Simplicity, Patience, Compassion

Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
                           ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Pot of Gold

(Compassion is a salve with
power to heal our souls.)

She was the brightest star
in his darkest night,
first child of his youngest;
and though their stories
intersected in earnest
but a short time ago,
it was clear to all that
she now owned his heart.

Her visits straightened
his spine and swelled
his chest; and when she
kissed his bristly cheek and
intoned, I love you, Grandpa,
he heard again the old music
to which he once hummed and
danced an occasional
impromptu jig.
He decided to give her a gift,
though his station didn’t allow
for much: eighty-six, withering
parts, strangled assets, wringing
out his days in a home with
a hundred more like him.

But he hatched a plan,
executed it with equal parts
stealth and constancy,
and, when her next visit
was winding down,
anxiously steered her
to his dresser, splayed
the contents of his sock drawer
like Moses parting the Red Sea,
and removed a popcorn sack
with 49 packets of sugar
pilfered from the dining room:
breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

She received the gift
with a pooling in her eyes,
a thrumming in her heart,
and love for the old man
anchoring deep within
her soul.

Returning home
she carefully opened
the packets as in a sacred
rite and emptied them into
her grandmother’s sugar bowl,
bequeathed, shelved, and patient,
perhaps, for a day such as this.
She brewed a cup of tea,
sweetened it slowly,
and pondered how fortunate
she was to have stumbled upon
her own rainbow lavishly spilling
into a pot of gold.

© 2009 Dennis Ference

My Calling

It is my calling
to discover
and fully be
the True self
that is me.
And even now,
when I am able
to submit to that call
shedding, if only briefly,
that which impedes it,
I gratefully sip
from that luscious
wine of freedom,
intoxicated by
the blend of harmony
and peace.

© 2014 Dennis Ference

An Old Man Stands in Awe

O Lord,…
   how majestic is your name in all the
        earth!
                                                   Psalm 8:2

Lord, sometimes when I gaze
   at the sky,
time, which in these later years,
has come to move so quickly,
seems, all of a sudden,
to stand perfectly still.
And for just a moment
I rest at the edge
of endless possibilities,
and I am awed by the wonder
of all that has come forth
as gift from your hands.

How majestic the mountains,
how lush the carpets of green!
How powerful the moving waters,
how graceful the billowy clouds!
How vast the varieties of
   living creatures,
how splendid their mingling
   and mix!

And as part of all this glory,
here I stand with my brothers
   and sisters,
richly blessed
to know something about you,
privileged to discover
that we come from your love
to share in the spirit
that makes things to be.

How great are you
beyond all I can imagine!
How graced are we
whom you have made your own!

by Dennis Ference

© 2000 Liguori Publications

Taken from Psalm Prayers for Seniors by Dennis Ference. Available from Liguori Publications, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Itunes, and other ebook sources.