Out of all possible defenses, you choose poison.
Toxic, excruciating, painful poison.
Touch me, paralysis.
Consume me, death.
Nudibranch, nudibranch, living in the sea.
Bright flashing colors say, ”Don’t eat me!”
Come closer mister, and I’ll sting you in the eye.
Come even closer, and you just might die!
A woman in a restaurant glances across the table.
She smells of hyacinths – her beauty whispers of summer rain.
She clutches her throat, gasps.
Aflame with fire, her throat swells.
Suffocation, paralysis, death.
On the sea slug sashimi, she should have passed.
Nudibranchs live their lives as thieves.
Stealer of stings, pilferer of poisons,
Brilliant criminals borrowing weaponry.
A first-rate defense for something so seemingly stupid. And slow. And soft.
I have read that nudibranchs only live for about one year.
After one year’s time, the brilliant colors fade.
Because their bodies are so soft, they often leave no trace of their brilliance.
No fossil record – no remnant of their life.
Inspiration for this poem can be found here. On another note, I don’t think I’m done with this yet. It doesn’t quite seem finished, but perhaps it never will be?
This poem is a type of writing and reflection that is quickly becoming referred to as a Sci-Po. Yes, you read it correctly. This sort of writing starts during the reading of scientific text- perhaps a current science news article. Ultimately, the goal is to transform scientific thought into poetic verse. The payoff comes in the mental gymnastics involved in this transformation of text and thought. A strong influence of my husband’s, Dr. Punya Mishra (who is an associate professor of Educational Technology at Michigan State University), recently wrote a post on his blog about a little project that his daughter had developed. Shreya is ten years old and writes Uniquely Mine. Even our upper-level biology students have enjoyed reading the words she leaves here from time to time.
This little blend of science and mathematics with poetry has stirred up quite a bit of dust recently. Check our Dr. Mishra’s post on this engaging little writing challenge: “Poetry, Science & Math, OR why I love the web.” Sean’s post that contains a personal example, links to student work, and a description of the “project” can be found here: “Is This a Sluggish Strategy?”
Overall, Sci-Pos are quickly becoming a new “genre” of literature if you will. The melding of science and literature, with positive connotations, is blazing through the blog-o-sphere. Try to concoct one of your own- relate it to math or science, and share it with your students. Sci-Pos are just one more excellent example of science literacy, as well as the interconnectedness of the web!