poetry and prose about place

snippets of landscape – the bogan

with 4 comments

Along the St. John River are sluggish side-streams, flooded in spring to form full tributaries of the river, but isolated and stagnant in low-water conditions, sometimes completely cut off from the main river.  These are known as bogans, a word of Algonquian origin. The words logan and pokelogan have a similar origin and meaning.

My favorite bogan is a strip of water next to the Trans-Canada Highway near Jemseg.  The bogan creates an island, Thatch Island, in the St. John River.  Old Silver Maple trees lean over the still water, creating reflections and shadows.

bogan along Thatch Island

On maps of the St. John River, a bogan on Sugar Island, just north of Fredericton, is called the Sugar Island Padou.

bogan (padou) on Sugar Island

bogan (padou) on Sugar Island





appendage of river

footnote on water

predictable as the day we walked

the dead-end backroad

and retraced our steps to return


in spring, by canoe, at high water

or on ice skates in winter

in summer sluggish

stagnant, secluded


we lurk, eavesdrop on whispered


we are river folk




©  Jane Tims  2012

snow-bound bogan to the north of Thatch Island on the St. John River

Written by jane tims

March 7, 2012 at 6:36 am

4 Responses

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  1. Your snow-bound bogan looks like such a peaceful place – I can almost imagine slipping in there in a canoe in the spring…


    Barbara Rodgers

    March 7, 2012 at 11:11 am

    • Hi. In summer, with the trees bending over the water, these are beautiful places. Jane


      jane tims

      March 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm

  2. Thanks for sharing the maps and reasons why the isolated bits of water are called “bogans.” I love your photo showing all the beauty of winter. Gorgeous.


    Carol Steel

    March 7, 2012 at 8:29 am

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