Saturday, November 14, 2009

Abandon Hope all who enter science

Science is a funny thing
You work so hard for sights unseen
And try the test time after time
They never work, and that’s the sign
For when you have quite given up
And lost all hope, despair for sup
Is when the assay finally works
You’d think Science was a sort of Jerk!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Photosynthetic Slug

Along the eastern seaboard of our fine United States
There lives a slug who slurps algae for hunger to abate
“Not too unusual”, you say when hearing with a glance
Until you realize its evolutionary stance
For not like us they take their food and put it in their gut
They strip away the chloroplast and leave them living up
and let the organelles survive and get hit with the sun
to make them food long after the algea’s carbon is gone
You feed them with some algae for a fortnight then you wait
An entire year they will live on with no food, not a taste!
But before you think that would be cool for us this trait to share
to meet our needs we’d have to be 100 meters squared!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Willow Tree

One could argue the first to reason
Through the changing leaves of season
In a humble willow tree
Jan Helmont sought epiphany
For how a plant grows from the earth
And dirt still there, what gives the birth
To all the mass of trunk and leaf
“I’ll try out science!” t’was his belief

And so he started with ground well weighed
Sprigs of trees with no delay
And after days turned into months
Five trips around the golden sun
He separated root from clay
And measured out the soil’s decay
As well as how much bulk the plant
Had gained during its growing spat
“The soil did not give its matter
To make this willow get so fatter,
It was the water that it got
For what else could it be but not?”

With irony I’ll add right here
That CO2 gives trees their beards
And guess who first supposed that gas
Came in different kinds and flasks?
Our good friend Helmont did, its true
Let’s celebrate with no ado!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Light Reading

The energy for you and me
Is made in our front lawn
By converting the sun’s bright beams
to excited electrons.
That drop potential blow by blow
And pull protons behind
A giant turbine turning flow
To ATP sublime!

Electrons once they’ve paid their dues
And formed a PMF
To ferredoxin are passed to
NADPH left
To create all the happy things
That all of us delight
From apple pie to cheesy string
And making darkness light.

But some do scoff at all this fun
And science they do diss
I’d like to see them in a run
Without photosynthesis!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hydroponic Help

When my plants are young,
I put them in rockwool
and then they grow a week.

But then some shrivel up and die,
Before they get to speak!

Monday, April 6, 2009


Just a root
that sat on the planting table.
Then a green thrust
like the spikes on a deer.
Soon, it grows
impossibly tall
for such a small bulb.

How can so much fit in so little?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I am late in my office
I am reading an old article
and two little Legos snap together in my brain
I want to jump up
tell the world
how to calculate the efficiency
of photosystem II
by shining light on a leaf
and measuring what it throws up.

But then I realize
that they probably won't care
and by tomorrow I'll have to re-learn it anyways

The Eurekas of today
aren't what the used to be
or are they?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Leaf Disk

To study a leaf
I take a round punch
and try it
push it
and measure it
and it goes on
like it is still a whole leaf
oblivious for a while
that it is severed from its life force
a dead end
slowly oozing life
while I make a graph.

We aren't much different than that leaf disk.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hydroponically Challenged

Plants like water
yes they do
to keep stomata wide.

For when they let
in C-O-2
the H-2-O takes flight.

But I am finding
it's not enough
to keep the roots real wet

Once transferred
from media
they need to have a tent!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sucrose Blues

My needy plants
what can I do?
They need sucrose
high CO-2
but mold likes carbon
yes it does
and sucrose has
more than enough.

And so it grows
and swallows leaf
I need some way
to find relief.

And so I tried
ingredient new
"Plant Preservation Mixture"
into the stew
but now my seeds
have not vertical liberation
turns out the stuff
inhibits germination!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Two leather hands
help together with a grip strengthened by age
and rigor
scars from rock, metal, and dirt
recount a life of adventure
once moving
now still
once warm
now cold.

Now to the next adventure
a jaunt across the mist
to lands beyond.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


They used to say bacteria
gathered up their light
using great big doughnut shapes
to funnel photons right

"But such a thing
could never be!"
The scientist did shout.

"For if in membranes
he does live
how would quinol get out?"

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Snow Cave

The cave we built
in the snow
seemed so big
lika a palace.

Until Todd came in
and it got a lot smaller.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Science is

Science is late nights
playing chauffeur
to plants
and DNA.

Science is written
in the pen of sleepless nights
scribed deep on the gray matter
like etched glass.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Science VS X

Some like to pit
Science versus so many things
the wisdom of elders
and our very natures.

But I see
it all as a cosmic whole
my God teaching me about my plants
and my plants teaching me about God.

Not that I will live to see the intersect
of the two creations
that is not the point
the truth is wide enough to connect the dots
even if we can't quite yet.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Like falling up the stairs
you can't go up
while going down.

So is the metabolism
of us
and all our friends.

Only one at a time
or else we would destroy
what we had just built
Like kicking over a sandcastle
while your brother was still building it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


It's funny
how one name can say so much
take Madonna
you have an image in my mind
and so do I
one that our children should be spared.

But there are other names
that have done so much
that we will never know.

that's it
no first or last
all just one
Like Cher.

(Click on the title to learn more)