by Siddiq Islam
Crouched we are
Around sturdy pub wood
Gloved fingers hugging mugs
And our laughter steaming up the winter evening
When on the ebbing end of a wild winding dialogue of sports and plays and eggs with faces
Yuv turns to us and tells us he knows how Pythagoras died.
The people of Greece angered by the weirdo cult babykiller philosophising nudists
Who practised maths in woods like witchcraft
Wanted strongly to purge God’s Earth of the infamous leader.
With jagged teeth and eyes of fire
Torches like seething glares through his window-holes.
Flames ate rooms
And snookered all his followers and visitors into one bedroom where
That giant mind of his conspired
A flesh bridge to build from his lessermen and -women
And by burning-body ladder he descended the pantry wall
Leaving his helpers charred and helpless
And fled his none the wiser pursuers.
But wise they were for followed they
Through bramble brush and stacks of hay
To where my lord met a field of beans
And stopped and stood on the edge of time
And lost in his mind he would not move
For the hounds snapping at his heels like hellfire
Nor for the people of Greece
Nor for God above.
Rather than to enter a field of beans
He would await the sweet release of death.
Captivated we are
By Yuv’s rogue eyes wide with story
Yet I am still convinced, given the hours of jokes passed between us friends like Christmas crackers
That some a squared plus b squared quip will ensue.
But no, he is dead serious when he says:
Pythagoras died because he was scared of beans.