nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘poetry

coat hanger

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My most recent poetry book, a glimpse of dragon, includes several poems about the mystery and magic of the night sky. One of the most interesting star groupings I have seen is Collinder 399, also known as Brocchi’s Coathanger. Its ten stars look a lot like a little upside-down coat hanger. The grouping is not a true star cluster or constellation, but is considered an asterism — just a random pattern of stars. To see the asterism, you need a dark, summer sky. Find the Summer Triangle (the triangle created by Altair, Vega and Deneb) and Collinder 399 is near the line between Vega and Altair. On my back deck, it can be found by facing south, and looking along the roof ridge of our house, so I can always find it at the right time of year. 

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(Source: Wikimedia Commons, Petr Novak)

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Here is a poem about the asterism from a glimpse of dragon:

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coat hangers

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1.

metal hangers aggravate

refuse to cooperate

they are

jangled, tangled

twisted

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2.

her closet has

grace

padded satin hangers

plumped

muffled

kind to arthritic hands

pearl buttons to keep

her dresses from slipping to the floor

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3.

Brocchis’ Coathanger Cluster

between Altair and Vega –

with binoculars

this fuzzy patch of light resolves

to ten splendid stars

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suspends the fabric of sky –

a strong little hanger

with an oversized hook

upside-down

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To get a copy of a glimpse of dragon, take a trip to Westminster Books in Fredericton, or order from Amazon https://www.amazon.ca/glimpse-dragon-Jane-Spavold-Tims/dp/B09M5KYBS3.

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Hurry up summer sky!

All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 5, 2022 at 7:00 am

now available: a glimpse of dragon

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a glimpse of dragon, second poetry book in the ‘glimpse of’ series, is now available at Westminster Books in Fredericton.

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The book is illustrated with my black and white drawings and considers extraordinary things in ordinary life. These are poems about comets in the sky, ghost cars in the covered bridge and dragons lurking in the campfire.

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campfire dragons

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dragons prowl

in balsam

backcrawl in amber

blisters of pitch

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dragons lurk

under mantles of smoke

blacken the stones

spurt throatfuls of fire

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dragons leap

to the Draco sky

watch us grow small

with sparking eyes

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close their lids

and sleep in flight

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You can also order a glimpse of dragon at Amazon, click here.

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I hope you enjoy ‘a glimpse of dragon.’

Jane

Written by jane tims

December 20, 2021 at 3:28 pm

a glimpse of dragons

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This year, I am continuing to gather my various poems into categories for publication. I intend to publish three books of poetry in the ‘a glimpse of…’ series.

So far, I have published ‘a glimpse of water fall,’ a collection of poems about waterfalls and the way lives can sometimes take a ‘downwards’ turn. In 2012, the manuscript for a glimpse of waterfall won Honorable Mention in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick’s competition for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize.

Next year, I will publish ‘a glimpse of sickle moon,’ poems journeying through the various seasons of the year. In 2020, the manuscript for a glimpse of sickle moon won Third Prize in the Bailey competition.

Later this fall, I will publish ‘a glimpse of dragons.’ This poetry collection is about the mysterious events in my life that take imaginative reasoning to understand. The title comes from the idea, in the Dark Ages, that unexplainable celestial events were the actions of dragon-kind.

I have gathered six types of poems into this collection and I illustrate many of the poems.

1. those ordinary things in my life that seem imbued with magic;

2. my ‘observations’ of dragons;

3. unexplainable events in my life that would fall into the category of ghost stories;

4. my encounters with magical people;

5. poems about my deep appreciation of sky and the awe that accompanies trying to understand the reality of space;

6. a tribute to the crow, an animal I feel kin to, and the dark women I associate with crow-kind.

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The poetry book ‘a glimpse of dragons’ will be published by kdp and available in paperback on Amazon in December. The book will also be available from Westminster Books in Fredericton.

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Take care in these days of pandemic,

all my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

November 10, 2021 at 2:07 pm

An Upcoming Trilogy in the Meniscus Series

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To the right of the post, you will see, in a column, a list of the nine existing books in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series. This summer, I am working on books 10, 11 and 12, a trilogy in that the books are connected in theme and story. The three books are (provisionally) entitled:

Meniscus: Rosetta Stone

Meniscus: The Struggle

Meniscus: Return to Sintha

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The books tell the story of how Abra, historian and transcription expert, works to solve the mystery of the Dock-winder language, hoping an ancient manuscript written in Dock-winder will contain a clue to the downfall of these oppressive overlords.

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The books contain many old friends from previous books in the Meniscus Series, including the people of Themble Hill. They also introduce two new characters: Abra and her husband Trath, a Slain.

From the list of characters at the end of each book:

Abra– an historian; transcribes, transliterates and translates Museum manuscripts from Gel-speak to English; brought to Meniscus in the 2013 harvest; taken as she worked in the library of the Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Connecticut, translating a codex of Maya glyphs into English; used as a processor of the beelwort drug by the Dock-winders of the Prell-nan Ogle-hath syndicate; met her husband Trath when he brought raw beelwort to be processed; lives with Trath in the Museum of Dock-winder Legacy, Prell; as she works in the Museum library, she sometimes forgets she is no longer on Earth.

Trath – a trader; gathers wild beelwort for sale to the city syndicates and hospitals; brought to Meniscus as a baby by the Dock-winders in the 1988 harvest and genetically altered to be a Slain; makes his home in the Museum of Dock-winder Legacy, in Prell; addicted to beelwort; married to Abra.

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Here is an excerpt from Rosetta Stone:

“Why did you leave me?”

says Trath.

Abra lifts her head.

Stares at Garnock,

the Wandering Star.

Careful of her words.

“You are never home.

Never tell me

where you have been.

Hardly speak to me

when you are there.”

“You are always

in the archives,”

says Trath,

“with your books and papers.

Never seem to care if I come or go.”

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All my books are illustrated and include maps, a character list, a glossary and a Gel-speak dictionary.

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Meniscus: Rosetta Stone will be out this fall.

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All my best,

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

drawings of waterfalls

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For me, a waterfall is the most beautiful expression of water on the landscape. The feeling of water droplets on your face, the sound of splashing water, the sight of sunlight on fast-moving water. I have tried to capture these in my collection of waterfall poems a glimpse of water fall. The book includes forty-four poems and twenty-three pencil drawings of waterfalls and other water scenes.

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We have many beautiful waterfalls here in New Brunswick. Over the years I have visited quite a few. In New Brunswick, we are lucky to have two great resources for lovers of waterfalls: a great guide by Nicholas Guitard (Waterfalls of New Brunswick: A Guide, now in its Second Edition, Goose Lane Publications), and a very active Facebook Group – Waterfalls of New Brunswick.

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My poetry book about waterfalls, ‘a glimpse of water fall,’ is now available from Westminster Books in Fredericton and from Amazon (click here). Enjoy!

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 6, 2021 at 7:00 am

a glimpse of water fall

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If you love the sound of water falling, the sparkle of water in sunshine, the feel of water beating at the back of your hand, you probably love waterfalls.

Most people know at least one waterfall. A place to go to cool off on a summer day, or to admire sculpted water in the midst of frozen winter. A place to drown the senses, to still … thoughts.

Waterfalls are musical, magical, calming and exciting at the same time. They are soothing yet, in their own way, are a violent interaction of land and water, water and land … sometimes a metaphor for a dramatic shift in the course of a life…

My seventh book of poetry honours the waterfall. It includes poetry written about various waterfalls in New Brunswick and drawings of several of these waterfalls. The manuscript won Honorable Mention in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick writing competition for the 2012 Alfred G. Bailey Prize for a poetry manuscript.

‘a glimpse of water fall’ is the first in a poetry series called ‘a glimpse of.’ Later this year, I will publish ‘a glimpse of dragons’ and ‘a glimpse of sickle moon.’ This latter manuscript won Third Place in the competition for the 2020 Alfred G. Bailey Prize.

‘a glimpse of water fall’ is available in paperback from Amazon. Just click here. It will soon be available from Westminster Books in Fredericton.

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Here is a sample from the book:

crescendo

Little Sheephouse Falls

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still

silence

partridge-berry vine

cascades over granite, padding

of feet on pine needles, whisper of wind

rustle in branches of conifer, music of riffle,

incessant patter of falling water on fractured slate

builds to din and rumble of rolling thunder confined

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Little Sheephouse

on its way to Sevogle

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 21, 2021 at 7:00 am

Gargoyles?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/

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from a window on the 3rd floor

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I nudge curtain, interpret

streetscape, sirens

stream down the glass

fractal paths where drops

meet and coalesce

meet and coalesce

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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

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above, a gargoyle gushes

glimpse of reckless sky

heartened, I consider

merits of solitude

building facade

pavement pulses

red and blue

red and blue

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Are there any gargoyles in the architecture of your area?

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All my best!!

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 13, 2021 at 7:00 am

2020 resolution realized!

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In the early days of 2020 I designed a project for myself … to hunt down and organize my older poems. I set a goal to organize the poems into files and to create (and independently publish) three poetry books from three of the files. I had a good start on these books since I had already completed the poems and the illustrations. Some revision work and formatting was left to be done.

The three books are done! I have a new book of poetry published: blueberries and mink – summers on my grandfather’s farm. To order from Amazon, click here

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A brief history and description of the three:

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In early September, I published ghosts are lonely here, a book of 45 poems and 14 of my original illustrations about abandoned features of the human landscape. If you are fascinated by abandoned houses, bridges, vehicles, churches and so on, you will love these poems. To order a copy from Amazon, https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08J5CQ4GC

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In early December, I published niche, a book of 65 poems and 16 illustrations about the spaces plants and animals, including humans, occupy. With a foreword by my friend, award-winning poet Roger Moore, these are poems about plants and animals in the places where I have lived: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Alberta. To order a copy from Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/niche-Jane-Tims/dp/B08QRYXS9D

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Yesturday, I completed my review of the proof of the third and final book in my 2020 series: blueberries and mink – summers on my grandfather’s farm. This book was begun as an exploration of the various buildings on my grandfather’s Nova Scotia farm and evolved to tell the story of change on the farm. It contains some very personal memories of my visits each summer to the farm and my ramblings in the surrounding countryside. The book has 45 poems and includes 26 illustrations. To order a copy from Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RH7MKJS

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By the end of January, these three books will be available in Westminster Books in Fredericton, or from me directly.

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Three new books on my author’s shelf! Hooray!

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All my best!

Jane

Written by jane tims

December 30, 2020 at 1:00 pm

scraps of paper

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Occasionally I tackle a stack of stray papers. These are usually bits saved years ago, once thought important. Sometimes I find a scrap of poetry among receipts and old letters. Poetry scribbled when an idea occurs, on any scrap within reach.

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This week I found a draft poem about following rules and the evidence left behind by bad behavior. I have always loved picking blackberries, so it is no surprise to me that picking blackberries was used as a metaphor in the poem.

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defiance

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no denying

the evidence —

pulled threads

and stained fingers

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one drupe

with all its packets

could never mark

so well, each finger

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rolled across the page

indigo tongue

and purple lips, words

blackberry-spoken

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the rule — never take

the path through woods

stick to the road, resist

blueberries, blackberries

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avoid the risk

of bears and brambles

hints of danger

in faerie tales

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Last spring I spent time pulling together some of my many poems into three upcoming books of poetry. This poem will fit well into my manuscript titled ‘niche,’ poems about the spaces plants, animals and people occupy.

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All my best!

Follow the rules of social distancing!

Stay safe!

Jane

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Written by jane tims

October 5, 2020 at 7:00 am

ghosts are lonely here ….. new poetry collection

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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.

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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.

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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.

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To order ghosts are lonely here, click here.

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Have a great day.

Jane

Written by jane tims

September 18, 2020 at 7:00 am

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