Friday, September 21, 2012

Turf Wars

Mary's Mixed Bag over at Real Toads asked us to write about fences. The responses are amazing, and I hesitated to post mine, which is not really poetry. I thought about the fences I have read about: concentration camps, refugee camps, internment camps for displaced Japanese during WWII, the Rabbit Proof Fence in Australia, along which two aboriginal girls trekked to return to their homeland when they had been taken away to residential school, the fences that interrupt the reindeer migrations up north, where so many animals die of thirst, fenced off from water on the other side, fences in the Kalahari that impact its many directions I could have gone.

But the fences I am thinking about most these days, are of my two neighbors across the street. It has become a Comedy of Errors, day by day and week by week. It is now escalating, and I hope they don't come to blows! I'll post it anyway, for your amusement, as an observation of human nature.

Neighbor One's driveway
was littered with old collapsing vehicles,
the skeleton of an ancient RV,
and other detritus.
The neighbors shook their heads.

Until Neighbor Two moved in
with truckloads of furniture, lumber, 
all manner of Stuff,
which spilled out onto the driveway
looking like the trailer had vomited
its contents.

The neighbors were aghast.

Suddenly Neighbor One's place
looked a whole lot better.

Neighbor Two began making piles of lumber
all over the yard. 
He began and left unfinished 
several roofed structures,
with an eventual plan of moving stuff 
from Here to There.
In his Plan, there seemed to be no plan
to move anything to the Dump.

Old broken bureaus, 
piles of discarded lumber,
two claw-footed bathtubs,
old glass windows
and two canvas storage units
clogged the driveway.
He parked his several vehicles: truck,
big trailer, smaller trailer units,
and an old wrecked RV
with a leaking roof
along the strip of grass beside the road. 

Traffic just barely managed to edge past,
drivers gritting their teeth.

His Stuff inevitably started edging towards
Neighbor One's roadside grass.

Neighbor One fenced it off 
with two by fours and bricks,
to limit  access.

Neighbor Two cleared enough space 
in his driveway
to park one of his vehicles.
The neighborhood took heart.

But then the Stuff started creeping
beyond the boundaries
once again.

A large white moving van
next appeared in front of Neighbor One's,
bucked right up against the property-line.

Neighbor Three was Hopeful.
Maybe he was going to finally 
take stuff to the dump?

But, no.
Neighbor One had parked it there 
to stop Neighbor Two
from edging onto
his strip of grass.

Now Neighbor Two felt encroached upon.
He muttered to neighbors,
who didn't know what to say,
given the amount of mess 
in his own yard.
He confronted Neighbor One
with his complaints.
Not a good idea.

Now Neighbor One is
seriously pissed off,
after putting up with a driveway full of 
regurgitated lumber and broken down furniture,
not to mention
 having a view of
a large canvas canopy
from his living room window
for an entire year.

Neighbor Two is pissed off too.
Now he is talking about
building a high fence
from the front 
of the big white truck,
all the way along his property
so he "doesnt have to look at them".

Neighbor Three is happy
her view is
out the back of the house,
so she doesn't have to look at
either of them.

Wolves simply pee along
the boundaries of their territory.
It's ever so much easier.


  1. LOL...Watch the wolves and....Just don't get involved!
    What a nightmare.

  2. Would be funny if it weren't so close to you. Or did I misread that?
    Such a beautiful area all around there as far as I can glimpse. Now you have to treat us to the positive outlook around there as well. I am being nosey :-)

  3. Very amusing Sherry! If only both neighbors decided to be thoughtful and cleared up all their junk.

  4. After the entire comedy of errors, I howled with laughter at your conclusion! Neighbour Three has the right idea (about most things).

  5. Wow this is quite something, Sherry. I wonder how it will end. In this case I think it would be good if both neighbors would build fences and keep their stuff behind it so that other people did not have it to view!

  6. Wow...a pissing contest of sorts~
    whoa....what a mind melding mess~
    YOU painted the fence rather well!

  7. My goodness this is comedy of errors and silliness ~ I laughed at the wolves peeing along the boundaries..he..he...Happy Friday ~

  8. One of those maddening situations for sure, Sherry. I guess having homes with lots of space around them doesn't always mean peace. How funny this poem is.

  9. Don't look, Sherry! They'll be out peeing in the yards before you know it!

  10. What MZ just said. Someone always says what I'm thinking, before I get a chance to post a comment.
    Come to think of it, it's usually you.
    Hilarious, though, Sherry. Some people are such nut-jobs, aren't they? But neither thee nor me, of course.
    Luv, K

  11. Ha ha ... loved this neighbor feud :-)

  12. Wolves simply pee along
    the boundaries of their territory.
    It's ever so much easier.

    Now there's a lesson I will not forget.

  13. oh my god....such funny well you captured it in lines...I may never be able to narrate things this way....loved and enjoyed ...all smiles...

  14. This is like reading a Dr. Seuss, it's so funny and your close is perfect! Maybe your neighbors will read the post. :D

  15. haha...wolves and their pee are much prefered, but these neighbor battles def play out all over....smiles....seen it...

  16. When things come to a head hell breaks loose. Hopefully good sense would prevail.When unreasonable neighbors come on the scene it does not auger well for everybody. Brilliant take Sherry!


  17. OMG ~ in this scenario, fences (high) are the only answer!! Fantastic write, Ms. Sherry!

  18. I would be using a bull dozer to stop the madness! What a crazy pair of neighbors...and I do so love your poetic recounting of it! Sounds like a movie in the making!

  19. LOL Yes, the wolves marking their territory is so much easier. This sounds like my father-in-law. Until the day he passed away he thought his junk superior to the neighbors and wouldn't stand for any encroachment of tacky with his.

  20. When I was a child my father had a similar pissing contest with a neighbor. When junk accumulation no longer sufficed, he switched tactics to revving engines and country music LOUD. My kids laughingly refer to me as OCD-tidy and noise averse. Hmm...

  21. OMG, this is just hysterical! Almost sounds like you live next door to a few of my family members...

  22. Ha! Very funny. Turf wars of stuff. Crazy but very well told. k.

  23. Sherry!!! Ha ha!! I just love your sense of humor and am so intrigued by the human interaction of these neighbors...too much "stuff," in this world...I think. :)

  24. city ordinances have been broken? A few phone calls might result in some action!!! Thank goodness you have a backyard view to enjoy. Your sense of humor I greatly admire.


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!