Queen of Diamonds: A Tale of Two Dinosaurs


Queen of Diamonds showing a stegosaurusThis dinosaur’s preserved for all to see,
so you and I can tell how life got wings.
That dinosaur’s preserved in you and me;
its atoms passed the years in living things.

“This dinosaur the fossil represents,
has lasted so much longer than I will,”
that dinosaur (in human shape) laments
while cleaning off a bone upon a hill.

This dinosaur’s remains lay still through eras
to show us that its kin were once alive.
That dinosaur’s remains run through chimeras
though consciousness of neither can survive.

This dinosaur thinks nothing in its head.
That dinosaur as well will soon be dead.

 

Yesterday I went on a fairly spontaneous trip to the Jura with some friends. We parked the car in a Jurassic park, and saw some dinosaur tracks; not too surprising, I suppose, since the Jurassic period was named after this region. I’ve hastily put up a few unedited, barely-viewed photographs; you can read more about what’s in them at the dinoplagne site.

Anyway, a friend said something about her remains not lasting that long, and it occurred to me that if everything were fossilised there’d be nothing left to make new things with, and we were actually made of atoms that had been in dinosaurs. I didn’t think that was necessarily good enough to write about, but I still hadn’t come up with a better idea by this evening. In search of a better idea, I looked at last cycle’s Queen of diamonds (which I think is better than this one, although it’s a little weird) and was reminded that there’s such a thing as a sonnet, and they only take 14 lines and have plenty of structure to help the uninspired writer fill them in. So I wrote this first draft of a sonnet about dinosaurs. Oddly enough, odd-numbered lines in odd-numbered stanzas, and both lines of the final couplet, start with spondees instead of iambs, or at least that’s they way they should be read.

Next Saturday Marian Call will play a concert at CERN, and people are coming from all over to see the concert and CERN. She’ll also play at Google in Zürich the night before, where I’ll catch up with some of my sea monkey friends and probably get Marian to choose which King of Diamonds I write about.

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