Friday, March 12, 2010

Poetry Friday: Rebecca Holmes

My daughter, Rebecca, is a physics and astronomy major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She's also pursuing a creative writing minor. (I know! I love it.)

Rebecca has written non-fiction articles for Carolina Scientific, and recently, she had two poems accepted by the campus literary magazine, Cellar Door. I asked if she would share some new work with my blog readers, and she sent me these two stunners:

Living Fossils


It doesn’t seem to belong to the past of this planet
with four hearts, two brains, a single testicle—
worm with a skull, dark embryo: the hagfish.

No child fascinated by dinosaurs could love it,
this living fossil, unchanged in 300 million years.
Not petrified, but preserved in the viscid flow
of time on the cold bed of the ocean,

so dark, so deep it escaped evolution
or was left behind: the round mouth turning like a gear,
forever the lensless eye.


The saltwater crocodile is thriving in thcoastal rivers
near Darwin, Australia, as dinosaurs burn on the roads
as fossil fuel. Long ago among the ferns, did an ancestor

pray for immortality? Now everything familiar
is dust and oil. A tagged crocodile leaves the coast,
swims far into the open oceansometimes reappears
hundreds of miles awayand sometimes vanishes.

Maybe his tag came loose and sank too deep for radios
to hear. Or maybe he paused among the waves, inhaled
the salt air once more and dovedeep down, out of time
to reptile Valhalla, to take his place among the ferns
being crushed to grease in the heart of the Earth.
                                                      ---Rebecca Holmes (all rights reserved)

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Becky at Becky's Book Reviews


  1. Hey, nice blog update.

    I have to laugh at the hagfish. Indeed, it's not the same friendly face (!?) as a dinosaur. I love that your daughter can write poetry about science - there's something so essentially right about that.

  2. "round mouth turning like a gear" - LOVE. Hats off to your daughter!

  3. I'm with Irene: "round mouth turning like a gear" knocked my socks off, but there was so much else to love here, too. Like Rebecca: physics, astronomy, and poetry, what a fabulous group of interests.

  4. Nice change of the blog :)

    "So dark, so deep it escaped evolution, or was left behind..."

    Classic. Your daughter is quite the poet! I hope she knows it! :D

  5. Lovely. She is as talented as her mother. Thanks for sharing a little bit of Rebecca with us, Sara!

  6. Lovely. She is as talented as her mother. Thanks for sharing a little bit of Rebecca with us, Sara!

  7. Wow! These are wonderful. What a supremely talented family. :)

  8. Love "the round mouth turning like a gear, forever the lensless eye." Poetry and science, what better combination is there?

  9. Thanks to you and Rebecca for sharing her poems. You must be just full-to-bursting with pride, Sara--I wish I could understand and work with science and words equally well like that.

    And, hey, wow, new site design. Nice.

  10. Whoa! Nice work! I especially love "preserved in the viscid flow
    of time on the cold bed of the ocean" and "forever the lensless eye". Wonderful.

  11. Like mother, like daughter -- smart and poetic. I'm not at all surprised by how good these are. Love the new blog design, too!

  12. Squee! This was very cool to share; thanks to both of you. Beautiful. Sara, you must be so proud.

    I also love the new blog design.

  13. Took me a sec to realize this was your blog, Sara--I like the new design! Nice to shake things up occasionally:>)

    These poems are gorgeous. Science and poetry--my two favorite things. I especially adore:

    but preserved in the viscid flow
    of time on the cold bed of the ocean,


    as dinosaurs burn on the roads
    as fossil fuel.



R-E-S-P-E-C-T (or you will be deleted)

You can receive followup comments to this conversation by checking the "notify me" box below the comment window.