Geodesic

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 There’s a way out of this landscape. 
It may take lifetimes. Beyond death’s
 
singularity, others will find a path – slow
and persistent as a tortoise, or agile
 
as an ape that leaps past low-
hanging fruit on hollow banyan
 
trees. Here flowers have flat
petals but the ground swoops
 
unexpectedly, dips and tilts and roller-
coasters round into itself; dragonflies
 
grow double wings and on
the high plateau, balls glide
 
across the baize, reflecting off,
or through, mirrors that line
 
its bounds. Arrowed streams
are split by sudden strike-
 
slip shifts, while filaments
like wisps of spider’s thread are
 
edges from another space,
or doodles in our own.
 
Is this a torus after all,
on which to vanish and return?
 

*Maryam Mirzakhani (1977 – 2017) was the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal, one of mathematics’ highest honours, for ‘outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces’.

‘Geodesic’ first appeared in Allegro Poetry Issue 19, December 2018.

About Marian

Originally from Zimbabwe, Marian Christie now lives in Southeast England. When not reading or writing poetry, she looks at the stars, puzzles over the laws of physics, listens to birdsong and crochets gifts for her grandchildren.


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