On The Beach


The broken-bottled sea
Curls its snaggling lips
Along a warm, worn rim of beach
Where seaweed snaps
And crackles, in search
Of some foreign frequency.

Here sodden footprints stamp
Shadows in the wake
Of several sleepless stragglers's steps,
Whose fruitless walk
First stutters. Then stops
At the dunes, where clearly cramp

Set in. The shingling tide
Polishes them nimbly off
With a shuffle of pride
And a butler's subtle cough.


From Send-Up

(a joint poem by Causley, Hughes, Larkin and Heaney)