The abstraction of number is beautiful
[ poetry - june 07 ]
Take five: drums, bass, rhythm, lead and vocals
in a pub in Ashton-under-Lyne,
Hell's Kitchen, a garage in Texas,
a dark park in Dortmund;
Matthews McIlroy Mortensen Mudie Mitchell,
though they can never have played together -
would that they had (only for Stoke though);
Napoleon's victories: Austerlitz, Eylau, Jena,
Wagram, Borodino - Borodino? Not so fast,
says Tolstoy: . cloudlets of smoke .
historical science in its endeavour
to draw nearer to truth . the smell
of saltpetre and blood .
Gimme five, 'I'll give it foive', top five, first five,
five-star, Five-live, fish alive, more than, less than,
(trochaic five), best of five, starting five: Frazier, Bradley,
Barnett, DeBusschere and Reed - (iambic five? not quite)
but they did play together, and didn't they play Terry?
and I see you in a dream on 5th above Fifth
your jump shot fading to the basket .
five for the symbols at your door,
brag, stud, par, petals, loaves, parts of the body.
Here - independent of all things -
is the use, wonder and beauty of what we cannot see.