. Amber Song I come from amber, Baltic gold, A gem but not a stone, And not a thousand ages old, A girl from pine sap grown, When fully cured, of warm physique And vibrant to the touch, A little sunshine called in Greek, Electron, for I clutch Fair living forms diminutive By piquant treacle caught, And render them evocative Of poignant thoughts inwrought. Magnetically I heal harsh aches Of head or intellect; Electrically my being quakes When waves the sun reflect. From Hyperborean deep blue sky Apollo still sheds tears; Of Lithuanian lineage, I Sing verse for other ears, But worship the Unconquered Sun, As folk of mine have duly done. . Hyperborea: temperate paradisal land beyond reach of the north wind, periodically visited by Apollo . . Apollo's Tears No road to Hyperborea exists. One cannot travel there by foot or horse Or ship and sail, but only in the way Apollo knows to find his mother’s home. Beyond and through the north wind’s savage storms He bursts, though circled by occluding hills Steep, lacking footholds, thrusting strugglers off, Slippery as serried snow and wild as boars That wander there to feed on freezing flesh. These gelid limits passed, there comes a price To pay in filial love for fields half his, Elysian country, Leto’s native shore. Accordingly, the healer god reserves Protective resin from its thriving trees, Enriching potent liquor as his tears To cure arboreal wounds, and flowing strong, Flood down upon and into genial soil, Transporting bark bits, insects, creeping things, Slim grass blades, petals, pollen, spiral wisps Of wiry fiber, oxide coloring, Fragments of sedgy loam, or nothing but The tint of the brilliant, bare bronze-featured sun, Himself dependent on a holier power. The teardrops sheltered in the mouldy ground Mature, and through unfathomed passageways Descend in the direction of the sea Where undulations roll, shove, strike, crash, grind And roughly polish pieces held in pits Till squalls scoop up bright clusters free to float And yellow load a beach with lustrous lumps. Cold tides slosh dingy sand awash with gold, Orange red, brown, saffron, cinnamon, maroon Slabs, pebbles, morsels, driblets, chips and scraps. Men fish for light in after-tempest waves, And keep a chunk, that they be not betrayed By impotence, but sense a solar heat To let within a woman’s body flow The full rewards of health she sole can know. Small flecks and specks of amber best are pressed As tender beads for teething necklaces; The jewel in infinite distinctive shapes, An amphora of heavenly attraction, Discharges pain by transient-current touch, Or serves as a condenser of live charge, Relieving, stimulating, animating The body, mind and soul with energy Like that the sovereign sun weeps over earth. . Leto: name of Apollo’s mother . . Margaret Coats lives in California. She holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University. She has retired from a career of teaching literature, languages, and writing that included considerable work in homeschooling for her own family and others.