poetry and prose about place

in the shelter of the covered bridge – a ghazal

with 2 comments

Yesterday, we drove to see a few bridges in north-western New Brunswick. One of these was the North Becaguimec River #4 (Ellis Covered Bridge) in Carleton County.


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the North Becaguimec River #4 (Ellis Covered Bridge) in Carleton County (Sept 2015)


The bridge was built in 1909 and is 18.3 meters long. It shows lots of recent maintenance, including a shingled roof and new timbers and boards in the roof area.


The late summer season dominates the atmosphere of the bridges we are visiting. At this bridge, the choke cherries are black, the purple asters are the dominant flower and clematis has set its fuzzy balls of seed.


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the North Becaguimec River


The North Becaguimec is a rocky brook, very shallow after a dry summer.


Although there are usually lots of spider webs in a covered bridge, this was the first time I saw a spider. The spider was still and stubborn, not moving for me or my camera.


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As I have said before, in making my manuscript of poems about plants and animals living in the shelter of the covered bridge, I have been trying some different poetic forms. This is my first ghazal.


Ghazals are meant to tell of the pain of loss and the triumph of love in spite of loss. A ghazal consists of 5-15 couplets. The second line of each couplet repeats a refrain established in the first couplet. The poem can follow any meter but the meter must stay consistent in every line of the poem.



the spider waits


North Becaguimec River #4 (Ellis Covered Bridge)


in the covered bridge a spider weaves and sets its bait

between the beams, and confident, the spider waits


cedar shingles, boards replaced and rafters new

but traffic sparse, and in the web the spider waits


aster, shepherd’s purse and mullein crowd the road

no risk from the press of tires, and the spider waits


after the flood, drifts of birch and maple high

on the river shore, the spider mends its web and waits


a skater bug steps and skips on the river’s skin and fears

the water’s dry, and in its web the spider waits


on aging crib work velvet moss and lichens grow

landscape formed on rotting wood, and the spider waits


years since they wrote their names on the wall of the covered bridge

crickets sing, and in its web the spider waits



Copyright 2015  Jane Tims


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Written by jane tims

September 9, 2015 at 12:52 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I love how specific this poem is to this exact location, and how it builds a picture with details so that your reader feels like they have been there themselves.

    Liked by 1 person


    September 17, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    • Hi. Glad you like it! When I began the project I wondered if there would be individuality about the poems – I didn’t want sixty poems about swallows! But every bridge has its own ‘vibe’ and each poem is about something different! Thanks! Jane


      jane tims

      September 18, 2015 at 7:40 am

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