This set of poetry encompasses five different poems inspired by the events within our class’s eco-columns. These poems narrate the changes many of the individual organisms underwent, before and during their capture and imprisonment. Some of the poems also provide insight of how it must feel to be in these organisms’ place. The overall themes balance between that of loss and fear of an inevitable end, while others describe the aspect of a changed environment. The observance of these creatures (and the tower as a whole) had provided an interesting topic to write about among our class, especially to those of this group who focused on one feature of the tower. In the end, even though none of the organisms in our eco-columns actually died (save for Francois the tadpole 6/3/16), a lingering question remains of how much their separate lives have changed, and where they’ll head off to next.
Fish in a Bottle
I lived in a pond once before
Thousands of cubic feet of water to enjoy
But the giants came with their nets
I swam as fast as I could
But they got me
They put me into a bottle
Cubic feet are now cubic inches
Once a day 100 mL of water drips in slow
No replenishment of my food supply
And two other fish to suffer with
The carrying capacity is beyond it’s maximum
The water is an ideal 25° Celcius
The few plants don’t photosynthesize fast enough
So they put in an artificial bubbler
So I must continue to suffer
Above me a terrestrial bottle
With plants, dead and living ones
And at the top the decomposers munch
On the remains of things that once lived
Will I ever be set free?
Or will the detritivores break me down
And send my carbon and nitrogen back
To the biogeochemical cycle to be used again
Will I see my family and friends again?
Or will my story end in that highest bottle?
The Life of an Eco-Column
‘The first day I am born into this world,
I start with nothing, alone and empty inside.
But then life starts to change and I feel as if I have a purpose.
I now house many different creatures in each of my chambers,
I provide them with life and they provide me with mine.
Each day I feel the 100ml of water poured into me,
I feel each chamber fill as the water passes through me,
All the way to the bottom the water flows.
At the bottom there is a small reservoir of water,
It is like a small pond to me.
Each day I take my temperature to see if it has changed,
It is almost always 25°C,
There are many different aquatic creatures.
Three of these creatures are my favorite,
They swim around in my pool.
The second chamber holds many different plants.
This chamber is filled with many terrestrial organisms.
The Très Fine Maraîchère Olesh Endive plant is one of my favorites,
These autotrophs are photosynthesizing.
These producers produce Oxygen,
This helps other living organisms.
This reaction helps all the other living organisms.
I am happy that they are a part of me.
The very top chamber is the decomposition chamber,
Many weird but interesting events happen in this chamber.
From pine cones to dead leaves,
There are many different things that are decomposing in this chamber.
But even in the decomposition chamber there is life,
I feel the sow bugs moving around the chamber inside me.
Every day this chamber continues to decompose material.
I live my life with many other living creatures,
I give life so that my own life will have a purpose.
I create life for other so that I can live on.
The three chambers make me, me.
This is my life,
The life of an eco-column.
I peacefully move through my shallow, aquatic home
My friends along side me
Suddenly a giant net sweeps through
Neither carnivore or herbivore
It’s not even biotic
It sweeps up the ceiling and furniture
My Friend next to me a few moments ago is gone
The furniture falls from the sky back into my home
Then the net is back
I can feel it behind me
I try to get away
It begins moving to the roof
I am out of my home
Unable to breath
It spits me out
I can’t move
I’m out of my habitat
Gasping for breath
A fish out of water
I can breath again
I try to swim away
I hit an invisible wall
I look around my new habitat
It has a producer
And I’m reunited with my friend
Bubbles explode from a strange pipe
When it’s taken out I can’t respirate
Water percolates down
It is rich in nutrients
Fresh from the decomposers
There is no food
I am slowly starving in this prison
I can’t escape
No matter how many times I bash into the Invisible wall.
Trapped in a tower, like a princess in silk
Awaiting a change in my course of life
I am surrounded by clear walls, a top a bed of moss
The drip drip of precipitation swallows the ground
Eventually sinking to the bottom.
A product of metamorphosis, and yet not noble winged
Striped and banded in hues of black and soft brown
Beginning as a larva in the fall
Covered in bristle like hair
Frozen till spring for 89 days
Shielded by a guard of cryoprotectant
Emerging victorious in the light greens of sun
Only to become trapped again
But this time my cage is not of my own adaptive abilities
It is a true exhibit, unbreakable, unmovable, Indestructible by my own means
The only company is that of another within
A single brethren in my chamber, but not of my descent.
So I spin and weave myself in web like fibers
A blanket of silk to suit my needs
Under the covers I will change and grow
Pupate and transform
In shape, size, and ability
I am no more
Gone are my 16 feet
Missing are my hairs
In their place soft yellow wings appear
Four to five and a half centimeters long
Light breeze of air, lift me up
Caterpillar to moth
Grounded now loft
In only less than a year.
The Tale of Francois
A light so bright I can barely see,
Down, amidst the duckweed
Tiny little legs, but I can’t even breathe,
At least not the air that my captors breathe,
I feast upon the green, the only food I’ve known
Since I was in the pond so long ago,
Back before water so cool,
Before masters so cruel,
When I could swim as far as I could go.
But can I now? No,
Not until my lungs fill,
Fill like balloons of life,
Not until I shed my tail,
Will my bondage end,
But will that day ever come to me?
Will I once again see grasses green?
To be free like all my friends?
Until I meet a natural end?
Torn to shreds by a snake?
Swallowed whole by a Heron?
Perhaps captured by a man named Cletus,
Then covered in Shake and Bake?
I am Francois and I am alive,
I am Francois and for freedom I strive,
I am Francois,
I am going to die.