KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Prose Poem: 158 words [R]

Amber Hunting

by Thomas E. Kennedy

July, sunset, hunting amber on the beach at Halvstrand, Denmark:

You stoop to pick up yellow pebbles, glistening wet, click them on your tooth to confirm with your ear what your eye already knew: stone. Amber does not click and it does not glitter, it fills, warms with light. Ancient fossil resin tumbled up from the sea. You do not find it really; it finds you. That warm light draws your eye. Yet you keep searching.

Best piece you ever found was big as a knuckle, color of a dog’s eye and, deep within, was a million-year-old fly’s wing.

You were not even looking, your thought was elsewhere when that light shone from a nest of shell and seaweed, penetrating your cluttered thoughts, through the corner of your eye; seeing it was like waking from an absence, like discovering a poem. There was no doubt, only that light.

So why do you keep searching?

— This “journal entry” was written in 1994 and appears here by author’s permission.

A sonnet with the same title was published in South Carolina Review (2001), and may be viewed at author’s website.

Text also appears in revised form within the article, “The art of amber hunting: For this author, spying a beachside treasure is like finding a real story to tell,” in The Writer (May 2009).

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