The Mathematics of Dying


The Mathematics of Dying

Always the sense of negation, of winnowing those bits you once were.

The male grackle struts and displays his tail feathers.

Everything slanting towards null, even the treetops.

The female’s smaller body lacks blue overtones.

A misread signal, the unheeded warning, ignored pain.

Counting beaks, adding wings, subtracting heartbeats.

The image I possess magnifies with age, observing protocol.

An annoyance or plague, their song grows harsher with time.

Your eleven shadows still point to the noontime sun.

* * *

“The Mathematics of Dying” is included in my mini-digital-chapbook, Interval’s Nightpublished in December 2016 and made available via free download by Platypus Press in their 2412 series.


29 thoughts on “The Mathematics of Dying

  1. I like this poem and your use of the grackle as a symbol of or harbinger of death. I read this early this am and have been thinking all day of how we use various objects, creatures or events as metaphor ( I think too much and write too little!). Different writers and even the same person will use the same thing differently at various times. This speaks to the writers current mood, I guess. In February I posted a poem using grackles but I choose to use them in an uplifting manner. Their harsh cries as they flooded the trees causes the observer to life his eyes away from the ground and his own problems and search the treetops for the joy he hears them expressing.

    Death as a diminishing? I try to view it, or the journey there, as an accumulation. Many of the things we carry would be useless or detrimental but the most, hopefully, would be enlightening and of benefit in the end. I may feel completely different tomorrow. So is life.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Leo. There’s nothing so arrogant and joyful as a male grackles display during mating season. They’re a joy to watch.

      Both death and life could be considered a diminishing, I suppose. I like your view of death as an accumulation. In the end, that’s what we are.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: The Mathematics of Dying — O at the Edges – The Spinsta Life

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