Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of Monday Poetry. To read the first three and the introduction to this series, read here.

Today our first poem is about the danger of having so much that we appreciate nothing, and the second poem is a partial antidote to that malady—the idea of seeing things better by making them our favorites.

The Sin

Sometimes thankfulness is easier to feel in singular isolation,
Because public profusion, like flowers covering an Alpine meadow
Overwhelms us.
Individual blooms go unnoticed—apathetically assumed,
While a single desert cactus flower, stark against the sand,
Stands out, vivid and indelibly perfect, searingly beautiful.

The abundance of our rich lives, forests of favor,
Forests of favor, vast fields of the friendly familiar,
Creates a sensory overload of diminishing returns—the
Dampening, dulling oblivion of routine entitlement.
Seeing suffers,
Noticing neglected,
Emotion ebbs,
And the glorious gift of gratitude gradually gives way
To the sin of taking for granted.

A counterintuitive conundrum: too much to love?
Consider the unlimited bandwidth of the heart
When connected to the cloud of The Spirit.



When you make something
“your favorite,”
and center it in consciousness,
it becomes more
than it was before.
Sunsets are owned by people
who see them . . . by people who
love them.

Having favorites doesn’t make you
prejudiced (seeing more fault),
it makes you
sensitive (seeing more beauty).
A man with a favorite tree
sees all trees better.
A woman who likes the crickets
will also better hear the sound
of the wind behind them.

Favorites make us listen stronger,
look harder, feel deeper.
We anticipate and watch
for the things we have decided
we particularly like
and, in doing so, we
see more
of everything.

Editor’s note: Many of the poems featured on Poetry for a Monday are from Richard Eyre’s new book POEMS which Meridian readers can get for half price with the executive access code “MERIDIANfriend” at www.familius.com/eyre-special