Resurrecting the Dinosaur

Chance meeting at the Tyrrell Museum,
and you think it’s fate. You talk about our
past life as if it could be resurrected,
as if a passion now glacial could be melted,
rekindled into the fire it used to be.

You might try to draw out the DNA
of our desire, our tempestuous, archosaurian
relationship, resequence the base pairs of the
broken code, clone ancient affection into a
molecularly indistinguishable emotion.

But you’d have to dig deep, beyond
the Jurassic layers of this heart, to unearth
any part of me that might still hold hope.
And what is left lies fossilized in amber,
frozen in the throes of an agonized death.

Or you might try to nudge us back to where
we were, taking advantage of the slightest waver
in my desire to evolve anew, away from you;
like triggering a latent developmental branch
during the embryonic stages of a bird:

To coax it to spread five delicate fingers, instead
of three, on each tiny front limb; intimate a jagged
whisper of teeth along a formative beak; and curl
twenty-two vertebrae of its fragile spine in and up
and around its frame, into a saurian tail.

Yes, we did love once. But that love's extinction
is irrevocable: there is no soft tissue to draw
genetic material from, no chemical switch
or biological window to turn back time, no course
to revert the unwary bird into the dinosaur.

And even if there were – best let the past lie
buried in the sediments of your memory; lest
history repeat itself; lest you recreate instead
the theropod of hate, that would remember,
rise and devour you, a raging tyrannosaur.


  1. Wow a fascinating structure of words! Interesting theme of emotion, love it!

  2. Anonymous8:00:00 AM

    Bravo! A poetical dance encourages evolution to persist in its own natural ways :)


  3. Best to let sleeping dinosaurs lie.

    Short link -

  4. Loving this particular extended metaphor... only part I question at all (you know me)is melting glacial ice to become rekindled into fire... not sure the image works. After that.... perfect!

  5. I like it...very well done :)

  6. The fifth stanza is especially striking--the image of fingers spreading stays with me.

  7. I love all of this but particularly the very last stanza...I adore it.

  8. oh snap this...ha...esp when you get into detail like...To coax it to spread five delicate fingers, instead
    of three,..and on from there because to me it accentuate intimacy that once was but..well played...

  9. i love it!!! I especially love the last stanza

  10. Phewwww.. this grabs on and doesn't let go. Talk about deep emotions. Fabulous writing, loved the last stanza.

  11. This is a great example of a perfectly implemented metaphor, exquisitely detailed,feathered with little truths that cover even larger ones--and the message is deadly. That penultimate stanza had me catching my breath and nodding my head through to close. Definitely fits the prompt to a tee and beyond, and is an artifact completely assembled and museum worthy in every aspect.

  12. Nicely done! Excellent job of weaving the two subjects--love and science--into one. Very impressive!

  13. dinosaurs are so far away from us in time, and yet our imaginations cant' help but thinking what it would be like to run into one (or more). to some people, they are even recurring nightmares.

  14. Excellent metaphor, Sam. It sounds like the ice age has come and gone.

  15. Nice how you relate love's extinction to the dinosauric exhibit and in a museum. Write on, Samuel!

  16. Anonymous6:49:00 AM

    To equate love to the deep richness of history and science...fantastic metaphor...I guess sometimes love can feel prehistoric, hungry, brutal like a tyranossaur, other times it might be about evolution, other times it might be about passion like the lava of a volcano...the setting, the subject, the metaphor all intrinsically interlinked. Masterfully done.

  17. Passion relegated to the jurassic layers of the heart are not resurrectable. Birds turning into tyrannosauras rex? Fanciful stuff Sephamore:)Too much griot before bed.

  18. Anonymous7:43:00 AM

    Oooh. A very creative metaphor here which you've carried through with wonderful specificity; I love the idea of bird evolving back. You got the elements of the metaphor going on all burners, and describe a really universal set of feelings. Well done.

    Thanks also for your kind comment on my poem. k.

  19. Yikes. Some reasons of the heart are good to keep buried, finished, extinct, nada, verboten. As they learned in "Jurassic Park," there are very good reasons dinsosaurs and humans are separated by some 60 million years of evolution. Finely woven metaphor here, Semaphore. - Brendan

  20. oh this is sad...but just so brilliantly written...there are things that are just beyond dead...and who could resurrect them again...? very cool write sam..very has a voice for everything, even for love that

  21. Clearly this fulfills the prompt - in oh so many ways - from binary math to biology, from archaeology to the anthropology of the heart. Definitely remember relationships where the other seemed to rise as a devouring tyrannosaur. Scary but ingeniously written. Bravo, Sam!

    Thanks for the cogent remarks on mine too!

  22. Love that fifth stanza.

  23. Great take on this prompt. Such a clever expression of the death of a relationship. Wise decision, not to even try to resurrect a love. I really enjoy your writing.

  24. Anonymous3:34:00 PM

    'And what is left lies fossilized in amber,
    frozen in the throes of an agonized death.'

    These lines are so hard to hear yet veridical and necessary for emotional maturation. You get a hold of the metaphor and crush it, releasing all its permutations, allowing us the full perfume of its aptness. Great work!

  25. you took me on a tour of the sands of time, geological shifts, birthing of life, and evolution and extinction. time really does move on, and you dusted eons of evidence to showcase its absolute power. fabulous piece.

  26. Love extinguished is indeed like a fosdil from a geological time era. I love the defined description of the various stages that that love would NOT rekindle. But I also admire, perhaps more, your poet's understanding of the shades of affection and tenderness that love entangles our souls with. Your command of the craft, again, comes thru so clearly in the tone, texture, and rhythm of this very taut piece.

  27. LOVE this metaphor, and your descriptions and references are so visual! Just excellent.

  28. Full of brilliant ideas, concepts and images. A real tour de force.

  29. Powerful, Sam-- It is a tour d'force of sustained metaphor. I do think in this instance a little of the "natural history" might go a long way. You might try interspersing some lyrical referents not about the evolution of the dinosaur or scientific processes-- that might intensify the central metaphor as it reappears in the poem... just a thought! It makes me think about my poem Snafu-- if I had written your poem-- oh to be so fortunate-- I would try to get some distance from it for a while... and then I would be able to evaluate it with a little detachment. xxxj

  30. What a clever and engaging juxtaposition between extinct creatures and extinct love. Like discovering a fossil memory of dead feelings.
    I enjoyed reading this very accomplished write.

  31. Oh this is a conceit worthy of Donne or Marvell. Bravo, Samuel.

  32. I love how you used your museum & history imagery as a metaphor for your relationship. Beautifully done.

  33. I so love reading your work Samuel, you really are an inspiration to me!


  34. Such accuracy in delicate prose. Of there are those who would want to recreate the animal, not realizing that you can only duplicate the structure, not what was inside. Thus, millions who now love dinosaurs may have a change of heart if those that would succeed.


Thanks so much for visiting my site, I'm grateful you've taken the time to read. If you liked this selection, you can download a sampler of (or buy!) my books at the following links...

- Sonata Vampirica
- Sonnets from the Labrador
- How More Beautiful You Are
- Tango Desolado
- War and Ablution

...And, if you can, please leave a rating at It's easy, and it does help a lot.

...Thank you!