I remember ages ago
when the ice wind could dry even the ocean
off our backs. It came in at first
in small crests then Avalanched into wooly mammoths.
I licked my lips and held on—frozen
to your mighty fur coat that slowly unraveled
into a hundred tiny tresses of naked hairs.
As I slipped, you reached up to touch
the widow’s peak above my Everest eyelashes
and I let you, afraid to blink for fear that
everything would disappear into a white canvas
of minimalism. It’s contemporary, my dear — what’s in
your heart is like an Alaskan oil mine,
Eldorado that cannot be pursued.
Back then I would always carry a comma
in my pocket and perform incantations
to protect myself from run-ons of
speeding icebergs and sabertooth bobsleds and
that would certainly crash together
before I had a chance to slip away. All the while
you just sprinted after me, laughing
in my drink, you didn’t notice
that my chased white wine was
beginning to blush a crimson vermilion. We dined
beneath the Cambrian explosion the night
you whispered in my ear that
I was your Arctic enchantress. That
was the big secret behind my polar bear smiles.
But the fairy tale began to hang over like icicles
when you wrinkled the sheets between my toes
sprinkled salt on my snow angels, and
I covered the hurt in my eyes as
You just stood by, watching
Frosty’s magic melt between our fingertips
away with the spring.
— Poem and image by Nancy Yu.
First Place Winner in Summer 2008 Science Poetry Contest.
What if time doesn’t really pass?
What if we just live one day over and over
in a circular paradox of infinite points.
The concept of moving forward,
exists only in our minds.
The world of physics suddenly rearranged.
Momentum = present position;
We’re all standing still.
Schrödinger’s cat is alive and well.
They told me I was an artist,
that they could see it written on my palm,
along with my love, life and future,
yet I chose the other path;
with nothing but numbers to count down the days
and the molecules which loosely hold us together.
Yet I wish entropy would just take over
and release me into the universe.
It’s irritating that my feet are so firmly planted to the ground.
I feel the need
to leave gravity behind and escape the atmosphere,
gaining speed at approximately 9.8 meters per second squared.
But I feel like time is continually dragging me down.
I’m stuck here getting inconsistently older,
and sometimes I think if I knew what was to come
things would be different…
But that’s what we’re all thinking, isn’t it?
Time is the scientist’s optimism:
That each second which ticks by will lead us to something further.
That each apple will fall from the tree, just as before,
and that it’s no longer one big coincidence that everything goes down,
The progress of man has reached its limit:
it is infinitely possible that, after all this time,
we’re not really getting anywhere.
— Poem and image by Clarissa Keen.
First runner-up in Summer 2008 Science Poetry Contest.
By granules of sand
Under gravity’s grip
By the slap of the hand
Jolting sixty times ‘round
By epileptic fits of pixels
Screaming their conformity
By recording the rot of a cesium atom
If you want to be precise.
The whirl around a skewed axis, the flash of night to day
The whisk around a path
Five hundred eighty million miles long.
The times you’ve fallen into eclipse.
Scrawled in 4/4 signature
Imprinted on the inside of your ribs by your hammering heart
Engraved with the number of scars you bear,
It started the moment
your lungs felt first air
And an infinity before.
It will crawl
to that final place
to die with you
But will continue to endure
— Poem and image by Bevan Weissman.
Second runner-up in Summer 2008 Science Poetry Contest.