DRIFTWOOD

nature-1367682__340 driftwood

DRIFTWOOD

washed up on the shore,
so exquisite, so polished;
Feels like silk in my hands,

For days, weeks or longer
it has travelled,
across oceans and seas,

hammered against rocks
varnished by sand.

Reminding me of many unfortunates,
living in the shady side of our cities,
by gleaming edifices of beauty and wealth;

Driftwood of humanity.

Playthings to those who exploit,
sleeping in doorways, under bridges,
washed up from an ocean of society;
There was no space for them within,

they see the sun, feel the rain,
but can they feel joy?
when their mattress is concrete?

meanwhile we sleep in soft beds
pampered and fed.

How my heart bleeds
wishing to rescue, to help;
Praying those with knowledge will,
as I give my support,

yet the sorrow and helplessness is there.
Around the corner glittering skyscrapers stand
holding wealth beyond sense.

Still, I pick driftwood by the shore,
feeling it’s journey in my hands;
Journey across oceans free,

Washed by the sea
Kissed by the sun.

Β© miriam ivarson

beach-1903282__340

57 thoughts on “DRIFTWOOD

  1. Wow! Miriam you have surpassed yourself … this is a stunning poem. Its breadth is amazing and you take us from the simple polished driftwood to encompassing the whole of humanity, the striking and sad juxtaposition of the homeless and the wealthy. So many lines are amazing, poetically sublime, lifting us onto a new level of understanding. An exceptional poem … I am so moved! Keep writing and sharing! Hugs xx ❀️🌺

    Liked by 3 people

    • Annika, your response is so beautiful that it takes my breath away. 😊 .
      The whole poem started with that polished driftwood – I do love them – but
      my thoughts travelled on towards the people totally without.
      Word by word it led to this point you so cleverly say: ” striking and sad juxtaposition of the homeless and the wealthy. ” .

      Your kind comment has made me think of a follow up post about some moments lately that describes the light and dark of these people.
      Thank you Annika πŸ’•πŸŒ» .

      miriam

      Liked by 2 people

    • I am very glad Roland that you found this a pleasure to read. It means
      a lot to hear. Would you believe, the poem started out with me waking up
      with the word ‘ Driftwood ‘ and the first stanza …, suddenly it turned to
      images of the driftwood of humanity.
      This has worried me since I was a girl.
      Thank you Roland.

      Like

  2. Thank you Bernadette. Yes, the suffering in the world has always existed but
    seems to increase instead of the opposite.
    With constant world news we are bombarded with news that never cease to horrify.
    A simple walk in any bigger city will tell their own simple and direct tales.

    miriam

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yet again Miriam you demonstrate the power of poetry, in this case social commentary. I’m reminded of a piece I did on homelessness called ‘I am not glass’, but I think your take on this important subject is far better. I love the driftwood analogy as I often wonder where driftwood/people on the street have come from. What currents and winds have brought them to my feet, and that is what makes me so uncomfortable, the homeless are always beneath me and I want to take their hand and help them stand or kneel to their level. Many years ago, I popped a couple of coins in a plastic cup and when the guy said thank you I said “you’re welcome sir”. Well the looks of people around were a picture ! The homeless guy said “you’ve just made my day” and I replied ” and you mine”. A simple exchange but one that made me live by my own message ‘ the opportunity to do someone a small kindness should be regarded as a gift not a chore’. A bit of a self-indulgent comment but your wonderful poem made me re-live that moment ……….. and smile, thank you Miriam.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you Nigel for your kind words about my poetry. It is always a joy to have your comment. A very dreamy start led me into another sort of driftwood.
      I didn’t know your poem ‘ I am not glass’ but have now found and read if.
      You posted that in April last year which explains why I never seen it. I started blogging end May last year.

      It is important how we treat each other and even more so if someone needs to feel that respect and to be honoured for their own self. I am glad I made you relive such an important moment.
      I have had similar experiences as you and always felt it isn’t enough.
      Bless
      ~ Miriam

      Like

  4. Thank you Jaqui for your happy comment. Yes, the driftwood does tell you many stories. Seriously though, you can feel a contact if you but pay attention and let your hands really stroke it.

    As to the human driftwood I talk to people who seem open to to do so. Maybe stroke with eye contact and a smile.
    Bless
    ~ Miriam

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Miriam, I am amazed at how you have taken this metaphor of β€˜driftwood’ so far, linking it to the unprivileged individuals, entering into their minds and emoting on their behalf, understanding how the beauties of the sun and the rain fade in the face of hunger and discomfort. Coming back to your own joy of feeling the journey of driftwood is a despondent comment on the apathy of the rich and the powerful who look the other way, immersing themselves in their own activities. A powerful poem! Loved your thoughts and bold style. Stay blessed!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Balroop for this beautiful and fully encompassing comment.
      There are many metaphors that would fit but Driftwood sang to me.
      You have understood the feelings in this poem so fully that I am amazed
      including the loss of joy in the sun or rain.

      Stay blessed yourself too.

      Miriam

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Rosaliene, what an honour your beautiful comment is. I am deeply touched
    by the way you choose to quote those three important words.

    I never mean my poems to be social commentary but guess that what is on your mind and in your heart will creep out.

    A lot of work is done for the homeless and lonely but I so wish we had a society where the river of them wasn’t so big.

    Miriam

    Like

  7. Wow, Jennifer, what do I say to that but Thank you. Tears I see as the sign of the heart overflowing…in this case I hope it was good tears.
    You pay me such warming compliment. β€οΈπŸ¦‹.

    Miriam

    Like

  8. I read this yesterday and had to mull it in my head for a while before I could find any words worthy of a comment.Only by fortune or misfortune are most of us in one place instead of in another. It must be remembered that all of us everywhere in the world deserve fairness, shelter, sustenance, and safety. I hope you submit your poem to an anthology or magazine that can find the wide audience it deserves.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sharon, thank you from my heart for giving my poem so much consideration and answer with such depth. You are so right, all deserve fairness, shelter, sustenance and safety. It seems impossible that it will ever happen but like you, I will not give up hope.
      Thank you for inspire the thought of a magazine or anthology. Hadn’t occurred to me. πŸŒ»πŸ¦‹ .
      ~ miriam

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this piece of powerful and thought provoking poetry Miriam. I suppose we are all like pieces of driftwood, at all times at the mercy of the sea, and moving between calm and stormy water. When I was a young police officer I met many homeless people and made a point of speaking to as many as I could. Each one was a human being with a story and life history and some were inspirational in the way they had met and dealt with challenges in their life. Your last two beautiful stanzas brought those memories back to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Davy, thank you for your deeply considered response and kind words.
    You are so right that many of us are driftwood one way or the other but
    most find comfortsble landing. All is fragile though, however solid it might seem.
    Your years as police officer in London occurred to me and I felt tempted to contact you for more detail but left the poem poetically open
    I would love to do another post about what I observed and would love to talk to some who live homeless. You did through your profession, I would have to consider my way.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of the things that struck me Miriam was there were some who had chosen the way of life, free from materialism and stress. Unfortunately the large majority were on the streets as society had no other way to help them with addiction or mental health problems. From speaking to friends still in the police this situation is getting worse. Please feel free to contact. I will forward you my email address if you want it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Your answer immediately said to me…why, why would anyone chose to live just existing? Find food, find a corner to sleep. A whole story only there.
        And all those who can’t get a job or are thrown out of their homes.
        My head spins with questions and emotions.

        I will find your contact page. Thank you for your very kind offer.

        Miriam

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Another wonderful poem, Miriam! I love how you used the metaphor of driftwood to describe those who are less privileged, the “driftwood” of our society. Poignant! Thank you for sharing, and making us think about those less fortunate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Julie, a warm thank you for your kind comment.
      I am so glad you like the way the less fortunate are described.
      We should always be aware of suffering around us and yet able to live
      our lives.
      Everything is fragile so we never know about our own lives either. We assume but don’t know.
      Bless
      Miriam

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your beautiful words, it just goes to prove how many thoughts
      we share and how they cross the borders of oceans and lands with ease.
      …….so once again they met. How lovely to say. 😊 .

      Miriam

      Like

  12. This is beautiful and moving, Miriam, and your metaphor of driftwood is ideal for the issue you touched upon. We have a few areas near us where homeless people are found, and each time I see them, my heart breaks a little bit more. And again, we ask how and why? Everyone has a story…And then the contrast you implied between the rich and poor was so vivid and real – a poignant write…🌸

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Lauren, thank you for your wonderful comment, it does give me courage once again.
    Talking about courage, this is how I see living homeless and often helpless.
    There is a lot of bravery to face each day and maybe hoping that someone will find you.
    I talked yesterday to an organisation in London who comforted me with how many they and others reach. They even use mobile aps to identify where someone in need is and go straight out.
    It still doesn’t mean I do enough…..and I am sure many feel the same.

    Miriam

    Like

  14. A truly thought-provoking poem, Miriam. The link between the driftwood and the homeless is inspired. You have made the connection seamlessly, and perhaps made us all think more about the plight of the “driftwood” in our affluent society. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Peter for your beautiful comment. I am proud that you found
      the connection between the Driftwood on the beach and the Driftwood of humanity appear seemless.
      If this poem raised more awareness I am very happy. 😊 .

      Miriam

      Like

    • Wow, thank you Robbie. Wouldn’t it be nice if we ourselves knew what
      it is that we do to make one better than the other. There are definitely big
      differences for me how a poem comes out.

      miriam

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you B, it is so nice to see you again.
    I am so glad you liked this poem and treasure your words. I know how you travelled Europe recently and then got busy at home. Go steady my friend.

    miriam

    Like

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