Circumcised on the eighth hour
of the eighth day,
an explorer and seeker.
Always needing answers,
never satisfied with new beginnings
or angels carrying thrones
or leaves on a lotus flower
or things that never end.

Peace finally found in a figure skater —
grace, skill, perfection — gouging eights
in the ice. She left in August for cooler
climes. Questing again, he came upon
Dame Fortune — her eight-spoked wheel
crushing slave, king and poet —
and spat at her indifferent feet.

Written for The Mag photo prompt. Key to symbolism of eight: a new start/beginning in Judaism, Muslims believe eight angels carry the throne of Allah in the heavens, the lotus flower is one of the Buddhist Eight Auspicious Symbols, the symbol for infinity (laid on its side). Dame Fortune and the line following is from the Burne Jones Wheel of Fortune painting.


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

15 responses to “Eight

  1. nice…great use of all the various interpretations mark

  2. I love your exploration of 8, Mark. This is a good poem. The eight spoked wheel makes me happy.

  3. Brilliant Mark. Great research.

  4. what a study in 8, but that circumcised part, wow, you nailed it there

    dark feathers dead crows

  5. Every August I have the urge to leave…

  6. Linda Fraser

    In South Asia, eight is very unlucky, like our thirteen. Sometimes people from South Asia will not go out on the eighth day. I love the connections your poem links together, Mark. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Found, a post that really makes you think…

  8. “Circumcised on the eighth hour” … What a kickin’ opening line.

    “never satisfied with new beginnings
    or angels carrying thrones” … Sheesh, this is tight.

    “and spat at her indifferent feet” … You know I love this.

  9. I forgot all about ice skaters and their figures of eight. You covered a lot here. Lovely write.

  10. Karen S.

    Oh yes, those indifferent feet! I really enjoyed this, and it’s funny how I think (in my case for sure) we look at our photo prompt and usually (especially those photos that don’t always grab me) I tend to let my life at present, it’s thoughts or dreams take over….when I read everyone’s take on it, I always wonder…is this where there point of thoughts are? That’s what makes this Magpies Tales so darn fun, and interesting!

  11. nicely done…thanks for sharing your words

  12. Helen

    I love this! I also thought about carving figure eights in ice ….

  13. wow, so many sides of the eight! great ideas.

  14. A very enjoyable numerical journey!

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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