Pink and Swollen Shores
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
5d ago
Soda lakes shimmer below the blazing sun, their mirrored lens a shifting imitation of countless unseen threads. These waters cradle life, crimson streaks whose feathers burn against the blue and rising edge. Cradles shrinking beneath the load of this grasping swelling sky – held aloft by loss, yet anchored to these shrinking sanctuaries within the bulging veins of a desperate, ever tearful earth. This poem is inspired by recent research, which has found that Africa’s flamingos are threatened by rising lake levels. Soda lakes are among the most vibrant and productive water bodies on the plane ..read more
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Shadows in the Glass
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
2w ago
Water runs clear, a seeming serenity caught in the half-light of tasteless threats and silent screams. It lingers, patient as a poacher’s line to seep from treatment’s cracks unfiltered, unsealed, untamed. A toxic residue that chokes the flow, spoiling souls before their blooming – distortions of the heart’s first labour. Heed the far bankside where these drowsed serpents coil among the reeds their fangs brine the springs, their venom our end. This poem is inspired by recent research, which has found that common water pollutants cause heart damage in fish. Imagine turning on your tap and exp ..read more
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Secrets Beneath the Ice
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
3w ago
Riven with cracks, fissures serpentine vent gaseous plumes that reach beyond the stars – grains of frozen brine beneath that pitiless crust. Oceans churn in depths no light perceives, where harsh unearthly cauldrons spew forth their frozen code. Our robots scan each icy fleck, whittling truth from vacant black – celestial jetsam, cosmic seed, bearing strange fruit for new nativity across the worlds that rift and rede. An artist’s rendition of Saturn’s moon Enceladus depicts hydrothermal activity on the seafloor and cracks in the moon’s icy crust that allow material from the watery interior to ..read more
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Blue Reflections of Time
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
1M ago
In the shadows of ancient trees, towers mute, immense, bristling with sap-burnt memories. Sapphire light dances over weathered rings – hieroglyphs from an age we burned, bled, calved, and grew. When molten heavens thundered and volcanic seas dissolved mountains ghosted in cloud-cathedral’s sacred blue. Each ring appals with the memory of Earth’s contortions amidst the scattered whispers of patient boughs – a clarion call to soothe the oceans’ ebbing tides. This poem is inspired by recent research, which has used ancient tree rings to reconstruct the climate records of North China. Over the l ..read more
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Silence in the Depths
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
1M ago
Down in the obsidian teeth and sinew flex against the remorseless flow of that immense and gelid gloom. There move leviathans – archaic dread made flesh, hewn from the brine itself these crawling shadows drifted from the drowned world’s womb. Yet now the sleekest blades descend on high – the slash, the rend, the price of new delicacies. Precious squalene to be sold and rendered to our latest craze, as tidal-ghosts lay banished, born now to emptiness, ruin, pain. This poem is inspired by recent research, which has found that fishing for oil and meat drives deepwater shark and ray decline. The ..read more
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Deforesting Disease
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
1M ago
In the clawed grasp of forest’s end a continent breathes – exhales the green inhales the dust, bare as bone the earth beneath. Trees fall in deafening silence, as in their shadows death’s vectors swarm – blood-sailors casting off against the tide. Some spared, others bound by birthright, by geography, by wealth. Here lies the tale of stolen lands, of broken deeds yet to touch the soil of truth – where children’s dreams are fevered, by fate’s cruel hand, defined. This poem is inspired by recent research, which has found that deforestation exacerbates the risk of malaria for the most vulnerabl ..read more
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When the Sky Gathers Tears
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
1M ago
Clouds gather like ancient gods converging, conspiring, shedding secrets of the coming floods. Twilight’s blankets cluster, tightening ranks over belted waves to seal their pact in vaulted skies. This bloated congregation now flails with righteous pain, carving sodden welts through fraying skin. And the earth drowns in tears it never thought to shed. This poem is inspired by recent research, which has found that cloud clustering causes more extreme rain. Around the equator, heavy rainfalls can lead to flooding, affecting millions of people and causing significant damage to homes and infrastr ..read more
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Nuclear Transmutations
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
2M ago
In the river of stars, waves crash and burn – a dance of particles, unseen, unfelt, unknown. Neutrons, like murmurs, collide in the night, absorbing the call to shift, transform, assume – a new weight, not decay but growth reversing the flow to dampen a storm. From the heart of a star to the soul of a world. Detections of gravitational waves from merging neutron stars tipped off researchers here on Earth that it should be possible to predict how neutrons interact with atomic nuclei (Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab). This poem is inspired by recent research, which has l ..read more
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Consumed Stars
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
2M ago
Material drifts as dream, grand paths etched into the void charting distance, hunger, light. Twin hearts beat as one, burning dead and bright across the stage of time. One pulse surges, its partner prey, stripped bare by gravity’s maw. The core of the consumed casting off its skin in silent rage to shimmer in the stellar tide – fading in the dark for all it gave in vain. Artistic depiction of a Be star and its disk orbited by a faint, hot, stripped star (Image Credit: William Pounds). This poem is inspired by recent research, which has detected the faint light of stellar corpses beside predat ..read more
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The Fevered Climate
The Poetry of Science
by Sam Illingworth
2M ago
In the sunken Eagle’s nest silted scripts tell tales of ancient skies, mapped against the quickened pulse and gentle sigh of life. Through time’s unbending lens stories unfold in layers of earth – a chronicle of climate etched into an empire’s heart. Cold spells, lined up with unseen storms of pestilence, disease, death. As if the Earth itself sought to dim the eternal flame. Every stratum a vestige to the enormity of life, and the folly of our designs. This poem is inspired by recent research, which has found that climate change likely triggered pandemics in antiquity. Understanding how anc ..read more
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