poetry and prose about place

spirit guide

with 6 comments

As a biologist, I believe that human beings are fundamentally connected to the natural world.  We are part of that world. To live, we need to eat and drink and breathe. We respond to the cycles of climate and weather.


I believe, to be whole, we need to experience nature on a daily basis.  In winter it is so easy to hide within our warm houses and pretend we are immune. But when I have hibernated for a few days, I start to long for a snowflake on my tongue, the glimpse of a bird, the sound of ice cracking on the lake. I need fresh air, a moment spent counting the sides on a flake of snow, the dripping of maple sap into a metal pail, the chortle of a black crow, flying overhead.



Call me crazy, but sometimes I am certain our connection with nature is one of communication. I am stopped by the knowing look of my cat staring at me as if she cannot understand my lack of understanding. I ask for a prayer to be answered and hear the low tremolo of a loon from the lake. I am startled by the constant return of a yellow bird to the window in the months after my mother dies. I watch my hand painting detail in a landscape and am amazed at how a white line can capture the essence of a leaf.



I also feel kinship with a particular animal. Some days it seems to express my disgruntlement with life. Other days, my joy. When I think of sound, the first sound I remember is the beat of wings on overhead air.



spirit guide


after the proper length of fast

after the proper exposure to fire

I open my eyes

but I see no animal spirit

only black


I listen


unless you count the compression

of a single beat of wing


I stretch and feel the atmosphere


partitioned by sharpened feather fingers

and the zigzag trail

of some multi-legged crawler


my mouth is filled

with the down

of fallen angels

(also feathered black)


the stink of burning quills


where is a crow

when you need to experience

more than the characteristics of crow?




Copyright Jane Tims 2018


Written by jane tims

January 22, 2018 at 7:22 am

6 Responses

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  1. I wouldn’t call you crazy, Jane, because I think similar thoughts about our connection to nature. Wonderful poem and beautiful drawing. 🙂



    January 24, 2018 at 10:32 am

    • Hi Robin. Thanks! Your photography shows how connected you are with nature! Jane


      jane tims

      January 24, 2018 at 3:23 pm

  2. Wonderful sentiment. Beautiful poem. Thank you, Jane.


    Jane Fritz

    January 22, 2018 at 4:32 pm

  3. Beautifully written, Jane. I feel the same way about our spiritual connection to nature.


    Barbara Rodgers

    January 22, 2018 at 9:26 am

    • Hi Barbara. Have you heard of ‘nature bathing’ – the healthy benefits of just being in the forest. Jane


      jane tims

      January 24, 2018 at 3:21 pm

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