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This poem is taken from PN Review 155, Volume 30 Number 3, January - February 2004.

Four Poems Charles Tomlinson

Pebble

Take it up between thumb and index:
A stone conundrum you might call
This pebble of limestone. Fragments
Of identities struggle here to be themselves,
Searching for certainty but preyed upon
By a dozen images. A circle
At the pebble's centre makes a roving pupil
That is content to blur and be merely
A vague stomachless navel, then
An unmistakable mouth wide open
To sing a silent top note,
Yet transforms itself even as you wait to hear that note
Into half a head with two eyes
And then decides to be only a snout
With nostrils. A single ear
Begins to sprout from the irresolute stone
...


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