Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons plays in the background
at Peet’s Coffee and Tea
where I glance over the shoulder of a stranger
at line upon line of mathematical formulae.
Elegant numbers, letters and symbols
fill his computer’s glowing screen,
some enclosed in their protective shells of parentheses.
I say to him that they look intimidating
but he tells me that to him they are art
more beautiful than the Mona Lisa,
more spiritual than the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
I cannot dispute his claim
and I try to imagine that I am looking
at the complex equation that explains
life’s place in the universe
where Epsilon represents the axial tilt of The Earth,
Lambda, the cosmological constant,
Phi, the golden ratio of art,
Theta, the passage of time,
Sigma, the sum of all things.
The pizzicato notes of The Winter Concerto
call to mind the sound of the rain
as it strikes the window and freezes,
at the tempo of both Allegro and Omega.
- David Jibson
(originally published in Third Wednesday, Spring 2014)