Returning stones

for Shaun

These small stones collected
By your growing hands, studiously picking
Through hundreds on the surfs edge,
Each glossed by sea water those summers
And brought to this emptied room
Its dusted books heavy with the past.
How quickly do things slip away
Like sand and sea water through cupped hands.
That time of being young is left with me
Like these stones, and replaced with other life
And I, keeper of childhood, hold these treasures
As film reels of memory run through my head,
Weighting my heart with a longing to go back.
The past needs its ritual and a thought comes to me
I will take these stones and return them
Back to those sunny shores
Where you collected them on your journey
To lay them forever in a timeless place
Where your young spirit haunts the air
With laughter like a gull’s cry
And the magic of childhood is stored
And washed by the salt tears of the sea.

John Charles William Morris
25th September 2014
revised 11th November 2014