Thursday, April 28, 2016

Two poems for spring

Taraxicum officianale (the common dandelion) in the Alexey Tolstoy crater on Mars. Widely considered to be the first proof of extra-terrestrial life. Photo courtesy NASA 2026. When astronaut Bud Blowhard tried to discover the time from a Martian dandelion clock he had to stop at 2,500,603 o'clock.  The low pressure atmosphere on the planet makes seed removal by blowing extremely problematical

 The Dandelion Fields of Mars​

The fields of dandelions on Mars

Have yet to be discovered.

But I won't be at all surprised

The day that they're uncovered.

Those yellow things get everywhere

It makes me quite forlorn

They can't be killed or driven out

Especially from my lawn.

I'm absolutely certain

They do it to annoy

For growing where unwanted

Is their single, simple joy.

When men land on the planet

And upon its surface burst.

The red planet will be yellow

'Cos the dandelions were first.

Nick Mellersh 2016

The rites of passage of the Liver Flukes

The rites of passage of the liver flukes

Don't feature is the lists of world's great books,

Where human rites of passage,

Had you wondered

Are in all but seven of the first eight hundred

And this is very odd because you see,

The flukes have eight, while we have only three.

Note: Liver flukes have the most amazing life cycle, first as eggs, then a swimming thing, then a parasite of a particular sort of snail, then as more swimming things then as parasites in (mostly) sheep and cattle livers and people's livers if they are unlucky!. For more see this

What's all this to do with spring?

You may reasonably wonder what these have to do with spring. The answer is that they are about the fecundity of life here on earth and the surprising fact that we can't find it anywhere else. All the more reason to cherish it, and ourselves, right here.

I personally think that God produced liver flukes to win a bet. There doesn't seem any rational reason to believe that anything as complicated as them could possibly survive, let alone thrive which they do.

Talking of the wonders of nature, one of the world's great books is Pilgrim on Tinker Creek by AnnieDillard. It doesn't actually talk of liver flukes but covers many equally strange and wonderful things. Read it if you are interested in the complexities and beauties of life.

Ebook news 

Jeanie's flute book Illustrated Fluteplaying written by her and Robin Soldan will be published as an ebook this summer.  To find the latest news go to

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