• Caleb Parkin

CaCaPoMo: Branches

                          The Tree of Life


Some more poetry from our summer of canal travel (CaCaPoMo = Caleb’s Canal Poetry Month) – I’m sat inside, sheltering from the rain, while the other crewman (my partner) pilots…Time for a catch-up on writing from sunnier days.

I wrote this after a conversation regarding dragonflies – there are some beautiful ones around this summer, burnt-red and bright-blue in colour. I gather they enjoy the sun. Just like boaters.

Thinking about the scientific language (and our mis-use of it) in this poem brought to mind another poe t and designer’s work. Last year, Joanna Tilsley (AKA xYz) wrote 30 poems inspired by science during NaPoWriMo. You can read more about it on the excellent BrainPickings blog by Maria Popova, here and order a copy of the book and individual prints, through Etsy, here.

Branches

By my left ear, a dragonfly

changes itself from blue

to red; somewhere along the line

of this canal, territories merge mid-air.

We speculate, use spells –

words like Genus and Phyllum –

on how the Tree of Life grows,

how its branches are labelled.

Wings weave through our fingers,

waving, as we guess at numbers

of species, of miles today. Pick

out the time from the leaves.

Along both banks, trunks divide:

deltas into digressions;

chlorophyll into conversation.

At once red, blue, green.

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