2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 16

Great job, everyone! We’ve made it past the half-way marker, and so many are still trucking along, making new friends, finding new favorite poets, and–hopefully–having fun! Let’s make the second half even more fulfilling than the first.

For today’s prompt, write a science poem. Your poem could be about science in a general sense, but you can also latch onto a specific field or story. Maybe write a poem about the scientific method, or juxtapose science against another idea like love, war, or cuisine. Remember: Science is the springboard; which way you jump is up to you.

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Here’s my attempt at a Science Poem:

“scientific history”

the brontosaurus once existed & then
for a century it did not until once
again it did of course we’re talking bones but

i’m reminded that science requires a touch
of philosophy & faith along with the
understanding that what one believes today

will be proven wrong tomorrow for instance
can the earth be round & the universe flat
& the speed of light really unbeatable

i once thought science had all the answers but
it’s been proven wrong so many times i think
it must be a beautiful house constructed

on sand waiting for rain to wash it away

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Today’s guest judge is…

Cecilia Woloch

Cecilia Woloch

Cecilia Woloch

Cecilia Woloch is the recipient of a 2011 NEA fellowship and the author of six acclaimed collections of poetry: Sacrifice, a BookSense 76 Selection in 2001; Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem; Late, for which she was named Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry in 2004; Narcissus, winner of the Tupelo Press Snowbound Prize in 2006 and a finalist for the California Book Award; Carpathia, a finalist for the Milton Kessler Award in 2009; and Earth, published in January 2015 as the winner of the Two Sylvias Press Prize for the Chapbook.

Other honors include The Indiana Review Prize for Poetry, The New Ohio Review Prize for Poetry, the Scott Russell Sanders Prize for Creative Nonfiction, and fellowships from the California Arts Council, CEC/ArtsLink International, Chateau de la Napoule Foundation, the Center for International Theatre Development and others.

Learn more at CeciliaWoloch.squarespace.com.

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The prompts from last year’s challenge along with the winning poem from each day ended up in an inspired little anthology titled Poem Your Heart Out. It was part prompt book, part poetry anthology, and part workbook, because each day includes a few pages for you to make your own contributions.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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708 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 16

  1. Stuart Peacock

    Lost Saturdays

    It was our own place
    A refuge from routine
    Where we’d chat and natter
    While nibbling on our chips,
    And then lean back and laugh
    After filling up on fudge cake.
    We’d made our mark
    And set aside our spot
    In our own slice of heaven
    That fed us with good vibes.

  2. lawrencek

    Mercury Falling

    Arctic assassin,
    bleak, bitter,
    callous Cold
    dances, dipping
    ecstatically. Evergreens
    faint. Fantastic,
    gregariously green
    Heroes huddled,
    icebergs inching.
    January judiciously
    knocking-knees, Kyros
    lunges latitudes.
    Meekly, Mhemba
    numbs Negativity,
    obfuscating obstacles.
    Penetrating polar
    quizzes quelled,
    rigid rivers,
    shivering Science.
    Triggered thermometers,
    unfrozen, unemotionally
    victorious. Vacating
    warrens, wangling
    ‘expeditiosly, ‘xhausted,
    yahoos. Yens
    zephyred. Zero degrees.

  3. lawrencek

    Space Travel

    Amorphous
    blobs
    cavort
    dauntlessly,
    exploring
    future
    galaxies.
    Haggling
    infinitude,
    juggling
    kinetic
    latitudes,
    measuring
    naught
    orbital
    properties,
    quietly
    relishing
    savage
    travel.
    Unsaddled,
    velocity
    whips
    XL
    yokels
    zeppelining.

  4. lawrencek

    Cryptography

    Astrophysics, astronomy
    Bacon bits byte Biology
    Cancer, cloning, core Chemistry
    Dissolving digits, Dippers down
    Extinguish electricity
    Focused fanatics forcing frown.
    Graphs grappling Geology
    Hypothesis, humidity
    Icicles incendiary
    juicy jiggily jumpers jag
    kempt, keen, Kinesiology
    loosening lab-rats lamely lag.
    measured monsters methodology
    nostrils notice Neurology
    observation optometry
    Physics professors posit poll
    Quantum, quorum, Quinology
    rantings reveal ratios’ role.
    sonograms, sludge, Scientology
    titillate test-tube Theology
    uncut uranium Urology
    vexing vessels void volumes vile
    when weighing wonders, Whaleology
    ‘xhuming ‘xcretions ‘xcile.
    yocto yeast, Yoemen-ology
    zepto zebras, zoology.

  5. lawrencek

    Back at the Lab

    —abecedarian

    Andromeda
    beckons
    Copernicus,
    disappointing
    Einstein,
    Frankenstein,
    Galileo.
    Hazardous
    icebergs
    jam
    Krypton
    legends.
    Magnetic
    Newton
    optimizes
    planetary
    quartz
    rings.
    Statisticians
    teeter
    using
    Viagra,
    while
    Xenopus
    yawns.
    Zizz.

  6. lawrencek

    Scientifically Speaking

    Arcane |
    beakers
    capture |
    designer
    equations.
    Filament
    glistens.
    Hypothesis:
    immunizing
    jelly.
    Keen
    laboratory
    mice
    nuzzle.
    Osmosis
    pauses,
    quivers,
    remembering
    science.
    Theorists
    unveil
    vessels
    with
    XX/XY,
    yielding
    zygotes.

  7. Xairos

    Dancing with Science

    Remember why dinosaurs died out?
    Their heads too small to hold enough brains,
    life changed, they could not adapt.

    I loved the gentle brontosaurus,
    long-necked grazer, back then when the world
    was round, not “oblate spheroid.”

    We were different, we could adapt,
    could build space ships. We went to the moon
    and we even came back home.

    Our high-school chemistry teacher claimed
    anti-matter (what’s that?) could destroy
    matter and we humored him.

    Science rewrote the death of dinos.
    Research pointed to the cause of death:
    six-mile-wide asteroid crash.

    Or maybe a volcano, or both.
    Something shredded earth, spewed icy dark.
    Next Earth broiled and overheated.

    Unscientific brontosaurus
    toy? Not for my sons! Then toy kitchens
    led to liberated men.

    Now we humans make anti-matter,
    test it against cancer cells, ask if
    antis fall up or fall down.

    And here the brontosaurus returns
    (for now, at least). Perhaps a matter
    of anti-matter undone.

    ~ Margaret Lee Ferry

  8. marci426

    (Day 16)

    Ecology 101: Indiana Lakeshore

    We meet where wetlands
    overlap the tallgrass prairie,
    acres abundant with wildflowers,
    species for each habitat.

    Near the edges of sand dunes,
    an infinity of yellow
    prickly pear cactus
    opens to a lavender
    sea of lupine.

    Clutching notebooks,
    we identify
    false Solomon’s seal
    and the sunlit potentilla,
    tally red maple trees,
    estimating by hectare.

    But who could count
    the blues of
    Karner butterflies
    or great herons
    watching us from
    hidden swamps?

    –Marcia Jaron Morley

  9. James Von Hendy

    Implode

    How a thing falls in on itself,
    a house of cards, a building dynamited
    from the inside, the vacuum of nothing
    demanding to be filled. A man’s life
    built around a dream he’s been told is his.
    A star burned out and dwarfed in brown darkness,
    lost to light, but then, this, too, falls in,
    a myth of misunderstanding, a black hole,
    as when the timbers of a roof give way
    and what collapses inward opens
    to the night sky in a ball of flame,
    and the soufflé, taken too early
    or late from the oven cannot sustain
    the delicacy of its crust and falls.
    A Florida sinkhole swallows whole
    appetites, the dream again that crashes
    into dawn, the emptiness of the day
    that sucks the past into oblivion.

  10. De Jackson

    Empty Science

    We have cracked the a
    -cute code
    of pebbles,
    only to find them held
    (stones,
    sticks,
    stems)

    in curious pockets. We’ve un
    -locked the saintly track
    of angel wings, only to
    wrestle with the memory
    of their lift.

    It’s all hypothesis,
                   an act.

    We just want to escape
    with our brains intact.

    .

  11. barbara_y

    Science

    The news about Kennedy reached me
    Fourth Period. Chemistry.
    With Mr. Gregory.
    (about whom
    no more will be mentioned)
    The death, then, has about it that smell
    of scientific rubber tubes, sulphur,
    and something metallic and cold.
    We were wearing wool skirts
    and white socks.

    _____
    Barbara E. Young

    1. De Jackson

      Oh, Barbara. This is so powerful. Love the parenthetical.
      For me, it’s Reagan’s shooting. We lived on a Navajo Indian reservation for a year and a half, and it happened during that period. Funny what our brains connect.

  12. horselovernat

    A Well for Wishes

    A
    star
    may be
    just a fixed
    luminous point in
    the night sky, a large, remote,
    and an incandescent body like the sun,
    but to much of the world, it is so much more. It represents loved ones
    and lost ones, those who watch us and guide us through
    our own darkest nights. A star is a well for wishes,
    but the price is not a penny or a dime.
    You throw in your hopes, and your heart
    and leave behind a little piece of your soul
    so that you never forget the beautiful
    moment when you decided to
    share with the universe
    who you really are.

    Natalie Gasper

  13. Jane Shlensky

    Scientific Method

    It’s chemistry, he says, but I don’t care.
    He smells so good I want to lick his face.
    When we embrace, I see it in his eyes:
    anatomy and physiology.
    His geeky glasses fog up when we kiss
    with physics labs he thinks might yet to be tried.
    The earth we stand on tilts from time to time:
    geology or atmospheric shifts.
    Biology asserts itself and I’m
    in love. It’s only science, he suggests,
    his fingers fumbling up and down my spine.

  14. Alaina Dawson

    Checkmate, Newton

    I could spend years looking in any medical journal
    type all of my symptoms into WebMD
    but I will never find a remedy
    for the ache I feel all over my body
    every time you walk out the door

    I could spend nights in the misty midnight fog
    thumbing through every guide book I own
    never quite finding which constellation
    best matches the patterns of freckles
    so perfectly scattered atop your skin

    I could spend days at sea mapping the Earth
    in choppy waves with salted hair
    but I will never be able to plot the hidden secrets
    that I had found once before
    in the dips and cracks of your body

    I could spend hours chalking up the black board
    with equations full of logarithms
    never calculated the speed it took
    for you to shake my world completely
    and put my spinning world back into motion

    I could spend an eternity trying to explain
    all the ways you outshine every other discovery
    but I will never be able to find the words
    the laws, the theories, the facts
    to prove what science couldn’t

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