Wind and Wings

I will bend to please,
for I put first others’ needs;
overempathy makes me weak.

Forceful winds,
whether intended or not,
push with invisible pressure 
until my insides knot. 

In opposite direction
of secret desires,
the flight I am put on
with unpurchased ticket
takes me higher

but farther
on false wings
to where I wished to be;
nonetheless, I relentlessly
look for the positives 
in my surroundings. 

Rock, boulder, 
my anchor,
my center,
is never stationary.
I move the mountains
with the strength
of your arms 
and my unshakable faith
in the Almighty. 

Bent tree. 
Flight path. 
Criss-crossing trajectories.
I will bend back.
I will disembark. 
And wherever that leaves me, 
I will find where 
the wildflowers are. 
And if you pluck them all, 
I will water the seeds
in my heart. 

I will persevere as me,
no matter how many rounds
I smartly, politely, or wearily
concede. 
Each of those fertilize 
bloom potentiality. 

I will grow my own
wildflower fields
until they rise
out of me. 

Event Horizon

Part three of an unnamed work in progress. Here are parts one and two: My Star and A Coat of Sunshine

Time to talk about the song.

When my son last visited, he played this song a lot on our Bluetooth speaker while he and his girlfriend and my daughter stayed up all hours playing board games (while I tried to sleep in the master suite of the ranch on the other side of the door). It’s a song he really feels, like the movie. At the first notes, when it comes on the radio now when he is not present, I immediately change it. To “control” my sadness. I try to avoid thinking about him and his sadness and his addiction, him as Bradley Cooper in the movie. It just hurts too much.

It was the mention of the movie and allusion to the song in passing on social media that stemmed this writing spree in me though. I connected with a fellow English teacher-poet on Instagram where I usually just post and go without actually socializing. I am one to put a song on repeat for hours, for days, to feel, to lose myself in the zone, to somewhere it seems I am being led, but only hitting repeat on max volume on my earbuds and a lot of patience simply lingering at the portal is necessary. To let myself feel without thinking for once. For a long while…

I listened to the soundtrack while sweating through yard work. Then I watched the video… and cried. What a sad movie. One of his favorites, of course. I could never remove the movie from myself now. I didn’t know that that Instagram post I “ran across” by someone I did not yet “follow” would lead me here, to pouring out prose, whether or not I post it or lock it up. I knew it was going to mean something though. I believe strongly in paths crossing for reasons.

I need this. To let my fingers fly free across the keyboard in prose again. To feel the release that comes from that and also through music.

I connect the most in songs to the non-words, the soul eruptions that exceed alpha-translation. That is what pain and love is, after all. And the fall. For me, it is the rise of the wailing “uhs” and “ohs,” and in voices like Lady Gaga’s and Calum Scott’s (“Dancing On My Own”).

In “Shallow,” that point is the moment of free fall. And free fall… could end or not end in a limited number of ways, albeit in limitless places, could be initiated or not initiated for so many reasons, could be the beginning or the end. For me, regarding all of this, it is that push to the edge at the end of my marriage, when I could no longer breathe, and my panic-attacked heart raced as if it were going to give out once and for all. The 2:42 point of no return is when I leapt, screaming on the way down that I have had all I could take, not being able to see the bottom, leaping entirely with the final no-turning-back point of faith, faith I would crash through the mirage of the surface into the “anything more than this.”

I am happy to report, it was the best jump I ever made. The one that saved me. I didn’t want to have wings. I just wanted to crash through it to the other side. Full speed. Once and for all. 

I am also keenly aware that others feel that same desperateness and take the leap to leave this life altogether. The song’s narrator makes it clear she will never meet the ground though. I feel a need and calling to string nets for every jumper off course. So they are forced back up and can only pass through the same portal as me and her, only with faith and courage. In the more that is here in this life.

May angels escort each at the edge. To safety. To life. 

The Gardening

I saw a miracle,
or how a miracle
would be explained
by scientists
ignorantly:

I saw a wish
become a dream,
then belief
birth it into
reality,

deep feelings
igniting all synapses 
in a total firing, 
a supernova
of the heart,
a soular sunburst
with only doubt
dying,

for when the purest
of whispers
get heard by 
benevolent Night,
legend has it
the stardust falls
to earth as seeds
from the sky,

and in the last
of the day’s rays,
Sun conspires
to highlight
the wishie
sent individually
to each to inspire

the closed eyes
and active breath
to start the 
miracle process,
as the angels
all about us

continue the collection
and sprinkling,
their glowing silhouettes
sometimes detected
in that golden hour
of gardening. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Sea Dance

Barefoot atop the deep waters,
white dress and wild tresses flowing,
sunken-ship cemetery of the past beneath,
I twirl in this present moment. 

The sea is mine
as my dance floor,
and I skim across 
to my pick of shores;
I explore, I vacation, 
not searching, just jubilation
of losing
worries and fears,
exaltation of the lightness
of the lifting of those stormy years,
each moment an eternity
to get to the next,
each stepping stone
sinking with each vine grasped,
no beanstalk discovered
to bring me to the clouds,
only faith each day
for decades
of a better tomorrow.

That tomorrow is today,

hence the head-raised dance
in the sun and in the rain,
embracing with wide-opened arms
the achievement of having started
upon this horizon
I only viewed from the beach.

The stepping stones still sink.
I just realized the only missing factor
was to fully 

believe.

They were never needed. 
Self-love was the only key.

I was always worth it. 
Eventually, I fought
for me
and this
dream.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Harbingers

Valley to valley,
shapeshifting sands,
mountains slipping down
and through my hands, 

peak mirages
yet they block my view,
do not permit ascent
from the shadows
to vistas of truth, 

yet I knew
beyond the traps and setbacks,
somewhere out there
was a billowing mast

and endless skies of blue
and a sail or cloud or both
to take me away to where I knew
my hopes as harbingers
had successfully found

the place where all my dreams
come true:
mid-ocean,
where I crossed paths
with you. 

Alar Faith

To be too heavily drenched in dogma
hinders the flitting of my wings;
Spirituality keeps me soaring
to dispense light into others’ dreams.

My morality is Mendelian,
deeply imbued before birth.
Religion-commitment issues
plague me; a dozen flirt.

I believe. With all that I am.
I believe. I always have.
Supreme Being(s).
Loving Creator.
So much more before,
so much more after.

I infuse myself with nature,
immerse myself in the mysteries,
the divine origins steeped
in all-natural history.

I believe in light
begotten by love,
and in my soul,
there are restless doves.

Extra Stars

The atramentous autumn sky
flickered with extra stars,
so I took some extra time to watch
from distant, earthen hearth,

and being the thinker
that I am,
I began to take inventory,
and being the bard
that I am at heart,
I began to see
the allegory,

for before me
strewn across the heavens
was the grandest empyrean exhibit,
but the evidence
I was unable to capture
beyond anatomical lenses,

and all around that
single, revealing
hole in the ceiling opening,
the clouds crowded to cover,
and the witnessing opportunity
seemed to be so strictly limiting.

I thought about how the glory
is ultimately still present
beyond the view
and one’s personal access,
and how many
who were gifted the glimpse
simply didn’t
despite their advantageous
position on the axis,

and what a shame to think
of the wishes
that were never able
to find their way
to the clearing
from the ones
who were denied
such patch of sky
and from the ones
who altogether stopped
believing,

so I wish I could jar some stars
and hand them out
to the ones bereft of hope;
I’d tie on pretty ribbons
and leave them on
the doorsteps of selected homes

like snow globes
but with pieces of the heavens
and instead of shaking,
the directions would say:

Simply make a wish
and the giver of this gift
for you and that wish
will pray…

If I Could Reach It

There is a pain in you
so exquisitely piercing,
in depths that cannot
be reached;
if I could dive
into the abyss of you,
I wouldn’t hesitate
to retrieve it.

But even then,
it could too easily
well up again,
so instead,
I would trace the source,
swim upstream
through your tears
and pluck
from the duct
the thorn.

But I cannot.
The furthest I can reach
is your heart
and transfuse the antiserum
from my own scars,
hold your hand
and see you through
each storm,
and all of my faith
add to yours
and send up
our plea

to the stars.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

A Change in Prayer

A sure sign of emotional/psychological healing and growth is the change in your prayers.

At the pivotal changing point in my life, God had very clearly answered a recent prayer I had delivered in tears on my knees in the locked bathroom at one my lowest points.

Since then, my prayers have mostly been gratitude, praise, and thanks. As I navigated future personal relationships, my prayers reflected the absolute hot mess I was. I think I heard God chuckle. While shaking His head. It’s been a very sloppy trial-and-error process of learning how to be in healthy relationships, none romantic, thank goodness; I think I am still eons away from being ready for that.

Last night was an emotionally upset prayer again. Usually, no matter how disappointed I get about something, after being mad at God even and pouting, I concede that He knows what He is doing, knows what’s best for me, knows what lies ahead for me. I unconditionally have always had faith in His plan and the timing of all the pieces. Last night, part of my prayer included the self-affirmation that I will never be ashamed of who I am. Who I truly am. The real, albeit often misunderstood, me. It was not a woe-is-me but an oh-well-for-them shift.

Lately, the statements and affirmations I’ve made out loud during God-talk has surprised me to hear. I have definitely healed and grown a lot. And I have definitely grown even closer to God. I’ve never written about Him until recently. But my faith is simply part of all that I am, that authentic me I’ve been excavating. My higher power is the only familiar presence who has always, always been there for me, one who knows my heart fully, and unconditionally loves me.

I can’t imagine looking back, before me, or ahead without Him there. What a bleak and lonely existence that would be. I no longer fear speaking of Him. If it is a sin to use His name in vain, I can’t imagine facing Him having resorted to no longer saying His name aloud at all from fear.

I believe in God. Unfollow or follow me as you see fit.

Thank you, God, for helping me build myself up from the rubble of those yesteryears, and thank you for who you’ve sent into my life for me to lean on during the process.

I will always have faith in you and the plans you have for me that I may never understand in this life.

fullyandingenuouslytrusthim

In Darkness and Doubt

This one’s for a friend. For my son. For my student. For you. For me.

We all stumble.
Sometimes merely a trip,
sometimes down a seemingly
endless, dark abyss.

We all get lost.
Sometimes we find our way,
sometimes indefinitely
in the same spot,
we remain.

We all face obstacles.
Sometimes they lift,
sometimes they seem
utterly hopeless.

(Photo by my son)

We all lose sight
of the beauty within.
Sometimes a mirror lies,
sometimes a “friend.”

We all are small.
Sometimes toward Him
we feel the pull,
sometimes we feel
invisible.

But…

The thing about a hole,
even one without a bottom,
is that there is always a top
so the direction is clear: up.

A loved one will be by soon
to lower the rope.
It is up to you
to hang
onto that hope.

And if no one comes,
the direction is still the answer:
He is always there.
He hears your prayers.

Sometimes the hole
was put there on purpose,
the time in it ironically necessary
for advancement.

Sometimes you have the tools already
and simply need to begin the ascent,
for sometimes it is up to you
to get to that ground-level summit.
He already knows you can do it.
Sometimes the self-help in itself
is the only missing ingredient.

The last thing about a hole
is that you never forget
how much space
what is missing inside
takes up,
and you will feel
so much fuller
than any other
when it gets filled up.

We all get lost
in different forests,
for no one ever
seems to be around,
endless looping trails
we wearily trudge,
the darkness of the deep wood
making the light
but a teaser,
the source unable
to ever be found.

The key to getting out
is to keep moving
in new directions;
the path worn
by our own feet
is the very one
that sinks us
into the false belief
that there is no other way.
Sometimes we even stop
trekking altogether
and set up camp
in one spot,
a surefire way
to eliminate
a destination
is to not move
at all.

The light is ever-shining,
day and night;
we are never truly left
in the dark,
for He gave us
both sun and moon
as an eternal spark,
and to keep
our whispered dreams lit,
the stars.

Obstacles work
in similar fashion,
a mountain before you
threatening to spew
lava and ashes.

Obstacles are meant to be
overcome,
sometimes the threat
intentionally sent
from Satan himself
to paralyze you with fear;
the paradise on the other side,
he tries to keep you
from getting any nearer.

But the mountain is harmless.
You can waste time and effort
attempting to go around it,
but the view from the top
is worth it,
so I highly recommend
climbing it.

img_7047
(Photo by my daughter)

And when you reach the top,
you get to see
that past in better perspective
in which you felt trapped
before turning back
and beginning the adventure
of what comes next,
the future not clear,
but the lush panoramic
welcomes your fresh
starting steps.

When it comes to sight
to see the beauty within,
if you don’t know it yet,
then you need to start
with dispelling the myths
that usually come
from another’s words
or simply judging yourself
by warped societally-produced standards.

Two remedies I have found to be effective.
The first: submerse yourself
in the positive affirmations
that come from someone else
until those whispers
drown out
the past-yelled lies
and even the ones
in your own eyes
you cast upon yourself.
They are false.
You will, in time,
come to love
yourself.

In the meantime,
you can dispel
those warped society beauty-standards,
for you were created
with love and purpose,
precisely as God intended,
every detail;
there are no imperfections.
Do what you can
to honor
the body your soul
was given;
it is the temple
of the Holy Spirit within.

We are, indeed, all small.
It is meant to fill us with awe,
to remind us we are part
of something so much grander
than we could ever imagine,
a divine plan.

We are never alone,
the presence of a higher power
is around us all
so when we begin to feel
undetectable,
when our “lives”
seem the end of the world,
our perspective
of those big problems
should dissolve some
to know
it is much of that
that is insignificant
in the grand scheme of things.

We are embraced
in the loving arms
of Mother Nature,
the personification
of the natural world
gifted by our Creator.
We are all interconnected,
each an essential thread
of something in the making,
a much larger picture
guided by a divine hand.

The key component
in all of these woes
is belief in a higher power;
it is essential for faith
and hope.
You are never
alone.
The direction is up,
always the Guiding Light
home.


When we give up,
we give in
to the doubt
of His very personal plan
for each of us.
Only He knows what lies ahead,
and it often lies in
our own hands,
for He gave us free will
and intellect and talents,
throws us curve balls
like holes and mountains
not to test us,
I don’t think,
but for our own good
to steer us
to challenge us
to shake us
to wake us
to become all that He knows
we can.

I am His child.
I will always
trust His plan.
Especially in the times
I get frustrated
because I just don’t
understand.

We are not meant to
until we are,
and that revelation
may only be revealed
in the language of
stars.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)