poetry and prose about place


with 16 comments

Now, as I am finishing my manuscript of poetry on local foods, I am aware of the change this means for me.  I know there will be a new project but I am not yet certain what it will be.  I have many things to choose from… perhaps I’ll begin a new series of poems… perhaps I’ll write some non-fiction on an environmental theme… perhaps I’ll finish some of the paintings I have begun.

Although I like best to write, I find creative activities substitute for one another.  For example, when I am not writing for an extended period of time, I am often embedded in some other creative work such as painting or sewing.  Now, as I finish my manuscript, I have begun to weave on my loom.  It gives me thinking time as I approach the end of my writing project, to work through the final steps in my mind.  It also creates some certainty for me and provides a transition to my next project.

To me, weaving exemplifies the lure of creative endeavor.  The producing requires knowledge and skill, and builds confidence.  The process is relaxing and time is made available for thought and concentration.  The threads and fabrics are luxurious to touch and the colors are bright and joyful.  When I am finished a project, I am so proud of the resulting textile, I want to show the world.

My loom is a simple floor loom, 24 inches wide.  I bought it at a country auction, about 15 years ago.  My sister and I were among the stragglers at the auction, trying to outlast a heavy rain.  In the corner, we saw a bundle of varnished wood and some metal parts.  “I think that’s a loom,” whispered my savvy sister.  When the item came up for bid, there were few left in the audience, and no one knew just what ‘it’ was.  I can’t remember what I paid for it, but I know it was a bargain.

My loom and I have not been steady company.  It takes forever to install the warp (I began to install my current warp in May!), and weaving is hard on my back.  But the fabrics we have made together, my loom and I, are beautiful and comfortable and good for the soul.



yellow line


the road is fabric

weave of asphalt

ditch and yellow line

warp of guard rail

fence and heddle


trees in plantations

lines on the hayfield

hip and curve of the earth

weft as she turns in her sleep


shuttle, piloted

through landscape

and watershed

textile in folds

texture the yearn of the loom


faults in the granite

potholes in pavement

rifts in the fabric

where weavers might falter

revisit the work

of earlier times


learn the lessons

taught by the loom –

choose the weft wisely

balance the color, the texture

maintain the tension

fix mistakes as you go


when your back hurts,



listen to the whisper

of weave

of yellow line



Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

September 26, 2012 at 7:34 am

16 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Transitions are always a little scary–but I also really enjoy them. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your future activities as this project winds down.



    September 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    • Hi. ‘Winds down’ is a good way to put it. Transitions may seem abrupt, but there are always bits and obligations that need tending. Thanks! Jane


      jane tims

      October 1, 2012 at 7:56 am

  2. Such thoughtful interplay of themes and words. Lovely, Jane. I didn’t know you were a weaver. Do you find it as satisfying a creative process as drawing? Just very different, I guess.


    Jane Fritz

    September 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    • Hi. Weaving is so different. The end product is lovely to look at and use, but it takes such a long while to accomplish. Drawing suits my need to see an end result quickly. Jane


      jane tims

      September 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm

  3. what a wonderful post on your creative process… I, as well as many others I would guess, can empathize with the finishing of one process and then turning to another form of creativity, such as you so beautifully show us with your weaving! Thanks for sharing this, Jane. What will happen with you manuscript, do you have a publisher all ready to print your book? SB



    September 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    • Hi. I wish! No, the finished manuscript will be sent to my grant provider and then I will work away for about another month, selecting about 60 of the poems for a booklength… then I will send it away to a local publisher and hope they will accept it. Good thing I am patient… Jane


      jane tims

      September 27, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      • Good luck, I sincerely hope you will find a publisher… if you don’t know of Ann e. Michael’s blog, she is another wonderful poet and writer… and has recently had her poetry book published. You could try her publisher! SB



        September 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      • Hi. Thanks for the idea. I’ll have a look at her site! All I know for sure is: this book business takes a lots of patience! Jane


        jane tims

        September 29, 2012 at 8:38 pm

  4. Hey I didn’t know you were a textiles person too! I love thepoem. I’m sure whatever you choose to do will be worthwhile, best wishes, Diana.



    September 27, 2012 at 5:34 am

  5. Never thought of the road as a woven fabric before – love your poetic way of seeing the wonderful in the common and ordinary… Weaving looks like it would be a satisfying creative outlet, and I love the story of how the loom came into your life.


    Barbara Rodgers

    September 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    • Hi Barbara. It is so good to hear from you!!! I was just at a pioneer village and saw some of their beautiful weaving. My crooked lines seem quite dreadful beside theirs, but I am having fun! Jane


      jane tims

      September 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm

  6. Either way, whatever you do next, you clearly have much talent, something which is not only a pleasure to see or read but also something which relaxes you!



    September 26, 2012 at 9:17 am

    • Hi. Thanks! I’d encourage everyone to take up a creative activity of some sort… both rewarding and relaxing… Jane


      jane tims

      September 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm

  7. The metaphor of following the road and weaving works well. I loved the photos of your work, so beautiful. What imagination and creativity. The advice is wise…when your back hurts, rest. So simple yet sometimes hard to remember and harder to do. I am excited to know that you are nearly finished with your manuscript. Congratulations.


    Carol Steel

    September 26, 2012 at 7:44 am

    • Hi Carol. Thanks! I am going to rest a while and then on to the next project! Jane


      jane tims

      September 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm

I'd love to hear what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: