Research haikus

Last month, the Zoology Department’s Dr. David Kelly launched his first book of Japanese short form poetry, Hammerscale from the Thrush’s Anvil. At the launch of the book, David invited us in the audience to try our hand at writing our own haikus.

Taking him up on his challenge, and taking inspiration from his book, a few of us in the School of Natural Sciences have penned our own poems based on our areas of study. We even have a contribution from David Kelly himself!

Trying not to sacrifice coherency at the alter of syllable number was a rather new struggle for most of us, but we managed and, I’d like to think, emerged with a greater appreciation for the poets in our midst. Read on for our science-y foray into the arts!

(Paula Tierney @_ptierney)


Yellow red fish eyes

Maybe that’s a nematode?

No, it is more fish

Paula Tierney


Carbon fixed by plants

Then sequestered in the soil

Helps to keep Earth cool

Matt Saunders


Hoverflies hover

Syrphidae flying over

Gardens of flowers

Sarah Gabel


Monochrome poets

Curved claws etching musky spoors

Into the cold night

Aoibheann Gaughran


Something stirs within

Yolk pillow, porcelain case.

Almost a chicken.

Georgia O’Sullivan


Experiment fails

Surprise cannibalism

Don’t eat each other

Maureen Williams


Nature feeds us all

So we should look after it

Let’s start with the bees

Jane Stout


Their hidden kingdom

Out of sight not out of mind

Deep-buried bivalves

Jim Wilson


Zoos are big and full

With loads of small cute beasties,

Or few big beasties!

Andrew Mooney


Anybody care, but me

What lives inside a badger?

Cut them up and see

Rachel Byrne


academic registry to zosterops

and back

every 10 minutes.

Nicola Marples


Seeds, drop, drift and float,

Hitch-hike with bird, beast and man,

How many grow where?

Ruth Kelly


Voles long since left home

Courting under falling leaves

Feed new towns inside

Peter Stuart


Consumption of bait

Oral vaccine offers the

End of consumption

Dave Kelly

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