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Once south of the equator

Strolling by the sea

I came upon a driftwood

Which by chance thought

I had found,

As it were

It had drifted

Drifted till

It founded me.


Just wood!

Would I pick it up

Or not?

A knarly thing

Weather bleached

And rounded

It beckoned me,

“Pick me up”

I did and mused

What shall I make

When I get back

To Shop.


From southern sea

I pockted thee

Now prove

Thy wealth and beauty

How could this thing

I’d stumbled p’on

Be of any bounty?

I worked on it

That knarly wood

I scrubbed and scraped

Sanded, polished.

I’d never, Wood,

Have worked so hard

Indeed so hard before

In such feverish fit of fury,

Guess I simply was not over

My man lost to war.

And I was driven



To find just out why,


This beastly wood that drifted by,

Drifting, caught my eye.


As I worked on it

The answer popped

Before my very eyes\

I stood back consumed

Sobbing tears

Broken down I swear,

It’s drifted beauty

Now understood,

I sighed…

Neither Ash nor Oak

No pine ‘twas not

That heart-shaped wooden knot

Reached out

In captured art

To so consume my soul,

The wood was

Purple Heart!*

*Purple Heart is a purplish wood found in Brazil

Dedicated to those left behind. The poem was inspired by and written for Laura Corte of Cormark International, Woodworking Supply Store, Weaverville, NC. They donate their wood scraps to local artists, who turn them into charm.

*photo is of wood art by M&M Designs Charleston, SC

tom tenbrunsel

Carl Sandburg Writer 2023

Weaverville, North Carolina

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