poetry and prose about place

defining our spaces

with 3 comments

Fences have always been my favourite type of human architecture.  I like them because they are a place to sit and observe the landscape. 

The reasons for building fences are varied.  They mark the boundaries between properties, keep domestic and other animals in or out, create a visual edge to property, prevent uncontrolled movement of vehicles, provide privacy, and so on.  Did I mention they are also fine places to sit?

Types of fences are as varied as the reasons for building them. 

On our vacation to Maine, we encountered some unfamiliar types, although I have seen examples of these in New Brunswick.  The fences I liked the best were made of stone, sometimes so much a part of the local landscape they could have been  natural, not human-made…

poles and sturdy metal cable…

wood with mortise and tenon…

In New Brunswick, a familiar traditional fence is made with cedar, the rails fitted together in a zigzag…

Stone fences, put together with mortar, are common around churchyards…

Farm fences are usually of the post and wire type…

My favourite fence is the type my husband builds, a modern version of the traditional cedar rail fence, held together by gravity and no nails…




on the breathing side

of the window

beyond the curtain

limply lifted

is a pleasant day

a dandelioned field

a sloe-eyed  cow

sumac leaning on the fence

a weary hitch-hiker beside

a carless road


reminds me

of a basket of patches

a quilt to assemble

hems to stitch

perennials to weed

letters to crumple

and stars to count

in a cinnamon 

and saccharine




more to do

than prop one arm

on the window sill

and lift the muslin

barely higher

than the hitch-hiker’s

wilted shoulders

unslung pack

or knee-supported head


© Jane Tims 2010


Written by jane tims

September 6, 2011 at 6:59 am

3 Responses

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  1. Hi Barbara. I think we all need a little lethargy from time to time. It helps us relax and recuperate… and not feel guilty. Jane


    jane tims

    September 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm

  2. and stars to count

    in a cinnamon

    and saccharine



    Excellent line Jane. Great use of words. Another poem tthat makes me tired 🙂 It reminds me of too many things to do.




    September 6, 2011 at 8:08 am

    • Hi. Thanks for the comment. That was the line I almost removed!!!! But I’m glad I kept it! Jane


      jane tims

      September 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm

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