This Friend You Love

This friend you love
is bleeding inside
and you dare not
staunch the flow.
Her heart is breaking,
but it must break often
if she is to find her way.

Does she say her world
is falling apart? Old worlds
must fall apart before
new worlds can be born.
Does she say that life
is more than she can bear?
She is stronger than either
of you can know.

Walk with her but do not
steer her down your path.
Talk with her but do not
write her script.

Dance with her,
just dance with her now
to the silent, healing music,
the Oneness of Love.

© 2014 Dennis Ference

Before the Sun Rises


Each day, before the sun rises
I cast my lot with the believers–
those who have come to know
that there is a Source within
from which all things emerge,

which does not play
by our rules and constraints.
It is Mystery, sometimes
soothing mother, often
maddening jokester,
always larger than our vision
of what it should be.

When I awake, the birds
are still voiceless, the streets
not yet in rhythm with the duties
and desires of their denizens.
I sip from a steaming cup
to melt away the remnants
of the night’s lethargy and
burrow slowly into the stillness
of naked Being where
I listen and wait.

This is the place where
deeper meanings are discerned
and commitments are forged.
This is the place where healings
are announced and poems
are conceived. And for those
who would bow and surrender,
this is the grace of the Sacred
Now—divine and human
breathing as One.

© 2014 Dennis Ference

The Animals

Forty feet from the front door,
a doe and two fawns
stand motionless before
a plush, seamless gown
of green. The grass tears
with a new day’s delight,
and an eager morning sun
smiles on the scene.

The speckled offspring
wait patiently as their mother
samples the surroundings
with senses sharply tuned.
Suddenly, as if on cue, a single-
file parade begins: back and forth,
back and forth. An obtruding
branch is managed smoothly
by the doe’s elegant leap,
the fawns’ casual bow.

After four passes they exit, and
my eyes strain after them
with unfamiliar longing.
At last I surrender grudgingly,
and plucking the newspaper
from an inconvenienced bush,
I proceed to the kitchen and
the regimen of practical routine.
But as I watch the steam
rise leisurely from my cup,
I steal one last moment
to muse that, if I had my way,
all the world’s saviors would
spend their first crucial days
in the company of the animals.

© 2009 Dennis Ference

Abraham’s Mountain

To Abraham’s mountain
I am beckoned, commanded
to bring what is dearest and best.
And I, though practiced in deceit,
submit, at last, and vow
to protect no longer,
even that which has given
ultimate purpose, meaning,
and joy.

Scaling the heights,
body and soul battered
by grief, I discover paths
where no paths have been
and traverse terrains
never before trod.
Alone at the summit now,
parched yet compliant,
I drop to my knees and wait.
Finally, and without fanfare,
it is accomplished–
and I am branded and released
into the silence and void.

© 2004 Dennis Ference