nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for October 2018

covered bridges

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If you follow this blog, you know how much I love covered bridges. We are so lucky in New Brunswick to have 58 remaining covered bridges, but we lose some almost every year, to vandalism, neglect, fire or flood.

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I have included covered bridges in my art for years. My first covered bridge painting was of an anonymous bridge. My dad asked me to paint a large mural (8′ x 4′) in our rec room at home and this was the result …

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covered bridge mural Enfield painted about 1974

‘a covered bridge in winter’ Jane Spavold (Tims)

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When I first arrived in New Brunswick, many of our local trips involved visits to covered bridges. In 1992, as a project to celebrate Canada’s 125th anniversary, my son, husband and I visited many bridges in southern New Brunswick. Last year, my husband and I found this notation on one of those bridges — our initials!

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During those days, I was busy with work and painting covered bridges was not a priority, but in 2013, I painted one rather uninspired watercolour of the Marven Covered Bridge near Sussex.

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‘Marven Covered Bridge, Kings County’ Jane Tims

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In 2015,  as part of a project under artsnb (the New Brunswick’s Arts Board) and a Creations Grant, my husband and I visited 35 covered bridges, mostly in the Saint John River watershed. The results of the project are the poems and art contained in my book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge‘ (Chapel Street editions, 2017). The cover of the book shows one of the paintings I did of the Malone Covered Bridge.

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September 24, 2016 'apple tree, Malone Bridge' Jane Tims (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC).JPG

‘apple tree, Malone Bridge’ Jane Tims

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One of the drawings for the book captured a covered bridge now lost due to carelessness, the French Village Bridge over the Hammond River.

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May 12, 2012 'enter' Jane Tims.jpg

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In the next months, based on other black and white drawings in the book, I did two more covered bridge paintings for the on-going art auction at Isaac’s Way Restaurant in Fredericton.

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‘thistles at the Malone Bridge’ Jane Tims

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‘chokecherries at the Ellis Bridge’ Jane Tims

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A neighbour of mine saw the Ellis Bridge painting and commissioned me to paint our local Patrick Owens Covered Bridge.

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‘chokecherries at the Patrick Owens Bridge’ Jane Tims

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As time goes on, I will paint other covered bridges. They are so beautiful, each a work of art and engineering. The artist’s challenge is to bring out the individuality of each bridge and illustrate its place in our history and landscape.

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All my best,

Jane Tims

 

 

first ephemeral snow

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snowflakes

absorbed by wet pavement

as though

they never existed at all

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all my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 30, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Jack-o-lanterns

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pumpkins, anonymous Jack-o-lanterns

huddle in snow, flakes melt

and tears slide down

undifferentiated

cheeks

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people pass by and fail

to recognize

featureless

family

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Happy Hallowe’en

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 26, 2018 at 10:23 pm

sampling a story

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This week, my new book Meniscus: Karst Topography is out. Follow the continuing adventures of the Humans at Themble Hill … aliens have taken Kathryn, Meghan, Vicki and Madoline from the Village and the Slain go on a dangerous rescue mission to Prell. But at least two of the women don’t need to be rescued … they have found their own ways to get the better of the Dock-winders.

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Did you know you do not have to purchase the book if you are part of KU (Kindle Unlimited) and KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library). Just go to Amazon and read a sample of the book before you decide to buy or not. This is a support for authors since authors are paid by KDP for pages read. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1548434396

Karst Topography cover

Thank you so much for trying out my new book or any of the series.

All my best,

Jane  (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Small miracles

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As I go through life, I occasionally encounter oddities so unexpected I think of them as small miracles. At least my interpretation is that some unseen force is at work, sending me messages of hope and faith.

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After my mom died, a small yellow warbler came to our window for most of the first year, an example of the kind of messaging I mean.

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Today I saw a small miracle, in a pot on the railing of the back deck. Although we have had several frosts, and although I have not planted pansies in the pot for at least three years, a little pansy plant was blooming in the pot.

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I am a biologist, so I know these things can be explained away. There was a stray pansy seed in the pot. Pansies are hardy plants. The house wall was only a few centimetres away, protecting the pot from frost. I know these things but my interpretation stands. And I have only gratitude.

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All my best,

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

October 22, 2018 at 7:00 am

Authors Coffee House October 25

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Looking forward to another of our Authors Coffee Houses. Chuck Bowie, author of the Donovan: Thief for Hire Series, will be reading from his work-in-progress:

‘Death Between the Walls’ – An Old Manse Cozy Mystery
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‘When Emma returns to small town New Brunswick to manage the Manse Arts Centre, she assumes the tenants will be the challenge. And then people start dying…’
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The reading will take place at 7 PM on Thursday evening (October 25, 2018) at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1224 Highway 101 in Nasonworth.
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There will be coffee, tea, juice, and cookies from The Goody Shop.
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A free will offering will go to support the Fredericton SPCA.
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You will be first to hear from Chuck’s new book! We always have a lot of fun and lots of time for questions.
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All my best,
Jane

Written by jane tims

October 21, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Blighty’s – a taste of yesterday

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In Fredericton, we seem particularly sensitive to the city’s past. Since I have only lived in this area about 40 years, I often don’t remember landmarks familiar to those who have lived here most of their lives. My husband who was born here often points out the location of landmarks that no longer exist.

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When I asked him about Blighty’s, memories surfaced right away. When he was 12 or 13, Blighty’s was a regular part of the week. After church on Sundays, Blighty’s was the first stop on the way home. He remembers it as a crowded spot, always busy. It was little more than a small shack, with eight or more people working inside, waiting on people or preparing food.

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Blighty’s used fresh-cut potatoes for their French fries. My husband remembers the smell of grease and the bright coloured light bulbs strung on wire. He also remembers that everything tasted delicious.

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Drive up, stand at wicket, get a number and wait until called. Everyone in the family ordered fish and chips (one or two big pieces) and a bottle of pop. The food was served on paper plates, sized for the meal, and a bottle of ketchup sat on the counter. There were a couple of picnic tables but they always ate in the car. At the end of the meal, there was a big barrel for the garbage.

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Blighty’s underwater in the flood of 1973 (Source: New Brunswick Archives)

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David Watts, a friend from my writing group Fictional Friends also remembers Blighty’s and he has captured the spot in one of his image-rich poems. David is a photographer and writer. He has contributed posts to CommuterLit here and keeps our Fictional Friends writing group moving in the direction of learning. David is also one of the organizers of Odd Sundays, a reading venue for writers in the Frederiction area.

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David says:

my love of words and how they work has been a life-long passion

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I hope you enjoy David’s memories of Blighty’s …

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Thank you David for taking us back to Blighty’s!

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 17, 2018 at 10:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Red fall

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In a few days we have seen green trees and shrubs turn to reds, oranges and yellows, the colour of fall. Then, in another short space of time, the rains come and so much of the colour is gone. One thing I like about living in this part of Canada, nature makes its presence known in the march of the seasons. We can never lull ourselves into thinking we are independent of our surroundings.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 15, 2018 at 7:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Meniscus: Karst Topography …. a new book and a free e-book

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If you like dystopian science fiction with a touch of romance, you might like my science fiction series Meniscus. For a twist, my story is told as a long poem and is an accessible quick read. My books are also illustrated and include maps, a glossary and an alien dictionary.

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If you would like to try out the series, the first book Meniscus: Crossing The Churn is free in e-book form from Oct. 12 to 16. Have a look here.

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Meniscus: Karst Topography is available on October 15 at Amazon in both paperback and e-book here. When the women of Themble Hill are taken by the Dock-winders, the Slain and his friends travel on a rescue mission to Prell. The book will take you on a search of the streets and alleyways of the alien city. But do the women of Themble Hill need rescuing?

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All my best and happy reading!

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

October 12, 2018 at 8:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

after a poetry reading

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Why do you go to poetry readings? Is it because you are supporting a writing friend? Because you love poetry? Or because you search for the perfect poetic experience — the memorable reading of an unforgettable poem, expressive words you know you will always be able to summon. Have you ever left a poetry reading feeling renewed, animated, believing in the impossible?

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I attend a lot of readings. I go to support my writing friends. I go because I love words and poetry. I also go because I long for the memorable. Occasionally, I will hear words, phrases, poems to thrill me for the rest of my life.

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I have had many such experiences. I have been privileged to hear Roo Borson read her poem Grey Glove. I have heard Roger Moore read poems from his book Monkey Temple with his stirring Welsh accent.  Years ago I heard a young Irish poet read her poem about a kettle boiling on the stove, and I have never forgotten her words even though I have forgotten her name.

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sun on tree

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after the poetry reading

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Bailey Drive is a steep incline

for an out-of-shape heart

a pause returns the thud in ears

to chest where it needs to be, a moment

to see maples on the Aitken House lawn

animated by wind, as metaphor for adrenaline rush

of words

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as trees send Tesla coil sparks into blue sky

from trunks constrained by building

and sidewalks, to branches and twigs

unfettered, plasma filaments bloom

on fractal paths

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another pulse, trunk to bud-tips

and another, signals up and outward

heart slows and holds in place

lightning throb in continuum of space

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 9, 2018 at 5:08 pm

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