In one cave of my memory I am still in the chapel,
someone is playing ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’
from somewhere out of sight. As endless as the flow of numbers
the melody rides over the student’s rough notes. The song
stronger for all the stumbles. As when men searched
for the music of the spheres in the harmony of numbers,
and discovered instead the erratic procession of the primes.
Unpredictable, even when Reimann tied them to his infinite spiral
of zeta function zeros—both so rational and so wild.
For that is maths: metaphor with the electricity of proof.
And that is mystery: it is not the ‘profound’, it is not complexity,
nor concision, instead it is the infinitely fertile.
For I would defend the mystical without myself the mystic’s vision:
look in the end at the nothing that has given us all eyes
and see not nothing, but the end of our perception.
From the nothing that has given us limbs, swim, run, fly
to a world, real and wonderful and worth discovering,
a lapsing tune, skipping its notes, over and again.