Poetry, VOLUME 4

Maureen Doallas – “What is Enough” [Poem Vol. 4, #3]

“What is Enough”
Maureen Doallas

(from the new collection:
Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems by Maureen Doallas,
from TS Poetry Press)

Blessed are they who are thankful,
for they show us what is enough.

Legs twig-thinned, toes splayed,
you balance crumbed morsel
nit-picked ground to beak

and wait on
no more

blessing with skittered trillings
the handout
of a hand out.

You watch
for the anticipation,
the nodding pause

of giving
being its own best thanks.

See me. See me. See me.

It is enough
to be in this world
to be of it

to render unto Caesar
what things are God’s alone

to give

to stand
the cobbled stone of earth

tender cracks
filling up
filling in filling out

the questions caught in eyes

making peace
with enough.

Maureen Doallas
is a poet, writer and editor. She blogs at Writing Without Paper.

C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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  1. Funny, how I’ve read that poem several times over. But here, in its own new space, it speaks yet again, and differently.nnMaybe we should paint our poems across many places, see how they come alive, turn differently in different light by a different window.

  2. Love that imagery, LL… nnLet’s do that!

  3. i like the idea of a poem in different light ..and in different places. for one, light is amazing. and another thing is how it reminds me of wine.nthe same wine taste differently in different glasses…also, it taste different with food, and with different food. it really is true that a poem changes to it’s surroundings and the reader…who knows…it might even change with different food.

  4. This is one of my favorites so far. Still savoring…

  5. Laura, Yes, it’s one of my favorites too… Lots of great poems in this collection, but this is one of the best… The idea of enough / contentment is a radical one in our age of consumerism, and Maureen drives home this point in a subtle, elegant way.nnI sat outside yesterday afternoon (sunny, but COLD!) and read most of the collection.

  6. This whets my appetite for more …

    • Yes… I agree and I’ll say that the whole collection NERUDA’S MEMOIRS does not disappoint! We’ll be running a couple more poems from this book in the mix of our poetry selections over the next few months.

  7. You stretch the mind of the possibilities of poetry your exact and free use of syntax, imagery! Antonia Baranov

  8. Wonderful writing Maureen…really, really enjoyed this piece…bkm

  9. Thank you again for highlighting my poem. I am touched by the comments here.