Hunting Pi

A name is everything or a coat,
depending which dead man you believe.
Since they outlawed trial by dance
we flounder without nouns until
someone plays Bach and is a brief god.

I am in the coat camp. Music is naked,
art silent, porcino risotto a mute riot.
Can one alphabet clothe imagination?
Numbers are infinite, fractions impossible,
dimensions concertina our sanities.

Pi is so simple: a curved thought caught
then it’s gone, like sunlight under a wing.
We reach to pin the butterfly
but numbers’ dogged chase is doomed:
faithful to their master and the infinite end.

Pi glitters in the spinning stars, smugly measures
silicon unknowables. Not naming it
drives men mad. After a trillion decimals,
pi smiles its perfectly semicircular smile
and slopes away for the nth time.

A version of this was published in Synaesthesia Magazine in their Science and Numbers issue, December 2013.