nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘home

what would a home look like on a fictional planet?

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You may not be aware – I keep two blogs, one to consider subjects about real places and one to explore my ideas about science-fiction. If you are interested, click on over to www.offplanet.blog. This week’s post is about the homes the characters use in my planet Meniscus stories. You wouldn’t trade your home for any of these! Lots of illustrations too!

'hammock'.jpg

Best wishes!

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 2, 2018 at 7:14 pm

growing and gathering – a sense of place

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The theme of eating local foods has its essence in the idea of ‘place’.  The book ‘The 100 Mile Diet – A Year of Local Eating’ by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon (2007), introduced many to the idea of eating foods grown within a certain radius of home.  Eating local is also place-based in terms of the settings we associate with local foods – the woods, the blueberry field, the home garden, the local farm, the roadside stand, and, of course, the farmers market are all places associated with obtaining food from local sources.

‘Place’ is a complex topic.  Most of my poems about ‘growing and gathering’ include at least a little information about the ‘place’ where foods are found.  Some poems, however, are specifically about ‘place’, and I want to group these together in my manuscript.

The poems I will include under the theme of ‘place’ will be focused on habitat, landscape, local food traditions, and the people-based concept of ‘home’.

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1.  the ‘place’ where plants grow

Plants, of course, depend on their habitat to live.  The ideal ‘place’ for a plant is determined by the availability of moisture, light and nutrients.  These factors are, in part, the result of climate, soil type, slope, exposure, and interactions with other plants and animals.  In my collection, I have poems about the habitat of seaside plants, the need for water in landscapes where water is scarce, and why woodland plants often bloom in the early spring, when light is most available.

2.  plants shape their surroundings and their landscape

Plants create habitat, modifying the regimes of moisture, light and nutrients in a local space.  Plants also help to create the broader landscape.  I have poems about how ripening apples change the space under an apple tree, how large and small-scale characteristics affect the value of a property, and how plants contribute to the way landscape appears.

3.  ‘place-based’ food traditions

As a result of the interaction between wild life and the landscape, people have access to different kinds of foods and develop area-specific wild food traditions.  In New Brunswick, fiddleheads of the Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia Struthiopteris (L.) Todaro) are abundant in the spring, along the banks of rivers and wetlands, and many New Brunswickers consider a feed of cooked fiddleheads to be a rite of spring.  In Newfoundland, a relative of the blackberry, the Bakeapple (Rubus Chamaemorus L.), is common in the bogs and barrens.  Children often stand beside the road, their arms out-stretched, to sell their bottles of yellow Bakeapples packed in water.  I have poems about these two local foods as well as others about traditional local foods.

4.  ‘place’ as a metaphor for home

Plants and their ‘place’ can be a metaphor for the relationships between humans and the spaces where they are raised, or where they live.  ‘Place’ may imply ‘home’ and ideas of belonging or familiarity.  Several of my poems are about this aspect of ‘place’.

As I am working on the theme of ‘place’, a song by the 1990’s band Toad the Wet Sprocket is going around in my head:

‘…show me your home
Not the place where you live
But the place where you belong…’

Toad the Wet Sprocket, ‘Something to Say’, Fear, 1991

Exploring the theme of ‘place’ with you has helped me to organise my poems, to revise them, and to understand that I still have a few poems to write toward my manuscript.  I am so grateful for this blog and for all my readers!

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landscape

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a veil draped across bones of the earth

pointed tents supported by forest

settles in pockets, lichens and moss

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beneath the cloth is texture, the way

I know life on the land, fast or slow,

near or far, through clear eyes or through tears

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to know form follows function –  practice

repeated, detailed observation

see the sweep of a field of brambles

also the berries, also the thorns

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Published as ‘landscape’ on www.nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com September 3, 2011

Revised

©  Jane Tims  2012

the ideal property

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A few years ago, my younger brother lived in New Brunswick for a while and we were able to see him and my sister-in-law quite often.  We had some great times, camping one weekend on Grand Manan, watching Survivor together, seeing their terrific Christmas decorations, and just visiting.

One of the weekends I remember well was our drive to see their new property along the St. John River.  Although they eventually sold the property, it remains one of the best plots of land I have ever seen.  My poem will tell you why!

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Land For Sale

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waterfront

two acres

one of cleared field

one of woods

silver maple, curly fern, rocky shore

transparent water and wobbling waves

an island over there

(conservation land)

(no buildings to intercept

the view)

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plans manifest

the house here

the driveway    a garden    a gate

a path through the maples

to the shore and a dock

two good-natured chairs

turned toward one another

skating in January     bonfires in July

promising neighbours

reasonable price

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and the clincher?

the deal maker?

the heart breaker?

a crooked bush

with five fat blueberries

ready to pick

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Warning:
1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.

 

©  Jane Tims 2011

Written by jane tims

November 14, 2011 at 6:27 am

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