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

Resetting the Sand

With wide-opened arms,
I offer myself
again to the sea,
double-red flag at the
abandoned beach
and in me.

I give it all to God
who takes it up
with the wind,
wild waves
rush up from within.

Benevolent powers
remind me
who I am
and what I’m capable of
in this lifetime chance

when He is inside me
like He’s always been,
and all of nature,
my lifelong friends.

The beach itself
is rippled clean,
new slate
on which to imprint
the path
He leads,

another first step
into the trust
of His plan,
the next leg of a journey
to lead me even closer
to where He is at.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Re-Lighting

Rough week. Double red flags waving. The bay wilder than the ocean. It called me home. Here’s to the ones in the throes of it. Let’s relight ourselves. Again.

I give my light freely,
but sometimes it is taken,
emotional perpetrators
breaching my innermost spaces.

They underestimated 
my strength
and did again
today,

for as long as there
is the sea and my God,
I will raise my arms
in faith;
you will never 
keep me down
as long as there 
are waves and rays. 

I will wash 
what you left
away. 

You underestimated 
our strength. 

Soft Impressions

Let me walk
with you awhile, 
whether or not you
lend me your shoes
for a mile.

In fact, let’s both
take them off
and leave them here
as we surf the shore,

finding naturally
the treasures
within us each,
bare feet
on common
shifting grounds
equally.

One set of footprints
in the sand
they say is when
we are carried by Him,

but in the interim
let me be the second
impressions alongside yours,
for in this world
we all need sometimes
to see the touch
so longed for. 

We don’t need to hold hands.
We don’t need to even speak.
Let’s just walk together awhile
in the comfort of kindred company.

And should you be here again tomorrow,
maybe we could exchange shoes for a mile. 
And should you come back at our planned time, 
maybe for a bit, we could leave our shells behind.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Would You Walk With Me? (With Audio)

If I offered you my hand, 
would you walk with me, 
leisurely toward dreams
sunsetting upon the sea?

If I shared what’s in my shell, 
let you hear the whispers, 
would you heart-preserve them
among your dearest treasures?

If I stopped and turned
and looked into your eyes, 
would I find there
what I’ve been searching for
all of my life?

If I were brave enough 
to let that gaze linger, 
would you be brave enough
to close the distance
even further?

If you kissed me,
would you be able to surrender, 
to allow me to turn the key
and make you mine
forever,

not by locking,
but by releasing, 
freeing the love
you’ve been deep-freezing, 

to feel directly
the flutter of mine,
the wings I have grounded
indefinitely from flying?

And if they combined, 
these lights in our souls, 
would you regret
not having the time
for closure with
your shadows? 

If our union ends
up to be the origin
of love, 
would this moment
be perfect enough
for the first page
of our album? 

Would you fall
each day deeper
in love with me;
would our love grow
until it lifts us
into eternity?

I suppose if you don’t know
all of this now, 
I’d still like to walk with you 
awhile, 
and if you already know
all of this now, 
you should know
these feelings in me
I could never
disavow.

As you reach for my hand
even though none of this
I have said aloud, 
I feel the universe shift
and know I have been
finally found. 

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Abandoning Ghosts

If just for today, my darling, 
turn your back on them;
let’s leave the ghosts behind,
full circle turn the penance.

We’ll frolic through the fields,
tuck some petals behind our ears;
let the coast drown out those distant wails,
let our laughter be what we hear.

Take my hand, my love;
too beautiful is this day!
Let’s get lost on our deserted island;
let me take you to our favorite place. 

In the breezy, salty air
beyond the slow windmill, 
when the light catches just right, 
let me entrance you with my sea-spell; 

look into my eyes,
let my soul-windows reflect
every reason I fell for you
in all the seasons since we met

to remind you who you really are,
to discredit all their untruths,
I’ll seal the re-revelation in
with a stolen kiss
and by your initiative,
endless more will ensue;
we’ll topple down into the warm sand
and love away the afternoon. 

Your ghosts can wait. 
Be mine today, 
my forever
groom. 

I smile and hide that the breath
delivered with that kiss I trapped inside
was laced with a mermaid-gifted
antidotal light
to transmute the creviced shadows
that had slowly been eating you alive. 

A daily dose I’ll provide
as your forever nurse-
bride. 

If just for today, my darling, 
turn your back on them;
let’s leave the ghosts behind.
Stay here in my eyes. 

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

In the Sea of Shells

In the vast sea of shells,
you found mine,
on the island upon which I buried
the saltwater in my eyes.

Or is it that…

In the vast sea of shells,
I finally found you
upon a remote shore
with a heart I’d renew.

Who found whom?

Perhaps not a finding at all
when God as Matchmaker
guides two souls
together to love
and to forevermore hold.

So grateful to finally be led
home.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Inside Clouds

Dense fog advisory. Dark, early Saturday morning. Mild temperatures. A perfect time to… head to the beach! I make my coffee to go.

I love fog and mist, as I do rain and thunderstorms…something about the mood of this kind of weather invigorates my soul. It is another clue in the discovery of my own inner roots, another clue in the direction to go, to finally arrive at home, that place my soul has always tugged me toward. I have come to co-exist with this spiritual restlessness.

As I make the short drive to the bridge, I am fascinated by the “disappearance” of the familiar land and ocean across the bay, parallel to the road. If I didn’t know it existed, it would seem that this was where the flat earth simply ended, the beyond, inaccessible yet really only veiled by the fog, like El Dorado or Atlantis. But I do know it exists, and I take the bridge into the clouds…

I am obsessed with clouds, so I suppose it is no wonder that the ones reaching down to embrace me call to me. It is a strange sort of adrenaline to me to be on a bridge in a cloud; even though I know by heart what surrounds, it is simply “not there” now, and it is “just me” (why I love early mornings) in this bizarre reality. 

I was hoping to experience the phenomenon I’ve only driven by before: when the fog hovers above the bay. That is not the case today, so I am a bit disappointed and walk to the ocean side. My soul is thrilled, though, to immediately see the lone fisherman: it is another clue about my timeless soul, the comforting spiritual connection I feel observing (or reading poems about) fishermen and remote fishing villages. I ponder again if I may be part mermaid after all. 

A few steps in, I lose vision, my eyesight becoming foggy itself from the sea mist upon my glasses. I will have to look for treasures and take photos partially blind, but always finding the adventure and the positives, I embrace the challenge. It seems more fitting anyway, to have even blurrier vision in the fog; it doesn’t make much of a difference really. For a bit, though, coffee thermos in hand, I sit in the silky white sand and just exist, me and the lone fisherman, phantoms in the mist… I love the coast on days like this, too early or in unfavorable conditions when I can have the world to myself. The fisherman was here first though, an indigenous ghost representing generations of past fishermen lining the coast and not-lost at sea. When the local residents begin their descent on the paved horizon, I will take my leave and return to my bird sanctuary, the lot that contains my abode, never quite a home, though it’s still my favorite place to retreat to.

I find it senseless to come to the sea if you do not at least dip your feet into the magical waters; I am surprised that the water temperature delivers no jolt of briskness. I let the waves wash over my polish-chipped, never-manicured toes, my capris get soaked…oops, but oh well. I walk for a while in the surf, feeling the gentle ebb and flow, benevolent nudges to and fro, the pull teasing, seemingly luring back into the benevolent parts of the deep; I look at my feet, but no tail is morphing.

Back upon the smooth sand-slate, I stoop low to inspect sea-strewn debris and treasures, and I think the difference is truly in the clichéd eye-of-the-beholder; I always favor the forgotten and discarded. I listen with genuine interest to the stories dripping with lessons of the “broken” shells, let them also feel a touch, too often only stepped around and upon, at best inspected and tossed back, seashell hunters looking for “the perfect” ones, visibly whole, sometimes even shunning all and purchasing faux.

I do hold one of those “perfect” formations, though its plainness probably makes it unseen. What I notice most is our prints, and I compare and ponder the non-insignificance, silent lifelines that brand us, as non-related species of different trees, yet neither with roots. We are both free. Both molded with love from the same Creator. Our prints, non-replicable, keep us entirely unique yet give us away, register as “identity,” though no print-reader can ever know me, as none can know the secrets of the story-keepers of the sea.

I get lost for a while in a different time and place, lost in the intriguing details and textures in the muted colors in the calcified, granulated, and liquified elements about me. The wall of a ripple, individual drops, each frothy bubble that comprise the vast ocean collide and linger on a partial sand dollar, and I think to myself how priceless are the macromoments…

Next, I happen upon the jackpot. Or graveyard. Or castaway club. Or secret congregation. Or paradigm peaceful, diversity-infused community. No fog when viewed up close, no excuse of unjust obstruction of revelation, even preconceived notions rinsed with salt-water solution. It all comes down to perception. Yet what we see…how much of our past experiences still renders us blind, keeps our perspective shrouded?

The large beach tangleballs tossed about I can easily “see” without my glasses on, but it is not until I inspect them up close that I realize what is entangled. I see my past. Debris, skeletons, corpses, clutter that the waves of time have purposely weaved and wrapped up and expelled from the waters in its natural self-cleaning process. In my palm, I can hold it all, after the fact. It seemed so large and heavy at the time I experienced each symbol artifact. Droplets of seawater evidence this present expulsion, not even dry yet. Have I added just now to it with this cleansing morning coastal visit?

I take my time on this walk through nirvana, sand grains sparkling like crushed diamonds, priceless like the partial sand dollar, the dusted-jeweled surface soft as sugar with the clouds kissing the surface of earth. I think I see forever, though nothing is clear. I am thankful that what’s behind me has also disappeared. In this muted moment, I feel the celestial peace.

Perhaps limbo is not what we think, for I wish to be suspended for some time in this world of in-between. In between my past and future, in between reality and dreams, in between the highs and lows, snuggled in between these muted sheets where time itself lullaby-sings through the sound waves of the sea. I half expect to see holy spirits from the past and future; I would not be scared for such an encounter. There is no fear here, no extreme emotions, just the sweet, soothing serenity, the peace I knew existed. I wonder if we can take it back with us, have it emanate from our pores, after walking in the clouds so close to heaven’s door, no bright light in sight upon these non-printed, angel-visited shores.

All words and images ©LauraDenise