Poetry Tuesday: XVIII

Hello! I bet you thought I just up and disappeared didn’t you? That’s alright – for the past couple of weeks I’ve seriously thought about it. Everything’s just been so busy. I had to prepare about a month’s work of paperwork  in a week so I can start grad school in January, and I had to move, which was quite the bear, because as a temporary employee I don’t get paid time off. I had to squeeze the move into a Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon with the plan to move the rest of my things during Christmas break.

On top of all that, my mother’s car died two weeks ago, so I was driving her to and from work, which meant a 5:30 wake up, a proposition about which I was extremely ambivalent. Beating city traffic and getting home at a decent hour: nice. Listening to hilarious morning radio with my mom and having company for at least part of my commute: great. Waking up at 5:30: the type of hell that deadbeat husbands meet in the afterlife. Just saying.

But it’s all been situated. The paperwork is (mostly) done, my classes are all set, most of my stuff has been moved into my apartment, and I got a really nice lease on a new car so my mother can have the other one (it makes more sense for me to have the lease because there’s a mileage cap, and since I live in the city and can take the bus most places, I won’t actually be driving much).

As for Poetry Tuesday, that’s a little more up in the air. I’m finding as I’m getting busier and getting ready to start school again that doing multiple weekly posts is too much. I foresee it becoming stressful, which isn’t the point. This is supposed to be something I do for pure enjoyment.

Is PT going away? Definitely not. It’ll probably be reduced down to a monthly post along with Science Thursday. I also want to have to time to chronicle the kinds of things that happen as I get used to living in the city. In short, I’ll be making things up as I go along.

Now that you’re good and bored, it’s time for the good stuff! Today we’re going for some nice spoken word. You may remember the video I posted ages ago about bullying. The man who wrote that also wrote today’s poem. The poem starts with the stars and Greek mythology, which drew me in initially, but it was the overall message that made me watch to the end.

I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a tree-hugger. I like forests and green stuff and frown every time I see a hillside demolished for a new company. I’ve seen Gasland, and I think we should turn away from fracking and towards alternative energy. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian by any means, but I agree that there is something fundamentally wrong with how many companies approach food production. I agree that global warming is a real problem. It makes me angry that Sweden can run out of trash, but it’s still such a chore to get people in the U.S. to recycle. If you vehemently disagree with any of the above statements, you’ll likely not enjoy the following as much as I did. But! I think you should watch it anyway, because maybe it’ll make you think something, and thinking is good. Happy Poetry Tuesday, and enjoy the holidays 🙂

Poetry Tuesday: XVII

Happy Poetry Tuesday! And welcome to December! I know I had a nice break from writing during November, and, as promised, I’ll start writing Science Thursdays and Plug of the Month again this month. I’m not going full holiday-themed like I did in October, because I don’t want to get into an endless cycle of theme-writing. You’ll see some holiday posts, but it won’t be quite so in your face. I’m sorry if you’re into that.

This week we’re looking at a blend of science and art (one of my favorite things). The writer was inspired by quantum entanglement, the name for the physical phenomena of particles interacting in such away that their independent quantum states can’t be determined (similar to stirring cream into coffee until you no longer have two liquids, but one mixed liquid). Happy reading 🙂


If a human body has two-hundred-and-six bones
and thirty trillion cells, and each cell
has one hundred trillion atoms, if the spine
has thirty-three vertebrae—
if each atom
has a shadow—then the lilacs across the yard
are nebulae beginning to star.
If the fruit flies that settle on the orange
on the table rise
like the photons
from a bomb fire miles away,
my thoughts at the moment of explosion
are nails suspended
in a jar of honey.
I peel the orange
for you, spread the honey on your toast.
When our skin touches
our atoms touch, their shadows
merging into a shadow galaxy.
And if echoes are shadows
of sounds, if each hexagonal cell in the body
is a dark pool of jelly,
if within each cell
drones another cell—
The moment the bomb explodes
the man’s spine bends like its shadow
across the road.
The moment he loses his hearing
I think you are calling me
from across the house
because my ears start to ring.
From the kitchen window
I see the lilacs crackling like static
as if erasing, teleporting,
thousands of bees rising from the blossoms:
tiny flames in the sun.
I lick the knife
and the honey pierces my tongue:
a nail made of light.
My body is wrapped in honey. When I step outside
I become fire.  -Sara Eliza Johnson