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

Before the Sun Rises

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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

Building Houses

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As far back
as anyone could remember,
the people of the town
built houses for each other,
sheds, truth be told, crafted
with the hammer of judgement
and the nails of assumed
superiority; houses too small
for a full breath, too cold
for the precociousness of hope,
secured with heavy bolts
of dark warning and fear.

Yet in this town, as in
countless towns everywhere,
lives continue to be lived,
families formed, futures built,
histories made and recorded.

Yes, but wait, you may say.
What about love?
What about compassion?
Do not lose heart, my friend,
for love, in all its guises,
gratefully knows forever,
the trick to pick our locks
and let herself in.

© 2014 Dennis Ference

Doubts

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We wear our doubts
about our worth
like a heavy back pack
of unsympathetic stones
forcing us to bend body and soul
to balance the burden of its weight
as we press forward to carry on.

So used to this merciless load
do we become that we forget
we were not born with it
and that it’s possible
to undo the bindings
and lay it down
at the sacred altar
of God’s love.

© 2015 Dennis Ference

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