AMBERthal, the name of the find. Caveman encased in largest
LAYER of tree sap ever seen. Some think him lucky. Could have been
CRUDE tar pit that got him. Or a saber tooth. Was he humming a
DITTY when resin blobbed from above? Or contemplating abstract fate?

Picture of an ant encased in amber
The Amberthal find was like this, but much bigger.
Image by Anders L. Damgaard,


DITTY ditty bang bang, I’m told, isn’t the proper title;
AMBER was forever, but isn’t Forever Amber anymore;
LAYER my burden down seems to have acquired an extra syllable; but CRUDE Oil Blues is the true blue genuine thing. To sing.

[Turns out Forever Amber is actually a song: I’d only known it as a book title. Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics back in 1947.]

Fight Night

CIVIC arena, fight night, a fidgety crowd fizzing perhaps for
KO A LA Joe Louis, or twelve bruising rounds. What they want
STINTs mildness, stints meekness. They want Mars,
RARER deity of the tamer now, to restore warriors vying for glory.

Some people get all the fun

STINT – me being short and chubby – in the somewhat tight
KOALA costume, gives me cramps, and what is
RARER, a frightening backache, and though this is, too, my
CIVIC duty, I’d much prefer to hop around as a kangaroo.  

Wise fool

I’m the OMEGA cadet, canny, hiding at the end;
Always wore the CONIC hat at school, but here no fool,
I’m CANNY, I know the ropes, I hold no hopes of being the
brave CADET, courageous – but I’ll be still standing when the others fall.