Three datapoems – James Stone

James Stone founded to explore science and technology through visual poetry. He likes data and poetry because they pack a lot of meaning into a small space. James’ poetry can also be found in our first print issue, which is available for purchase here. 


Mercury Rising

The failure to tackle climate change is not a failure of science, but of communication. The title ‘Mercury Rising’ refers to increasing temperatures, an inhospitable planet and a messenger. It attempts to bridge the gulf of indifference surrounding climate data by combining it with an emotional appeal. Visually, the poem runs out of time and space, as we are.





Part poem, part spell, this piece uses a dead language to recall some of the species that have met their demise at the hand of man. Reciting their names may not bring them back, but it helps them live temporarily in the mind, and their names are beautiful and rhythmic.



This datapoem considers how the human era (the Anthropocene) might be remembered in the geological record. It has four stanzas, equating to four eras going back 1 billion years. Humans are an imperceptibly small layer at the top; traces of greenhouse gases and the fallout from nuclear explosions are a faint dust in the uppermost strata. Whether we will leave a more substantial record, and whether anyone will be around to uncover it, is in the balance.


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