Featured science poem artwork
Feature Image: Himasha Perera

More science poem entries from Lifeology’s
July SciComm Challenge:

Last month, we featured some of the entries we received for the July SciComm Challenge on science poetry writing. But we received so many amazing entries that we couldn’t just stop at one blog post to feature them all! So here are some more science poem written by members of the Lifeology community, falling under the theme of ‘Mysteries of the Brain & Science‘.

Enjoy these poems submitted by Peter Ning, Raeesa Gupte & Chhavi Mathur!

Colorful Brain Cogs
“Like cogs of a machine Churning out decisions, Actions and emotions” – Raeesa Gupte

Poem 1 – The Final Frontier, Raeesa Gupte


Ravenously chugging glucose

Reciting poetry and prose

The Final Frontier

By Raeesa Gupte

Soft and squishy
Locked within a bony cage
Ravenously chugging glucose
Reciting poetry and prose 

Crafty puppet master
Controls everything I do
By tugging at the strings
Of my heart, lungs, and limbs 

Each lobe works in sync
Like cogs of a machine
Churning out decisions,
Actions and emotions 

Engrams of memory
Fade away with time
Or crackle with electricity
To retrieve the nitty-gritty 

With curious fingers
We dissect and prod
Unwrapping each fold
To reveal mysteries untold 

Behind the Scenes, from Raeesa:

I am a neuroscientist turned science communicator. I love to explore ways to make science more fun for diverse audiences. Not many people know that I am also a closet poet. Poetry has always been my catharsis, a way to process my emotions.

The Lifeology prompt of ‘mystery’ connected with both the neuroscientist and the poet within me. As someone who has studied the brain, I know that we are far from fully understanding this fascinating organ that makes us who we are. Many scientists consider a complete understanding of the brain to be the final frontier in the life sciences. With technological advances this goal seems easier to achieve, but remains just outside our reach. My very first science poem is an homage to this incredible organ – the human brain.

Jordan’s Discussion:

I really enjoyed the metaphors packed into this poem. From the brain as our crafty puppet master, to the ‘cogs’ of this neural machine churning out our every decision, action and emotion. The brain is the most intimate mystery of our lives, and Raeesa did a great job here elucidating that mystery!

Poem 2 – Mysteries of the Axon and Mr. Squid, Chhavi Mathur


“Everyone thought they knew what axons did,
Relay information coded as electricity,
Barely did they know that the trunk of a tree,
Could hide in itself more mystery.”

Mysteries of the axon and Mr. Squid

By Chhavi Mathur

Do you know how neurons work?
I think they work like a tree,
Dendrites spread their branches out.
Like the mesh of leaves all green.
Sensing the world around them,
Sunshine, wind or glutamate,
Roots run wide and deep into the soil,
As axon ends talk to other mates.
Everyone thought they knew what axons did,
Relay information coded as electricity,
Barely did they know that the trunk of a tree,
Could hide in itself more mystery.

My friends and I, we packed our our bags,
Landed in a small town in Chile,
We got into a boat, to meet Mr. Squid,
And thus, our adventures begin.
Mr. Squid was a smart man,
He could escape us if he wished,
But he decided to play along,
Because our pursuits were scientific.
We told Mr. Squid we wish to learn,
More secrets that axons hid,
He said, “Here, study my Giant Axons,
Look they are so Big!
Use them whole or squeeze axoplasm out,
See what you find indeed,
You, humans and I have much in common,
Evolution – had a chat with Darwin.”

We squeezed out the axoplasm,
And found many RNAs within,
rRNA, mRNA, even SRP RNA,
Demanded a closer look in.
We engineered RNA from a fruitfly,
It encodes a foreign membrane protein.
Injecting in squid axons, this new RNA,
We put to test our hypothesis:
‘If axons make and send proteins to its “bark”,
We will see a change, in how electric signals pass.
We held our breath and peered into the monitor screen,
Hidden in dips and peaks, there it was! A splendid discovery!
We showed, axons away from the neuron’s cell body,
Can independently make, its own membrane proteins,
We bid adieu to Mr. Squid,
Said, “We will go and tell the world.”
Mr. Squid waved his tentacles to say,
“Remember me, I am your friend, above all.”

Mysterious Squid - Photo from Will Turner on Unsplash
Mysteries of the Squid – Photo from Will Turner on Unsplash

Behind the Scenes, from Chhavi:

The poem describes the work I did during my Post-doc at NIH, USA with Dr. Miguel Homlgren:

When I was leaving the country, I wrote this poem as a goodbye gift to my boss’ daughter who at that time was ~5 years old. She would sometimes accompany us on our travels to marine labs. I wanted to let her know of what we did in those labs and how exciting it was for me plus keep it true to the science we did.

Hope you all enjoy reading the poem.

Jordan’s Discussion:

Squid have proven themselves as a great model organism for doing neurological research! They have a giant axon that helps propel themselves underwater, and this axon has been used to study brain-related phenomenon.

I appreciated the running analogy at the start of the poem, relating the brain’s dendrites to a tree’s branches, and axons to the roots. Not only is this a great poem, it’s great storytelling for the whole timeline of this research project!

Poem 3 – STEM the mystery, Peter Ning


“But you can see the beauty, appreciate the art,
Add a little logic, get to the heart.”

STEM the mystery

By Peter Ning

Science – it’s a mystery, perhaps we’ll get a clue;

Let’s look back in history, so we’ll know the job to do!

Back then it was natural and a philosophy too, [1]

Now Science is a servant for me and for you.

Science may be smart but it’s creates such a fuss;

Not really art but the upper knowledge crust!

But you can see the beauty, appreciate the art,

Add a little logic, get to the heart.

Way back when, start to STEM the tide!

A brilliant gem, tempt folks to look inside;

To take a different view, to see what’s new,

To join the dots and see how it rocks.

Listen in closer, come for the ride,

Lots of people to help and guide.

It’s no solo effort, see the different teams;

It’s working together, it’ll make your dreams.

Step by step, leverage the boulders; [2]

Step by step, standing on shoulders. [3]

Get the Tech, it’s practical too;

Get to know it through and through.

Engineer your path, appliance of Science; [4]

You can aspire, look to the giants. [5]

So do the Math, it really adds up;

Yep, there are jobs when you grow up!

Dig down deep, get to the core;

Take the leap, if you want to learn more.

Physics, Chemistry and Biology too;

Step by step, learn how to.

The climate’s changing, ensure our history, [6]

Your better understanding, solve some mystery.

Pick up the clues and sow the seeds,

Follow your passion and see where it leads!


  1. Natural philosophy; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_philosophy
  2. Archimedes, “Give me the place to stand, and I shall move the earth”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes
  3. Isaac Newton, letter to Robert Hooke; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_on_the_shoulders_of_giants
  4. Zanussi advertising slogan; http://www.quotations.link/famous-slogans/famous-slogan-60.htm
  5. “Giants of Science” children’s non-fiction series by Kathleen Krull; http://www.kathleenkrull.com/giants-of-science/
  6. Global warming; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

Behind The Scenes, from Peter:

Here is my poem; it’s about STEM, what it is and why it shouldn’t be a mystery; for undecided scientists, scientists (with hints to famous scientists) and non-scientists.

Peter Ning is a freelance writer. He writes about science, technology and creative copy to take the customer on the journey to buying a product or service. He used to be a scientist but his passion has always been words, communication and the psychology of persuasion. Peter’s journey from “nerdy to wordy” is grounded in a lifetime’s experience in science, marketing and sales. His Ph.D. in organic chemistry and Diploma in Marketing is backed up with job roles ranging from scientist, programmer, sales person, ad agency account manager and project manager.

Jordan’s Discussion:

This poem does a great job echoing famous scientific quotes & voices to highlight the history & future of science. Follow your passion for science, and solve the mysteries that will create a brighter future for us and the world we live in!

While you’re here, check out the Science Poem Challenge Winner – Maria Violaris – with her poem:
Alice and Bob: The Detectives that Don’t Exist’

Alice and Bob, by Maria Kostylew
Alice and Bob, A science poem by Maria Kostylew