Prehistory in Amber

(found in an Science Alert article on research published in Current Biology)

at a jumbled stall
on a Myanmar market,
among curios,
rubies, jade and other gems,
an amber trader
offered an innocent stone,
in which was preserved
an ancient dinosaur tail
of feathers and bone,
frozen in a honey glow,
unique specimen
of a young coelurosaur,
size of a sparrow,
similar to an ostrich,
a cute carnivore
trapped for millions of years:
prehistory in amber

Kim M. Russell, 2017


Image from Current Biology

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: the Choka

The first Form-for-All of the New Year is hosted by Gayle of Bodhirose’s Blog and she has been telling us about the Choka or Long Poem.

This form is based on a series of Katauta joined together. The Katauta is considered the basic unit of Japanese poetry using either the 17 (5-7-5) unit onji or the 19 (5-7-7) unit onji.  In Western terms an onji is what we call a syllable.  Many of us are familiar with these particular onji as we have used them in writing haiku, tanka and sedoka.

The Choka is an unrhymed poem, alternating five and seven syllables, that ends with an extra seven syllable line. You can use the 17 or 19 onji (syllable) style.  .

Gayle has given us two beautiful examples to inspire us to tell a story in the Choka poetic tradition. She says that all topics are fair game.

22 thoughts on “Prehistory in Amber

  1. I would love to find such an ancient treasure too, Kim. What a wonderful choka. I’ve got dinosaurs on the brain lately because that’s all my granddaughter, Mira, wants to play with…there are so many and now I’ve learned about another one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In Southwold on the Suffolk coast there is an amber shop and museum with some fantastic pieces, many containing insects and plants. I’m wearing silver and amber shaped like orchids but sadly not from that shop. People often find amber along the East Anglian coast.


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