poetry and prose about place

rafting event – what to carry when you leave home

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A few years ago, I was thinking of writing a series of poems about plant pollination and dispersal. It seemed a great idea. Poems about bumble bees and butterflies, ultra-violet landing strips and hummingbirds. Poems about burr baskets, rafting events, maple samara and dandelion parachutists. I wrote the poem below and found it so depressing, I abandoned the project. Now, as I sort through my library and wonder which books to keep, the poem seems appropriate.


rafting event – a type of biological dispersal that occurs when terrestrial organisms transfer from one land mass to another by way of a water crossing. Often this occurs via large rafts of floating vegetation, sometimes seen floating down major rivers in the tropics and washing out to sea, occasionally with animals trapped on them.  (Source Wikipedia)



rafting event


Let the door handle slip

from your hand, leave

the home you’ve tried to know.


Behind a deadpan face, dry tears

and palpitations, carry knowledge

away on a frail raft.


Peterson Field Guides and Salinger,

a poem by Shelley,

three Shakespearean sonnets.


They cling to the raft, these bits

of memory, rely on slippery

fronds of rough-glued vegetation.


Recalled when someone asks

the writers you prefer or claim to have read.

You say, ‘the collected works of Heaney’.


And is there an island where

new roots can catch and old seeds germinate?

The choice – survival or well-read.


Hear the hinges do their work –

the dead bolt slips into the lock,

last home you will ever know.




Copyright 2018

Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 1, 2018 at 4:46 pm

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