poetry and prose about place

in the shelter of the covered bridge – a villanelle

with 3 comments

I have been working at my series of poems on the plants and animals living around covered bridges in New Brunswick. I decided to try a new form (for me) – the villanelle.


The villanelle is a structured poem with 19 lines and a prescribed rhyming scheme – A1 b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2/ a b A1/ a b A2 / a b A1 A2 . A famous villanelle is by Dylan Thomas – ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’.


The poem below is based on my observations at the Marven Bridge (Belleisle Creek #2) in Kings County, New Brunswick. I have taken liberties with the form, most obviously in using words beginning with the same letter in place of rhyming. I would appreciate any comments, including for improvement of the poem.



Marven Bridge, Belleisle Creek #2, in New Brunswick





Belleisle Creek #2 (Marven Covered Bridge)


bridge shudders as we walk

spaces between boards cast light on the floor

photos out of focus, faint tremble


cribwork and rafters, new wood

old nails work loose, grey walls frail

bridge shakes as we walk


in the rafters, the paper nest of a wasp

in the mud, ephemeral, the tracks of a fox

photos out of focus, faint tremble


a blue jay calls thief across brown water

at the shoreline, sensitive fern

bridge shivers as we walk


on the ledge, bones, bleached white

skeleton of a bear, backbone and fingers

photos out of focus, faint tremble


orange graffiti, letters round and wide

initials carved on the beams are faded

bridge quivers as we walk

photos out of focus, faint tremble



Copyright Jane Tims 2015

Written by jane tims

August 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm

3 Responses

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  1. I like how you describe the bridge as it shudders, shakes, shivers, and quivers.

    Liked by 1 person


    August 7, 2015 at 8:52 am

    • Hi Robin. Thanks. Do you have any covered bridges in your area? Jane


      jane tims

      August 7, 2015 at 10:53 am

      • Good question, Jane. I’m not sure. A quick search turned up one that might be here on the Eastern Shore, but it’s quite a distance from us. I’ll have to look into it. Ohio, where I used to live, has a lot of covered bridges to explore.

        Liked by 1 person


        August 7, 2015 at 11:11 am

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