Fun from Mark Waldman
Did you know that our columnist Mark Waldman is also a poet? Enjoy his delightful neuroscience approach to the popular “’Twas the Night before Christmas.”
A Synaptic Season’s Greetings
’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the brain
Not a neuron was stirring; it drove me insane.
The axons were firing near dendrites of peace
In hopes that serotonin would soon be released.
My thalamus snuggled up to my pallidus globes,
While visions of brain cells danced in occipital lobes.
Then my temporal cortex recorded a clatter,
And I sprang from the bed with all my grey matter.
With claustrum-like consciousness, I flew like a flash,
And my limbic emotions turned red like a rash.
When, what to my wondering amygdala appeared
But a miniature synapse that looked like a beard.
The action potentials were lively and quick,
And I knew in a moment, it must be a trick.
So I turned down my parietals, and I became one
With shouting synapses and cerebral fun.
“Now, Cortex! Now, Gyrus! And all Glial Cells!
On, Prozac! On Zoloft! And a dose of Paxil!”
To the top of my cranium! To the top of my brain!
They dashed away depression, anxiety, and pain.
And then, in a twinkling, I felt happy and smug
From the prancing and prawling of each little drug.
My eyes—how they twinkled! My neurons turned merry!
My cheeks were like roses, I really felt cherry!
My face looked down on my little round belly,
That shook, when I laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
I was chubby and plump, like a little old elf,
And I decided right then to diet myself.
No sugar. No pasta, just veggies for me,
No burgers, no french fries, or chocolate ice cream.
I locked up the fridge and gave a loud whistle,
As my body shrank down to the size of a thistle.
Now I no longer fear the holiday bloats
’Cause my neurons evolved new myelin coats.
Then a chorus arose from my dear astrocytes:
“Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!”
A holiday greeting to all our readers and friends, From Mark Waldman and Andy Newberg © 2008 Mark Robert Waldman