Friday, March 11, 2011

Science: Velocity and the Periodic Table of Elements

Greetings, Science Fans!

Today we have two very over-contrived but (more or less) scientific poems for your viewing pleasure.  The first, a 5/7/5 Haiku, is all about fruit - and matters germane to it - because the March Challenge has so prompted it, in honor of Johnny Appleseed Day.  The second poem, per the actual science prompt of Big Tent Poetry, is a Ballade, and it covers the topic of one of the most popular elements on the periodic table: ununquadium.

Image courtesy of TheVeganUprising

How Fast Can A Banana Split or a Fruit Fly Fly?

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” ~Groucho Marx

The rate of speed of
fruit flies = bananas
when they do a split.


Image courtesy of Sonya Philips/Flickr

The Ballade[ium] of Ununquadium

With atomic number of one fourteen
there’s no use outside ‘the scientific.’
It also has zero – and yes, I mean -
zero stable isotopes.  Specific
things like boiling point are vaporific
(also, superheavy.)  Here’s a factoid:
Its name wasn’t really honorific
but this substance keeps scientists employed.

Its density’s unknown, so one can’t glean
that info.  But don’t get tenebrific*:
There have only been a few atoms seen
since production hasn’t been prolific
but neither has it been quite somnific*.
Ocean abundance?  N/A, ergo: void.
Crustal abundance? N/A.  (That’s ific)
but this substance keeps scientists employed.

I chose this topic ‘cause it’s not routine.
I’m no expert: I can’t be motific*.
Radioactivity’s not my scene  -
I just tried to be a bit lucific
re this element that’s so finific,
even if oxidation state’s devoid
or rather, unknown, to be specific;
still, this substance keeps scientists employed.

Ununquadium’s really pulsific*!
And with that I’ll add, I hope you enjoyed
my talk.  Hope it wasn’t soporific
since this substance keeps scientists employed.

*Vaporific - producing steam
Tenebrific – dark and gloomy
Somnific – sleep inducing
Iffic – iffy-ish.
Motific - a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work
Lucific – to bring light
Finific - A limiting element or quality
Pulsific - Makes one’s pulse race
Soporific - monotonous



  1. I am so sharing this with my teen. It amazes me that the periodic table is actually larger than when I was a kid!

  2. And your banana split was just right!

  3. Well I just learned a whole host of new words today! Your romp through the periodic table was lots of fun. :)

  4. P.S. I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you consider accepting!


  5. Periodic table never done so good :-)
    And I love bananas.

  6. Both are wonderful, RJ.
    I just love the periodic table.
    Nicely written.


  7. That banana picture is hilarious!
    I am nominating you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you consider accepting.

    If you accept, please go to the following sites:

    And for more information:

  8. Neither soporific nor pedantic...just brilliant. Love all your stuff. Vb

  9. Will you be doing one for the other 117 now? :D

  10. Well I had a great vocabulary lesson here...there are so many words...I still need to learn...thanks for the enlightenment..bkm

  11. what a clever ballade - not easy with only 2 rhymes to play with.

    Soporific is sleep inducing, and I imagine sonorific means producing sound.

    Ilove the banana haiku

  12. terrific poems, the haiku was hilarious and the ballade- how could you manage such a topic so wonderfully?


  13. Cloaked Monk - thank you! Your prompts are so thought-provoking, too - which aids in writing this 'stuff.'

  14. Anthony - thanks! I love bananas too. My family all think I'm bananas, 'though, so what does that say about me? hehe!

  15. verseinanutshell - thanks for the nomination. Wish I could take credit for the banana graphic, but alas, I just found it on the web and (errrrm!) appropriated it.

  16. Joseph - thanks! I don't know if I'll get through all of them, but I have done several elements already (most notably, Ytterbium.) ☼

  17. bkm - thanks for your kind words!!!

  18. Ooops - Viv - you were right. I copied over the wrong word. I meant somnific. Yikes!

    As my parents are wont to say, "If you're going to speak in the vernacular, don't sound like an idiot."

  19. Viv - good catch - and I just adjusted the poem to the correct word.

  20. Terrific poem: form, subject, the _ics words. A pleasure to read.

    Thanks for playing!

  21. There's something about a banana split, fruit flies and a period table that boggles the mind. Both of these are delightful reads!

  22. You never cease to WOW me, RJ! I especially like the first one...


  23. Well done and fun. Years ago, I heard a song containing all the elements in the periodic table. It was much less intricate than your ballad.