Category Archives: science

eyeline

I originally wrote this intending to send it in to Visual Verse for a great image of a horse by Bruce Connew. I never got around to it, and I’d forgotten about the poem until I happened on it today. Anyway, I still kinda like it, I hope you will too. As often from me, there’s also some sciencey inspiration – see below…

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Karen McComb, who heads the research group and co-lead author of the study, said “Horses may have adopted an ancestral ability for reading emotional cues in other horses to respond appropriately to human facial expressions during their co-evolution. Alternatively, individual horses may have learned to interpret human expressions during their own lifetime.”
Source: ‘Horses can recognise human emotion, study shows’ Guardian 10/2/2016

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eyeline

scary sounds tinder
my right brain.
my left eye
flares.

you. your voice. angry. anger. danger. is it?
do i? do we? does the herd?
set, set, set.
my heart revs.

a dren a lin.
ready, twitch, ready.
muscles cinch.
ears prime.

time made your mood our threat.
your anger the wolf on the prairie.
your impatience an adder under-grass.
your oath hard iron in flight.

so if you don’t need to, just don’t.
step calm. breathe gentle.
speak less. listen more.
hear. my. gaze.

quietly.

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We are krill

A while back I half joked with a colleague at work who was asking about a website for a conference for international researchers studying krill – “I could write you a poem as well, if you like.”  He was back in touch with another question last week, and asked in passing, “Did you ever write that poem?” Well, I hadn’t, but I have now – so here you go, Andy!

My apologies to any krill-gurus out there for possible wild inaccuracies, but please remember, it’s not science – just a poem.

But also, it’s not entirely about krill…

 

We are krill

I am the meal that’s in-between,
a format suiting one and all,
for seals and squid and penguins,
converting the smallest of the sea,
for fish and shrimps and people, the
unseen convenience food that’s me.

No legends sung about us krills,
shape shifters of seven seas,
they ping us under pressure,
exoskeletons creaking we dive, dive, dive,
cosy swarm lights rising fallen,
gills bless this brine to wines of life.

More of us aswim than any other
swelling life in each ocean alive,
and not much here without us,
no great whales baleen or blue,
without some fish-free small fry,
brother, without us – me and you.

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SciArt ‘Embodied’ Interview

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-1-52-00-pm

SciArt Magazine has published an interview I did following up on my work in the recent ‘Embodied‘ exhibit. They had some hard questions!

More here…

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Déjà vu

This piece (words, sound, image) was made in response to a New Scientist article by Jessica Hamselou about studies by researchers at the University of St Andrews, and the University of Western Ontario into the phenomenon of déjá vu.

You read more about the science in Jessica’s fascinating article online at New Scientist.

My reading and the poem are below, click on the wee tiny thumbnail for a larger version of the image.

Continue reading


Cosmological Constant

Chuffed to have a new poem ‘Cosmological Constant’ appear in Poet’s Corner this as part of their theme ‘Identity: All of Me’

You can find it at https://leavenerspoetscorner.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/identity-cosmological-constant/

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Empty specimen tube

P1110197

Empty specimen tube

Only the glass and a label remain,
Hand inked and underscored in 1898,
Now discoloured, cracked and torn:

 

KING of the HERRING
Chimae … monserosa
MALE
Great Fisher Bank. 1898

 

Lord of darlings,
Bright as salt burnished silver.
Ozymandias of the herring kind.
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The extramundane

Plate Ri-0 THE GREAT NEBULA OF ORION: This is a digital print of a photographic plate from the Ritchey 60-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory, made in 1908. from the archive of the Carnegie Observatories, in Pasadena, California. more about this http://nautil.us/issue/32/space/these-astronomical-glass-plates-made-history

Plate Ri-0
THE GREAT NEBULA OF ORION: A digital print of a photographic plate from the Ritchey 60-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory, made in 1908. from the archive of the Carnegie Observatories, in Pasadena, California.
more about this

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The extramundane

Not all spaces weigh the same.
There are variations. The depths and darknesses,
Volume, lightness, and quintessences, of
Every emptiness’s chiaroscuro.

Not all spaces are devoid of presence, some
Harbour unstated substance in subtle doubt,
Pass trembling semaphores of existence,
Harmonise plainsung intimations of light.

Not all spaces are rendered on our charts, still
Undiscovered emptier places may await. Nulls of
Colder, quieter, unexpressed embraces. Voids as
Void as only absence might surrender.

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