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This poem is taken from PN Review 181, Volume 34 Number 5, May - June 2008.

Four Poems Chris Jones


Stammel

           Of this word I know not the rneaning
(Dr Johnson)

The quiver of the year, lurching into its shallowest dawn
around the solstice corner

The juddering gears of its turn scattering angry rooks
before broken onlookers.

The unthreading fear in a stomach
which honest food cannot feed.

The hidden lesion rubbed raw
by a coarse woollen hairshirt.

The shrivel in the synapse
when the dopamine dries

out. Cry of the ewe
when she loses her unborn lamb

And though I do not know the meaning of this word
Today it finds me here -- still stammelling on.

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