Have you ever been fishing
with someone and it seemed
pointless to keep score?
when a congenial sun, feathery
breeze, and dancing water glitter
were the big catch of the day?
and words and laughter
came easy and harmonized
smooth as silk with the rustling
of the trees, drone of insects,
and song of the birds?
when everything was
nothing and nothing was
everything and the present
was the only time to be?
If so, my friend, perhaps
you were fishing with a saint,
or perhaps that was the day
you first bumped into
your own muse within.
© 2014 Dennis Ference
She whirled before me, guileless,
eager face straining for the sky,
light rain chiseling a smile
glorious on glistening cheeks.
She extended her arms full-length
in opposite directions, flat palms
and feathery fingers seemingly
practiced in the art of soaring.
Moments before, she broke loose
from the boughs of my umbrella,
to announce an eight-year-old’s vision
and credo: I gotta be free!
Longing to join the gambol
but hobbled by an arthritic hip
and the rust of years given
to caution and conformity, I settled
for silence and reverent awe
in the presence of this young
priestess and her primal
celebration of life.
© 2006 Dennis Ference
My eight-year-old granddaughter, Elizabeth, and I were kicking back in her room and riding the drafts of imagination wherever they might fly. As this particular story unfolded, we were sitting next to her small desk and cutting up downy feathers from a craft variety pack of “stuff”. I, regrettably, was big-time antsy, a sciatic nerve challenging me to find a comfortable spot on an uncomfortable, child-sized chair. Nonetheless, I was enjoying the easy banter and the sudden twists and turns that often come when Elizabeth has taken the lead. We were cutting the feathers up into small bits, as I recall, to create a soft garment for the imaginary store we were “hired” to supply.
Well, the bag of feathers was large, and after a while, I thought that maybe we had cut enough for the purpose at hand, but she informed me that wasn’t the case, and so we continued our tedious task. A little later, again I raised the same possibility, plus maybe her room was getting a little messy, fluffy down, by then, flying everywhere I looked. I further threw in the thought that perhaps her parents would be unhappy if we cut up each and every feather she had. Not even bothering to look up at me, Elizabeth continued to cut. Finally, as we just about reached the bottom of the bag, and I had thrown out my last obsessive gambit, the philosopher in Elizabeth announced with thoughtful aplomb, “You know, Papa, life is more than feathers.” Amen, Elizabeth! Amen!
© 2014 Dennis Ference