Friday, January 8, 2010

FSO- Fences

"All over my town there are fences - tall ones and short ones, old and new, elegant and shabby. They all have something to say - like "Keep out," "Be careful!" (like this one) or "Stay right where you are," "I'm utterly exhausted" or "Look at me. Aren't I splendid?" Some have gates; others simply define a space or support a heavy vine. What kinds of fences are there in your town? Do they really make good neighbours? Or do they just isolate us? " - Sandra Leigh















I remember when I was growing up, there were no fences. Only people who had money, farmers who needed to keep their animals from roaming, or someone who just did not want people walking on their grass. Racism in our neighborhood was the highest fence around.  Many people put those fences up even now.

I believe at long ago no fences existed at all. Has fear created them?

I live in an area full of farms; otherwise even new homes are built without fences...

No fences

Remember back in the day, roads and streets, filled with children
Soccer, bikes, and baseballs flew
Across yards, and into backyards
Children had no boundaries, no fear, no unknown grounds
Houses were the same, filled with love, sometimes anger, but still full of truth
There was no such thing as a stranger, or unseen danger
If you stood out back you could see clotheslines and trees
On a good day you could see far, straight through, and blocks away
When the sun was high in the air, clothes filled each line, nobody cared
Once in a while you could hear mom and dad loudly sharing till dawn
Whiskey and bullets ruled the night; scarring mothers, children, and strangers
Up came the fences
No one wants to see into neighbors homes or lives
Neighbors have become strangers
Sisters and brothers now, isolated, are in even more danger.
Playgrounds give way to grave yards
Traces of things long gone, remain to be seen…

© E. Stelling, 9/29/08















Out one day last summer I was studying this 'Ornamental' fence from the 1700's in a historic park, back when iron was 'in fashion'; it did not surround the whole house, just merely decorated the front patches of grass as you walked up the front walk. Fashion, or style  influences are choices in many things.

20 comments:

NanU said...

Interesting Shootout. I like the poem, and it's true that fences contribute a lot to restricting our lives unnecessarily. But they can be a good thing. They can keep people and animals and vehicles from going over the edge. They can define a place to be calm and enjoy privacy. They can help you figure out where the heck you are, on the planet and in your mind.

~JarieLyn~ said...

I think NanU said it well. I like your first photo best but the fence in the second photo is very pretty.

Rebecca said...

Love the misty first shot. And your poem...I don't like fences when they become walls among us.

T said...

I love that first photo.

Lovely poem to go with the theme this week.

Chef E said...

Guys that poem is just something I wrote a few years ago when I was thinking of my old neighborhood in elementary school, and how racism can be the highest fence of all...

farmlady said...

Fences are not a bad thing especially when you live very close to others."Fences make good neighbors"..., and great photos.
As an analogy..., they work beautifully.

Kim said...

So true about fences. Some areas of the country have 'em, some don't.

Growing up in So. California, fences were everywhere, the suburbs littered with fences, mostly taller than kid.

Now I live in a suburb with nary a fence, it's against zoning laws, unless you have a pool...

Patty said...

Love your piece on fences. We don't have too many "keep people out" fences around here. Mostly ornamental. But you are right. So many people want to shut others out instead of reaching out.

Have a good weekend, wherever you are. I can't keep up with you.

GingerV said...

I like your poem Missy. good job pulling all your thoughts and the photos together. back in the 50s when we lived in a small town in Arizona we had a fenced yard. (i wish I had a photo of it) the back and sides were square wire (nice for climbing) and the front was a wide stone fence with a metal pole running across its top from post to post... I learned to do balance beam on that pole. physical fences do not reflect fear - but our mental ones do. good post.

Gordon said...

I would have bet that you would have a birthday cake photo with a fence somewhere on the cake. Great shots, though. The poetry ain't too shabby either.

Kerry said...

Thanks for sharing your poetry with us! Your photos as usual are beautiful

SOL said...

Nice poem and great photos!

J9 said...

I would love to live in an area with no fences - I think it's less popular here in the West, and it causes more problems.

Jama said...

You wrote such beautiful poem, E! I love those fences on the second photo.

Queenmothermamaw said...

Great poem. Fences has been a very interesting theme. I have enjoyed so much all the perspectives from each one. We have fences all around our property. Not one put up by us. All our neighbors have dogs. We are lucky we don't even need a fence.
My post is up late on Saturday. Pop over for a visit.
QMM

Pauline said...

You picked the perfect poem to accompany your fences. Terrific post.

Doreen said...

love the first photo!! my mind can wander and make up many stories about it! great shoot out!!

A Scattering said...

I'm glad you made the point about racism being a fence, invisible yet lethal

Jen said...

Love the poem...very true. Beautiful photos!

Jessie Carty said...

i love the look of the iron fences but so many people just have those wood planking fences that aren't terribly attractive. although when my neighbors had a pit bull i REALLY wished they had a fence!