poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘beyond the surface’ Category

adventure at 3:30 am and 5 degrees C

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Occasionally we have an adventure, outside our usual experience. This morning was one of those times.

Call us crazy, but my husband and I joined a much younger group this morning and spent four and a half hours waiting in the cold wind and dark. Our purpose, to get a Super Nintendo Classic Mini for our son for his birthday.


In the electronic gaming world new products are so popular, they are sold primarily in pre-release. Stores also get a few extra products … to get one of these, gamers stand in line, sometimes all night.

We have had some previous experience. Back during the Cabbage Patch Kid craze, I stood in a pre-opening line-up to get Lola Rhonda, our Cabbage Patch doll. And about ten years ago my husband went at 4 in the morning to get a popular toy at Walmart.

For today’s adventure, we arrived, not knowing what to expect, at 3:30 in the morning. It was dark and windy and cold (5 degrees C). At first, it seemed no one was there ahead of us, but then we found the line … seven brave souls, some fast asleep in their sleeping bags, down the side of the building.


To the right of the dark building, down a side alley, are my husband and about 20 other brave souls!

We joined the line. We were warmly dressed and had a folding chair to sit on. We took turns (leave your space in the line and lose it). It was shivering cold and perhaps pneumonia will be the outcome, but gradually I found ways to keep warmer. One was to clutch my pillow (brought in case I wanted to sleep) to my core, another was to remember that your head is responsible for most heat loss (I discovered a hood in my jacket) and best of all, a cup of hot tea from a nearby Tim Hortons and a pack of jumbo raisins from home.


Me, huddled under my newly discovered hood, trying to keep warm!

We had lots to do as we waited … the high school my husband attended was just across the way and there was a clear sky with great views of Orion and the planet Venus. At about seven, there was a wonderful, warming sunrise.

The mood in the line was good and it was fun to listen to the passionate discussion of Nintendo, games won and lost, adventures undertaken.

A cheer went up when the store folk came out to say there were products available for everyone in line (there was some doubt)! This was followed by another buzz of excitement when the store passed out tickets to each person in the line.


The green ticket, first reward for our wait …

Then the line closed up and my husband went into the store to buy the game system.


A happy group, in the line-up to get their game systems, after four or more hours waiting in the cold and dark … my husband is inside, paying for our new Super Nintendo Classic Mini …

The reward for our wait? Besides the game system and a gift for my son’s upcoming birthday, we had a great McDonald’s breakfast and the warmth of our home to return to. Also, an unusual adventure. It’s interesting how you go from ‘no knowledge’ to ‘expert’. I can now write the Survivors Guide to Standing in Line!

Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

September 29, 2017 at 10:43 am

after the ice storm

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Our drive in the crystal world after the ice storm reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago.


It is a rebellious poem (for me), written when I was entering the workforce and unwilling to be viewed from any traditional point of view. Part of the poem uses the metaphor of ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ (Marilyn Davidson and Cary Cooper. Shattering the Glass Ceiling: The Woman Manager. Paul Chapman, Pub., 1992). The poem is about an experience in 1979 of walking in a forest after an ice storm, on one of my earliest dates with my husband. Apparently I didn’t want him to think of me in any traditional role!


Breaking the Glass Ceiling


we still see birch

bent in the forest

broken yet grown

fifteen years

since the ice storm

years translucent

as the curtain of fir

you held back for me


I ran ahead

wanted to walk with you

but hoped you knew

how alone I could be

above me branches


with ice


your hand on my arm


go softly ! (you said)

a touch

will shatter

twigs and tree-tops

chiselled from ice



and hear a million cymbals

tied to our wrists with ribbon


I wanted to listen with you

but hoped you knew

I would never be

coins in a wishing well

a ballerina bolted to a box of jewels

goblets clinking for a kiss


I will not let you

shelter me


I know only

shards of glass

from the ceiling


(some days I am fragile

only needing warmth

to keep from breaking)





Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

March 31, 2016 at 7:20 am

crows too

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Grim Women




the crows burden the trees

gather their iron grits

criticize one another


they slip through gaps

in the matrix

and are gone


their wings are bruises

on the afternoon


their wind is deliberate

and desperate

hardened to the goal



in black

grim women

watch one-another

hide the key

beneath the doormat

and glide

towards the town



Published as ‘Grim Women’, Women & Environments International Magazine (WEIM) No 86/87 Spring/Summer, 2011, p 8

Copyright  2014  Jane Tims



Written by jane tims

October 31, 2014 at 7:57 am

writing weekend

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This weekend, I will be attending WordSpringWordSpring is the annual spring meeting and workshop of the New Brunswick Writers’ Federation.  I will be reading some of the poetry from my ‘harvesting colour’ manuscript and I will get another eye on part of my novel at a Blue Pencil Café.


Preparations for the weekend made me think of a poem I wrote after the workshop in Saint Andrews a few years ago …



October 9, 2011 ‘Moon through the trees’ Jane Tims



on a windy night

in Saint Andrews, a toad

hop-toddies across the road,



and on Prince of Wales, a deer

pauses on the sidewalk, stares

up the hill, and I hesitate

before driving on


in the Algonquin, a light

switches on, in the room I know is mine

and a couple huddles on the open porch,

and leaves, mottled, skid

along the street



Copyright  2014  Jane  Tims

dressing in black

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on this wintry day …





in black


down the middle

of the street

oblivious to traffic


dark mists

and Avalon

the perfect rupture of sky


from her fingers

black threads

spin skirt

and widow’s weeds


black painted nails

blackened sockets of eye

her lips black also

from a feast of berries




Copyright  2000  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

January 31, 2014 at 11:04 am

Posted in beyond the surface

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excusing the difference

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On this cold and wintry day …

along the Atlantic coast


When my son went to school, we often went to theatrical presentations at the school.  The young people were so talented and the presentations so well executed, I often went away with the lines of a poem running through my head.

One evening performance was particularly memorable and inspiring.  It was a production of Romeo and Juliet, and in this ‘version’ Rosaline was given an on-stage role.  Rosaline is the character who does not appear in Shakespeare’s play but has a background role as Romeo’s first love.

The young lady who played the part of Rosaline was memorable for her costuming and her on-stage presence.  She was dressed entirely in black Goth except for her hair – bright pink.  I remember her soliloquy – she begged us to look past her difference and see the person within.


pink roses




her hair

a stroke of pink

on the brown audience


more compelling

than the script

or the decorated stage

not surprising to see her name

on the program



in the part of Rosaline


in black but for the hair

even her lips

implore the audience

to pardon the difference

to understand


if only he had lived


she, of course, the heroic one

not Romeo

or Juliet


not the dead

but the left-behind


last rose


Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

January 29, 2014 at 9:17 am

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