Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Oct 2015

These are hard materials
Sharp edged, inflexible
To a degree
That unfolds the truth,
And one truth
Leads to the next
In linear sequence.

Each from the others, isolated
Yet dependent
On what has gone before,
And what follows for the confirmation of truth’s verity.

Various truths are the data set of probability,
Flexible to a degree
Because of the uncertainty of absolute verity
That only singularity allows.
The statistic of one
That even when wrong
Its absoluteness is unquestionable
Because to question is not to know
What has gone before.

To know is singular in its effect,
Its purpose sustained by the uncertainty of data sets
From which truth derives.
The metaphysics of it all
Betrays the conceit of knowledge
And those that claim knowledge
Such that they impose their understanding
On others do not know
And care even less,
Except when their ignorance
Results in what is cared for….
All suppressed by the singularity of knowing
By those who acknowledge a statistic of one.
Preferring the comfort of its certainty
Rather than the uncertainty
That arises form the truth of data sets.


Data sets determine league tables
Positions of football clubs
And universities
Where those learning to know
Know what they are learning
And rate it accordingly.
Because as customers
It is said that
They are entitled to know
Even if they are learning
The data sets that allow them to understand
What they are attempting to know
Perhaps without conscious thought of
The void of ignorance that learning attempts to fill.

Yet in their unknowing, the certainty of the learning
Determines the positions of institutions in league tables
In turn compiled from the data sets
Of incomplete knowledge
Asserted with conviction
Establishing what is said to be true
In ignorance of sure foundations.

I wish that I had the conviction of others
To be certain of what I know
Without doubt
Without hesitation
Untrammelled by thoughts of the uncertainty of data sets
Compiled by the compilation of singularities.

Which itself compels another thought
That we all derive from a single small point,
Infinitesimally small but infinitely massive
Exploding once or perhaps in series
Like the popping of a two-stroke petrol engine
That propelled motorbikes and lawn mowers
In yesteryear.

And yet we are saying the same thing
In different ways
Unrelenting in the stream of thought
And consciousness
But ….
Please allow the words’ meanings to breath.
Where is the pause
To allow the assimilation of meaning?

The punctuation of time and space
The meaning of words
Arises from their spacing
And timing.

David Applin August 23rd 8:00am-ish 2014


Yet the certainty of data sets
Give us comfort
Those who await the miracle of birth
Calculate the probability of certainty
From statistics derived from the accumulation
Of data
To give the certainty of a happy outcome
A statistic of one…. or at most two or three
To which we all cling and which data
Accumulated in sets allows to be certain…
Or at least to hope to be certain
That the outcome will be happy
And reinforce our faith in belief
Itself knowledge in the absence of evidence
Truth uncurled by those hard materials
Derived from numbers
Each in itself a number
And therefore a singularity
Which hard materials cannot uncurl
Only their interpretation
Can reveal the truth of data sets
Each consisting of the singular truths
That interpretation cannot uncurl,
Because to do so would give us a statistic of one
Which cannot be questioned
Because it stands alone
Inflexible, somewhat obtuse without the context
Of the other singularities that make up the data set.

Befriended of one another, the collective now represents a version of truth
Because each singularity gives context to its companions
So that collectively their truth is revealed
As a statistic.

One as a statistic cannot be
Because it lacks the context of its companions,


David Applin
Queen Victoria
North Sea
Lying off Ostend
25th October (evening) 2014

Copyright David Applin 2015
......another poem from the collection 'Letters to Anotherself'
David Gerald Applin
Written by
David Gerald Applin
   Sara Murray
Please log in to view and add comments on poems