Beachcombing

In boyhood he stalked the Warsash shore
intent on treasure, found preciousness
in cuttlefish bleached like polystyrene,
light as cork. Lifted stones disturbed
with light translucent creatures a low tide left,
awaiting the lung of a flood tide freeing them.
Among the tarred stones and green weed
were barnacled bottles filled with darkness,
archeological cans, driftwood smoothed by
a hundred years afloat and, once, a pirate's chest,
like a piece of left luggage he hid in the marram grass.
And now these images, worn like the driftwood,
haunt his declining nights sleeplessness.
He spends his dreams rearranging the contents,
picking over life's findings like flotsam,
discovering again those things he counts as treasure.