I followed footprints on deserted sand,
one track at a time,
to see where they might lead me
along the high-tide line ..
A phantom beachcomber walked ahead for me to follow where he led
to see what ghostly treasures I might find among the flotsam left behind..
White shells of clams now corrugated fans lay lifeless on the shore
amid the drying sea-wrack strewn and the soft wind sighing.
I found no oyster with a pearl opalescent in the light
uncovered by the retreating sea
nor the one who walked so soundlessly out of sight ..
but then I saw those prints again beyond the rock pools
leading to black mussel beds beside a bleached boat hull;
and there my spectre came to life :
for I had found a Great black-backed gull, like a fastidious gourmet, feeding … .