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October 2011 Zebra-fest Poetry Competition

    Simon Chanin

    Most fish freeze or swim,
    But this one's having trouble.
    Forty milligrams?
    Looks like we gave him double.
    No wonder he's upside-down.

    This tank is scary.
    I should hide on the bottom.
    Now they can't see me,
    The enormous net holders,
    Who immersed me in cocaine.

    Erratic movements.
    They increase and they decrease,
    Depending on the drug.
    A fish may dart to the left,
    Or maybe instead just freeze.

    If only they knew
    How funny they look in there
    Frantically swimming;
    It's almost as if they know
    That today we brought tricaine.

    We test zebrafish.
    We isolate them in tanks,
    Administer drugs,
    And we watch, to understand
    Psychopharmacology. D

    Tamerlan Kalueff

    A fish or Zebra question asked
    A soul or body what's important
    In dreams in thoughts in life
    Forward I swim and backward in darkness
    Truth is elusive as hiding moon behind clouds

    Dr. Allan Kalueff

    Like pure snowflakes
    that cover silently the peak
    of Slidell-Yama,
    zebrafish fall and fall down
    to the bottom of their tanks

    Naive little shy fish,
    why do you swim so fast now?
    your stripes are so pure,
    like sorrow of a child who forgot
    to put samples at -80

    Freeze, freeze, my little friend,
    Bottom of the tank will shelter
    You from all the troubles
    That you have in a real world.
    I wish you can see sunshine...

    John Chung

    We're Danio Rerio in Kalueff lab.
    Here we get drugs with no bag.
    Free coke, LSD and X.
    No Tweak Mission needed.

    But there's not much privacy here.
    With video cams and Noldus running.
    Not to mention that you're touching me.
    Take your fingers off me please.

    Acute caffeine/morphine treatment,
    Works every-time just like for humans.
    All of a sudden, life treats nicely -
    May the Honeymoon last forever.

    Chronic ethanol and diazepam.
    Tragic withdrawal agonies come.
    Erratic movements because of stress.
    Let me return to where I belong.

    Sid's dissolving white powder.
    Pouring in a little beaker.
    Tricaine, must be like cocaine.
    Paradise, here it comes. F

    Andrew Freeman

    Inside the tube
    The homogenizer's harangue
    solid fish to murky paste
    We dilute the contents
    To distill their meaning

    Joseph Enriquez

    One day while walking by some trees,
    A zebrafish asked me for some cheese.
    I walked on by without a word,
    Zebrafish can’t talk, you silly bird!

    I later bought a novel tank,
    And found the same zebrafish at the bank.
    Suddenly, I knew what his words had meant,
    I forgot to wear gloves in the LSD experiment.

    Sidarth Bagawandoss

    Zebrafish oh zebrafish how cute you are
    I think about you all the time while at the bar
    With your tiny stripes and bulging eyes
    You stare back at me admiring my large size

    Then I drop the tape and you scatter
    While I record your movements, you begin to chatter
    What is it I ask and you lean close to the glass
    And you reply, just let me last!

    Andrew Freeman

    Swimming in repose
    The pippete descends with haste
    Seized by unyielding surprise
    PCP is no red bull

     What can a fish tell you?
    A fish cannot help but speak it's mind,
    He is so honest, the crudest of rhetoricians,
    Sworn to a candid cause of science.

    To foretell the fortunes of fate, he cannot feign immunity or impassiveness.
    So sucsceptible, so harmless,
    Yet all demigods for the preservation of knowledge--insatiable and alluring.
    "They are kind of cute, too."

    Mohamed El-Ounsi

    Whether up or down
    Close together or apart
    Shoaling data’s used
    To determine behaviors
    Sometimes they blend together

    Keen eyes will detect
    When they are being type shy
    Penicillin pills
    Or give psychoactive drugs
    Behaviors reveal the truths

    Ari Davis 

    Oh, long live ZNP!
    You are mighty as can be
    Zebrafish bible
    We praise you all day and night
    Please share your secrets with us

    Evan Kyzar

    Different zebrafish,
    Or just my own reflection?
    I really don’t care
    I will attack regardless
    Alas! He attacked as well

    Andrew Roth

    For these shallow seas
    I left my Cyprinidae 
    Infinite abyss
    suddenly stranded in glass 
    Sweet silence of the ocean

    Stiffled by buzzing
    Bustling zebrafish swim
    Their fins sway and swarm
    Though safe in this shiney cell
    Sanctuary is the Ganges 

    Christopher Collins 

    LSD or peyote?
    No thanks, not today.
    How bout’ a little cocaine?
    Not today, I’m the control.

    Some picrotoxin?
    I hear that’s bad for your brain….
    So pass on that too.
    Well what do you want to do?
    I’m gunna go shoal with friends.

    Siddharth Gaikwad

    Only if they understood my need
    They would be bathing me in weed
    Instead they give me speed
    They get me high on LSD
    Floating at the top of the tank
    While some of my fellows try to bank

    They try to test my memory
    By serving me food that's savory
    Hoping to improve it with piracetam
    I think its all a sham

    They skin other fish
    By putting them in a dish
    Extracting alarm pheromone
    Trying to rattle my bones

    Simon Chanin

    This small, striped creature may not feature in science textbooks yet,
    But in the tank, web-cam at flank, and when they're fleeing from the net,
    We mainly catch them and dispatch them, but it's not to our regret,
    It's not in vain, it's for the train (of science), that their dismal end is met.

    The first fish, control, is rather droll, and quickly starts to freeze.
    The next, group B, with LSD, explores the top with ease. 
    The ketamine group, who swim in a loop, make circles as they please.
    And that's how we study our zebrafish buddy for stress and anxieties.

    Dr Allan Kalueff

    To ZNP, or not to ZNP? - this question
    is the one that often must be asked -
    And whether the dillema's even taugher,
    Do not allow users' minds to suffer:

    Upload data, to avoid transgression -
    Meandering of outrageous fortune,
    that zebrafish so graciously show
    Or to use "Noldus" to record the fish 3D -
    Reducing bottom preference and freezing,
    To stop, and move erratically - forward, free...

    (Do not lose your ZEBRA within your fish...)
    Tamerlan Kalueff

    I dream of Africa beloved
    Of Grasslands free and rivers full....
    But locked within a cursed cube
    My life is miserably dull

    And even though my soul is free
    Was born a ZEBRA strong and proud
    The  cruel truth -   I am  fish
    With funny scientists around

    Andrew Freeman

    There once lived a fish, danio rerio,
    A seminal to the Train of Science,
    His chances of life were very low 
    Next to his merit in statistical reliance.

    He spends his days with his neighborly friends, 
    awaiting his glorious trial,
    To swim in the maelstrom of mescaline's attend, 
    if he had a real face he would smile.

    Endocrine stress response
    The Dive tank Seance
    Stimuli exposure,
    Will we ever have closure?

    the fish they start to faint
    As certainty abates
    The underwater gems
    get to do it all again.

    Andrew Freeman

    The tranquil A-control
    Watching group B is quite droll
    Play with the dosage
    C - erratic and spazzing,
    No survivors get to mingle

    Louie Monnig

    Oh zebra fish flowing so fluid and free,
    Of thy slick fins these eyes long to see.
    Through the novel tank you do glide, little swimmer,
    How you swim to the top and those navy stripes do glimmer.

    With your puckered mouth directed toward the sun,
    Danio rerio, my love for you is a pure one.
    Twas my first time DCM, that sterile yet romantic land,
    Why bad things happen to good fish, I will never understand.

    It saddens me with how I must proceed,
    Of my warning, please, little fish, heed.
    Dr. Kalueff wants me to euthanize you,
    Give you drugs like LSD, reserpine, and psilocybin too.

    The plan is to remove your brain for further study,
    Then grind up your body as well, little buddy.
    Why is this world so cruel I do ask?
    How can I partake in this horrible task?

    I love you, my dear fishy, you do know this
    That body, those stripes, our time together I will miss.

    Nicholas Capezio

    Around and around and around they swim,
    Where’ll they stop, and where’ll they begin?
    Stop and shake and erratically move
    Freeze top, freeze bottom- oh wait- he bottom swims too

    We watch and sit and try to spy
    What lies inside of their little mind’s eye
    Seemingly normal until some patterns diverge
    Not up nor down but rather- freezing is observed

    Through this we can now see,
    That their mind’s eye is not free.
    For instead their head has been hampered and fed
    A mescaline treated environment is his that he tread

    The fish is alarmed and he moves without reservations
    The tension is built through erratic gesticulations
    Upon tricaine, the data reveals most conclusively
    Cortisol levels are spiked- having been affected notably.

    We enter it in- through software designed
    to allow others to replicate what we find.
    A community of science is one that is revealed
    Free-flowing knowledge ensures no one to yield.

    All of this must be of great importance to thee
    For all we care is the truth that be.

    Evermore we persist in attempting to see
    To observe a mind’s eye is a remarkable thing
    While not holy nor forever- but with great technology
    we continue to discover- the future we shall bring.

    Mohamed El-Ounsi

    Some things are tedious, some things are straight
    But truthfully there can never be a debate
    Brain dissections and cortisol extractions
    Provide us with the answers and definitions

    The fish are scared, the fish are frightened
    But all of our excitement is only heightened
    Collecting and analyzing data is too intriguing
    Providing the knowledge we all are seekings

    Ari Davis

    Whether wild type, leopard, albino, or longfin
    These fish prove valuable friends who love to swim
    Even though we did just pump you full with Tricaine
    Don’t worry zebrafish, your loss won’t be in vain

    Zebrafish, you look so good to eat
    But at the size of a minnow it would be a light treat
    And with LSD in your system from the drip
    I don’t want to risk the trip.

    Evan Kyzar

    Erratic swimming
    Corkscrew movements and seizures
    I need more drugs now
    Though I am only a fish
    I am jonesing for morphine

    Jeremy Green

    I am a fish on LSD.
    The colors and shapes, what’s happening to me?
    Day in and day out they give me drugs.
    I prefer the ecstasy and to give fish hugs!

    I know my addictions are evil and ill
    But drinking Psilocybin is such a thrill!
    One day I’m sure the Tricaine awaits,
    To leave my fish body in a lifeless state.
    But until that day comes I will drink like a fish,
    To trip everyday is my dying wish!

    Andrew Roth

    A veteran of the seasoned tank, 
    I veer straight for the student's net. 
    Opiates, stimulants, and depressants, 
    which pattern will I weave this time?
    Only psilocybin could shape these billowing clouds,
    Colors that drape all around. 
    A sweet serenade as my luck comes to an end,
    The sedative slowly rocks me to sleep. 

    Christopher Collins

    Zebrafish Zebrafish, drugs go into water with a swish,
    Everything you’ll find in this lab cept’ a Petri dish,
    Because we want to suppress this (our) stress, I guess.
    Reboot the computer, NOLDUS crashed, I profess.
    At the end of this day I still like this fish, yes.

    Freezing bouts and bottom preference shouts,
    It’s anxiety, for that I have few doubts.
    Swim swim swim swim.
    Here comes the grim, as Fishy’s lights dim

    Siddharth Gaikwad

    Swimming round and round
    Never drifting or freezing
    Don't stop zebrafish
    Are you tired and weary?
    Or craving more ketamine?

    Calm the zebrafish
    Swimming in its fragile home
    Free from desires
    Its mind is a mystery
    Its life, pharmaceuticals

    Jeremy Green

    I’m a zebrafish
    Swimmer of the novel tank
    I like many drugs
    They make me see crazy things
    Who are these people watching

    They call me zebra
    I prefer to go by carl
    These people watch me
    Waiting to see what I do              
    I, sir, am not the walrus