Several years ago, I embarked upon a new poetry project. I decided to write poems about fossils, dinosaurs, and other extinct animals. I spent a lot of time doing research on a number of animals—including the woolly mammoth, pterodactyl, dodo bird, Beelzebufo ampinga, megalodon, Euoplocephalus, megatherium—as well as a couple of places—the Petrified Forest and the La Brea Tar Pits. I’m kind of a science nerd—so doing the research was fun for me.
I’m offering one of my poems about the La Lrea Tar Pits from that unpublished collection titled Docile Fossil for this first Poetry Friday in National Poetry Month.
What a Pit-ty!
Boiling pool of gummy goo,
Bubbling pond of asphalt brew,
Black and icky pit of pitch
Not concocted by a witch.
One of my intriguing features:
The horde of hapless Ice Age creatures
That stepped into my greasy guck,
Got trapped and were forever stuck.
Horses, smilodons, and camels,
Woolly mammoths, other mammals,
Birds and mollusks…insects, too,
Stumbled into my sticky stew.
Once engulfed in my thick sludge
The helpless creatures couldn’t budge.
Now here they lie entombed in tar--
And here, preserved, their fossils are.
Find out more about the La Brea Tar Pits by clicking here.
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Poem Farm.