The teacher discusses theoretical
and practical applications
of mathematics, the value
of finding X and Y in the daily
mechanizations of life,
whether it be calculating change
from 100 shekels, or figuring
time and distance for daily travels.

The students in this class
are not yet advanced enough
to contemplate more complex
concepts such as trajectory of flying
objects and variables such
as drag, weight, thrust and velocity,
or the intricacies of the Gurney equations
which determine how fast fragments
in an explosive device accelerate.

Neither have the developed the cognitive
ability to understand the human
variables involved in political
calculations. They are ignorant
of the thought process which
ends in the decision to store
weapons of war in the basement
of their school, nor can they
comprehend the necessity
of destroying those same weapons,
or the assessment of the loss
of political standing resulting from
collateral damage.

But they are learning.


Filed under Poetry

13 responses to “Calculations

  1. The next generation starts now.

  2. Well I hope so, for the children and grand children who will inherit the earth ~

  3. Great title for this post and a very intelligent use of the concept of calculations. Really enjoyed how ‘smart’ this is and the last line is powerful and can be read in more than one way, which I like!

  4. Math was never my forte’, but numbers of weapons amassed and the staggering numbers of lives that could be destroyed are a sad lesson to be learned indeed. And for a child to lose their innocence among such ‘numbers’ is the saddest part of all. Your words definitely bring that lesson home.

  5. A distant place of truth school can be..when the human being core is never learned in hear of being..ever heard in herd of NOW..:)!..smiles and have a great rest of the night..and the rest of this dVerse adventure!tonight!

  6. I am reading “some of what I write is true” — well all of this is true, chilling, disturbing, uncivilized, unholy, evil and it breaks the human spirit of those who survive.

  7. This is surreal–to think how such innocent calculations can evolve into such destruction. The final line is shattering. A powerful poem, Mark, in a very objective voice that delivers a punch.

  8. Is this an oblique reference to Gaza where weapons are stored near hospitals and schools? There are no rules of war…just enforced horror.

  9. Ash

    Sarcastic yet optimistic. A multiflavored poetry in such simple way. Wonderful

  10. Wow, Mark! Your poem is a powerhouse! They are learning indeed. A lesson they wish they hadn’t had to learn. A lesson I wish they hadn’t had to learn. Horrific.

  11. Sadly, we all have our Masters in such things these days….well done……

  12. “But they are learning.” Nice ending to a great piece.


Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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