McCown UC Berkeley Archaeobotany Laboratory

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Poems

Haikus
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Japanese Haikus
A haiku combines form, content, and language in a meaningful, yet compact form. The three-line stanzas of haikus adhere to a meter of five syllables, then seven syllables, and finally five syllables.

Laboratory Poems

Prepping for the feast
Guava, chile, everywhere
Who pooped over here?

Composting indoors
Plant remains become plant food.
Nothing goes to waste.

The Quiroste tribe
Did they burn the land often?
They probably did.

Long dissertation
Di Hu and Pomacocha
All good things end.

Nilestun natives
On the river eating food
They're not just fishing.

An aging table
High stochasticity
Lower return rate.

Mexican 'quitles
Dogs are not on the menu
Cat distances the guests.

I love phytoliths
Ev'n 'though my dad tried his best
Plant glass ground him down

Dung analysis
Taken to the next level:
Munsell book of smell

Day of the burst pipe
Hot water scalding my heart
Despair drips on scope

Clank of dinner plates
Night of archybotany
Sound of scholarship

We of the lab are
Gathered food, wine, learning, wait
Who just ate my seeds?

Quiroste is cool
All the time plants make me drool
When’s our next dinner?

Scrub jars tighten lids
All day long peeling peaches
Winter’s summer glow

Motes slide across glass
My nose twitches, then achoo…
No more dust to sort

Seed in the bristles
Twist it into the gel cap
Label correctly

Delicious creamed corn
Sweet potatoes are divine
Spilled them on my shirt

Suspended sweetly
Pirouetting phytoliths
A new camera

Something to think on
If Di were microscopic
She’d knap phytoliths

Weedy state of mind.
Weeds are just plants out of place.
What plants do I see?

Need a good clean shave?
Check out these copper tweezers
They’re rough but they work.

All day I am pulling
unidentifiables
I will not count them.

I’m sorry I sneezed
My nose was very itchy
A torrent of seeds

I’m sorry I sneezed
My nose was very itchy
Get out of my lab

The views of nature
All day at the microscope
So grand yet so small

Chipotle pepper
Sweet potato, quinoa
Ends in happiness

Isotope data
How big is two parts per mil?
The dirty secret

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