Anne Osbourn 11 June 2006

What am I?
Fingers, hands, arms,
feet, legs, torso;
the spines of a star
crossing the core.

I hold my palm to the light.
It glows a bloody sunset.
Fleeting corpuscles
safely contained in their
high-pressure vessels.

Oxygen traces the
upside-down tree
and slips across into the warm river,
colour changing blue to red.

The scent of mock orange.

rods and cones.
Light becomes chemicals,
neurones flash starbursts.

The brain reads the electric braille.
The brain sees.

It sees you.

Related information

© Anne Osbourn 2006. This is one of the pieces of poetry from an upcoming collection entitled Looking Up.

Dr. Anne Osbourn leads a research team at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, studying the molecular basis of plant disease and defense. You can read more about her research here.

She was also awarded a NESTA fellowship to engage children with science via poetry.