People Poems are dedicated to people who, for one reason or another, have distinguished themselves in my life. People Poem 4 is dedicated to Jane Tims who first encouraged me to start this blog. So, Jane: please accept this bouquet of flowers, just for you!
Jane is a wonderful poet who researches deeply into the past of New Brunswick. Her current project on New Brunswick schools and the early education system in the province takes her back in time to study the names and places on the old censuses. She then travels the back roads and visits the small country communities where the old often one-room school houses still exist. This is the research part. Then Jane imagines what life would have been like walking to those schools and working in them, in summer and winter. The result is an old world, re-created.
Other projects of Jane’s include the covered bridges of New Brunswick, all photographed, sketched, and recreated in verse. She has worked too on the fruit and vegetables of the province, all of them Within Easy Reach, the title of her latest book. An efficient and competent multi-tasker, Jane is also working currently on meniscus, a science fiction fantasy story in poetic form. I have had the privilege of reading an early version of the manuscript. In addition, I have heard Jane read extracts from it. It is a wonderful creation and I look forward to seeing it thoroughly finished.
Jane is also a great artist and I love the drawings and sketches she includes in her books. Above all, I really enjoy her paintings. This one, Apples, she gave to me not long ago when Clare and I visited her in her studio home. It hangs in our kitchen beside my chair and reminds me of the beauty of art and the nature of friendship: light, kindness, generosity, and a love for the world in all its many forms. Thank you for being here, Jane: the world is a better place with people like you in it.