In symbolism, the number five is the number of harmony and balance. It is also the number of the divine grace. It was a symbol of perfection for the Mayas. Greek philosophers gave five principles in man: body, animal soul, psyche, intelligence, and divine spirit. There are five fundamental virtues: wisdom, love, truth, goodness, and justice. There are five books in the Torah. Jesus Christ had five wounds. There are five commandments of Buddha Gautama. Astrologically, the number five is associated with Leo, the fifth sign of the Zodiac. Yes, you guessed it – this week we’re going to work with the number five.
1. Take yourself to place in which you can relax (your den, your front porch, your backyard, near a lake or stream, the woods, a park).
2. Once you’re settled and comfortable, look around carefully. Notice things (objects, trees, plants, water, stones, etc.) around you and write down five things that capture your attention (and, hopefully, your imagination). Like the image above (five trees in a row), you might select five things that are similar or the same (five flowers, five pens or pencils, five windows, five pieces of paper, five books, five people walking by).
3. Now notice the details of those “things.” Jot down some notes.
4. Then write a poem that’s based on, about, or that includes the five things you selected. Look for connections among the five "things" you've chosen and yourself. How do they "speak" to you? What story might they tell?
5. Let your environment become the “landscape” of the poem. Write in the present tense – here and now. Let the objects direct the content of your poem. Describe them, define them, contextualize them, analyze them, repurpose them, recreate them. Play on the number “five.” Let your poem take you where it wants to go, but don’t let your five “things” get lost.
Here’s are examples that are not exactly what we’re working on with this prompt (they don’t focus on five things), but they’re close and may inspire you.