in praise of the scab

(A lighthearted take on one of the amazing
“small” manifestations of the Creative Presence
we so take for granted. First posted 6/23/14.)

i celebrate the scab big and small
sacrament accessible to one and all

reminder we are more than machines
equally helpful to beggars and queens

it stays no longer than required
with little fanfare it’s retired

a creation of promise and salubrious dreams
a little miracle built into our genes

so all hail the scab and praise to its maker
in the business of health it’s a mover and shaker

© 2005 Dennis Ference

Creation’s Garden

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May your faith
wake from its dull repose
that you may walk again
Creation’s Garden
with wonder and awe
in witness to the Spirit
spilling itself out
lavishly in every direction–
royal rose and creeping thistle,
majestic eagle and miniscule mite,
sturdy oak, delicate fern,
stars, galaxies, oceans,
deserts and domains
unseen under the ground
where you light.

Yes, let yourself be sated
with the splendor and spectacle,
praise and gratitude bubbling
up in your breast.

But finally,…come to rest
in stillness and in silence
until moved with tears
at Love’s unrestrained
excess, you recognize
again for the first time,
the miracle you are.

© 2014 Dennis Ference

An Old Man Stands in Awe


   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.

Grateful Hands

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Receiving life’s gifts
with grateful hands
makes us more likely
to open them with love
for a troubled,
bleeding world.

© 2015 Dennis Ference

My new book of original inspirational verses, From the Water’s Edge, is now available from https://www.createspace.com/6040109, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530558018 and Kindle eBooks at Amazon.

One Afternoon with Lily

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One afternoon, she
named me “Popsidoodle,”
and I wondered out loud
where that had come from.
But she just giggled and
told me, “Hold still, Popsidoodle,”
’cause she had to put one more
barrette in my hair.

She’s my first grandchild, you know,
and I had long since forgotten
how to say “no” to big,
saucered, four-year-old eyes.

So I crawled under the table
about a dozen times that day and
dutifully whinnied while being
led from the “barn.” I consumed
scores of imaginary tacos,
drove a fleet of fanciful limos,
and surrendered meekly as she
dressed me again and again
in ways that would tickle a clown

And at afternoon’s end,
when I lifted her to my chest,
crooned a smokey version
of “Rubber Ducky”
and danced her to sleep,
I smiled and decided:
there must be a “Popsidoodle”
roosting somewhere
deep inside us all.

© 2006 Dennis Ference

Father and Son

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(Written several years ago when my father came from a distant
state to reside in the nursing home where I worked at that time.)

I did not know him as a son
hopes to know a father.
That was my thought as
I laid him to rest
in his new bed and circumstances
at the nursing home
in which I labor
for daily bread and respect.

Though present throughout my childhood,
it was an impression of absence he
   bequeathed,
relinquishing to mother
the dispensation of love and direction
and other childhood necessities.
And in her compliant shadow I grew
with no expectations of him,
only those secret longings
I could not name.

Now, he and his need,
with a minimum of warning,
have erased plotted distances
to reenter my life
like a dull thud,
disturbing what had been
a satisfying harmony
between family, job and benign
expectations for tomorrow.
And in a moment I taste it–
resentment flavored with
just a sliver of gratitude
for this intrusion
               into
complacency.

© 1998 Dennis Ference
(First published in America.)