Friday, March 4, 2016

A Girls Florilegium* Of Necessary Numbers

Zero is the absolute,
the egg inside -
fertile, but unfertilized,
and waiting.

One is the creep of light.
The begetter of two.
The center of periphery.
God in isolation.

Two is a pairing -
a static pull.
Sun and moon.
Prophet and witness.

Three begins,
middles, and ends.
Clings to the body,
a skinside alchemy.

Four holds the world,
perfects the square,
and rivers milk
from ritual.

Five is first counting,
the first wild reach.
The first prayer.
The blooming.

Six is the swallowing
of three and three.
Long days of creation.
Stretched luck.

Seven brings you six
beautiful sisters,
six cows and a bull,
and 80 octaves of song.

Eight is the wind,
the beatitudes;
the plenty promised
after a fast.

Nine calls the muses
dressed in fire;
the purest poetry
dancing.

Ten is the tithe
owed to your order -
Ten Commandments,
Ten Thousand Things.

Eleven is the generous
gift of beauty -
neither male, nor female -
better.

And twelve is the torment
of grim resignation -
the return to chaos
in the hours of night.

Note: A florilegium is an anthology.  It was my word of the day, and I fell in love with it.

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

16 comments:

brudberg said...

What a nugget of wisdom in each number. And somehow when counting like this zero would follow twelve.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I cannot imagine a poem more flawless than this. I want to cut it out and stitch it to the lining of my brain and never forget it.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Again, I humbly bow low to your luxuriant and prodigious talent. If this were "The Gong Show," I give it a big, fat 10.

Moskowitz the Humble

Magaly Guerrero said...

Nine creates the most beautiful image in my head. ♥

Fireblossom said...

A florilegeum. A florilegium. Florilegium. Ummmm.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is wonderful, so full and rich. I especially love the "tithe to your order, the Ten Commandments, the Ten Thousand Things". You are brilliant.

Sara McNulty said...

I love this poem, its images, creativity, and cool new word!

Margaret said...

Well, I'm in love with this and certainly going to add this to my Pinterest of saved favorite poems. Honestly - I bet you could have gone up to 100!

Brendan MacOdrum said...

How stunningly superior "florilegium" is! I can hear a 12-year old girl recite this as if from a breviary. As if by knowing one's numbers one is prepared for whatever the world throws their way. World? Heart? the mythic realities? poet's progress? Whatever we learned to count surely frames our latter sums. An interesting, ambitious rosary here.

Sylvia K said...

Superb, as always, MZ, and you do make my day!! Thank you!! Hope your weekend is going well!! Enjoy!!

Jim said...

Mom Z, I loved to read your assimilation here of the flowers you gathered, i.e. your florilegium. A few petals wanted me to stop and smell. Five brings to mind a five-pointed star as I have been intrigued with those ever since I learned to draw one. I was glad you did just the clock, or month, numbers. Nature seems to like these twelve especially well.
[I wrote a couple of times about star drawing. You could do an upper left hand corner search for "star" and the first and second ones should show my hand drawn star. :)]
..

Susie Clevenger said...

This is amazing. I haven't any other words for it.

Sioux said...

I can't say anything that hasn't been said already, except that for you, this is a 9-volume piece of poetry.

What you can do with just a series of numbers in unbelievable...

Rommy said...

Good gods the progression in this is breathtaking! Every stanza has it's own song to sing yet builds on the harmony of its predecessors.

grapeling said...

oh my goodness.

superb. not enough superlatives. this is remarkable, MZ. ~

lee woo said...
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