That Number Upon Which The Demand Lieth

That Number upon Which the Demand Lieth

Overcoming duality, yet binding: the trinity.
Beyond the contrast of two, it initiates the concept of many.
Albertus Magnus claimed that three lives in all things.

Becoming; being;
disappearing.

In Old Saxon, the month of May is named trimilki, season of three milkings.
Number as quality depends upon the visual field.
The ancient Egyptian sign for the plural requires three strokes.

Points; lines;
angles.

Lao-tzu said the triad produces all.
Acronyms, sports, and traffic lights reflect our ternary culture.
The devil may appear in the form of a three-legged hare.

Witness; testament;
tribute.

Representing the unknowable: I, you, and the beyond.
The figure of completion, the number of the cube.
A Sumerian number sequence began “man, woman, many.”

Curse; liturgy;
blessing.

The scale as a succession of thirds.
Imperfection implies the concealment of perfection.
Shiva’s number, his eyes, his braids, his place.

Root; third;
fifth.

The triangle in Euclidean space.
I walk the three roads to the commonplace, preferring rhetoric.
Three to through, it penetrates the personal, unhinges that door.

The law; the land;
the world to come.

“That Number upon Which the Demand Lieth” was published in Posit: A Journal of Literature and Art  in September 2017. I am grateful to editor Susan Lewis for taking this piece.

26 thoughts on “That Number Upon Which The Demand Lieth

  1. The wannabe philosopher in me loves this piece. Also, the idea of 3 initiating the concept of many reminds me of Matthew as an 18 month-old (approximately) baby figuring out how to count. He would point to the first object and say, “One,” point at the next and say, “Two,” and if there were three or more things, he would kind of throw up his hands and exclaim triumphantly, “All the two of them!” (Hmm. I feel like I’ve mentioned this before…) Yes, it seems overcoming duality is a big step for us mere mortals.

    Liked by 1 person

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