Today, a poem in three parts, "Trouble with Numbers" -- from the collection Mathematics and Other Poems by William Wall.
Trouble with Numbers by William Wall
We have put our faith in the man
(& the first words were
bisher war alles in ordnung)
The universe is his plan.
Only four men understand it
& so far there have been no women.
The trouble with numbers is
that there are so many of them,
an infinite variety of endings.
the number of ice
The number of the ice crystal is 6
the hard-edged, hard-nosed hexagon.
But the language of ice is domestic --
needles & flakes & blankets.
All the prismatic clarity of numerals
culminates in the snow-verb
to flocculate & then we have snow.
vertigo & wordprocessor
My words fall in
like fragmentation bombs
among the noughts & ones.
I worry about
what they will become
when all is said & done,
the rioting electrons.
William Wall is an Irish poet and novelist. His latest book is Ghost Estate (Salmon Poetry, 2011).