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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Saturday, May 1, 2010



More than five times I called out to any god or goddess
To save me from myself and they seemed unable to hear
More than five times I prayed to the sun, the moon, and then Jupiter
The planet most closely linked to this number, this number five -
To take me away, lead me on an adventure, set things in motion
All to no avail

Then, learning that the ancient Greeks considered the number five
Somewhat perfect in that to them it represented so many things
Beginning with a star encased within a circle – the pentagram -
Drawn in a unicursal fashion – that is, one continuous loop – thereby
Making the symbol itself perfect and powerful and possessing divine grace

I began again to consider the possibilities inherent in number five
The number of harmony and balance, as the ancients were convinced,
Never mind that they also warned it foretold instability and unpredictability
In equal measure – I preferred to dwell on the positives, even going so far
As to lean toward religions for which I normally have only passing interest

Surely there must be something important about five being connected
To the fifth verse in the Holy Bible and the fifth day of creation – after all
God called the light Day and the darkness Night – and the evening and the morning
Were the first day and night – surely there was significance here ...

However, never one to favour one religion over another, I moved quickly
Along to the Koran only to be reminded of the five pillars of Islam and remembered
Too how my Muslim friends are called to pray to Mecca five times a day – again,
Significant – important – no more or less than what the Christians believe,
Of this I am certain

But what of the five wounds of Christ, my Episcopalian friend queries me?
And I, growing weary of all the fives and more than fives – reply – there are so many
Things connected to five – did you know that five has long been considered
The human number in that we have five digits on each of our extremities – five fingers, five toes
And, we have five senses too – sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste – plus, it is thought
We experience five major initiations in life: birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death ...

There are so many extrapolations that you can do using this number – it makes me
Tired and confused even to think of it – and I have thought of it more than five times, believe me.
Now I need to stop - take five, so, give me five, high five, low five – be back in five – I’m out of here.

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