APRIL 11, 2009 2:25PM

The Crow Metric

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Alone in a tree, silent and still

For whom is the sorrow that brought on this chill?


A pair chase each other from rooftop to tree

Are their calls laughter? It seems so to me


The trio stood ready, awaiting the union

The bells of the church announced holy communion


The quartet convened, an idea would come

A plan is born greater than their own sum


Five of them rise from the ground all together

Silver in sunlight reflects from the feather


It took all six to balance the symmetry

Shining like gold in this sacred geometry


Seven to know and never to crow

Entered the circle of secrets, heads low


Eight gates to the churchyard, eight members arrayed

To glimpse heaven’s glory all eight of them stayed


Taking the bait all nine of them landed

How could this be evil? All caught red handed


The ten of them showed. How much is owed?

Enough for a murder, the devil has crowed


When it reaches eleven what can be read?

Waiting for something, salvation ahead?


A dozen pass over, work done and well fed

Returning at sunset to nest and to bed



Informed by the following version of the old rhyme and additional analysis: 


One for sorrow

Two for mirth

Three for a wedding

Four for a birth

Five for silver

Six for gold

Seven for a secret, never to be told

Eight for heaven

Nine for hell

Ten for the Devil's very own sel'





One: Sorrow. An unhappy event. A change for the worse. Maybe loss or a death.

Two: Joy. A surprise. A change for the better. Sometimes the finding of something.

Three: Marriage. A celebration. Sometimes the birth of a female child. Other times some significant event around a daughter.

Four: Birth. Usually the birth of a male child. Sometimes a significant event surrounding a son.

Five: Silver. Sometimes costly. Usually a positive transaction.

Six: Gold. Wealth. Sometimes money. Maybe greed. Occasionally a negative transaction.

Seven: Something of spiritual significance. Often a secret. In some cases witchcraft, or the performing of sacred rites.

Eight: Something profound. Death, dying, or a glimpse of Heaven. A life-altering journey or experience.

Nine: Something sensual. Passion, or forbidden delight. In some versions this is corruption, in others it is closer to temptation.

Ten: Something extreme. An overwhelming sensation. Something paid in full.

Eleven: Uncertainty. Waiting. Wanting. May be in relation to a spiritual matter.

Twelve: Fulfillment. Riches (though not always of a material sort). A fruitful labor. Something completed. An end to a problem,or the answer to a question.


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very nice... it's crow season in Rochester. excellent.
January to December
wow. i had no idea you wrote poetry. i love this.
Thanks FLW. I delete lots of poetry too. After the three or even two people who will ever look at it have read it it starts to stink up the place