Pebble by Anthony Conran

World pebble in my hand —
Millimetre escarpments,
Cliffs, potholes,
Flat places.

It remembers
A red mist of
Liquid stone
Slopping into the air.

Pressure was the heartbeat of living rock,
Millions of tons of it,
The pouring of world
To its centre.

Now this little lost stone
Must travel the trivial
Rivers of death.
Rub into dissolution.

Sharp gravel. Sand. Mud.
And then, deep down
Like a froth of rock.

Settle into the seabed.
Relax under the tons of deep sea.
Harden again
To strata.

It could be my fingers
That the sediments
Into chert.

My thumbprints could be fossil next.
The pebble on its way to death
Might laugh last.
It would remember me.


Date: 1986

By: Anthony Conran (1931-2013)

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