nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for June 2016

time for picking berries (and a good read)

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One more day to get a chance to win my painting ‘berries and brambles’ … Just buy my book within easy reach from me or my publisher. www.chapelstreeteditions.com

Written by jane tims

June 29, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Mourning dove

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I woke this morning to another new bird in the mix of the morning bird chorus — a Mourning dove. In this area, the Mourning dove is a common bird, seen pecking at seeds beneath feeders or hanging out on the telephone lines. But I haven’t heard one in our grey woods for a while.

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'two Mourning Doves'

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The call of the Mourning dove gives it its name. It begins with a low question and continues in a descending series of coos.

Oh no, no, no, no, no

Dear me, me, me, me, me, me

I decided to try and capture this sound in words.

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Mourning

Melancholy

Monotonous

Sad

Solemn

Hollow, mellow

A reed, the inside walls of a bottle

An emerald bottle, buried to its neck in the sand

Breath across the mouth of a bottle

A child’s feeble attempt at a whistle

Light and shadow inside a vessel of glass

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If the call of a mourning dove were a colour it would be amethyst

If the call of a mourning dove were a sound it would be wind blowing down the stairway of a tower

If the call of a mourning dove were a taste it would be chowder, thick and left too long on the fire

If the call of a mourning dove were a touch it would be a wooden shawl, wrapped round and round until it was no longer warm but strangling

If the call of a mourning dove were a song it would be hesitant, riff-driven, repeated over and over

If the call of a mourning dove were a smell it would be the cloying perfume of lilac

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If it was a vowel, it would be ‘o’ or ‘u’ and sometimes ‘y’

If it was a consonant, it would be ‘m’, ‘n’, ‘r’, or ‘w’

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Heavy or light

Loud or soft

Tall or short

Sad or happy

Bright or dull

Sharp or dull

Nearby or distant

Solemn or joyous

Spacious or confined

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So, from all this, a poem. This is the second draft of a poem about the mourning dove which never mentions the bird except in the title.

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Mourning dove

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Zenaida macroura

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wind wakens, descends the stair

notices shadow, gaps in cladding

the hollow of the tower, breath

across the mouth of a bottle

amethyst, buried in sand

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the reed widened, a solemn song

the riff, the echo, a distant train

expands across the valley

and a child hollows her hand

shapes her lips for a kiss

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tries to whistle, her breath

a sigh, a puff to cool

the chowder, still simmers

on the fire, thick

and needing stirring

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potatoes, corn and onions

curdled cream, a woollen shawl wrapped

round and round, warmth tightened

to struggle, viscous as lilac

unable to breathe

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For other posts and poems about the Mourning dove, see https://janetims.com/2012/01/16/keeping-warm/  and  https://janetims.com/2015/01/30/for-the-birds/

 

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 29, 2016 at 7:01 am

on my book shelf – Triggerfish, a crime novel

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‘… he had fifty feet under the hull. The carcass of a rowboat against the shore, cedar, pine and rock rimming the cove, no cottages out here … Switching to the trolling motor, Beck eased around the bend in the cove …’ (Triggerfish).

Around that bend in the cove, Beck meets his share of trouble. I usually think of crime novels as an easy read. Triggerfish challenges that notion. The characters are many and, to me, a bit hard to follow – there doesn’t seem to be a good guy among them. The action is non-stop giving the reader few chances to relax! And what, oh what is going to happen to Eddie???

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Triggerfish

 

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Dietrich Kalteis, Triggerfish – a crime novel. ECW Press, Toronto: 2016. Published June 1, 2016.

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This review is done as a result of my role as Shelf Monkey for ECW Press http://ecwpress.com/pages/shelf-monkey.

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Not usually in the genre I read, Triggerfish was nevertheless entertaining. The main character, Rene Beckman, ‘Beck’, is an ex-cop, hard-hitting and resourceful. He is trying to stay out of trouble but accidentally views a murder and some ruthless drug runners in action. And the bad guys won’t look the other way.

The action takes place in the Vancouver area and so scenes feel, to me, Canadian, familiar. Description is gritty, but evocative: ‘Crunching on dead leaves, wet ferns slapping against him, he ducked under pine boughs … a dry creek bed. A crest beyond it. Moss, ferns and rock … ‘. Some of the action occurs on Beck’s boat, the thirty-two foot Triggerfish.

The book is the classic example of shortening sentences to move the action along. This, and the frequent inclusion of gerunds to provide an odd combination of past and present tense, mean the book is sometimes hard to read. I’m not certain I ever got used to phrases like: ‘ … Ramon and Eddie walked in from the dining room side, both stopping at the fireplace, Eddie looking like he wanted to turn and run, Ramon nudging him forward…’ Or  ‘… He told her, and she said, ”Nice meeting you, Marty Schmidt.” The second shot spoiling his looks.’

The characters are diverse and multi-dimensional: Vicki, environmentalist and play girl; Ashika, skilled and patient terrorist with a sense of humour; and Hattie, mature girl next door. I liked one of the bad guys the best – poor Eddie, trying to outsmart the cruel bosses by stealing their dope, cooperating with Beck.

Ironic humour  abounds – from the description of the vegan protest, with protesters wearing body paint diagramming cuts of meat, to Beck’s attempt to rescue a drowning Ashika. Ashika, hearing a rooster crow for the first time, almost blows it off the fence.

It took me a long time to finish this book, partly because of the sentence structure, but mostly because of my lack of familiarity with the genre. In the end the plot was satisfying and no loose ends were left dangling. I just may read it again.

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 27, 2016 at 7:17 am

early schools – the exotic and the common

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In my Aunt’s book about early schooling in Nova Scotia, she tells an amusing story about field days at school:

… I recall another field day when Dr. DeWolfe, Miss Harris, and Miss Baker came with shrubs to our school. The shrubs were ten cents each. My mother had always longed for a weigela and a snowball and we were delighted that at last she could have her wish, for both these varieties were among Dr. DeWolf’s  collection. They were duly planted at my home on the bank of the French River. One turned out to be a high bush cranberry and the other a spiraea, but today we still refer to them as the “snowball” and “weigela” and, I may mention, they have many an offspring throughout our province.

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I must have seen the high bush cranberry and spiraea many times at my mother’s old home, but I don’t remember them in particular. I do remember the gardens, lush with rose bushes, tiger lilies, and grape vines.

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June 17 2016 'an exotic shrub' Jane Tims

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 24, 2016 at 6:45 am

within easy reach – another chance to win a painting

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You will recall that earlier this month I held a draw to win the cover art for my book of poetry within easy reach. Carol Steel, a fellow blogger, was the winner of the painting !  http://carolsteel5050.blogspot.ca/

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This is to remind you that I am holding a draw to win another painting — ‘berries and brambles’ (18”x 14”, acrylic, gallery edges, unframed). Anyone who has purchased my book from me or my publisher, Chapel Street Editions, has already been entered in the draw. This includes the blog comment folk who entered the earlier draw.

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berries and brambles~

There is still time to enter to win the painting! Just purchase my book within easy reach between now and June 30, 2016 from me or my publisher!  http://www.chapelstreeteditions.com

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The draw will be held in mid-July at my book signing and workshop at the 8th Annual Free School at Falls Brook Center in New Brunswick. http://fallsbrookcentre.ca/wp/events2/8th-annual-free-school/

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

June 23, 2016 at 7:15 am

a place for Zoe

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I’ve heard the theory that the Internet is 90% occupied by cats. I have spent a fair share of my time watching feline antics on stairways, kittens tumbling from chairs and cats sneaking up on cameras.

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The cat I spend most time with is Zoe. She is a small cat, about eight years old (whoops, my niece says Zoe is twelve)! She tries so hard to communicate and can usually make herself understood via telepathy. She sits and stares at me and I go through the list. Food? No. Water? No. Ice cubes? Yes.

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Zoe checks in with me at intervals through the day. She greets me and listens to the morning bird chorus with me. She runs in front of me to her bowls and waits while I feed her. When I am typing at the computer, she hops up and tries to help. Later, when I watch TV, she snoozes on my lap for a few minutes. She usually appears later to race through the house from corner to corner.

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Nothing special about this particular cat post. But I wish I had Zoe’s nonchalance, her utter calm, her faith that all will be well.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

June 22, 2016 at 7:00 am

Posted in a niche for Zoë

Tagged with , , , ,

within easy reach – what did you think?

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I have had my book ‘within easy reach’ in circulation since early May and I have had an enjoyable time getting it into the hands of readers, including some of you!

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I have had some feedback but I continue to be curious about what you think of my book. I wonder if you’d take the time to give me some comments. Positive or negative … all will help me in my quest to be a better writer.

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berries and brambles

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If you are willing to go even further than the comments section here, perhaps you’d do a short review of my book on Goodreads or Amazon, or leave a comment on my Twitter account @TimsJane

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30105132-within-easy-reach?ac=1&from_search=true

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You can also take part in my poll:

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

June 21, 2016 at 7:43 am

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