Fourth Annual Biology World Poetry Day Contest

March 21, 2024

Happy World Poetry Day!

It is our great pleasure to announce the winners of the fourth annual Biological Sciences Poetry Contest.  We would like to thank all the contributors.  This was a delightful task for the outreach and engagement committee!   

1st prize – "The Festival of Life" by Puneet Thiara (BISC Undergraduate student)
2nd prize - Water Lover by Soobin Yim (Fowler lab)
Haiku winner – “Together" by Bryce Pasqualotto (Rintoul lab)

On behalf of the Outreach and Engagement Committee congratulations to the winners!

Please read the poems below.

The Festival of Life

By Puneet Thiara

Did you hear?
They’re holding the festival of life!
And the chances you get a ticket are 1 in 400 trillion!

You can sing with a band of birds
They’ve got talent, or so I’ve heard
You can watch the Hooded Grebes’ mating dance, where the demand’s at
Though, don’t try those moves with our species, for you will be laughed at
You could view the exhibits, go wander around and view what you see fit
Though you might want to stay away from those beehives, and the edge of that cliff
They’ve got great food, just pick, rinse, and eat
But not the bright ones, or you might just bleed

Now don’t forget, this is an exclusive event
Don’t make me look bad in front of my friends
Respect the diverse cultures, from the protists to the whales
And there are still rules, you should follow without fail

Have an open heart like the molluscs
Wake up with gratitude when the birds call us
Have a backbone like the vertebrate you are
Your bioluminescence will shine brighter than the stars
Stay grounded like the trees
Don’t make fun of the crane’s knees
Don’t feel lonely when you’re in a bad position
Many microorganisms are ready to listen

Now cherish this ticket, remember your nomenclature
Sink into your innate connection with mother nature
Honor what has brought all the guests here today
The process of evolution, hip-hip hooray!
A moment of silence for the ones before us
A toast to our descendants who will adore us

While we’re at it, let’s all address the founder
The greatest success story you’ve ever encountered
Their humble beginnings still give me goosebumps
Every time I tell it, my heart jumps
One cell, one common ancestor
Was all of our biggest investor

So let us celebrate the festival of life
And the events that gave us form, fins. and flight

Water Lover

By Soobin Yim

A big gulp of ice water on a hot day;
A gentle sip of warm tea on a cold day;
Whatever day it may be,
Water is the best drink for me.

We’re lucky to have clean water whenever,
Wherever, and as much as needed… but forever?
Life we learn in biology is not constant,
But rather constantly changing, even at this instant.
How can we keep our drinking water’s biological stability
To keep all of us away from a drinking water calamity?

The tiny life revolving in our drinking water is my main curiosity.
To remove harmful microbes in water is the city’s number one responsibility;
However, sometimes resilient microbes survive even the strongest treatment.
Without proper management, their numbers will be left only to augment!

That is why, I, the Water Lover, have entered the scene
To investigate the factors that could be used to intervene,
And control the regrown microbes traveling through the pipes
To ensure the water you get at your tap can be enjoyed in all types:
Ice-cold, piping hot, even a lukewarm cup of water to be ready for you
Is what, I, the Water Lover, most importantly, hope to do.

A big scoop of water sample taken on one day;
A gentle counting of present bacterial cells on the same day;
So far, I’ve tested the controls, so I must do several other things
Like identify microbes in the drinking water community and think,
“How do the microbial communities change with nutrients over time after UV disinfection…”
… Still lots in mind, and upon gathering more data, I must do a deeper reflection.

But for now, I’ll say goodbye to you
As I have lots of research to do!
Because as you can very well see
That water is the drink for you and me!



By Bryce Pasqualotto

Old bugs within us