poetry and prose about place

Archive for January 2013

abandoned boat

with 10 comments

On Monday, we drove to Black’s Harbour.  On the new highway, where it crosses the inland dregs of Oak Bay, the ice was broken into big sheets along the shore.  There, in the icy debris, was an abandoned fishing boat, a wreck.  Although I have never seen it before, it has probably been there a long time.

abandoned fishing boat


Foggy Molly


she had a sixth sense –

kicked in on a grey day

when mists lobbed across the bow

and thickened her passage

she loved flat water

and a blanket of fog


she was nervous of a big sea,

preferred to be tied, snug

to the wharf,

to lift and settle,

to lift and settle

moved by the inhalation,

the exhalation

of the tides


ironic – she broke up

at berth, waiting for a re-fit

smashed by a nor’easter

and cleavers of ice



Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

January 30, 2013 at 7:32 am

messages on a still winter day

with 9 comments

birch bark~



snow, crystal-quiet

a sluggish breeze

riffles the woodland

sunrise lost in a rose sky


listen to the rustle

of paper on wood

the mutter of unwritten lines

birch-bark, deckle-edged


tatters and shreds

sorted by a sluggish wind

words I meant to write

letters ready for the mail



behind parcels

wait for postage

brown paper and string




'Yellow Birch Bark' revision

Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

January 28, 2013 at 7:19 am

dazzled by dresser jars

with 7 comments

Dresser jars have always been an interest of mine.  You often see them at antique stores and at auctions.

My Mom had an iridescent peach-colored dresser jar with a glass terrier on top and a pink-colored dresser jar with a young deer.

My collection of dresser jars is one of my favorite possessions.  The collection includes several dresser jars of a type made in the 1930s to 1950s (by the Jeannette Glass Company).  They are all round, made with clear or iridescent glass.  They were used as jars for women’s dressers, to hold powder.

I have four young deer (or ‘Bambi’) dresser jars, two iridescent peach-colored, one pink and one clear…

'Bambi' dresser jar

three swans, one green, one blue-green green and one amber (the swans have a cut-glass base and a hollow in their backs to hold lipstick)…  I also have a clear swan, top only…

green swan dresser jar

two terrier dog dresser jars, both peach-colored and iridescent…

terrier dresser jar

and one poodle dresser jar, peach-colored and iridescent…

poodle dresser jar

This year, I added an elephant dresser jar made of clear glass to my collection.

elephant dresser jar


Do you know of any other designs in this type of dresser jar?


Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

January 25, 2013 at 7:45 am

collecting glass animals

with 4 comments

Today, I cleaned my collection of glass animals.  Cleaning them takes a long time since I don’t clean them often.  I wash each piece in soapy water and air dry it on a towel.  As I work, I enjoy their sparkle and I think about how I got each piece.  Since most of them are second-hand, I think about the unknown people who owned them before me.

Most of the animals in my collection belong in one of three categories:  covered dishes, candle holders and dresser jars.  A couple of the pieces belonged to my Mom.  A couple of them are pieces she gave me as gifts.  The rest, I found over the years at antique stores or auctions.

some glass animals

The covered dishes are mostly hens or chickens…

hen dishes

My favorite hen dish is a funny round chicken in clear glass…

clear hen dish

I also have a rabbit in this collection…


and a duck…

clear glass duck

I have a few glass birds of various colors.  Each bird has a berry in its beak, and a hollow in its back to hold a candle…

glass birds

I’ll show you some of my dresser jars in the next post.

Do you have a hen dish among your dishes?

blue hen dish


Parting the Collection



to collect: to gather together

these prisms

of glass and light

took a lifetime

what will become of them

when what becomes of me?



collect: a short prayer

from a mouth like dust


I bid for each

between Limoges and Occupied Japan

with a steady hand

and a palpitating heart




feathers pressed into glass

bird in the house

at the window


cut crystal

edge of flight

from the menagerie


ruby swan

amethyst bee

topaz duck


glazed eyes



lenses rise in your throat

siliceous gasses

burst from your beak

as a berry


past and future



shards of glass

shared among

my daughters

do not understand

the meaning

of collection


do not know

a Sybil

rises in your beak



Published as ‘Parting the Collection’, The Antigonish Review 95, Autumn 1993


blue glass bird with berry in its beak


Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

January 23, 2013 at 7:36 am

dear deer

with 6 comments

This year, I moved our feeders to our front yard.

They are not so easy to see from the house, although I have a good view from the window of our library.

feeders in front yard

The deer have liked the new feeding station.  We see them almost every day.  They empty the feeder too quickly and also visit the compost pile.  We don’t deliberately feed the deer, but they visit the feeders anyway.

deer in yard


deep and delicate,  hoof print

evidence, this space is shared


deer, eat peelings by moonlight

one floor up, we sleep, unaware


lulled by winter carbs

carrots and potatoes in the supper stew


deer pauses to look back

Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

January 21, 2013 at 7:17 am

featuring a 1941 International truck

with 6 comments

I have had a few poems accepted for publication recently.  These include ‘abandoned resort hotel, Devil’s Head’;  ‘Berries in Cellophane’; and ‘1941 International K-4’.  They appear in Issue 10 (Spring, 2013) of The Lion’s Head Magazine (online).  You can have a look at these three poems at


‘Berries in Cellophane’ is from my manuscript on growing and gathering local foods.

The poems ‘abandoned resort hotel, Devil’s Head’ and ‘ ‘1941 International K-4’ are both part of a series, not yet completed, on abandonment.  This series began my interest in abandoned churches, and lead to the novel I am now working on – ‘Saving the Landing Church’.


The poem  ‘1941 International K-4’ was inspired by an old International truck, seen in a wood lot in southern New Brunswick in the fall of 2011.  It was set up on steel drums and looked like it was no longer used.  Rusted and out-of-commission, she was still elegant to behold.  The poem came easily, written in the ‘voice’ of the truck, recalling its various adventures.

Have a look at the poem in Lion’s Head Magazine and let me know what you think.

abandoned International truck


1941 International

Copyright Jane Tims 2013

Written by jane tims

January 18, 2013 at 7:39 am

editing to remove the passive voice

with 10 comments

I am still editing my novel, aiming for the third draft.  Today is about finding and eradicating the passive voice.  When I find an instant of the passive voice, I try to find a better, more active way to present the idea.

The passive voice occurs when the object of an action is expressed as the subject.  ‘The book was read by Jane’ (passive voice)  … instead of … ‘Jane read the book’ (active voice).

The passive voice is often accompanied by a form of the verb ‘to be’.  A simple example:  ‘The text had been edited by the teacher’ (passive voice) … ‘The teacher had edited the text’ (active voice).

The active voice is usually preferred because it’s direct, energetic and less wordy.  Sometimes the passive voice is Ok to use – for example, if the agent of an action is unknown or unimportant:   ‘The letters were misdirected to Toronto.’


Here are examples of some of the changes I have made:


Passive :  The louvers of the belfry were splintered where they had been damaged by the move.

Active:  The move had damaged the louvers of the belfry, splintering the wood.


louvers in the belfry

louvers in a belfry, the wood not splintered!!!


Passive:  Our taste buds were teased by names like the Pickle in the Barrel Pub, Heavenly Hash, and Bob’s Country Diner.

Active:  Names like the Pickle in the Barrel Pub, Heavenly Hash, and Bob’s Country Diner teased our taste buds.


a salad at 'Heavenly Hash'

if there were such a place as ‘Heavenly Hash’, they might serve a salad like this!!!!


Passive: The deconsecration has been approved by the Diocese

Active:  The Diocese has approved the deconsecration.



I treat my edits of dialogue a little differently with respect to the passive voice.  People often speak in the passive and so I am careful to edit for what sounds natural rather than what is grammatically correct!


Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

January 16, 2013 at 7:49 am

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