Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two Poems for We Write Poems

Mad About Science

the foundation of life
its unique ability
to bond

two molecules of hydrogen
and one of oxygen
the essential solvent

just add nitrogen
and you have the four
basic building blocks
of life

trace amounts of many other elements
but there it is
the solution
that life created
the chemical soup
of which we're all made
formed in some primordial sea
long, long ago

as with any recipe
balance of ingredients
is necessary for success

too much water
we drown
too little water
and drought

we measure
we think
by-products of our
nervous system
our backbone
of thought and feeling
we know
happiness and sorrow

and then
thinking about water again
vapor   liquid   ice
for good or bad
how it is that
wisdom is glacial

* * * * *


completing another
circle around the sun
my birthday again
and, I, as per usual
obsess about my waistline

* * * * *

I wrote "Mad About Science" in response to the Wordle prompt at We Write Poems.  Then I realized I had used all the words, except three: obsess, birthday, and circle.  So, I used those three words for "Tanka".


  1. Oh, like both of these very much.I don't know if I can agree with your view of creation. For me I would add a creator in the kitchen. Nothing is every by chance. Thanks for a great read.


  2. Mr. Walker,
    The science piece is awesome, may I use it with students next year?

    Your waistline piece made me laugh...and cringe. I've never had a weight problem. Now at 48, it seems everything ends up there. **sigh**

  3. Melanie, thank you for your comments. I wasn't intending it to be about creation, but I understand your interpretation. And you should go ahead and have a creator in the kitchen. That's what I like about poetry - it's what we bring to it as much as what's there. Thank you for reading my poems.

    Brenda, thank you for your comments. You may absolutely share my poem with students next year. Thanks for asking. Yeah, I'll be a little happier with a little less weight, which is one of my summer goals.

  4. What I especially enjoyed about your creation poem were the lines about too little or toouch water. I,too, read it as a creation poem.

    Linda Frances

  5. The recipe for life sounds simple enough, but the proof of the pudding is the waistline.

  6. Mr. Walker, I would have thought too that the first poem is somewhat about creation or evolution, especially thinking about the fourth stanza. Anyway, I like how, when you write poetry, you oftentimes seem to analyze something thoroughly. You definitely have a unique voice.

    The second poem made me smile.

    Nice work on using all the words.

  7. Your science of being and your idea of byproducts is fascinating to me and is something I obsess about. Your poem puts together words like discrete cells. Great poem Mr Walker.

  8. Linda, thanks. I just had to juxtapose drought and drown. I didn't intend it as a creation poem, but more descriptive, but I'm not going to argue with what readers infer; that's part of the recipe too.

    Stan, your comments made me laugh. Thanks.

    Mary, thank you for your thoughtful comments. Analysis and poetry would seem to be contradictory, but it works for me, I guess. And, "unique" - high praise, indeed. The second one was supposed to make you laugh - I'm glad it did.

    irenet23, thank you for your kind words. I guess that byproducts idea does imply an evolutionary concept, or, at least, a biological one.

  9. I like the tanka.
    (never had a waist obsession. mine's more of the bottom line)
    the science poem's well done, too. It's hard to know when to stop (I had to trash one poem when my sulphur-eating organisms began belching C02)

  10. Briarcat, I'm glad you liked both poems. Yeah, the science poem could have gone a lot of places, and then it occurred to me the speaker was a science teacher, and that gave it some direction and form.

  11. the wonderful elements of life...hardly something we consider on a moment by moment basis... balance and success good words to remember...and the tanka light and full of laughter... excellent post and glad to have stopped by...

  12. Pieceofpie, thanks for stopping. I'm glad you enjoyed the poems. Thank for leaving such a kind comment.

  13. Mr. W.,

    Wisdom is glacial! Wonderful line. You have a way of teasing out the details that is fascinating.

    Oh - one suggestion - if you don't mind (copy editor). First stanza should be "its" (non-possessive form).

    I'm going to keep reading your blog now. I'm hooked!


  14. What strikes me about the first poem is your commentary on the balancing act, between drought and drown...that particular stanza works well, and the rest of the poem kind of pulls us into a tunnel of thought. The second poem also made me smile -- what popped into my mind is the comparison between the circle around our sun and the growing orbit that is our waistline. Nice comparison.


  15. Amy, thank you for your feedback. And I fixed that typo/grammatical error. I completely missed that; and I'm a teacher! Thanks again.

    Nicole, thank you for your comment: "the growing orbit that is our waistline" - you got it and summed it up beautifully.