Saturday, April 17, 2010

A News Sonnet A Day for April 2010: 17

I've set myself a goal for National Poetry Month this year: Compose a sonnet based on a science-themed news story each day.

Today's installment takes its cue from "Oxygen-Free Animals Discovered—A First" by Ker Than, National Geographic.

Breathless Find

Three tiny beasts akin to jellyfish
Survive despite a lack of oxygen,
Once thought to be each complex creature's wish.
Now scientists have had to think again.

The salty sea floor seemed a deadly ground,
Fit just for corpses made of many cells.
But now new species (some with eggs!) are found,
Equipped with special sets of organelles

That don't need oxygen to make their fuel.
We've seen this in bacteria, but not
In higher forms of life. A handy tool!
Enough to challenge long-held schools of thought

About what swims the ocean's lowest berth,
And what might thrive on worlds beyond the Earth.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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