Friday, May 11, 2018

I Wish I'd Written This

It Is Enough

It is enough
that the baby smiles
even if it's only gas

It is enough
to know that God exists
though it take a lifetime and a minute more

It is enough
that the dog loves you
at the end of a day filled with cats

It is enough
that the rainbow
can arch your back straight again

It is enough
to watch a sunset

It is enough
that leaves fall like butterflies

It is enough
that joy exists
even when others have it all

It is enough
that the other knee feels fine

It is enough
that in dreams you can still fly

It is enough
that poetry is in the bible too

It is enough
that gifts
come in the size of gratitude

– Neil Meili
from "Enough Poetry and a little more..." 



I featured Neil here a few years ago, with one of his wonderful environmental poems – wonderful in its restraint, while simultaneously packing a mighty punch.

He and his partner became my dear friends when I stayed with them on a poetry visit to Austin, Texas in 2006. We've kept in touch.

They had occasion to visit Australia in 2016, and I was able to spend a few days with them, and also take this photo of Neil. A treasured time – and, as in all the best friendships, it was as if there had been no gap between get-togethers.

You can tell from the photo that it was a happy reunion! He and I even spent one afternoon sitting on a verandah overlooking a lake surrounded by trees, writing poems together.

Neil self-publishes chapbooks more-or-less annually (sometimes twice a year). He himself does all the physical production of them, which is simple and attractive. I'm privileged to be on his mailing list. I received the latest – pictured here – two days ago. And there I found this wonderful poem I've just shared with you, as well as lots of other treats.

That's twice I've said "wonderful" about his poetry. This poem embodies the original meaning of the word: "full of wonder". So do many of his others. And to me all Neil's poetry is also to be wondered at, for his mastery of a simplicity in language that can also be complex in meaning and often profound.

He excels, too, at short, sometimes aphoristic verse such as:

NAH!

Senior moment mostly
forgetting that I am one

or:

PUTIN ON THE RITZ

Communism is dead
the day the leader
gets two crusts of bread

(He calls such pieces "string too short to save".)

A long-time resident of Texas, he also returns often to his native Canada, as well as travelling to other countries. There are references to both Canada and Texas in his poetry, and also to some of those other countries. His partner, Dorsey Cartwright, is a psychotherapist who sometimes presents self-development courses with a psychological basis, specialising in relationships, all over the world. Neil takes a close interest in her work (as she does in his poetry) and many of their travels are associated with this work. That's how they happened to be in Australia in 2016, and one of their venues was close enough to my home for me to go and visit with them. Here's another pic I took, of the two of them.



Neil has long been active in spoken word poetry in both Austin, Texas and Edmonton, Canada, and is generous in his encouragement of other poets.

On his website, where you can read more of his poetry, he describes himself as "Zen cowboy poet & freelance philosopher". He does retain an air of the outdoorsy, adventurous fellow he has often been during his life. Look a little closer and you discover he is also a polished sophisticate, an erudite art-lover, and above all a kind, caring, sensitive person. All these facets are expressed in his poems, along with his wit and sense of fun.



Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful poetry...i wish i had written this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE and resonate deeply with this poem. Love that attitude of gratitude, it being enough that the other knee feels fine (I can sur erelate to that!) A wonderful poeom and poet indeed. Love the image of the two of you sitting on a veranda writing poems. Lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also read it out to my students in a women writers' group yesterday, and they loved it too, of course. (Who wouldn't?) Their response to each verse in turn showed how well this poem "hits the spot".

      Delete
  3. His succinct poetry and philosophy that spreads out from every line is my kind of poetry.....I will check out more of his poetry. Thanks for bringing this delightful poet to my/our attention.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with Rosemary that 'It Is Enough' hits the spot. The first stanza made me smile.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Rosemary. Your articles are always good reading and revealing of worthy poets. Takes one to know one ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Peter, for the kind words. It's such a labour of love, doing these articles.

      Delete
  6. I really liked the poem of his you shared. I like its simple and meaningful style...my kind of writing! Smiles. It is nice that you had opportunity to meet with them both in the U.S. and Australia & that you continue to maintain connections with one another. His poetry is indeed 'wonderful.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I thought of you, Mary, as I was writing this up, noting how similar your styles are!

      Delete
  7. I feel at ease with Neil's Meili poem, his choice of words and moments. Thank you for sharing, Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really enjoyed this post and the poem you featured. This is the kind of piece that one should make a point of revisiting from time to time. We need to remind ourselves, particularly perhaps, in troubled times - that life can be beautiful. Thank you for this, Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's enough to read a poem like this at the end of the day. The second stanza croons in my heart. Thanks for the beautiful post, Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is enough to read something so uplifting, and filled with gratitude. Thanks, Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete