nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘art

a storm of birds

with 2 comments

We are expecting major snowfall/freezing rain in the next couple of days. I think the birds must sense this because there is a veritable storm of birds at the feeders this morning.

~

~

We have evening grosbeaks, a downy woodpecker, chickadees, nuthatches and mourning doves. By far the largest numbers are the redpolls and goldfinches. We also have red and grey squirrels, but they didn’t show up this morning.

~

~

The birds fly in from our surrounding trees and feed for a while, coming and going. Then a dog barks or a car goes by and the whole flock leaves at once. Only a few brave grosbeaks cling to the feeder. Eventually, all the birds return and begin to feed.

~

~

We keep the feeders full during the cold weather and feed with nyjer (thistle) seed and black-oil sunflower seeds.

~

~

Watching the birds is lots of fun. Each species seems to have its own feeding-personality:

  • the chickadees land, grab and leave as quickly as possible;
  • the woodpeckers cling to the feeder and only leave when they’ve had their fill;
  • the finches (redpolls and goldfinches) arrive as a flock and stay, to feed mostly on the fallen seed under the feeders;
  • the grosbeaks, much bigger than the finches, mingle with them and hang on to the feeders even after other birds have been frightened away.

~

~

Bird watching is a great way to spend time during these days of pandemic lockdown. Still haven’t seen my first cardinal! And this year I haven’t yet seen a purple finch, so common in previous years.

~

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

February 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Gargoyles?

with 4 comments

I am working on my poetry manuscript ‘a glimpse of waterfalls.’ As always, I workshop some of the poems with my writing group Wolf Tree Writers. Wolf Tree has been together over thirty years and has assisted me greatly in improving my poetry.

~

This past week I read a poem to Wolf Tree called ‘from a window on the 3rd floor.’ In the third stanza, a gargoyle is mentioned. We talked about how a gargoyle is an ‘Old World’ (European) reference. It made me curious about gargoyles in Canada.

~

~

A gargoyle is a sculptural architectural feature used like a waterspout to transport rainwater away from the building. A gargoyle often depicts a grotesque other-world figure and also serves to frighten daemons away and remind people of the perils of doing harm. Sculptural features which look like gargoyles but which do not convey water are called grotesques.

~

~

Canada has many examples of gargoyles, occurring wherever architecture is gothic in design. There are many examples in Montreal, including on the campus of McGill University (Redpath Hall and Library), on churches (Christ Church Cathedral) and on private buildings (the Elspeth Angus and Duncan McIntyre House). The Peace Tower (Parliament Building) in Ottawa has numerous gargoyles and grotesques. For more information see https://sencanada.ca/en/sencaplus/how-why/gargoyles-and-grotesques-parliament-hills-sinister-sentinels/

~

~

from a window on the 3rd floor

~

I nudge curtain, interpret

streetscape, sirens

stream down the glass

fractal paths where drops

meet and coalesce

meet and coalesce

~

the puddle on the cobbled street

a pool at the base of a waterfall

edged in rock and fern

candy wrappers, paper coffee cups

brick an escarpment, rain spills

from ledges of stone

edges of stone

~

above, a gargoyle gushes

glimpse of reckless sky

heartened, I consider

merits of solitude

building facade

pavement pulses

red and blue

red and blue

~

~

Are there any gargoyles in the architecture of your area?

~

All my best!!

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 13, 2021 at 7:00 am

lily-of-the-valley

with 2 comments

~

lily-of-the-valley

~

Convallaria majalis L.

~

where they came from

I do not know, perhaps

~

from my mother’s old home

in a shovel-full of lilac

a sheet of white writing paper

in a green box crammed with letters

~

perhaps from my grandfather’s farm

tucked in beside the creeping Jenny

a green and white plate printed

with a saying about home

~

perhaps from a seed in the gravel

spread on the paths or the road

a line of red pebbles

in a spill of quartz

~

every summer the colony spreads

green flames lick at gravel

white bells, delicate perfume

scarlet berries

~

a letter not written

a plate hung on the wall

a pathway leading home

~

~

All my best!

Stay safe!

Jane

Written by jane tims

October 7, 2020 at 7:00 am

ghosts are lonely here ….. new poetry collection

leave a comment »

This spring, I began to gather together the various poems I have written over the years. One of my recurring interests has been abandoned buildings and other discarded human-built structures. And now, here is my book of poems about abandoned humanscape … ghosts are lonely here.

~

My book is available in paperback and includes 45 poems and 14 of my original pencil drawings. Most of the poems are about abandoned structures in New Brunswick, Canada.

~

~

We live in a time when built landscape is often in a state of abandonment: old churches, old bridges, old schools, old buildings. Add to this abandoned vehicles, abandoned boats and deteriorating stone walls, over-grown roads and decommissioned rail lines, and we exist in a landfill of nineteenth and twentieth century projects, abandoned to time. These poems listen to the histories and stories of the abandoned. The poems are sometimes sad, sometimes resentful, always wise.

~

~

~

To order ghosts are lonely here, click here.

~

Have a great day.

Jane

Written by jane tims

September 18, 2020 at 7:00 am

leave a comment »

Do you love picking berries, herbs, other plants from the garden? I think you’d like my book of poetry ‘within easy reach’ (Chapel street Editions, 2016). It is illustrated with my drawings and contains notes on various example of the edible ‘wild.’ Order it here.

~

~

where we step

~

my brother and I explore

the old home place, overgrown

and unused, the house fallen

into the cellar, a sock

tossed into the dresser drawer

but, barefoot not an option

~

even shod, we are careful

of our feet – nails, glass, bricks

from the chimney, unease creeps

beneath the grass – we watch for

the water well, covered but

with rotted boards

~

hard not to love where we step –

the mint enfolds our ankles,

rose and rosemary, our minds

chives lace our sneakers, fold

flowers from purple papers

lavender leans on the walls

~

silver, graceful and wise,

the sage surveys our ruin,

thyme is bruised,

everywhere we step

~

~

Stay safe.

All my best!

Jane

creating my niche

leave a comment »

create: 1: to bring into existence;

2a: to invest with a new form, office or rank;

2b: to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior;

3: cause or occasion;

4a: to produce through imaginative skill;

4b: design. 

– Webster’s Dictionary

I am very interested in creative endeavors and I like being creative.  I am happiest when I am writing, painting, drawing, sewing, weaving, knitting, and so on.

Although I best like to write, I find creative activities substitute for one another. For example, when I am not writing for an extended period of time, I am often embedded in some other activity, such as painting.

Weaving exemplifies the lure of my various creative undertakings.  The producing requires knowledge and skill, and builds confidence.  The process is enjoyable and time is made available for thought and concentration.  The threads and fabrics are luxurious to the touch and the colors are bright and joyful. When I am finished a project, I am so proud of the resulting textile, I want to show the world.

My loom is a simple floor loom, 24 inch wide.  I bought it at a country auction, about 20 years ago.  My sister and I were among the stragglers at the auction, trying to outlast a heavy rain.  In the corner we saw a bundle of varnished wood and some metal parts.  “I think that’s a loom”, whispered my savvy sister.  When the item came up for auction, there were few bidders remaining, and no one know just what ‘it’ was.  At $25, it was a huge bargain.

My loom and I have not been steady company.  It takes forever to install the warp threads, and sometimes weaving is hard on my back.  But the fabrics we make together, my loom and I, are beautiful and comfortable and good for the soul.

What creative endeavors shape your niche space?  What materials do you use and what do you love about them?

~

~

yellow line

~

the road is fabric

weave of asphalt

ditch and yellow line

warp of guard rail

fence and heddle

~

trees in plantations

lines on the hayfield

shadows on road

hip and curve of the earth

weft as she turns in her sleep

~

shuttle piloted

through landscape

and watershed

textile in folds

texture the yearn of the loom

~

faults in the granite

potholes in pavement

rifts in the fabric

where weavers might falter

revisit work of earlier times

~

learning the lesson

taught by the loom

~

choose your weft wisely

balance color and texture

maintain your tension

fix mistakes as you go

~

rest when your back hurts

~

listen

to the whisper

of weave

of yellow line

~

~

All my best,

staying at home, staying safe,

Jane Tims

 

the yellow line

Written by jane tims

June 29, 2020 at 7:00 am

Strawberry Kool-Aid Hair with Ribbons

leave a comment »

~

'nearn' (3)

~

Strawberry Kool-Aid Hair

with Ribbons

~

strawberry Kool-Aid hair

with ribbons

she pushes the button

to cross Dundonald

serious with her boyfriend

her backpack heavy

~

she is like

the student on roller blades

skilled with traffic

not slowing near the top of Regent

reckless to the river

~

or the man

a block from here

a man with a briefcase

leaning across the fence

making a bouquet

of pussy-willows

~

~

All my best.

Stay safe.

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

June 19, 2020 at 7:00 am

heroine

leave a comment »

rose heroine

~

heroine

~

her hair

is 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

Rose

~

in black but for the hair

even her lips

implore the audience

to pardon the difference

~

she, the heroic one

not Romeo

or Juliet

~

not the dead

but the left-behind

~

~

All my best.

Staying safe,

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 12, 2020 at 7:00 am

spring flowers

with 5 comments

Our dominant ground greenery at this time of year is from the leaves of lily-of-the-valley (Convalleria majalis). Like emerald flames they light up the yard. And now they are in bloom. The fragrance is amazing!

All my best

and please stay safe at home.

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 3, 2020 at 9:59 am

next book in the Meniscus Series: the illustrations

leave a comment »

For the last two days, I have been in a drawing mood. Not many authors illustrate their books (not including those who work on graphic novels), but I love this part of the process.

~

~

 

I have had lots of discussions with readers about the right and wrong of illustrating. Some think it takes away from the reader’s wonderful ability to imagine characters and scenes. Others think the illustrations take a reader deeper into the author’s intentions. As an author, I think drawings help get my ideas across. Since my books are told as narrative poetry, my words tend to be vary spare and I think of the drawings as extensions of the narrative.

~

I include two types of drawings in my books: portraits of the characters and sketches of the action.

~

The portraits are useful to me as a writer. They help fix the character’s face so the image does not migrate from book to book. I am really proud of the portraits and looking at them inspires my writing.

~

~

I am also proud of some of my drawings of scenes from my books. When the drawing is close to the idea I want to portray, sometimes it suggests new details in the text. Some drawings are not so good but I rarely re-draw. Instead, I think of these as representative of the weirdness of planet Meniscus. It reminds me of a line from my favorite TV show Lost. Daniel Faraday, on his first visit to the island says,

The light… it’s strange out here, isn’t it? It’s kind of like, it doesn’t, it doesn’t scatter quite right.”

On Meniscus, the pencil doesn’t behave quite right.

~

~

In every book, there are 23 +/- 4 drawings. Some are portraits or repeats of earlier scenes. Today, I did two drawings, both unique to Meniscus: The Knife.

~

All my best,

staying home

and staying in my two-family bubble,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 11, 2020 at 7:00 am

%d bloggers like this: