July 28thYou’ve taken one last stroll along the shore either by yourself or holding the hand of your significant one (spouse, partner, friend, child…). You come across an interesting piece of driftwood. It looks like… Tell us about your souvenir in detail.



July 27 – Horizons

July 26 – Watersports

July 25 – Collecting Seashells

July 24 – Sunburn/Suntan (Rondeau)

July 23 – Romance

98 thoughts on “LIFE IS A BEACH – DRIFTWOOD


    I spied driftwood with knots that could
    have been two eyes, placed as close
    as they were. Under their gaze, I chose
    to carve myself a great grey owl.

    I set to work with knife and awl;
    the shape prepared to spring. It rose
    from the grain to strike a piercing pose,
    the eyes glaring, freed at last from the wood.

    copyright 2013, William Preston


    Smooth and rounded by time at sea,
    the shore was littered with beach debris;

    the waves had pounded at scraps of wood
    to rend them battered and bruised but good

    for adding, gracefully, shape and form
    to dress the porches beyond the norm

    one sees in shacks perched along the shore.
    Some places there are now homes once more.

    I wonder. Perhaps there is hope for me,
    a vagabond, something like beach debris
    yet smoothed and rounded by a life at sea.

    copyright 2013, William Preston


    I spy
    a walking-stick:
    perfect, fully polished
    and compleat, yet essentially

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  4. A Piece of Driftwood

    What’s left behind a long and stormy night?
    Your life! You’ve weathered all it had to give.
    You, old beach relic, tell of such a plight
    that, as a fond reminder, through it lived.

    I’ll take you home with me; far from this sea.
    We’ll rock upon my porch and dream of days
    when we were straight and tall; and running free:
    no blisters gnarling at bent bones or ways.

    Your tone is bleached and white, this much I know
    and there’s uncanny smoothness to your touch.
    The wind and rain has made you victim; slow.
    It takes a while when nature teaches much.

    I’ll keep you, bit of soul from off that beach.
    A heart’s companion; still it likes to teach.

  5. Driftwood

    D ark knotted log
    R etrieved from the beach
    I nteresting
    F ormation
    T ake it home
    W ork magic with flowers
    O n top, perhaps
    O rnamented with knick-knack matching
    D ecor. Priceless souvenir.


    Groucho walked to many names.
    He’d sneer at priests and leer at dames:

    as Wagstaff he was lean and mean,
    and once told Roth to wax the dean;

    and at the circus he could be shady
    yet sang of Lydia, the Tattooed Lady;

    and at the track he gave a push
    to a jumping horse, as Hackenbush;

    as Spaulding he was quite the louse,
    destroying Mrs. Rittenhouse;

    his Hammer bilked the Florida boom
    by selling land that had no room;

    in Freedonia, Rufus Firefly
    made duck soup of Sylvania’s spy.

    The opera was his epitome
    for there, as Driftwood, he could be

    the party of the first part, who
    was full of puff and swagger too

    but yet, in the right frame of mind,
    could even be a trifle kind.

    In all these parts his essence shone,
    for Groucho was Groucho, one alone.

  7. Beholder

    Somewhere waves have twisted trees from shore
    or battered boats have broken up, unmoored.
    Perhaps developers bull-dozed root clumps
    and limbs while clearing land for swimming pools
    and homes that may themselves take to the sea
    when hurricanes and tides muscle them loose
    and let the waves pull them into the deep,
    to change their forms, hollow and sand them clean.

    I knew a sculptor once who found big roots
    of trees he’d give to sea, like cultured pearls.
    He said real drift was harder now to find.
    He chained them to the rocks and let the waves
    ‘perfect’ them for a while, a year or so.
    Then he would smile and run his hands along
    the wood stripped clean as any skeleton,
    disfigured from itself, tangled and scarred,
    but there was tortured beauty in the wood.

    He every morning walked the beach to search,
    especially after great winds and storms,
    collecting driftwood for his sculpting work.
    He said he sees tree spirits trapped inside
    that he can free like some strange wizardry,
    then sell, of course, to tourists on the shore
    who fancy wooden pelicans or fish
    or ships or mermaids clinging to a rock.
    He uses chips for tourist fare, he says,
    like breaking prison bars to free a man.
    I’ve known him work a piece for many months
    and one day see a face blink from the wood.

    That one huge piece up on the block has been
    there in his shop for years for him to smooth,
    but he can’t see the prisoner inside,
    although he squints and growls, pacing about.
    I say, maybe a tiger’s in that drift.
    We stand and look and pace this way and that,
    but we don’t see what it would like to be.

    He needed time, I reckon, to see plain
    that he was searching for something not there,
    desiring drift to be something it’s not—
    a hand, a face, a bird aloft in flight—
    a thing he could exert his will upon.
    “That drift is just exactly what it is,”
    he said, starting to clean away debris,
    “to make me see acceptance is the key.
    No need to change a thing, just let it be
    a monument to great trees gone to sea.”

    He let me buy him breakfast, celebrate
    his having learned a lesson hard to bear,
    to take folks as we find them, scarred, adrift,
    and look at formless beauty as a gift.

  8. a double shadorma?


    Bare buffed wood
    transformed by drowning
    sanded by
    waves, bleached by
    brine and sun, battered in storms
    drift, dropped on a beach.

    So are we
    swept away by time
    bereft of
    smoothed by perils, scarred, lightened
    to beautiful bones.

  9. Pingback: A Bone to Pick | Metaphors and Smiles

  10. A Bone to Pick
    Sun-bleached ribs protrude
    as if the beach were a creature
    with breath abandoned
    turning into the very dust it’s made from.
    Returning to earth…
    how restful this seems
    each aching emotion gone
    giving over guilt
    harbored burdens,
    (they don’t belong to her),
    yes, she’d hand those over too;
    she’d allow the great-
    all knowing beast of sea to sip them in.
    Now, ivory white bones will float in foam
    and wood will drift there for a while;
    it’s certain that worries will hesitate
    resisting the tide
    before being pulled out to ocean,
    at long last, leaving her be.
    Finally freed of mind,
    despairs will be distant memories.
    As she embodies breathless beauty
    coast of woe begins to decompose.
    You see, she’s reconstructing her shore-
    counting her blessings
    grain for grain,
    pebble for pebble
    and stone for stone,
    she’s placing those foundational boulders
    back where they belong.
    Faith in action.
    Faith she can’t see.
    F A I T H.
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013


    Who empowered you
    to travel the blue,
    to drift on from shore to shore
    gathering some bits of lore
    from each explored land
    where you touched the sand?
    Stories buried in your core.

    Did the waves shape you
    to glide o’er the blue,
    a mini boat on you pinned
    a tall sail to catch the wind,
    two tails like rudders
    move you like surfers
    as waves and tide roll and bend.

    Your body washed smooth
    ‘round each bump and grove.
    Bleached by sun to a rich blond
    as if touched by magic wand.
    You could tell a lot
    if you could but talk.
    I’m sure you and I would bond.

  12. Driftwood Memory

    By David De Jong

    Upon the mantle lies a secluded log.
    A fair arm’s length long, smooth, with dog legged ends.
    Veins of grey, knots of black, with the feel of silk.
    It is the trophy of an old memory.
    A young boy on the shore of Superior.
    Thirteen in years, wise in his own, selfish mind.
    Stuck, vacationing with parents much too dull.

    They stopped for lunch and dined on smoked fish and bread.
    A savored treat, fresh from the shoreline smoke house,
    Wrapped up still warm, with care, in yesterday’s news.
    They walked the shoreline to see what could be found;
    Stones for skipping on an endless bed of glass,
    Driftwood pieces, perhaps from the other side.
    One stood out in stature and fit the hand well,
    Somewhat wet, as just released from its maker.

    Mother, felt it required to take pictures.
    Arrogance, distanced his stance from his father
    A father, that saved lives in the holocaust,
    Smuggling souls through the Netherlands country.
    A father, that made a house home, bare handed,
    Toiling after work, in the dark, brick by brick.
    A father that was proud of his son despite
    His son’s thoughts; he was better, smarter, wiser.

    That piece of wood, lays dormant but ages on
    Its ambience of grey and silver shows well.
    Like the greys of regret in reflection’s view.
    I know the boy, grown and aged past his father,
    Would longingly return to that place and time,
    Shed his ignorance, his arrogance, embrace
    Love that was there, but he was too wise to see.

    That small photo next to the wood reminds him;
    Every moment in life is a gift, share it,
    Use them all wisely, with grace and thanksgiving,
    Lest that moment become driftwood on your shore,
    Tossed by the storm, searching for the next wave, home

  13. Pingback: Driftwood | echoes from the silence


      Driftwood triggers thoughts and feelings I can’t quite explain. Like a foggy dream that won’t come into focus; pieces of a puzzle I cannot connect. Memories of dad drift in and out of my mind – of us walking the shore…searching. He would toss chunk after chunk of wood back to the ground. Not quite right. Was I too young to ask the question? Or was I too young to understand the answer?

      drifting along
      exposed to the elements
      shapes who we are

      P. Wanken

  14. Ocean Sculpture

    Like plant and animal life,
    driftwood floats
    out of ocean
    on to sand,
    twisted shapes of wood,
    bleached bone white
    under midday sun.
    No whittling, carving, or polishing
    needed for these works of art
    sculpted by
    Nature’s hand.

  15. Embarking Driftwood

    Cast away as useless dreck
    Lies at our feet a piece of driftwood
    Far from home severed from reality
    We admired at length it’s gracious orientation
    Soaked in it’s spirited tones
    Lapped in the lingering luster of it’s rings
    Seducing our gaze into it’s well-accumulated wisdom
    Gathered of many years
    Perhaps many years at sea
    We could only imagine it’s history
    Of growth, turmoil, anguish and journey
    We listened to it’s story and reflected on our own roots

  16. Driftwood

             Shaped and shaved
                           and saved by wave,
                   it floats. A boat by
                                Heaven’s own hand made,
             it holds a heart
                      -shaped hollow place,
                                      embraces Lake and bids
                                   it stay.

  17. Pingback: Driftwood | Whimsygizmo's Blog

  18. Yes, we do want to ‘manage’ the poem and the driftwood. The ‘truth’ in your piece. But, the more you manipulate the piece, sometimes, the farther you get from the truth. Your ‘story’ poem about such a topic AND done in blank verse so appeals to me. Totally enjoyable read!

  19. Caregiver

    a piece of wood,
    Carried and crashed
    Bobbing about
    Trying to stay afloat.
    I gather you up
    into my arms
    and take you

Comments are closed.