poetry and prose about place

time on the shore

with one comment

On this Father’s Day, I remember times spent with my dad.


When I was a kid, he would take us to the shore near Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, to look for chunks of iron pyrite (fool’s gold) in the rocks.



time on the shore



spit of sand

grains in an hourglass

poured through gaps

in a cobble sea



waves advance

try to tangle me

wash me, turn me

like a sea-smooth stone


but I know about tides

I move myself inland

each hour



he watched whales blow here

saw sea horses dance

filled his pockets with sea glass

pitied the sandpiper

sprinkling tracks the waves erase


I hear the hiss of air

the echoing wail

small stallions prance on my toes


I close my eyes

forget to move




he takes us prospecting

we wedge into crevasses

keen for pyrite gold

cube within cube

embedded in stone


we always forget the hammer

we chip and scratch with fingernails

reach across rock

dare the waves


a sanderling cries

quit quit!





befriend me


a dowitcher sews a seam with her bill

bastes salt water to shore


the sanderling shoos back the tide



plunge into the ocean

and complain they are wet



Published as: ‘Time on the Shore’, Canadian Stories 16 (89), February/March 2013

Part of manuscript ‘mnemonic‘ winner of the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick 2016 Writing Competition



Copyright Jane Tims 2017


Written by jane tims

June 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm

One Response

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  1. That’s great, Jane. Great for father’s day, too. Nice choice.



    June 18, 2017 at 8:56 pm

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