Poem – Tribute to Sir David Attenborough and our planet #LiteraryR #extinctionrebellion

Amber Magic

There are many solidified selves within Amber
There is ‘immortality in Amber’
History embedded in the blue eyes of a bug—
A kaleidoscope of colour and confounded clues:
The ‘Amber Tadpole’ edified in resin—
A relative of the poison dart frog,
Their D N A made news
Blue feet, red back, caught climbing a pine;
The tadpole lay curled; dormant upon her back.
The Bromeliaed waiting;
Bromeliaed is a spider-like plant which grows on the horizontal branch of a tropical tree—
Ensnares a vacuum – filled now with water
And now matter –
A habitat, as the frog lowers herself rear-end first into the quiet pool of water; shaking her rear end she deposits the tadpole there—
This film is poetry: amber magic.
The tadpole, shaking itself free, transforms to a somnambulating stance.
Closed, curled and curved in, it freezes, and its red splodged-backed mother hops away.
Amber is a time capsule;
A habitat for all Attenborough’s animals: ant, aphid, fungus, fly, long-legged fly, mite—
Amber came all the way from the Baltic to Stonehenge;
Nero had tons of it—
His story continues—
The assassin bug and bee lead us on a trail to the amber sap
Caught sliding down the bark, perhaps cleverly to kill, in one quiet trickle, an addicted bee and its captor—
The resin is an antibiotic
But it’s no use to them now.
Bamboo seeds get stuck in animal hair and trapped in the resin
Proof big cats lived 20 million years ago
Perhaps caught as it chased a small furry animal, not unlike itself, up a tree—
Mesmerised nematode worms, attached to a wasp flying from its fig home-
What more ghastly captor might the resin ensnare if given the chance?
A human finger nail, perhaps, or a human hair; this amber does not give up its captives easily.
My daughter steals in quietly,
“Mummy,” she says, “Were we put here to look after the Earth?”


Published by hermionelaake - Awards-nominated writer and associate editor O:JA&L

Whilst working on long fiction, Laake/Wilds write short stories, poetry, essays and blogs weekly. Laake appeared on Blog Talk Radio in 2016 in an interview across continents with Susan Wingate. Laake is an awards nominee, Jointly-published and Indie writer. Nominated for the Avon and Authonomy First Lines prize, 2014 and the H. G. Wells Grand Prize for Fiction, 2013 for the original #MYFRIENDALIEN out on AMAZON BOOKS in 2022. Flash fiction is published with Open: Journal of Arts and Letters. Laake has an MA from KU with distinction and a BA in English Literature.

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