Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Not Lost Poems

by Julia Rose Lewis, longtime Serendipian, and James Miller
May, 2017

REMEMBERING on November 9th 2017 at Picton room, Kingston


Not Lost I

the ghosts of salmon
millions of fish escaping
to swim in the sea

something like easter eggs
that he juggled not
something like testicles that
he juggled like
tinker bell her fairy lights

to miss the pewter
iolite punning and not
sleeping yet waltzing

ashes floating slowly down
the train the long pipe
that feeds the salmon alive
almost saving wild

fish stocks except the sea lice
the trespassing seals shot dead

Not Lost II

as first world a poem
as blue velvet cake because
dolphin awareness
swims through your veins like a fish
in the sea, follow
the red food coloring not
coloring the red
velvet the first day of spring

the magenta cake
my sister wanted beet root
because of cancer
vanilla and beaver tails
yellow the wish and
the swish of their castor sacs

Not Lost III

I saw the ghosts of
oysters drift away as smoke
as slivers as I
saw the body of the white
rabbit. My present
is shellfish, sand, and ashes.

Not seeding oyster-
like tumors on computed
tomography, and
the position emission

tomography    ghost,
not testing for the grey-white
pearls in the tissue.

I saw the silk inclusions
thickening the air
before the velvet to blue
to violet wish
blue with medium dark tones
Serendip is home.

Not Lost IV

My present is three,
the princes of Serendip:
mother, father, and
the one who gifted you the
jacket. Let the scarf
be a turban when in doubt.

Let the last voyage
of somebody the sailor,
author of the sot
weed factor not rolling
either. When in doubt
throw Grobstein on the table

of Sinbad and wait
for some permission to smoke.

Not Lost V

Overwhelming how
it makes me want to cry all
over an ostrich

Not Lost VI

I saw the ghost of the white
flemish giant was
two boxes of halloumi
later. I knew to
use a lighter as bottle-
opener in the
time before the zeroing
event. This time         then
the white rabbit would eat with
ease, nineteen peppers,
and you besides. The lettuce
heads under the sky.

I saw    not     clouding over
another flat white.

Not Lost VII

after 11/4/17

Holding the pattern
on the back of the oyster
shell, is the pattern
on the outside of the bear
skin.    My borrowed skin.

This forest is a grey sieve,
of mint little wish
filters, not slicing through time.

Diamond, not key
to stone animals bearing
spoons,           as shellfish skin.

Never, never, vast station
in the bay waters,
dear bear, rest if a grey sieve.

Not Lost VIII

The answer is red-
           orange as salmon roe cast
                       shadows on the ghost of her. Here is
the biologist
          developmental never
                      never embryos. Deuterostomes, t
heir central nervous
          system lies on the dorsal
                      side, protostomes on the ventral side.
As promised upside-
          down, the kitten is twisting
                      the hearts of deuterostomes always
lie on the ventral
          side. See how similar the
                      body plan can invert the mouth and
anus position.
          The abject biology
                      promises that forever we will
never get better
          at growing up and learning
                      to lie. From the heart to the head, not
losing the red year
          the lantern, the history,
                      someone else's salmon dip as well.
Sour the cream of ghosts
          anassa kata, kalo
                      kale, ia ia ia nike, bryn mawr
bryn mawr bryn mawr...

Not Lost IX

Not my sushi roll,
dear oyster toadfish swimming
foghorn-like fish. I
miss the hum of opsanus
tau, the ugly toad
lies still, and waiting for prey,
grey-black camouflaged
fins and all silent. Oyster
cracker here yellow
oh wishes brown the butter,
bar dog, bare the young
toadfish stay attached to their
yolk. They do not learn
to swim until their yolk is
translated into
energy, not lost. Learning
to swim in space? Please
trade a handstand for kissing
underwater is
choking on the father of
all oyster toadfish,
there eyes are a purple-black.

Not Lost X

When in doubt throw the
shadow of the black rabbit
on the table with
irony on irony.

When all is said and
sugar plums are not burning
but turning turning.

Bear to berries purple-black
place to Lanka to
Sihala to Lakdiva
to Serendib to
Ceylon sapphire. When in doubt
throw the ghost of the
white rabbit on the table.


Works Cited

HVTN Magazine, issue 3.1
Zeroing Event published by Zarf Poetry
The Guide to Being Bear Aware by SJ Fowler

From Serendip

"--- you don't reach Serendib by plotting a course for it. You have to set out in good faith for elsewhere and lose your bearings ... serendipitously" (John Barth, The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor)

About Serendip

Variability in Brain Function and Behavior 

A Voyage of Exploration: Find Serendip

For Our First Time Visitors 
Julia Rose Lewis
Introductory Science: Experiments in Bridging Cultures

Science and Religion, Faith and Revision: A Conversation
Kate Shiner, Anne Dalke, Ann Dixon and Paul Grobstein 

Paul Grobstein's Blog