Mathematics For Poets

Oscar Sparrow

Just a few times in life you meet someone a bit special. At a party during Christmas I came across a guy who made a real impression on me. He was not a corporate thruster. He was not a “get out of my way” Mister Important. He appeared to have no interest in Maserati executive cars or money. He was a little old guy, wearing a suit and looked up at folk through his eyebrows. I saw several youngsters chat and smile with him. He knew their names. He knew the names of their brothers and sisters. I wrote a poem about him. I hope the smallness of my work reflects my respect in inverse proportion.

Dr Czaykowski

His name, he said
was a common denominator
In Poland.
He was the numbers guy
swept here by War
and placed in brackets
outside the theorem’s QED.
His people too
were in…

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Mathematics For Poets

Just a few times in life you meet someone a bit special. At a party during Christmas I came across a guy who made a real impression on me. He was not a corporate thruster. He was not a “get out of my way” Mister Important. He appeared to have no interest in Maserati executive cars or money. He was a little old guy, wearing a suit and looked up at folk through his eyebrows. I saw several youngsters chat and smile with him. He knew their names. He knew the names of their brothers and sisters. I wrote a poem about him. I hope the smallness of my work reflects my respect in inverse proportion.

Dr Czaykowski

His name, he said
was a common denominator
In Poland.
He was the numbers guy
swept here by War
and placed in brackets
outside the theorem’s QED.
His people too
were in the numbers game,
marching to the one way algorithm.
Finally he could not go home
but stayed to bless
the countings of children.
No such inversion in his heart
nor in his inner tongue
subtracted by History.
Yet he lived,
smiling uncalculated
love by numbers.

The goal not taken

Today is Sunday January 8th 2012. In the UK the sun rose at 0804 hours and set at 1610 hours.  I would like to declare this day as the first day of Spring. This is not merely my own pronouncement. The blackbirds in my garden have been showering the air with black feathered minims and quavers of melody. The male pigeons have been doing the mating- fan-tail-drag-and-cooing-head-nod-circle-dance. My shaman like animal language receptors translate this as “Fancy a quickie?”

What choice was there but to go to Danebury Hill Fort and think about primitive behaviour, about short brutal pagan lives, about priests, sacrifice and  how Man City v Man Utd which was on the TV, stood as a poetic metaphor for iron age life. Personally I believe that nearly all the humans sacrificed by the druids were football referees. As I sauntered through the hillocks and earthworks, just now and then I caught an echo of a disputed offside whistle, the braying mob and the hurled slingshot of racist/tribal chant.

I am so lucky to live near Danebury which is one of the most studied hill forts in the world. I can never go there without thinking of the poetry of Robert Frost in his famous poem “The Road Not Taken” since there are several choices of pathway around the site. Here is his poem, read by the man himself.

Danebury was the inspiration for my poem “Hill Fort”. I have always been drawn to the idea of man trying to make sense of his existence with just his contemporary tools. In my own life I have thrice read Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”. In a previous life I would have read “A Brief history of Thyme” by the tribe herbalist. I did not understand either to be honest. All the same, one thing is certain – both were no more than stepping stones and the river will sweep all away until the next rock and eddy of knowledge hold us up in the transient dam of certainty.

Going back to my path through the wood and along the hill once again my mind wandered to roads taken (or not) and led me into the garbled poet-speak of fractals, of which I see everything and comprehend nothing. That’s why I’m a poet ….duh… The pictures are some random fractalgraphs and forks of possibility.