Poetry Friday: Mathematics

This month, Catherine challenged the Inklings to write a mathematical poem of any kind. Rather than choose a mathematical form, like a Fib or an Equation Poem, I went with a mathematical topic/vocabulary.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, AJ and volunteer for our local resource center. We take their van and pick up donations from Target, Kroger, and the Pepperidge Farms outlet store. Experiencing retail from the loading dock and storeroom side has been an eye opener. We stand waiting for our cart of donations and ponder all that…STUFF in the back room of one store in one city and when we multiply that by all the stores in all the cities, our minds are blown by what it takes to fill shelves so that consumers can satisfy their every want and need.

Here’s how the rest of the Inklings interpreted Catherine’s challenge:

Linda@A Word Edgewise
Heidi @my juicy little universe
Molly@Nix the Comfort Zone
Catherine@Reading to the Core
Margaret@Reflections on the Teche

Elisabeth has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Unexpected Intersections.

17 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Mathematics”

  1. Mary Lee, I haven’t taken on this task yet for our church mission, but I understand what you mean. I’ve been on the receiving line when everything has to be sorted and bagged to give out to our clients. It’s hard to think about the acres of consumerism and what damage is being done. Good use of the challenge (that I totally forgot about.)!


  2. Oh those, ‘gallons of tears shed’! Poems like this go a long way to help raise awareness about the affects of ‘buying into’ consumerism. Well done, Mary Lee.


  3. Truth! It really hits you in the gut when you see it from another perspective. Why so much? Your spare poem says volumes of what we all need to consider.


  4. I like that you took us in another direction. Consumerism is a great topic. You are certainly making me think this morning. What is prompting all the buying? Whose greed is encouraging it?


  5. I have an ache in my heart that people whine about certain things not being on the shelves when clearly there are many choices. Well done, Mary Lee. For some reason I’ve often wondered why we need so many kinds of crackers! It’s crazy.


  6. Your poem is exactly right, Mary Lee: “Greed has veered completely off the chart.” My heart aches over those acres of leveled forests and tons of useless plastic. Any effort to reduce feels like a drop in the bucket.


  7. Mary Lee, did you take this pic? It’s very cool, as is the poem. When I was a kid, I dreaded my dad’s question, “Do you want it or do you need it?” but can better appreciate its lesson now.


  8. The new phase of minimalism, free giveaways called the Buy Nothing fb sites, stepping up when someone is in need due to a fire or other tragedy, donating, all are good. But drops in buckets it seems. The marketing where they are constantly trying to get us to believe we need the latest and greatest new thing….and then there is the supply chain problems and we can’t get the items that are pretty essential ie bathroom paper supplies! And the idea that it has to be “in style” is tricky. Sharing is caring….so at least we can try to encourage that. It is very nice of you and your husband to be so community minded.


  9. So true! So depressing…Your title is perfect, as is the dizzying accompanying picture. There’s much to think about here. Is it greed or simply a need to feel filled by something? Regardless, the cost is appalling. Great take on the prompt!


  10. It is sobering to think about the connection of consumerism to the destruction of nature, and how unnecessary it has been. Your poem addresses it directly, and connects it to our emotional health. Thanks, Mary.


    1. Yes, that tidy 2nd grade continuum of wants and needs has become bogglingly distant from every day necessity. It was not so long ago that “shopping” was an *activity* for me, and the list you offer of the costs of that “entertainment” captures the immeasurable price of our amusement (or our compulsion).


  11. It’s been a very long time since I have been in a store with aisles that long and wide and full of things to buy. Thank you for this thought-provoking poem that invites us to look at our (and society’s) relationship with things.


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