The Edge of Mathematics II

The Edge of Mathematics

The brewing storm is steady on my heels

As perfect a storm as every storm feels…

/

Its violent screaming’d put thunder to shame

As it drowns out any music it finds

It muzzles thoughts of math without gain

Crunching up souls, destroying minds

So take me t’where music ‘n mathematics meet

So from this storm I may attempt safe retreat

/

On my journey escaping tempest’s wrath

Horizons trick me into seeing hope

Yet fate’s winding road mightn’t take that path 

Instead of light it may take me to rope

So take me t’where destinies ‘n horizons meet

So certainty in futures may become complete

/

I took a path up mount’nous terrain

Maybe from a height I’d gain perspective

So I may decide if I am hero ‘r bane

And thus decide to take actions corrective

So take me t’where the light and darkness meet1

So this soul’s battering may at last be beat

/

Atop, where sky met mountain’s ledges

The blood of skies had painted such a view

Atop I stood on that plateau’s edges

To feel the end of red, the start of blue

So take me t’where the day and night meet

So removing sun would reduce rage’s heat

/

I looked beyond the cliff to light below

Suicide’s in mind, watching sunsets alone,

Rewound Russel’s ringing thoughts in tow,

Still I’ll live so more of maths be known2

So take me, take me to mathematics’ edge

To that pursuit perhaps my life I’d pledge

/

/

At logic’s border, thoughts did scramble

O Mother, I’ve spent enough time on preamble…

/

Your sorrow still grinds my heart to pieces

Your story still brings tears to bloodshot eyes3

As numbness spreads through souls’ creases

I wish you’d never birthed those lives

That then became the seal of your fate

A binding seal to one not much your mate

/

The heart that’s crushed and finely ground to dust

For poetry’s very essence is a must

But no amount of petty poetry writ

Would make me for fleeting forgiveness fit

Instead, if I flung myself to my end

Would time rewind, would mistakes amend?

I’d still dream of peace, of time undone

“For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil”4

Perhaps in nightmare’s storms we end turmoil…

/

Departing sun lead to death’s remembrance

To dreaming of another time’s semblance 

A time without noisy storms or battles

A time without me or brothers ‘n sisters

A time where mind never again rattles

A time of silence and not any listeners

Take me beyond the edge of mathematics

Beyond thought and time and such dramatics

/

/

No amount of music, no amount of rain,

No amount of tears could wash away the pain

No amount, Mamma, could make us sane

No amount of mathematics could explain…

/

Why your life was so thoroughly broken

My anger rose and hatred again awoken

I’d break before, now myself I’ll shatter too

Now I’ll make sure my life won’t matter too

From the heights of contemplation I’ll descend

Beyond the edge, finally, I see an end

So take me t’where bodies and ground meet

Take me, please, t’where life and death greet

/

But even at the end of my living

Even as I fall to death with certainty

The dust of heart still needed forgiving

The storm arrived with utmost urgency 

Asked the dust in twister’s tongue-tied knot:

“What little peace was gained when peace was sought?”

The rushing waves and rolling winds had wrought

Again those absurd thoughts that were thought:

/

“I’m sorry for everything, oh everything I’ve done”5

By ending my life no sorrow was undone

Residual hatred still remained unwrung

Spiteful speech would never be unflung

So what if some songs would remain unsung?

Dreams remained to change this time forlorn

So take me in my deathly sleep, my storm

Take me t’where the past and future are untorn

So I may fulfill my wish of being unborn

/

The clock began reversing to become right

As night became day, then again night 

And light became dark, then again light

Horizons flickered in and out of sight

As destinies unwrit would be without blight

Since mothers no longer faced fathers’ might

Children’s minds were now unscarred by fight

Undoing the mistake that allowed me to exist,

Twenty-two years past and I was undone

As parents’ potential fates no longer mixed,

Thirty-two years past and joy had come

If there’s beauty left in pi squared by a sixth

Then time rewind ‘n start again, but fixed6

/

/

  1. Inspired by Rumi’s Out Beyond Ideas
  2. A reference to a quote of Bertrand Russel: “I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics”
  3. Inspired by these lines from Iqbal’s Urfi (translated): “On the subject of love he wrote such music \ By which red tears are still available to eyes”
  4. Quoted from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To be or not to be”
  5. Quoted Imagine Dragons’ Shots, chorus
  6. Reworded the ending of In Glass and Ice, by me

THE EDGE OF MATHEMATICS

Written for my Eldest Brother’s Wedding in September of 2016

More obsessed with math, other than me, there is none
Yet here I witness the paradoxical one plus one equals one
Our family of nine is to be reborn once again
From this day forth, one family of 10
A brother of mine, for 18 years I’ve known
Now, for infinite years, yours and yours alone
So get ready to hear do-nits and pea-nits and to watch YouTube
The hilarity indescribable by numbers or shapes and cubes
May your future be as happy as today’s present
Filled with biryani and cake and chai, REPRESENT
And in this future, 1 and 1 may equal 1, or
Perhaps they will equal three or more
What numbers could I use to describe these bonds and ties?
Love is beyond where the edge of mathematics lies
So even at time’s halt, when darkness abounds, each other’s light become
Even at Earth’s end, when everything becomes wrong, each other’s right become

~Muhammad Umer Amjad

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