Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Necessary Brevity of Pleasures

Prolonged, they slacken into pain
or sadness in accordance with the law
of apples.
One apple satisfies.
Two apples cloy.
Three apples
Call it a tug-of-war between enough and more
than enough, between sufficiency
and greed, between the stay-at-homers
and globe-trotting see-the-worlders.
Like lovers seeking heaven in excess,
the hopelessly insatiable forget
how passion sharpens appetites
that gross indulgence numbs.
The haves have not
what all the have-nots have
since much of having is the need
to have.
Even my dog
knows that - and more than that.
He slumbers in a moon of sunlight,
scratches his twitches and itches
in measure, savors every bite
of grub with equal gratitude
and stays determinedly in place
unless what's suddenly exciting
Viewing mere change
as threatening, he relishes a few
undoubtable and proven pleasures
to enjoy each day in sequence
and with canine moderation.
They're there for him in waiting,
and he never wears them out.

Samuel Hazo
from A Flight to Elsewhere

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