Slow fern uncurling
one two three five eight thirteen
Fibonacci green

P.S. Cottier

I am innumerate, but there is a poem about patterns in mathematics reflected (or enacted) in living things.

Next week I promise you a poem about algorithms.*

*The word ‘promise’ is written with fingers crossed. That makes typing difficult.

Click this feather, which no doubt can be read in a mathematical way, and see what the more punctual Tuesday Poets have been doing:
Tuesday Poem


Adding up was one thing, boring as thick porridge,
each sum a trial rather than a triumph, but I could
do it, just, stir that numbered pot, when teacher-cook
required us to follow her bland, lumpy recipe.

Once spicy symbols joined the foul stew, however,
I was forever lost. Mathematics was a language
alien to my brain, slipping off unformed synapses
like bald car tyres on slick roads. I crashed out.

I comforted myself with the appearance
of her pimpled acolytes; thick glasses flashing
as they squealed their joy at piggy feasts of number.
I was vegetarian amongst eaters of formulaic flesh.

I still am. My brain is one-sided, and it walks like a sailor
who has lost his wooden leg, but can’t read the compass
to save his limp, to save his salty soul. But so what?
My mathy albatross still stinks — and I’ve sailed different seas.

P.S. Cottier


This poem appeared recently in The Canberra Times. Unfortunately, the first word was inadvertently removed, which made the whole poem a little difficult to understand. I thought I’d post it here in its uncropped form.

For more poetry, press this feather, and read the work of other Tuesday Poets:
Tuesday Poem