poetry and prose about place

passage of time

with 6 comments

One of the poems in my new book within easy reach recalls a walk I took with my husband and our discovery of wild strawberries growing in profusion in a clearing in the forest.


'wild strawberries'



Old Man’s Beard     


Usnea subfloridana Stirt.


you and I

years ago

forced our ways

bent through the thicket

of lichen and spruce



caught in your beard

and we laughed


us with stooped backs

and grey hair?


found a game trail

a strawberry marsh

wild berries

crushed into sedge

stained shirts


and fingers


dusted with sugar

washed down with cold tea

warmed by rum



an old woman


lost her way in the spruce

found beard

caught in the branches

and cried



Published as ‘Old Man’s Beard’, The Fiddlehead 180, Summer, 1994

Post also published at

©  Jane Tims  2016

Old Man's Beard (Usnea)

Old Man’s Beard (Usnea) is a lichen found growing in coniferous woods. The common name comes from its matted, stringy appearance. Lichens are made up of two species, an alga and a fungus, living symbiotically.


Written by jane tims

April 25, 2016 at 7:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. Dear Jane, I loved absolutely everything about this post. Your drawing, your poetry and your poignancy are delicious. Thank you for the treat.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    Wendy L. Macdonald

    May 1, 2016 at 5:31 pm

  2. Great combination: drawing, verse, and photo. 1994, eh? That’s quite the long-term poetry career. I love the last stanza.

    Liked by 1 person


    April 25, 2016 at 11:07 am

    • Hi Roger. Thanks for your comments. Yes, 1994. It shows me that a writer’s agendas and goals must be very long term and work must go on for years, not days or months. No instant gratifications (well perhaps occasionally) and every effort counts. Jane


      jane tims

      April 26, 2016 at 10:09 am

  3. What a lovely way to remember a nice day with your husband, with a poem. Loved the picture it conjured up in my mind… My grandfather gave me a wild strawberry plant many years ago, which I planted in my garden. The birds loved the little berries…


    Barbara Rodgers

    April 25, 2016 at 8:24 am

    • Wild strawberries are so sweet. I always love the description in L.M. Montgomery’s book ‘Blue Castle’. She says ‘they lifted them by the stalk and ate them from it, uncrushed and virgin, tasting each berry by itself with all its wild fragrance…’. Have you ever read Blue Castle?


      jane tims

      April 25, 2016 at 8:57 am

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