Nature of life Two


21 Checkmate

22 Christopher deals with rational reality

23 Clock face

24 Code of conduct

25 Con vivo

26 Consumer of thought

27 Conversation with a lazy gardener

28 Dance of the old man

29 Dangerous emotions

30 Ded leaf

31 Deep thinking






14 September NoL 0.7


Every time I move

the game changes.

Sometimes insignifically

it seems.

sometimes disastrously

by the looks of it.

Sometimes advantageously,

one can hope.

Of course my opponent is Black,

the Shadow itself,

the Lack of Life,

the Unseen Opponent of Consciousness.

Every time I move,

I advance

into Black’s territory,

intent on slaying him,

and I know that I will be successful,

I am going to kill the King.

But then the game is over.



16 March 2010 0.4

Christopher deals with rational reality     NoL

From early in the morning,

ever since he had woken up,

Christopher had been wrestling

with the brashness of life.

It felt rather uncomfortable

having bristly topics

constantly brushing up to him.

He tried to alleviate the excoriating effect

of this brisk attack

on his peace of mind

by inviting soothing thoughts

of his own choosing

into the lounge of his mind.

They were, however, continuously drowned out

by the blatant pronouncements

of the brashness of life.

In the end, tiring of the imposition.

he turned brash himself.

He lined up the rash topics

and numbered them each

with an irrational number.

Then he called them up, one by one,

to present their case.

Not one stepped forward, though,

not being able to understand their number,

not knowing what it meant.

Irrational number

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Irrational Numbers

An Irrational Number is a real number that cannot be written as a simple fraction.

Irrational means not Rational

Rational Numbers

A Rational Number can be written as a Ratio of two integers (ie a simple fraction).

Example: 1.5 is rational, because it can be written as the ratio 3/2

Example: 7 is rational, because it can be written as the ratio 7/1

Example 0.317 is rational, because it can be written as the ratio 317/1000


Irrational Numbers

But some numbers cannot be written as a ratio of two integers …

…they are called Irrational Numbers.

In mathematics, an irrational number is any real number which cannot be expressed as a fraction m/n, where m and n are integers, with n non-zero and is therefore not a rational number. Informally, this means that an irrational number cannot be represented as a simple fraction. It can be proven that irrational numbers are precisely those real numbers that cannot be represented as terminating or repeating decimals, although mathematicians do not take that to be the definition. As a consequence of Cantor’s proof that the real numbers are uncountable (and the rationals countable) it follows that almost all real numbers are irrational.[1] Perhaps the best-known irrational numbers are π, e and √2.[2][3][4]



13 June 2008 1.2

Clock face

Her face tells the time,

the seconds of childhood

playing in the corners

of her mouth.

The regular minutes

of school

scurry out of the way

to make room

for the hours of motherhood.

Pages of the days

flick over

sometimes with an angry jerk,

sometimes with painful torpor.

Weeks weave into each other,

plaiting a life

of months

with all the tones

of a symphony being written.

The years return

one by one,

starting at twelve o’clock




8 October 2012 NoL -0.2

Code of conduct

My father and mother

are very much alive

in my memory,

and I remember

both my grandmothers

and one grandfather.

My one great-grandfather

had, slightly unusually,

the same surname as I have,

or should I say, I have the same surname

he still has, although

he does not live on the same plane

as you and I do.

My great-grandfather had parents

and they, too, had parents,

and as you move back in time

you find that most of my genetic make-up

is from Europe,

although there may be some code

picked up recently in Africa.

Keep tracing back from Europe

and you eventually find yourself

in North Africa,

further and further back,

and you find my genetic code

scattered over the Sub-Sahara;

even farther south

to where I now sit,

from where I now send my thoughts

hunting for my earliest selves.

I am put together

with bits from all of you,

we are all made of each other.

Let us not hurt ourselves,

let other be each other.



8 August 2010 NoL 0.8

Con vivo

The young man’s tongue

has enormous resources

at its beck and call.

Firstly, it is athletically able

to shape, reshape and posture

in ways which

cause sounds of his language

to emerge from the young man’s mouth.

Then it has access

to the thinking of the Greek poet

who thought his resounding verses

many centuries ago.

It shares the the ideas of scientists

who delicately probe apart

babushka quarks to find

the little persons inside,

and of those who trace

the helices of chromosomes

to understand the cranky body.

It can repeat the words

of moving music,

the tiny hand that is frozen,

the plea not to be left alone.

And then it can come up

with something completely new,

something that even surprises itself:

I am a conductor 

I create the being

that is the man.



17 March 2009 2.5

Consumer of thought

The man isn’t a monk,

he is an ordinary consumer

of spam, liver spread and jam.

He is accosting the question

of whether meditation

can be taken like medication.

On the one hand, he feels,

herding the mind into a narrow channel,

serves to push that herd of cattle

splashing through a dip,

leaving behind numerous ticks

and other unwelcome freeloaders.

In the ordinary man’s estimation,

that certainly is a form of meditation.

If, on the other hand,

thoughts are free to graze,

spreading across the land,

they may stumble upon

a more varied range of subjects:

sweet, short, green grass,

a salty patch on a rock,

curved horns on a weather-worn skull.

The man comes to this conclusion then:

I am, and like all other entities

will one day turn into spam.




Conversation with a lazy gardener

Rain sat down

and we had a conversation.

There are more weeds

in your garden

than vegetables or flowers.

I know,

but weeds are plants

and don’t they have the right

to grow?

Yes, they have,

and I encourage them

to do so.

But what use

are they to you?

I like to see

living things,

it reminds me.

that I am one of them.

Rain nodded

and became quieter and quieter;


a sunny smile broke through

and it left.



7 March 2010 1.4

Dance of the old man         NoL

Clouds in white clothing

smilingly allow the sunlight to pass;

it needs to meet the grass,

the trees, to introduce

their throbbing green

to the my eyes.

Day, you are youthful;

I am older,

but we share,

we share the joy of being here.

My hand touches the east,

my hand touches the west;

I turn and feel the north

between my fingers,

south tickling my palm.

I bend, I straighten,

I move my feet

over the warm earth,

the living, teeming soil;

my feet lift and land

to caress the sand,

to feel the loam,

to meet the sweating mud.

My feet are made of clay.




Dangerous emotions

He moved into

unfamiliar terrain:

human emotions,


and the word “love”

that was ubiquitous

like telephone poles

along the road.

He kept the car’s windows closed,

wary of intrusions

by friendships,

familiarity, trust, admiration,

and above all “love”.

Once he was almost brought

to a standstill

by a little girl standing

in the middle of the road,

looking at him,

but he managed to drive

around her

and continued

past the blurred telephone poles

with their red markings.

At last he reached

his electric gate

and let himself in.

The house was quiet,

undisturbed by anybody.

He sat down at his computer desk.

For some reason he could not get

the little girl out of his mind.

He wondered whether she was still standing there.


6 January 2014.     NoL 2.2

Ded leaf

There is very little sound

In the building.

Something breaks,

there is a snap

And a soft crash.

A whole section is missing,

broken down, carried away;

here and there

a piece of framework

Juts out into the still air.

The passages are empty,

The huge central one

echoes with sounds

of demolishment

coming from side passages.

The rooms are empty,

there is no activity

except where some figures

are smashing down

the remaining structures,

breaking through walls.

Once sugars

and other organic compounds

were produced here.

Everything smelled of the sweetness

of fructose

and delightful esters.

Graffiti on a dirty wall:

We have fallen my friens

We have fallen

And Luccifer with us

Now hes just a Laaitie

Like us 


Doie Blaar

Daar is amper geen geluide

in die gebou nie.

Iets breek,

‘n kraakgeluid

iets val.

‘n Hele afdeling is weg,

afgebreek, weggedra;

hier en daar

steek ‘n stuk raamwerk

uit in die stil lug.

Die gange is leeg,

die groot sentrale een

weergalm met geluide

van afbreking

uit die sygange.

Die vertrekke is leeg,

daar is geen bedrywigheid nie,

behalwe waar ‘n paar figure

besig is om die oorblywende struktuur

weg te skeur

en deur mure te breek.

Voorheen is hier suikers

En ander organiese stowwe vervaardig.

Alles het die soet reuk gehad

van fruktose

en heerlike esters.

Graffiti op ‘n vuil muur:

Ons het geval manne

Ons het geval

En Losifer met ons

Nous hy net ‘n laaitie

Soos ons




Deep thinking

This is a submarine

in which we slowly,

gradually descend into time;

yesterday, still clear, with most details visible;

last week is darker, not so much

that we can see;

last month, quite dark;

last hear, we have to switch on

the search lights of memory.

We descend.

Unknown creatures undulate, float, wriggle

through the blue cone of the light beam,

the shape of a whale looms and fades.

Deeper – the hull hums with strain;

above us a lifetime is clamping down

with the force of unstoppable time.

A soft bump.

We are resting on the bottom.

Mother walks into the corridor of light.

Her eyes are brighter than the light,

her lips curl in a small smile

that that can bend time.

She bends to pick up a shell.

Then she walks into the blackness.

It is dark.

I am in her womb.