I don’t imagine the light from the bulbs was great for playing hockey; too many shadows, and perhaps even dangerous. The other place was in the woods along the St. John River, the place in my drawing. It was a little side tributary of the River, with trees leaning along the banks. The result was a ‘wild’ rink, just big enough for a couple of people to skate. The people who had the rink had a length of light bulbs strung in the trees to provide light. The light bulbs stayed for years, long after the rink was no longer used. Jane


      jane tims

      February 18, 2012 at 8:37 am

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