Nostalgia

(Every Christmas I am visited by nostalgia for the simpler, “purer” time when my children
and, later, grandchildren were more enthralled with the wrappings than the gifts.) 

Christmas Afterthought

does
a box lose its
magic or ribbon shed its
charm or is a child lured from won-
der and why does her angel not sound the
alarm

© 2006 Dennis Ference

Christmas Fire

christmas-balls-1830359_1280

The just-lit fire snaps and dances a sprightly dance,
while from the kitchen, a dissonant chorus of voices
reverberates into the last hesitant corners of quiet and calm.
Soon the festivity will all come together by the fresh pine
dressed in her holiday finest, here, next to the hearth.

But for the moment I am sumptuously alone. I settle,
coffee in hand, into a compliant, generous chair,
and smile a satisfied smile at the wooden soldiers
guarding the cascading pile of holiday spoils.

My eyes drift to the mantle, where candles, holly,
and pine cones intersperse with the latest of the grandkids’
frozen poses and smiles. How they have changed: newly
pierced ears; baby teeth multiplying; that recently assumed,
reluctant air.

In a minute or two, I will surrender solitude and reverie,
but not without the passionate sigh, not without the begrudging
nod to the transience of time turning the warm fires of our lives
into wisps of smoke escaping into some vaporous beyond.

© 2006 Dennis Ference

Ambivalent Feelings

Frameless and transient,
ambivalent feelings
rise in me like puffs of smoke,
mercilessly vulnerable
to the wiles and whims
of ever-changing winds.
Aching from the gnawing
of indecision today, I turn
to the still waters
within that suffer neither
coercion nor pretense,
longing for direction
but knowing I must
surrender even that
to the sacred work
of silence.

© 2014 Dennis Ference

A Fire Inside

The truth
of who you are
is a fire inside
ignited and fueled
by the Mystery of Love.
Do you yearn
to feel the heat
and its power
to transform?
Learn to be still and
silent. Do you long
to divine your callings
and paths? Learn
to listen and wait.
And in your yearning
do not turn from
your wounds and fears
but dare to suffer them
as you surrender
all to the fire that
longs to burn brightly
as a torch blazing
the wholeness of you.

© 2015 Dennis Ference

.

Kindness

May your kindness never
be a soulless reflection
of guilt, obligation, cultural
pressure, or desire to play
the favored, superior one.
Rather, may it be a fresh,
balmy fragrance silently rising
from a gentle and generous heart
deeply rooted in the lavish
garden of gratuitous grace
to anoint as holy the very air
we all breathe.

© 2015 Dennis Ference

Feelings

(Feelings that we let define us,
will often cruelly confine us.
)

When I become aware
of the gulf separating
“I am afraid” from
“I am feeling afraid,”
I take a big step
on the road to
transformation.

© 2014 Dennis Ference