A Blessed Christmas to All

May the Christmas spirit of peace and love
touch all who read these words and
may the entire world find its way
to the healing Light
that longs to make us whole.

I will be taking a break from blogging for an undetermined length of time to retool and pursue other interests. I am grateful to all of you who have read this blog and shown support by your comments and likes. Blessings and peace! ~Dennis


The word flits past the surgeon’s lips,
riding an ordinary exhalation of breath.
And, as with the displacement of air
stirred by the flutter of a butterfly’s wings,
what is set in motion may change a world forever.
Yet, my emotions sputter to engage and my mind toggles
between odds of survival and the fact that this doctor,
whom I never met, is older and less comely
than I imagined her to be. Perhaps I’m not good
at this sort of thing; perhaps I’ve gone numb,
force-marched through the medical maze; or
perhaps I’m just soul-withering tired.

I fidget through her post-op slumber,
eyes darting like humming birds
from clock to TV to door to clock.
And when, at last, she is given back to me,
I anchor at her bedside where I will ride
the ebbings and flowings of the afternoon,
feigning a velvet calm; seeding the air
with positives; and tracing slowly, again
and again, the contours of the face
that first entranced me like the North Star
some forty-odd years ago.

Later that evening, driving home alone,
only the rhythms of a rutted road
securing me to my task, I survey with
gnawing disbelief the chronology
of the last few months and am left
with nothing but a sigh to cushion
the rugged ride ahead.

© 2009 Dennis Ference

First appeared in Ars Medica.


It snagged me late–
rescued me, truth be told–
at a time when old
passions and occupations
oozed mercilessly
from my soul.

It didn’t happen all at once
but in stages, like a well-planned
seduction: the sensuous play of words,
the grinding rhythms of song,
the fusing drone of prayer–each
enticed at the appointed time.

And when, at last, I stood
naked before its spell,
it planted itself deep
within the creative space and
charged me with the poet’s task–
to turn water into wine
and toast the delicate
marriage of mystery
and truth.

© 2000 Dennis Ference

The Movements of Life

“… we are challenged every day to say yes to the movements of life, to see it all through, without pause, staying in relationship to the music of life and each other, adjusting as we go, not knowing what will happen next.” ~Mark Nepo