Wooden Heart

It’s overdue again, and I litterally have about a dozen post waiting to be edited and published, but in the mean time…

My brother (not a biological brother) is finnishing up his writers craft class, they are ending with poetry, he was bouncing off ideas with me of using a Listener poem, we talked about the points of different poems and which one he should use, and I kept urging him to use “Wooden Hear” a poem I explacted in a english course last semester. After telling him a bit about it he asked to see my writeup on it, and as I was about to send him it I thought I might share it here.

First a link to the music video:



Wooden Heart (Sea of Mist Called Skaidan)

We’re all born to broken people on their most honest day of living

and since that first breath… We’ll need grace that we’ve never given

I’ve been haunted by standard red devils and white ghosts

and it’s not only when these eyes are closed

these lies are ropes that I tie down in my stomach,

but they hold this ship together tossed like leaves in this weather

and my dreams are sails that I point towards my true north,

stretched thin over my rib bones, and pray that it gets better

but it won’t, at least I don’t believe it will…

so I’ve built a wooden heart inside this iron ship,

to sail these blood red seas and find your coasts.

don’t let these waves wash away your hopes

this war-ship is sinking, and I still believe in anchors

pulling fist fulls of rotten wood from my heart, I still believe in saviors

but I know that we are all made out of shipwrecks, every single board

washed and bound like crooked teeth on these rocky shores

so come on and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief

and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach

come on and sew us together, tattered rags stained forever

we only have what we remember


I am the barely living son of a woman and man who barely made it

but we’re making it taped together on borrowed crutches and new starts

we all have the same holes in our hearts…

everything falls apart at the exact same time

that it all comes together perfectly for the next step

but my fear is this prison… that I keep locked below the main deck

I keep a key under my pillow, it’s quiet and it’s hidden

and my hopes are weapons that I’m still learning how to use right

but they’re heavy and I’m awkward…always running out of fight

so I’ve carved a wooden heart, put it in this sinking ship

hoping it would help me float for just a few more weeks

because I am made out of shipwrecks, every twisted beam

lost and found like you and me scattered out on the sea

so come on let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief

and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach

come on and sew us together, just some tattered rags stained forever

we only have what we remember


My throat it still tastes like house fire and salt water

I wear this tide like loose skin, rock me to sea

if we hold on tight we’ll hold each other together

and not just be some fools rushing to die in our sleep

all these machines will rust I promise, but we’ll still be electric

shocking each other back to life

Your hand in mine, my fingers in your veins connected

our bones grown together inside

our hands entwined, your fingers in my veins braided

our spines grown stronger in time

because are church is made out of shipwrecks

from every hull these rocks have claimed

but we pick ourselves up, and try and grow better through the change

so come on yall and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief

and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach

come on and sew us together, were just tattered rags stained forever

we only have what we remember




The poem Wooden heart talks about a life journey, and the poets idea for pretty much everyone, it talks about the voyage of life and breaks down to the fundamentals of what we are made of and how that relates to weathering the seas of life this is done using mostly nautical images. Rhythm and rhyme scheme are not something that is present; it is a free verse poem though not completely without rhyme, however without organized rhymes. The diction used if from the common vernacular though as I said before using nautical imagery, making the words easy to understand, in spite of this (at least to me) the theme of the poem is not immediately obvious.

The poem starts at birth, and from birth we are at the mercy of others, we need there grace even though we have done nothing yet to deserve it. The poet then goes to say he has been haunted the typical things you would expect, red demons and white ghosts, nothing extraordinarily traumatic but none the less bad, and it is not just at night he has been haunted day and night. The poem then goes on to talk about his life as it progress. At first it is lies that hold him together, he holds them deep down to keep him together in the brutal storms of life. But rather than just being tossed around and taking life as is he had dreams to give him direction and to keep him going towards where he wants to be, his sails which point him towards his true north. His dreams were thin, but he held them close to his heart while he prayed for times to get better not that he believed that they would. Next he let his heart become softer and more vulnerable using the image of wooden heart is compared to the image of an iron ship which is this strong put together outer image he kept. Now that he has that he continues through dangerous waters to find end, sailing the blood read seas looking for the security of someone else, someone that could basically substitute for the uncertain difficult seas of life, he is looking for someone’s coast. He now engages a second person heeding them to not let the hardships of life wash away their hopes. Even though he thought he was prepared to handle life with the image of the warship, he finds himself sinking, at this point still believing there is some security, anchors, something to hold him. During this time he starts to find that in his heart is all this “rotten wood” vices, bad emotion, sin, he is working to get rid of and is finding in abundance pulling out by the fistful. He again engages an audience, he realizes that no one is really that iron war ship, but rather makeshift vessels made from shipwrecks, broken, failures, hurts and mistakes, beaten and battered going through journey they cannot handle and. He suggest community, one that’s not just there for good times, that’s not real community, but people helping each other, through pain and joy, that these shipwrecks cannot survive on their own, that we need to bind ourselves to each other, become co-dependent, sew us together, even though we have all been permanently affected negatively, tattered rags stained forever. Positions are no guarantee; the only things that are truly ours are memories. And together we can make them good, not just looking at life in disparity as this endless sea we cannot handle.

But it is not that simple he admits that he is barely making it, but he is in fact make it, barley held together with help that we do not deserve and having our past forgiven and forgot, taped together of borrowed crutches and new starts. He says that fundamentally we are all the same; we all feel that need for community, for love, for peace and not fear and uncertainty, for something more, those needs being the holes in our hearts. And even when it seems like everything is falling apart what we do not realize is that it is everything is getting into perfect place for the next great thing to happen we just cannot see it. Still he is kept captive by fear, it is his prison, he keeps his fears hidden where they cannot be seen and locks it so that others cannot get to it, it can be accessed but he keeps that key to it close at all times, it is quiet and hidden. What he has to use are his hopes, but he doesn’t know how to use them, they seem to too big and he doesn’t know how to handle them, they are heavy and he is awkward, always running out of motivation to pursue them. So again he goes back to working on his heart even though life is getting worse, hopping that it will keep him going just a little while longer. He admits that he specifically is not this iron war ship; he is made of brokenness, virtues and vices both being lost and found just like everyone else. Again he repeats; we cannot survive on our own, we need to bind ourselves to each other, become co-dependent even though we are tattered rages stained forever. We only truly have our memories.

He can still remember these tragedies, they are always at least in the back of his mind; his “throat tastes like house fire and salt water”, and he has nothing lasting to cover him it is just the tide which washes away and it only acts as loose identity. But if we hold together, if we put effort into each other’s lives we will hold together and not just be some fools rushing to die lethargically. He reminds us everything we have will be lost, our machines will rust, but we will still be alive, keeping each other alive, bringing each other back from despair. He suggests together we grow deeply connected, growing together so fundamentally, and the connection will grow deeper, we will grow together stronger.  He then goes on to talk about this image for The Church, it is not perfect; it is not made of well put together people, Christ’s true bride is a bunch of broken people holding each other together, a bunch of smaller communities working together for the better through this ever changing world. One last time he repeats; “let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach come on and sew us together, were just tattered rags stained forever we only have what we remember”.



About Jeffery

Student in Ontario, trying to learn how to express myself through art. I just enjoying any brewed drink, photography, music, poems, language and stories.
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