DRAFT: Natural Numbers


Natural Numbers

One is the instant,
part and parcel of the original.

Look, your open hand
contains all; close it,

and find infinity. God created
the natural numbers, patterns

within patterns within patterns,
shaping order. Look closely

and see wheels spinning
in sequence, drafting through

each other’s space and wind,
star matter, numbers

inside numbers, within others.
Two is the breathing, the in

and out, the pulsing, our tides
responding, a kiss, the moon’s demise

and rebirth. What rings truer
than not knowing? The cycle of

sunrise, noon and sunset gives us
Three, ever continuing, for who

defines beginnings? But what
of tomorrow? I have heard your

reply though no words were voiced,
following, as always, no matter the

result, the end. We are the
seasons. The continuum. The natural.

This is in response to a challenge issued by my friend Ron Evans, who asked me to produce a poem using three paragraphs from Dan Rockmore’s Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis: The Quest to Find the Hidden Law of Prime Natural Numbers. A few of the phrases were lifted verbatim from the selected paragraphs. This is just a draft, and the finished product may be quite different, but hey, it’s a beginning.


45 thoughts on “DRAFT: Natural Numbers

  1. We use numbers and words to communicate and among other things, understand the world around us. Why should the universe care whether we understand it or not?

    So my response to your question is, no numbers would not exist without us because its a human invention.

    In the same vein, there is no time either. It is another human measuring system to understand the universe and a way to organize our modern lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your poem. It reminds me of one by R. Suleiman that I posted on my blog. To my ears, Natural Numbers has the same sweeping rhythms of the ocean and sense of timelessness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My thanks to Ron for the little prod which prompted this. Schoolmath was misery, only as an adult did I thankfully discover the beauty and magic of numbers. I look forward to watching this piece evolve like an elegant equarion, it’s quite lovely in it’s beginnings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i like this one so much. your writing is really good as usual, i’m at loss of words! and you work best with simple concepts and stuffs you see day-to-day, really. although i have probably said that 2-3 times. i really admire you for that. good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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