poetry and prose about place

in the shelter of the covered bridge – shelter?

with 4 comments


– n.

1. protection from danger, bad weather, etc.

2. place giving shelter or refuge.


1. act or serve as a shelter to; protect; conceal; defend.

2. find refuge, take cover.

(Oxford English Dictionary)


As I refine the results of my poetry project, ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’, I am thinking about the idea of ‘shelter’ and how important it is to all living things.



A covered bridge changes the landscape, alters the environment and encourages habitat diversity. It changes the availability of light, water and air. It provides cover from harsh environments.


Some examples of finding shelter in a covered bridge:


  • seeds on the wind, waylaid, find a place to germinate
  • grasses growing beneath the bridge get less light as shadows thicken – sometimes there is too little light to grow at all
  • a crack between boards in the floor of the bridge provides a space to grow away from competition from other plants
  • mosses and lichens find a place to thrive in the rotted hollows of posts and timbers


  • birds use rafters and beams as nesting sites
  • spiders find places to attach their webs
  • mice store seeds in nooks and crannies
  • birds hunt insects on the sun-warmed boards of the bridge


  • travellers find brief respite from wind and snow and rain
  • friends and lovers find meeting places, out of the view of curious eyes
  • visitors find surfaces for expression – graffiti, vulgarity, art, a space to say ‘I was here’
  • children of all ages find a place to shout, hear echoes, remember






the engine dies – after midnight

not far from home


snow builds on track

eyelash and mitten


wind conceals the road

sweeps the bridge


enter, a lull and chill subsides

bright of snow subdued


no solitude – a mouse ticked

off, her hibernation interrupted


and ghosts carve names, spray

broad epithets in purple


inspire defiance, kick me

out, into the storm





Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

January 20, 2016 at 7:39 am

4 Responses

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  1. I love the way you consider so many aspects of a topic, always looking beyond the obvious!

    Liked by 1 person


    January 22, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    • Hi! Thanks! I’ve had lots of time to think about this topic. Since last April I’ve visited 38 covered bridges! Jane


      jane tims

      January 22, 2016 at 2:32 pm

  2. So many different types of shelter. A beautiful post and poem.
    I am thinking about the disasters world wide and how the shelter of people has been destroyed and they are left without shelter or food. I think how ill prepared modern men (me) are today to construct something from nature and find food by hunting etc. Although it might have been hard tens of thousands of years ago, the hunters and gatherers were better prepared than some of us today. We are so dependent on others.

    Liked by 1 person


    January 20, 2016 at 7:55 am

    • When I think about refugees, I know that all of us, in our comfortable homes, are only a mis-step away from the same. And shelter is right there behind air, water and food as an essential need.

      Liked by 1 person

      jane tims

      January 20, 2016 at 9:48 am

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