nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for May 2017

song of the Hermit thrush

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Every morning I listen at my window for the morning bird chorus. This morning, my first Hermit thrush of the year! It is my favorite of the bird songs, melodic and heavenly, phrases repeated in different keys.  A year ago, I heard the song and wrote the following poem. For the process I followed in writing this poem, see this.

Hermit thrush

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Catharus guttatus

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neither visceral nor guttural, ethereal

tip-toe in tree tops

air pulled into taffy thread

a flute in the forest

froth on a wave

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rain trembles on leaf tips

guttation drops on strawberry

a lifted curtain of mayflower

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I saw you there

hidden in the thicket 

and I followed

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climb the ladder and sing

then step to the rung below

heads up, thoughts of the new day

parting of the beak

pulse at the throat

hairs lift

at the nape

of the neck, fingers

warble the keys

between middle and ring

catharsis

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Published at http://www.janetims.com July 1, 2016

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

May 31, 2017 at 7:10 am

woodpeckers in the grey woods

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If you are new to my site, you might not know that we call the woods behind our house ‘the grey woods’. The woods are mainly balsam fir and black spruce, with grey birch and red maple. Here is a map of our property (about 19 acres).

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Woodpeckers are a common bird in the grey woods. We have Pileated Woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus), Hairy Woodpeckers (Leuconotopicus villosus), and Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens). The woodpeckers love the older trees in the woods. They also peck at our wood-shingled house!

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Here is a Hairy Woodpecker hard at work in a balsam fir. He is hard to tell from the Downy Woodpecker (especially when you can’t see his beak) but the Hairy woodpecker is larger (about the size of a Robin) and sometimes his red cap is divided into two parts (seen clearly in this photo).

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

May 29, 2017 at 7:32 am

Fredericton’s Literary Festival — Word Feast

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This Thursday evening is the launch of Fredericton’s Word Feast, a literary festival to be held in Fredericton during the Week of September 18 – 24, 2017. Word Feast is expected to be an annual festival, featuring a lecture, workshops, seminars, readings, and other events.

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To launch this event, there will be an announcement party this Thursday June 1, 2017 at 7 PM in the Chickadee Hall of the Fredericton Public Library. Each of the main categories of literary events will be announced and there will be readings by some well-known Fredericton writers. Our readers will include Sue Sinclair, Kathy Goggin, Mark Jarman, and Paul McAllister. I will be reading from my poetry about wild edible plants. Everyone is welcome and the launch party is free!

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This will be an enjoyable evening and a chance to hear about the great line-up planned for Word Feast.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

May 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm

new book in the Meniscus Series

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My new book in the Meniscus series … Meniscus: South from Sintha … is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats! The book follows the continuing story of Odymn and the Slain as they head out on a new adventure and build their relationship with one-another. To purchase the book click here for the paperback and here for the Kindle edition.

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On a planet where Humans are slaves, Odymn is free. Her companion, the Slain, was once a trader in sentient beings. Now, for love of Odymn, he has agreed to change his ways and to return his former captives to their homes. Together, he and Odymn travel the urban alleyways and wilderness woodlands of the Southern District of Prell-nan, risking everything. They must battle wild life, outsmart power-hungry Dock-winders and dodge the grasp of ruthless Gel-heads. But in spite of good intentions, will the Slain be able to right the wrongs of the past? Or will the consequences of his actions outweigh the good he and Odymn want to do?

 

In the second of the Meniscus series, South from Sintha tells the continuing story of Odymn and the Slain. Odymn loves her silent companion, but trying to help his former captives may be a challenge she did not anticipate.

 

You can try to mend the broken, to right the wrongs of the past, but sometimes you can`t go back.

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Copyright 2017 Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) Tims

time at our cabin

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Although we have had our cabin at the lake for almost ten years, we have spent a long time getting it livable and comfortable.

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This spring, we finally had the cabin insulated and gyprocked. With the interior done, it seems much more comfortable.

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The time we spend at the cabin is very enjoyable. Mostly we walk around, watch the birds and work on clearing the trails. In the cabin I work at my writing and my husband and I whittle away at a book we read aloud.

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The book we are reading now is ‘Vineyard Chill’ by Philip R. Craig, part of his mystery/detective series — a Martha’s Vineyard Mystery. We read this author because his main character, J. W. Jackson, is so believable. My husband likes the detail about island life — digging clams, rod fishing and boating. I like the way Philip Craig repeats small snippets of J.W.’s experience in every book. I have read this series for years and feel like I know Martha’s Vineyard, although we have never been there. Each story has its own charm and moments of drama. To get started at this great set of mysteries, have a look here.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

May 26, 2017 at 7:01 am

reflections on a book launch

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The Event: my book launch!

When? a week ago Thursday evening (May 18, 2017) at 7 PM.

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reading with a Dock-winder (one of the aliens in my book) … he doesn’t seem happy to be the bad guy in the book!

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What? 90 minutes of introductions, readings, prize give-aways and explanations. Some by Zachary Hapeman and his very funny poems about the weird and the wacky; some by me, Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane) Tims, about the planet Meniscus and the skills of my very capable female protagonist Odymn.

We gave out three prizes during the evening:

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Zach shows one of the prizes given out during the evening … a framed copy of some of his illustrations!

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Where? At Westminster Books on King Street in Fredericton, New Brunswick ( have a look at their site here, a great local bookstore).  What better place to read than surrounded by books? And helped through the evening by those who love books (Janet North and staff). The day was the hottest of the spring (33 degrees) and I was absolutely dripping by the end of the evening. Some of that is due to my age and lack of stamina. The space is quite comfortable, transformed by chairs into theatre seating for a dozen or more. We had Gel-head punch to drink with lots of ice cubes (green apple, lime juice and gingerale), and three kinds of cookies from the Goody Shop in Fredericton.

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Who? There were twenty-six there to listen, plus Zach and I. Most were friends from my work and church. There were also members of the writing groups where I am a member (‘Fictional Friends’ and ‘Wolf Tree Writers’). Also, one young lady I didn’t know and a woman who was visiting Fredericton and browsing at the bookshop. I suppose we would count my two stand-up life-sized cardboard aliens, a Dock-winder and a Gel-head. And a stand-up life sized ginger-bread man from Zach! It is always wonderful to see my friends and to meet new people. Some of my friends are having a hard time believing I have taken a side-wind into science-fiction.

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the Gel-head stand-up figure … surrounded by all these books, I hope he can read! I think he ate the gingerbread man stand-up figure

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Why? This was the launch of the first book in my Meniscus series — ‘Meniscus: Crossing The Churn’. I wanted to introduce my friends to the world I have built. And get them interested in where the story is going. I hoped to provide some entertainment and to assure them I am doing well in this retirement world. And, of course, I want to sell some books.

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The evening will stick with me for some time. There were many memorable moments. Among others:

  • Zack gave out a little squishy animal to an audience member and told how he often sends these little fellows flying into the audience when he is reading.
  • A member of one of my writing groups, asked to draw for one of the prizes, wondered what would happen if he drew his own name and won the prize … and proceeded to actually win!!!!
  • The out-of-town visitor, browsing the shelves, found my first book ‘within easy reach’ … she was surprised to find the author present and eager to sign her book … my brain had a time switching from Alexandra Tims to Jane Spavold Tims (author of ‘within easy reach’) and signing correctly.  And remembering I usually embellish ‘within easy reach’ with a line from one of the poems.
  • As we left the store at the end of the evening, a group of five young men asked to pose for a photo with the two aliens. They left with a copy of my book so they would know the names of the cardboard stand-ups!

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I show another of the prizes given … a game of ‘Forbidden Desert’ from my son’s store Meta GameZ

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I have a couple of upcoming readings, one at the New Brunswick Writers Federation WordSpring event in a few day’s time. And two at the Alexandria and Goderich libraries in Ontario in September. Meanwhile I can turn my attention to the next book in the series ‘Meniscus: South from Sintha’.

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Copyright  2017 Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) Tims

 

planting trees at our cabin

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Last weekend, we planted about 30 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings at our cabin property. There are lots of trees there already, but we are thinking ahead.

We bought our seedlings at the Irving Tree Nursery in Sussex, $.50 each. We planted them with the help of a metal dibble stick made especially for planting young trees.

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Here is a photo of our cabin, taken from far away, on the other side of the lake in early spring. Lots of tree there already, you say? You can never have too many trees!

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We still have more trees to plant, including some Red Pine and Eastern White Cedar. Great time spent outside where the black flies are never very bad!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

May 22, 2017 at 1:15 pm

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