Dandelion Canopies

You’ll find her beneath
the dandelion canopy, 
refueling her yellow,
feeding her sunny,
nectar for her sappy,
when the sun is setting,

the crazy nature girl
bending, squatting,
making magic
out of “nothing.” 
Witnesses stop asking
what she’s doing.

Make fun of her 
but don’t interrupt
the wildflower child 
when she’s crouched,
hair dangling down 
in the dirt,
as roots reach up
to genially greet her. 

Never mind her 
echo to the birds
or her silly grin 
as she whispers
to unseen
chimerical creatures.

You’ll find her beneath 
the dandelion canopy
filling her heart’s fancy
with macro memories. 

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Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Softening

Sometimes, I
prefer the blur,
the softness,
of out of focus,
where it all becomes
muted and fuses
with the natural horizon,
and even my femininity,
graceful and soft-spoken,
has a voice among the hushes,
my lyrics freed but the language
not audible or of this world,
for it is my soul who recognizes
this celestial light befalling before
the sun bids us adieu, never
resting, only sharing itself with
others too, as this speck of a
planet shifts, and upon
this ray, I lay this kiss
to be sweetly
delivered
to you.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Symbols in the Sand

A detour, soulful tugging,
I find myself impulsively
knelt again on the white sands
before the altar at an end
of the earth,
surf symphony
rising predictably
to greet me,
but I casually look about
for the signs He wanted me
to again come ’round…
between my toes
ancient mountains ground
to grains,
quartz granules,
sugar-soft,
appropriate backdrop
for the hieroglyph
written for me:
it freezes me.

So easily,
I succumb
to the enchantment
of silence,
save for those waves
and occasional sea birds
with personal messages calling.
(It always baffles me
how I can so often have
this parcel of paradise
to myself…)
I stay a long, unhurried while
just trying to feel
what this enigmatic swirl
of sea oat in the sand
is all about…
Something about curves
is always so sensuous,
aesthetically strokes
my soul…
I don’t need a translation;
in fact, I prefer
this sacredly-carved symbol.
I make it my own
and add it to my collection
of clues
leading me leisurely
home.
It is the journey
after all, and I have nowhere else
to go.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Glass Portals

If I have to have walls,
give me windows
big and bright
where shadows can dance for hours
with the light,
windows that open
wide
to invite the breezes
inside.
In all mental-health seasons, 
I so easily slip away
for days,
lose myself 
in those sunny sills
and rainy panes, 
faraway thoughts
that need not be
sorted nor restrained;
even my muses need
a holiday. 
The spaces inside
my dwelling fade
in comparison 
to the glass
and screens I need
for my soul 
to not suffocate.
If I have to have walls, 
give me windows
through which to endlessly 
escape.

Mythological Growths

Cycloptic serpent
scorched deep
into my being,
color of decay
not even attempting
to camouflage
into my resilient green,
laying eggs,
disease breeding,
growing larger,
but still unable
to see,
for at my core
is also my heart,
and it bleeds
in light.
You try
to grow more eyes,
but this love
inside
will always
render you
blind,
not Karma
but what is right
finally
for I have falsely seen
too clearly
all my life

your lies.

The exorcist has arrived:
self-love.
Parasite,
good final bye.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Flickers

Fear resides on both sides,
in the direct sun and in
the borderless shadows;
the light, however,
competes with mine,
so my soul still remains
largely unexposed.

I unzip my skin
behind the bushes
and dip into the sea
of all that I am
and all that I have
yet to be,

a flame underwater, inextinguishable,
no longer chained to the illusion
of drowning;
I dive deeper in belief
of my self
and arise, wet and glowing.

In my new skin,
a more comfortable fit,
I swirl together
the sun and shadows
as I dance,
and the flickering
upon my upturned face
reveals another transformation
taking place
within.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

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. ❤ 

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