poetry and prose about place

in the shelter of the covered bridge – update

with 4 comments

Although my blog has been a bit silent this fall, I have been working! Among other projects, I am making great progress on my poetry manuscript ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’.


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To provide experiences and inventory the plants and animals living in and around covered bridges in the province, my husband and I have visited 28 covered bridges in the drainage basin of the Saint John River and 5 covered bridges in Charlotte and Westmorland Counties.  I have a few more  bridges to visit, but to give a little seasonal diversity to my project, I’ll travel to these in early winter.


Jane reads at WordsFall 2015

Reading at WordsFall 2015, an annual event of the New Brunswick Writers’ Federation (photo by WFNB)


As a result of these bridge visits, I’ve written 60 poems. I read five of these last weekend at two writers’ events: WordsFall (Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick ) and Odd Sundays (a monthly Fredericton reading event). The poems include the results of my work on different poetic forms – in the manuscript I have examples of the sonnet, ghazal, haiku, tanka and villanelle.



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black horse painted in the Quisibis River Covered Bridge (Pont Lavoie)


As I develop the manuscript, and to help organize the poems, I have sorted them into categories:

  • gaps between boards (deterioration and loss)
  • liminal, shore to shore (transitions)
  • grit of a blade (carvings and history)
  • notch of a lily pad (habitat)
  • a blade of grass between thumbs (mystery)
  • heads of timothy (miscellaneous)
  • a loose board rattles (sounds)


Writing these poems has given me a glimpse into the living world of the covered bridge. We may cross a bridge daily but it takes a little time to know a bridge and discover the life there. Most of the animals living in or around a covered bridge are timid or hidden, and avoid human contact. The plants provide the setting for the bridge but there is a pattern to the places they grow and some will only be seen if visitors to the bridge slow down. And carved in the beams are the stories of the humans who have been part of the history of the covered bridge.


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Baker Brook #2 Covered Bridge – a deer and a crow are watching us from the hay field


Copyright 2015 Jane Tims

4 Responses

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  1. Jane, your covered bridge project reminds me of this quote: “Within walking distance of any spot on Earth there’s probably more than enough mystery to investigate in a lifetime.” ~ Alix Kates Shulman

    I enjoy your poetry and discoveries!

    Liked by 1 person

    Barbara Rodgers

    November 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

    • Hi Barbara. Great to hear from you! I love the quote. I think it is the story of my life. Lots to explore and relatively little time!!!! Jane


      jane tims

      November 23, 2015 at 11:13 am

  2. Jane, I think this is a magnificent project! Loved your poem yesterday ..

    Liked by 1 person


    November 23, 2015 at 7:56 am

    • Hi Betty Anne. I personally love the combination of human and natural history. I’m glad you liked the poem. No two are alike, a bit of a surprise to me. Jane


      jane tims

      November 23, 2015 at 8:19 am

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