nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘remembering place’ Category

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

~

1.

spit of sand

grains in an hourglass

poured through gaps

in a cobble sea

~

2.

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

~

3.

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

~

4.

~

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!

~

6.

~

shorebirds

befriend me

~

a dowitcher sews a seam with her bill

bastes salt water to shore

~

the sanderling shoos back the tide

~

terns

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

lost communities – an old flower garden

with 8 comments

Do you ever see an old flower garden, no house in sight, growing alone, expanding and reseeding where it can?

~

On our drives to find old one room school houses in the landscape, we often find bits of domesticated flowers, indicating a home once flourished there. Sometimes these old gardens are all that is left of a rural community.

 

I have seen first hand, how many small rural communities in New Brunswick are little more than memories.

~

A good example of this is Fredericksburg near Stanley in York County. Today it is a pleasant rural landscape with three or four homes. In 1866 Fredericksburg was a farming settlement with approximately 12 families. This information comes from an information-packed website from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick: ‘Place Names of New Brunswick: Where is Home? New Brunswick Communities Past and Present’. By typing the name of a community, you can discover information about original land grants, the size of a community in the eighteen hundreds, how many families lived there, the population and whether there was a post office, store, or church.  http://archives.gnb.ca/exhibits/communities/Home.aspx?culture=en-CA

~

I am sorry these are not better photos, but the colour among all the green shows the remnants of a flower garden that someone once loved.

~

DSCF2158

~

Musk Mallow (Malva moschata) …

~

DSCF2157

~

Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) …

~

DSCF2155~

Some more Foxglove and blue Bachelors Button (Centaurea cyanus) …

~

 

DSCF2163

~

Lupin  (Lupinus perennis). I don’t know the identity of the white flowers, but they make a lovely overall ‘bouquet’!

~

Have you seen any abandoned flower gardens? Do you wonder what stories they would tell?

~

~

Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

August 24, 2016 at 7:38 am

one room school houses – hiding in the landscape

with 2 comments

Last Friday, we took a drive along the west side of Grand Lake, in the Youngs Cove area of Queens County, New Brunswick. We were searching for old one room school houses. As far as I know, there is no list for these buildings in Queens County, New Brunswick, although a list does exist for nearby Kings County.

~

I had seen one old school in the Whites Cove area, so we began there. This school was operated as a local craft store for a few years but is now a private cottage. The one room school is in good shape, painted bright red. The round plaque in the gable of the roof says 1837. The building had two front doors – one for boys and one for girls.

~

white's cove school house 5

Whites Cove school house

~

We then continued toward Chipman, taking old roads when possible. I know that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, each small community (each Parish) had its own school, so we watched for the tell-tale design of the one room school house – a small, rectangular, one-storey building with a steep-sloped roof and rather high side walls. Each school had two or three tall rectangular windows on each side and one or two front doors. Some New Brunswick schools had a small anteroom or vestibule on the front. The bell-tower common on school houses in the United States was not typical of one room schools in New Brunswick.

~

We followed the road along the shoreline of the peninsulas extending into Grand Lake. In particular, we were watching for the older homes that show what the community may have looked like a hundred years ago.

~

As we came over a hill, we first saw the Rees school house. It had some of the characteristics I describe above. However, I am new to one room school hunting, so I was not really certain this little building had once been a school. And then my husband pointed to the sign on the small road opposite the building – School House Lane. The school house was being used as a cottage and was in poor condition with broken windows and a crumbled brick chimney. But I was happy to see the original stone foundation, a straight roof line, a large flat stone as a threshold, original clapboard on the front of the building, and evidence of the original vestibule.

~

rees school 1

Rees school house

~

Thrilled by our discovery, we continued to the next community and followed a side road. Almost immediately, we saw the Cumberland Bay School, announced by a sign above the door. It was a typical school house design, built on a hill. There was a rock foundation (with some brick) and a straight roof. The building was in good shape with evidence of regular maintenance and use, perhaps as a hall. A cold wind was howling and I felt sorry for the kids who must have come to school in all kinds of bitter weather.

~

cumberland bay school 4

Cumberland Bay school house

~

After seeing three school houses, we felt like pros. We took the next road along the shore, toward Cox Point, and found a school house outside the community of Range. It was set back from the road, used in conjunction with a family cottage. The roof was straight, the side windows were intact  and the shingles were in good repair.

~

Range school 3

Range school house

~

I was delighted with our drive – we had discovered three school houses we did not know about! I also got a feel for some of the characteristics of these buildings and how they fit into the local landscape.

~

Old Schools in Youngs Cove area 2016

a map showing the old school houses we found … you can see a pattern emerging … I expect there were once school houses in some of the other communities indicated on the map

~

Why am I interested in this topic? My interests in landscape, the environment and history all come into play. I am also beginning to think about my next poetry project and have decided to explore the idea of school houses in the landscape.

~

To do this project, I will think about the setting of the school house in the community and how topography (hills and lakes and rivers), vegetation (fields and forests, orchards and big old swinging-trees) and other built landscape (bridges, churches, stores and farms) would have influenced the students, teachers and members of the community.  Visits to old schools, some talk with people who remember attending these old school houses and reading at the Provincial Archives would give me lots of material for my writing.

~

Do you have examples of old one room school houses in your area? Did you attend school in a one room school house? I would love to hear your stories!

~

Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Happy Easter!!!

with 2 comments

I once decorated for Easter almost as much as for Christmas. But I am busier than ever and won’t get out all those boxes this year. However, I cannot resist putting my small bunnies and chicks/ducks out on display. Happy Easter!!!

~

IMG_4156

~

IMG_4154

~

Do you decorate for Easter?

~

Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

March 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm

washday

with 12 comments

A few years ago, we took a vacation to les Îles de la Madeleines, also known as the Magdalen Islands, in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and part of the Province of Quebec.  We loved the ferry rides to and from the Islands, the endless white sand beaches, the artisans, and the demonstrations of wind sailing.  Most of all, I loved the colourful houses.  I always planned to try to capture the beaches and those houses in a painting.  I finally completed my tryptic called ‘washday #1’, ‘washday #2’ and ‘washday #3’.

~

June 9, 2015 'washday#1' Jane Tims

June 9, 2015 ‘washday#1’ Jane Tims

~

June 9, 2015 'washday#2' Jane Tims

June 9, 2015 ‘washday#2’ Jane Tims

~

June 9, 2015 'washday#3' Jane Tims

June 9, 2015 ‘washday#3’ Jane Tims

~

And the three together:

June 9, 2015 'washday'  Jane Tims

June 9, 2015 ‘washday’ Jane Tims

~

Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

forward direction

with 4 comments

Going over some older writing, I discovered the poem below. Retired now, I remember days when I thought I couldn’t take another minute of work situations I can’t now even remember.  A good message for me when I feel stressed.  Ask myself if I will even recall the circumstances of this moment years from now.  The photos are from a drive to work in 2011.

~

DSCF4030_crop

~

~

in car-contained wrath

aftermath of a stress-filled day

a shadow cloud of dots and dashes crosses

my road, there and gone

feathered beings, perhaps

a murmuration of birds

or an incantation of angels

wing tips backward beating

frail quills and  a message

to go forward

~

~

 

DSCF4025

early autumn morning

~

DSCF4071

lots of fog on a morning commute

~

DSCF4073

looks like this was a drive ‘to’ work and I was late … no wonder I was stressed!

~

DSCF4076_crop

green means ‘go forward’

~

Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 3, 2015 at 7:02 am

places for writers … writing workshops – part two

with 9 comments

Sometimes the ‘place’ experienced at a writing workshop is the local area, the community where the workshop is held.  I wrote this poem in 2014 after a writing workshop at WordSpring in Saint Andrews (New Brunswick) …

~

'oak leaves and acorns'

‘oak leaves and acorns’

~

encounters

~

on a windy night

in Saint Andrews, a toad

out of place, hop-toddies across

the street

~

also, 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 hotel porch

their attitude more suited to summer

than a night when leaves skip

mottled across the street

~

~

Previously published in ‘writing weekend’, June, 2014,  http://www.nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com

Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 15, 2015 at 7:51 am

%d bloggers like this: