Lost in the Yard Again

Sunny and 70s this weekend in northwest Florida but with enough seasonal variety to get to experience some autumn colors alongside the re-flowering trees. I meant to go to the ocean but ended up staying in my yard. It’s just so quiet and peaceful here, and that’s really what I needed most this weekend, especially since our house guests are out of town. It’s late Sunday afternoon now; I’m still in my pajamas and still procrastinating starting my schoolwork…. maybe after this blog post on the patio…

I thought I’d let you into my head a bit, since there is never a dull moment there. 🙂 This morning as the sun rose and dried the raindrops from the leaves, I enjoyed some nature photography. In my backyard. 🙂

A friend recently asked what kind of camera I use. Ummmm, an outdated and malfunctioning iPhone (8) and whatever photo editing app it came with. My old Canon is no longer working, though I really do need to try harder to revive it. I’m not one to spend money, and I hate updates and changing what I’m familiar and comfortable with. My daughter has the pro gear (and newer phone), but I’ve yet to borrow or learn it. I have an inherited camera too I’ve been meaning to play with. So me and my on-its-last-leg iPhone out back this morning….

If you know anything about me, you know it would be the wildflowers and white flowers that would call to me the most. From inside, on my way to make morning coffee (after going back to sleep earlier since I woke with a headache), the familiar white wildflowers drew me out. I loved that they were still blooming and wanted to capture them against the autumn-leaves background. There is such pure and soulful beauty I find in white blossoms, so this was my main therapy after my emotionally-turbulent week. Ahhhh…

I find nature the most therapeutic for me when I focus on the details, the tinier the better. I suppose that makes sense. When I’m spiraling out of control from an emotional trigger that trips a mine from my traumatic, buried past, the one who knows me best (I’ve recently caught on to this..) tells me something very specific in our conversation, a unique detail. I tend to focus on it. I tend to forget the rest for a moment or two. It’s a grasp for me, something to hold onto. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to stop the free fall. I focus on the folds in petals, the almost-evaporated drops from last night’s (all-too-coincidentally-metaphoric) rain, the tiniest bright stars in the unfurled center. It centers me. Again.

This one entranced me the most, like a beautiful ballet, its story performed without words but deeply felt… 

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Then there’s simply the beauty of autumn’s bright leaves, which I do not take for granted living in the South.

In just about every subject I frame in my lens, I also find a story or lesson. I begin my autumn adventure with the nest in the nook of my eucalyptus tree. This tree is not the mother of these leaves, but then again, home is sometimes found, and families can be made outside of genes, and both of these can save a soul. 

(Here is the eucalyptus’ biological offspring:)img_8132

Next, as tends to happen, I notice and go out of my way to admire and showcase the beauty in the imperfect. I chose this leaf to be the star today.

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I’m sure the ones who were more “whole” and less “marred” were confused. Like with flowers and seashells, I find the most powerfully-moving stories in the subjects that many would overlook or toss back, reject. We are all imperfect, though; we all have our scars, and with each, a very personal story, usually untold. Yet how similar, I’m sure, our hidden fears and pains are. The light seems to find all of us equally though, as a saving, nonjudgmental love.

This leads me also to respect the shadows. This bright red evoked a somber mood. I paused a while to pay homage.

This next green leaf intrigued me so! Among the astonishing inner workings, a very distinct marking gave my imagination the lead in metaphorical hypotheses formation: an internal imaging picture revealing the disease or alien or parasite inside; a tattoo (and what does it symbolize?); a birthmark; a branding; an astrological sign? Victim, chosen savior, scarred warrior? Its emblem is seared into my mind’s eye. 

Nearby, another attention capturer, the decay in such stark contrast to the green stem. A charred lung having always been fed plenty of oxygen. Self-asphyxiation? Leaving or returning to life? Maybe the later stages of the disease above? Open back up the valve to your heart! Choose to receive the love! (I told you there’s never a dull moment in my mind…) 

In this next one, I find the bittersweet. The sun’s rays have found this one and are comfortingly drying the pool of tears. Such a tender and touching healing story, especially since the leaf has detached from its life source. Perhaps the rays are the forgiveness before death, all amends made before the soul leaves the body to be lifted. Is there anything left unspoken in your own heart today?… 

Don’t worry, I’ve saved the most lighthearted for last! 🙂 Here we have the strawberry or the rose (shhhh…don’t let it hear you say its a leaf!). We can really be whatever we choose to be, can we not? This one made me smile. Now I could manipulate the leaves to create such a capture, but when I find it naturally so, it makes it so much better. 

And there you have it: a glimpse of what it’s like to be in Laura’s head when far away in the nearness of nature. I’d like to stay lost forever. I don’t think I’d miss the world. Wherever I go though, I promise to always send you rays of light, reflected with my lenses. ❤ 

Each Sunset More

Each sunset seems
to tug a bit more
on my heartstrings
with each passing season,
each season of dreams.

There is extra warmth inside
the old, vacant chambers
where I kept watch over my heart,
warded off non-strangers,

renovated with light
and a hearth kept heated
by a devoted lover
and dozing Labraheeler.

My soul needs winter
and cinnamon and chai,
soft blankets of snow
and crackling fire,

and so it feels inside
beginning to believe
in the magic of miracles
and happy endings,

and as I drift in the bliss
that I have to leave to sleep,
I know I’ll wake tearless
save for the heart-overflow leaks.

Each day we wake, a blessing,
to wake again into our dreams.

Morning Kiss

The sea oats
have grown tall;
I let them
skim my palm, 

feel the tickles
gifted from heaven
as the sea’s soul 
is orchestra lifted 

above the tides
of this earth
to scoop me up
with open arms
into the surf.

I offer all I’ve brought
to sacrifice to God,

releasing the heavy,
releasing the pain, 
hoping the ghosts 
will choose escape

as I make it more
uncomfortable 
to haunt these
inner spaces

tarnished, turning gold
from the light
of love
joining the soul’s. 

My feet sink
in the warm silk
as my heart, 
with you inside,
even more 
fills. 

Buoyant become
the weights
as the shackles and chains
give way
to become part
of the dark, watery
grave.

Today, I take
back my life.
Today the curse,
I unwind.

Wet feet,
sand clinging,
I walk back
and through my fingers,

the sea oats feel
the difference

as the sun 
awakens,
rises to kiss
me so gently 
once

again…. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Eruption

I stop kissing you
all over
with the arrival
of those colors,

that fleeting burst
of wonder
to remind us of our
benevolent Creator.

The sky erupts
in pastels and light;
the windows get tinted,
so I fly outside.

By the hand
and heart,
still connected, 
you follow suit,
smiling topless

in your jeans.
The light reflects
off my evergreen
irises.

You say it’s hard
to tell which is brighter
when my eyes are affixed
on the horizon,

but even you
succumb to it:
the moments of glory,
the magnificence, 

and just like that,
the day descends,
and we resume
our sweet indulgence:

lips dancing
beneath the stars
that wink between
themselves 
about the lovers

they brought together
by aligning 
when He finally gave the nod
in the timing… 

Poem and unedited sunset ©LauraDenise

The Harp

In the garden
of my dreams,
I reach
to strum the harp of
our reality

to transport me back
into your arms
where you catch me
falling hard,
deeper daily
in love

in fluttering
yellow sundress,
wind-tousled
hem and tresses,
as you twirl me
and call me princess

among pink
Himalayan Balsam,
kiss-me-on-the-mountain,
on the mouth of
the River Wensum

as I skinny dip in
the abyssal iris blue
of our bliss,
and time falls still
as the windmills hitch
their breath…

as our lips
brush
before the blush
that watercolors
the canvas,
and all of Norwich
looks up
to see the sunset
we created.

Dress Pockets

Over the years, I’ve collected
the best fragments
from the jagged breaks
of the past,
revisiting the scenes
after the immediate threats
have into ashes passed.

When the sun faithfully returns,
each ray seems to gently lead,
reflecting in intermittent beams,
to rebuild resilient dreams,

refracted off each of these
gorgeous shards of glass.
I add to these, the heartifacts
unearthed from avalanche

and dug up from old spots,
buried for protection,
washed and polished rocks
diversifying my unified vision.

In dress pockets,
I tuck into shadows
the reflections resurrected,
reunite them with the rays
as I sentimentally
deconstruct them,

assembling a mosaic
stained-glass arboretum
to grow from pains and grief
a new garden of suncatchers
and walk among the rainbows
into a new and beautiful future.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Upward and Hilltop

upward

a work in progress
perhaps no one should be
for to simply be oneself
should happen effortlessly
it would seem

it’s work for me though 
to attempt to undo
the disease seeds
enemy-planted deep
that choke the bloom 

contaminating the roots
robbing nutrients 
always pulling at
upward movement 

i grow my colors
lift my face to the sun 
drink the falling waters
offer pollen to everyone 

yet i keep coming
undone
keep feeling invisible
tugs

so i work
to break free
from that which
i cannot see
that has this grip
on me

and little by little
with each sinless absolution 
i sense each time 
another parasitical 
root is loosened 

directly by my
higher power
and the words
sinking in from 
finally believing
my true-lover 

feeling lighter 
is the way 
to the self 
i have begun
to realize 

to remove
the shackles
of the world
and psyche
to return
the soul
to the
sky


Hilltop

It’s true, I’m blooming.
I hope you can see:
I am blossoming 
because your love
has been seeded in me,
and upward is the only
direction I can go
when these internal
whispers of yours
hush the world
so ours are the only
voices I hear

when the storms
return raging from those
traumatic years.
Time need not
be turned back:
unraveling these knots
of old patterns, 
we’re perfecting
with practice.
I will do more
than hold on
for with your patience,
I am remembering 
more quickly 

that this is 
the present,
and I am nestled 
safely in the nearness
of you 
upon the hillside 
with the endless view
of anywhere 

I wish to go 
whilst bringing with me
my found, forever
home.

Poems and images ©LauraDenise