Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Science Poems for January 2011: 25

Last April I posted a science sonnet a day in celebration of National Poetry Month (index with links here). This month I am posting a science poem a day, written in various traditional forms, in honor of Science Online 2011.

The "fifth annual international meeting on Science and the Web" ran from Jan. 13-16. Click on the logo below to access the conference page, which has links to posts, tweets, photos, and videos from the event.

As with the sonnets, my January poems take their cues from science-based articles. I also have two works in a special science poem section (vol. 33 #5/6) of Star*Line, journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. You can read my "Ciliate Sestina" here.

Also, two sonnets from last April's collection, "In Development" and "Manipulations," have made it into Open Laboratory 2010. Click on the badge below for links to the 50 essays, 6 poems, and 1 cartoon in the collection.

(Click here to see Andrea Kuszewski's gorgeous cover!)

Today's poem takes its cue from "Friday Weird Science: The Magnificent Mammal Menage a Trois" (Scicurious, Neurotic Physiology, Jan. 21, 2011). Click on the article link to learn more about the research (contains whale erotica!). To learn more about the traditional poetic structure used, click on the form name.

Passion's Strategy
(Form: Haibun)

The Bay of Fundy sparkles beneath a hot August sun. North Atlantic right whales, a science vessel, shapes in the water. A routine day of research tagging in the tingling air.

lozenges rising
she rolls onto her back
between two males

Leviathans float on their sides beside her, gray against liquid blue. The three could be sunning, exposed skin, the calls of gulls. Harpoons once rained down, raising clouds of blood, but not for decades. Today small people watch from a small boat, hunting only data.

serpentine organs
she becomes the focus of
mirror images

They form a mated trio, their battle one of peaceful giants. The males compete beneath the waves, their strength in vast storehouses of what passes from them. Built to curve about her curves, they touch within their common denominator, transporting their cargo.

tiny swimmers
the pull of a dark lagoon
two teams racing

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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