Tuesday, January 3, 2012

just the two (of us)

© Barney Livingston - made available through Creative Commons

 Bill never came
I think because of ones and oughts
Don said everything's made up of ones and noughts
pluses and minuses
off and on
and so it is

what is beauty?
zero - all elegance, perfect nothingness
strings, series, random, junctions

what is life?
plus and minus - multiply at times
then divide
and integers if you like
all  that chemical attraction

C for carbon so versatile
in its pluses
H for hydrogen so sticky
Nitrogen so ambivalent
Oxygen always looking to hook up
the only sure (number-heads will say)
thing is what you can count on
the only sure way is to find
someone to count on
what is the formula?

who's there? no one?
nothing left
well of course not
will she last, poor thing,
to fetch and carry another day?
Well she better get the ones
she's caring for all lined up!


  1. oh I like this! a lot! the element stanza was so cleverly done, and the rest was written so well! the flow was great and I enjoyed reading this! nice to see it on dVerse. OT

  2. HI GAY! :D I thought this was a fun write... liked reading it a lot

  3. Gay, this is an amazing poem. I wonder sometimes myself what is life. And I think about beauty. Life and beauty have so many different meanings, but your questions are profound.

  4. nice...numbers and elements...all the things that make up life...but are they really or is it the shared experiences....

  5. Sometimes depersonalizing, making things binary is useful in dealing with bad stuff, sometimes it's a horrible burden. Life is indeed, an arbitrary arrangement of chemicals, formulae, numbers, but sometimes you can close the book and forget about it. Excellent writing here--but I bet not much fun to experience.

  6. I thought you did a good job of making light of a grave and cheerless situation. Putting it to 1 or 0, when sometimes at the end of your life, you just wonder what it was really all about ~

    A deceptively deep poem, Gay ~

  7. I had quarks and electrons in my poem today, so it was lovely to see your piece.

    Best wishes for the new year, Gay!

  8. Intense and beautiful, Gay-- I loved: what is life?
    plus and minus
    and integers if you're
    chemically attracted...

    the poem I posted before tonight's for the couplets-- think you saw it, was written about the proclivities of the abalone. I found their ejaculation of millions of eggs at one time astonishing. xxxxj

  9. Like Heaven wrote, Gay: "A deceptively deep poem..."

    And BTW, I am chemically attracted. (I did NOT write 'attractive'!)

    Well done--I think often of "...the meaning of life..." then quickly vacate my mind, and listen to the silence!


  10. Sounds like a recitation to the dark to formulate a cause for getting up and starting the next dingdong day. An addition that one always hopes is sufficiently on the side of saying Yes. (Thank God for oxygen.) A fun chalkboard exercise and fine writing, Gay. - Brendan

  11. Gay, great poem!
    so much allusion around such great ideas.
    get all your ones and noughts in order…cool.
    this is very molecular, and stretched to the real world order.

    Gosh, you did a good job on this 'one'
    and I'm 'nought' just pandering here. LOL.

  12. gay...i love this...this is my no. 2 fav of yours.. (the no. 1 the jazz piece...) - great flow and the play on 1 and 0 - fabulous..and clever

  13. hey Gay

    this has a real life of its own... exploring some interesting areas and spaces...i really enjoyed the read...Happy new year :)

  14. enjoyed this clever write Gay. nicely done! C.

  15. Fine poem - most intriguing and fun

  16. Love this:

    what is life?
    plus and minus
    and integers if you're
    chemically attracted

  17. Very much like the premise here Gay, my friend. The numbers don't add up when it comes to human emotion, that's the bottom line, isn't it? Or do they? If they are merely biochemicals exciting our cells. Science won't ever explain spirituality. Great piece for thought provocation :) Shall we talk soon about sonnets?

  18. How very clever and profound. Love it!

  19. Brilliant! The poetry, cookies and the mixed batter of math, chemistry and your creativity. Nice job!