Power of Presence

(Presence—simple, spontaneous, selfless. It’s where life is affirmed and healing waters flow.)

Lying on my bed,
head propped with pillows,
reading Graham Greene’s
The Heart of the Matter
for the third time, I hear
the creaking door slowly open.
She enters, gives me
just a wisp of a smile,
brushes the hair back
from her eyes, and
climbs upon my chest,
all 22 months and 30 pounds
of her. She lies there, silent and
unmoving, face directed skyward,
fists encircling the index fingers
of hands happy to provide
a mooring for this welcome,
though unexpected, guest.
After five minutes, she
opts for another mission,
climbs down, pauses
long enough for her signature,
backward wave, then exits,
leaving a grandchild’s gift
of mustard seed planted
in the fallow garden
of a wizened, old soul.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest garden plant and becomes a tree, so that the wild birds come and nest in its branches.” ~ Matthew 13:31-32 (NET)

Poem © 2007 Dennis Ference

Let’s Pretend

~Ride together imagination’s golden rocket
and the universe can be your playground.~

Battle for the Universe

Like two frenzied birds winging
madly from wire to bush,
bush to tree, tree to window ledge,
never lighting long enough
to celebrate the sun or be blessed
by the rain—time too short, mission
too demanding: a rescue needed here,
an insurrection to quell there,
a flight to the neighboring galaxy
to stem the forces of darkness
closing in on all sides.

Each incurs wounds lethal
for the ordinary man, but these
are warriors of indomitable will;
these are heroes of mythic proportion;
this is a battle for the universe.

In the end, no final victory this day,
only a mother’s insistent dinner call,
a boy’s reluctant capitulation,
and a grandfather’s solemn
commitment to their noble cause.

© 2010 Dennis H.Ference

First Grandchild

I receive her now to myself,
the weight of her
settling into the cradle
of bent arm and pliant torso.

And as this wiggling bundle
adds her warmth to mine
an eruption of passion surfaces
from some deep place
vaguely remembered.
It lights a fire in my chest
and leadens my arms
so that the whole of the world
seems to be resting
in my embrace.

I gaze into the glint of her eyes
and I am stung by the desire
to never leave this moment behind.
For somewhere in this innocence
lies the secret of the universe,
and in this presence, a call
to reclaim what rightly
belongs to us all.

© 2000 Dennis Ference