Light Verse

The Maven

To Rafael, whose birthday gathering was held in Baltimore at Poe's Grave, and to Jill, inspiring a topic rhyming with "Lenore."
(With apologies to Poe and proper syllabic structure.)

Upon reading Jill Richardson's Huffington Post piece on sewage sludge

Once upon a midday dreary, wandering gard'ners feeling weary
Wound around to find the Big Blue Bucket Eco-Fair
They stood in line, not seeming frantic. Still one shouldn't be pedantic:
Lie on lie, of size Titanic: They called the sewage sludge: "organic"
Quoth officials: "it's organic."

Blogger, Jill said: Please beware. These buckets here, those buckets there
"Class A biosolids" squalid, are not quite clear on the brochure.
That's shit, that's sludge, that's toxic goo. Your garden might be fine with poo,
But sure as sure, it isn't pure:
Quoth the maven: it's manure

But perhaps we shouldn't all prejudge, the qualities of sewage sludge
Applied to farms and gardens from Midwest to shore.
Concerns of human health defects, a subject that by all respects,
Should trouble you no more, no more.
It's nothing like the horses Trojan; Cut your costs. And stop erosion!
Have no fear, and don't be craven; Never worry:
Just feel sure.

Don't think about it: it won't scare ya: fecal coliform bacteria
Don't cogitate on heavy metals, salmonella... all that gore.
Enteric life? We're safe, we judge: two million per one gram of sludge*
Parasitic worms, and virus? Helminth ova? Just ignore!
It's for your garden, we implore: Apply it well, do not demure.
Still: quoth the maven: "It's manure."
(And will you taste it? Are you sure?)
Quoth the maven: "It's manure."

* Government guidelines allow up to 2 million fecal colony forming units (CFU) per gram of biosolids.

Upon Consideration of the Material in Chapter 4

The alpha glycocidic bond is feeling very down,
While the beta glycocidic bond is up, about the town
And bonding glucose as they do, they form disaccharides,
And fiber, glycogen, and more (with some just for the ride).

Don't confuse the beta glucan with the beta glycocidic
(And while you're at it, make a note: the stomach's too acidic
To break the bonds of carbohydrates—cellulose or gums)
That's just the way it is, my friend: you needn't take a Tums.

You'll hydrolyze the alpha 1,4 glycocidic bonds
Just past the valve pyloric, in the small intestine pond.
And once the monosaccharides have crossed into the blood
Be sure the pancreas you've got are not some kind of dud.

The beta cells make insulin, the alpha cells make glucagon
They build and break down glycogen to make the system work!
Glycogenesis! Glycogenolysis!
Not enough glucose? Try gluconeogenesis!

Some regulate their glucose with an index that's glycemic
At least they try. (Oh my - I think the outcomes are anemic.)
And some think missing protein makes them quite hypoglycemic
And some have diabetes, and they need a daily blood prick.
Well, I'm afraid of needles (of small or wide diameter)
But some must measure sugar with a small hand-held glucometer

In the galaxy of studies for the NET, of this I'm sure:
Glucose, and galactose will never be a bore.
Fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose, sugars are a-plenty
And now you've read this rhyme so you're among the cognoscenti.

Mono-, di-, oligo-, poly: Plenty here to learn
Just thinking on the subject causes calories to burn....
And while we dream of beta bonds (unable to digest)
It seems the time to end this rhyme and give the brain a rest.