Ode to the Redlip Blenny

Oh strange fish, whose
Phylogeography baffles me so.
How did you traverse the Atlantic?
I thought you were Brazilian –
O. trinitatis, I called you –
But when I tested your DNA, I
Learned that you came from the East!
Everyone was amazed when I told them;
Nobody had anticipated such a result!
Never again will I make the mistake of
Inferring conclusions before obtaining results and
Underestimating the surprises of academia.
Science truly is incredible!


I think an explanation is due here. Apparently, in the final weeks leading up to my Master’s thesis defense, the only thing that was on my mind anymore was the reef fish I had been studying for almost two years. Its common name is the redlip blenny, but I mostly referred to it by its genus name, Ophioblennius. Well, now that my project is done and my thesis has been defended, I thought it fitting to see my fish off with a poem! Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

Summer Games

Over the city of Rio, there’s excitement in the air!
Let the games begin!
Years of training have led to this one
Month of fierce competitions and amazing victories, when
People all around the world gather to enjoy this
International commemoration of sportsmanship.
Celebrate the world’s athletic diversity at the
Summer Olympic Games of 2016!

Land of the Free

I so love my great
Nation, a land of
Dreams, hopes, and
Everlasting liberty.
Patriotism abounds in
Every citizen’s heart as
New opportunities
Drive the spirit of
Embracing a better life.
Now we gather together to
Celebrate the day we
Earned our freedom!

Dearest country of mine,
America the Beautiful,
You are my true home!


Happy Independence Day to all my fellow American friends and family! May you all have a blessed Fourth of July weekend!

One Simple Request

Listen, my darling, to this
One simple request, from my
Vulnerable heart to yours,
Every day from now to forever.

My devotion to you is as
Everlasting as the stars in the heavens.

Free me from this
Overwhelming doubt.
Reveal your true feelings,
Else my faith in love may
Vanish indefinitely.
Eternal love of mine, please
Reciprocate my undying passion!

Secret Flower

(What If? Exercise: Read the description here.)

Samantha had chosen her favorite flower when she was young.

Unfortunately, none of the boys knew what it was.

Nobody ever gave her the flowers she wanted.

From roses to lilies, they always missed.

Lenny finally thought to ask her.

Overjoyed, Samantha shared her secret.

Whispered in his ear.

Embarrassed, he grinned.

Ridiculously obvious.

Sunflowers.


This piece is based on What If? Exercise 93: “Ten to One”. The exercise is to write a 55-word story in which the first sentence has ten words, the second has nine, etc., until the last sentence has only one word. The objective is to show that precision and thrift in writing can produce surprisingly powerful results. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. Thanks for reading!

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