Obsessive Case

st jerome in his study

counts eighteen window panes
left to right…top to bottom
bottom top…again…again;
to chart his number thought;
sums four knives
three spoons, one fork
to individual drawers;
calculates the ceiling
of twelve-inch tiles
in multiples of ten
times twenty-two;
thinks a twelve-twelve mantra
to purge his tally spell
definitive…to plant
his sense of self to there.
foretells sine, cosine for
sweep of ocean waves that
tangent to a beach;
orients his charting for
a rising…waning…setting
yin moon…yang sun phasing;
twists cords to Celtic knots;
sculpts wood…all Mobius
to ground his intimation
of truth and beauty’s source
of balance in proportion
of exquisite simplicity
of eloquent equation
of profound implication
that one plus one is


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by H. Steenwick
“St Jerome in His Study”

11 thoughts on “Obsessive Case

  1. Nice.Speaks to my math background. I am always intrigued by this behavior. Mostly because I can’t count past three. I have to keep starting over and then give up. So I just approximate everything (even when I don’t have to), which might be just as odd..

  2. The title of this one scared me a bit, but now that I see what you’ve done with it, I find it quite matchlessly beautiful.

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