Dissolving into Grace

Saving grace,
whole heart back
in your arms,
you hold all of me
as me;
I never knew
how non-words
could feel the best route.
Unspoken is our reset,
mutual forgiveness,
moving on
but not leaving
anything unaddressed.
We understand,
silent resolutions,
in the simple language
of love.

Do you mind if I stay
extra near
awhile,
to just exist
in this balance,
a respite
from the drama
of being so much?

Sometimes
(more often than not),
I exhaust
myself
with this wild heart
and wild soul
I house.

Hold me tight, my love.
You are the only one

who can.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Sun Sets on Christmas

In my backyard, I take a few moments to myself after sun sets on Christmas.

I am drawn to the silhouetting branches of a tree and the stars surrounding it and eventually retrieve my camera to play with all the ways I can arrange the composition. I realize again what could be one of the reasons why I am drawn to photography: control.

I, in fact, am moving the stars. Positioning them. I manipulate the light. Later, I can manipulate in even more ways with editing apps.

I have danced with control so many times over the years, I had begun to think I was actually the lead. Control for me, though, never has had anything to do with power, simply the illusion of stabilizing, balancing, the perpetual chaos. Little bits of time. Of moments. Of situations. For survival.

As much as I’ve danced with control, I’ve had affairs with denial. Love-hate relationships. I think denial at times was truly a friend, keeping me afloat. At times, I think a betrayer; I could have stood up in the water that was actually shallow. I could have walked out of the water instead of treading. I could have maybe avoided the future near-drownings.

I am drawn most to putting the star here, cradled between the branches reaching for it.

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My Labraheeler has joined me, and I give in to kicking his ball for a bit, then decide to do a few laps around the half acre. He is used to this and follows beside me, jollily carrying his partially deflated mini basketball. We run, silently in companionship.

The weather is simply beautiful, the kind that the soul takes in as the breezy, summer-like night air is inhaled. I trust I know the yard enough to not trip in the growing darkness and trust my pup enough to not cross my path underfoot; I look up to the sky as my blood extra pumps, and all of me feels refreshed, renewed, freed.

This is peace.

The day was merry, and Christmas Eve too. I can’t recall another Christmas in which it truly was. Last year, I wore the smile, made it through, and then was nearly drowned in my after-tears.

I believe in miracles. And in magic. And in love.

I’ve always held fast to faith over the years, but in that hopeful someday kind of way, struggling to not drink in the devil-potions that would make me question and challenge the unfairness of the situations plaguing me. Only a few years ago did I fully recognize miracles, the direct hand of God at work, the Spirit inside me. I had a merry Christmas. We all did. That was a miracle. I’ve always wanted that. I did not think it possible.

I made Christmas magical and happy for my children when they were younger (with the help of my community most years), but I did so under the immense weight of all that being married to an addict-alcoholic adds. Add the strain of being the peacemaker, the glue, and often the leader of my whole family tree. Heavy. Stressful. Masked. Martyr. Superhero. Weighed. Bending. Cracking. Moth-eaten cape. Suffocating. Hiding. Pretending. Pleasing. Holding in. Suppressing. Swallowing. Denying. Lying. Stretched. Thinner. Thinner. Breaking.

Currently, light, airy, floating, feathered, free. Breathing.

So this is Merry Christmas…

I don’t think I’ll edit anything.

Lines in the Dirt

I’ve toed a lot of lines in my life. I’ve toed them recently. I will toe them again today.

My spring out of bed has become inconsistent. My sleep, interrupted. I wake to report to that line again, and that is a different kind of waking. To take my shift to relieve my unconscious self to defend my inner sanctuary boundary-border. Again. It’s exhausting. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s not what I was designed for.

I am more than this.

I was beaten when they breached my outer border. But I’ve since recovered. Now I stand resolute at the final white-picket fence, last patch of wildflowers inside. I feel strong again. Weaponless by choice. A pacifist maybe.

The dust of the corporate stampede settles as the hooves come to a halt. And here we are again. At the line. I toe the dirt with my bare feet, my dress hemline soiled. My head is not bowed. I took into eyes. I look to the heavens. I look back into the eyes.

I am passionate. In all things. I used to think it was my blessing and my curse. But then self-love took hold and merged with my faith in loving, divine, individual creation, so now I think, though I’m still on the journey of discovery and understanding and potential, that my passion is only a blessing.

I taste the indignant feelings rising, mixed into the saliva of my mouth. It is not fear that causes me to swallow it back down. There is no fight or flight in me now. There is only strength and unhurried contemplation. I weigh it all. I need to free myself from the weight.

I hear your voice. And I still myself in hopes of His.

It is silent enough inside me that I can hear the whisper of each petal the breeze gives voice to. There is indeed a great injustice here. A war of the world and the self. A war of the ages. And the individual never wins. I feel I was born to take this stand, though I know it will make no difference in the war. It is indeed personal. But it is mostly the morality that is part of my blood, flowing in and out of my heart.

I will bow gracefully. But not for them. For me. For my wildflower patch.

The two-headed serpent will reside among us. Its poison can no longer make me sick. I will see to it that my flowers flourish despite his presence, slithering so deceitfully all around us.

The corporate stampede stand-off I have stirred in my rebellion retreats with patronizing words I pretend I am too ignorant to perceive.

I turn my attention away from them and him, and begin again to love, to mother,

to teach.

The dirt returns to white sand,
the waves resume their soothing music.
I return to showing my flowers
how unique each is
and all they are capable of becoming,
come the May winds….

Words and images ©LauraDenise

Fissures

Fissures shift,
the inner lifts,
though I wish
to keep it
enclosed.
Exposed
to the elements
becomes my soul.
The tears rise
and flow.

When the painquake subsides,
there are less toxins inside.
I suppose it is nature’s way
of eliminating the accumulating waste,
that which we bury in false deaths,
that which we hide beneath the surface,
a sort of protection and procrastination
of that which we cannot bear in the moment
to face.

Two-faced
are we all.
How are you?
Good, thanks.
Why do we ask
that question
in passing?
Too often fake.
How am I?
Probably actually
similar to how you are
especially in the way
that we guard
the answer.
Brief eye contact.
Continue walking.
If only we acknowledged
anything.
Hands on phones,
hands of clocks.
Bombs inside.
Tick. Tock.

Fissures by nature
are meant to be breaks.
Down is mine. Again.
No brakes.

Not a fall
but an opening.
An involuntary wound-seeping.
Weeping.

My inner, risen now.
What will you do
with what’s come out?

Red is the heart
and magma
at the core.

I’ve left a puddle
of lava
upon your floor.

Tranquility Ripples

Tranquility inside,
a choice,
choosing the bay side,
slowing rough waters
to ripples,
muting colors to fuse
land to sky as
complex fades
to simple. 

Walking the plank
to pause the world,
abandoned pier, 
quaint and personal,
tucked between 
leafy trees
and sea grasses
swaying subtly,

a landscape painted
lovingly
just for you.
Slip into
serenity,
retreat until 
restored anew. 

Poem and image ©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. 

Among the Pink

I sat among the pink today
to have the rest fade away,
mesmerized by the world within,
tracing with eyes each leaf and stem.

Concerns abandoned 
in the face of trichomes;
transfixed am I
under nature’s hold.

I visit the center,
greet the stamens;
they let me hide out
in the silken cavern. 

Next I intentionally slip
into the labyrinth of green
and lose myself
for as long as I wish 
to be unseen. 

This is how I restore
when I give too much 
of me to the world.


After-Storm

Unedited after-storm sky,
heavens open up
as if to apologize 
for the tribulation
necessarily survived,
though still withheld 
must be the why.

Instilled with a knowing
a higher power so loving
is in control when I spin
in my free will off trajectory, 

I simply pause all the swirling
emotional turbulence within 
and feel the wind,
the exhale of the one above,
mighty breath on my skin;

my hair and soul lift up,
and I wish my feet would. 
Grounded on this earth for now;
let me master all the lessons.

There is nothing but comfort
in the after-storm sky,
a sojourn wrapped in serenity,
a glimpse of afterlife. 

Today, I Choose

Today, I choose
to mute the gray,
encroaching ghosts,
and the negativity
of others attempting
to block the rays.

I turn up the colors,
the cardinal’s song,
my own showtune voice
singing along,

the sky blue,
the verdant greens,
the leaves infused with
late summer’s breeze…

Today, I choose
to mute the grays,
to focus only on
the beauty gifted
in this day.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Drops of Fuchsia

A sojourn among the wildflowers
is what my soul needs
in regular doses,
down low 
among the “weeds”

where time does not stand still,
but the world does,
for nothing exists in the moment
except for us, 

and no greater beauty 
can there be
than in the nonmanhandled,
outside-the-garden-lines seed
that blooms so gracefully,
silently defying, 
yet exuding pure peace;

that peace
transfers into my essence
as I listen with my soul
to the whispered sapience, 

no lesson or story 
captivates my interest
more than what the petals transmit,

and to think how often it goes unnoticed –
underfoot, sole-crushed, disregarded –
the natural therapy for inner balance.

If you happen to have the interest, 
I’ll share with you what was imparted 
on this Tuesday morning in my own backyard
during my daily sojourn 

among the wildflowers…. 

I wish to simply be
the color in your gray,
to open your heart to seeing
every season has new days,
and there always exists
little blessings sent 
personally your way… 

We all at times lose focus
as the world becomes tear-blurred;
that’s why we were given each other
to lean on, lend strength, stay near.

When we get closer
through the growing trust,
we become less guarded
and show the rest of us,


the complexities, 
the other ways through 
the protective shield,
the scars, the webs, the truths,

and we find,
though all unique,
we are the same
in our sufferings,

made so we
take turns with it,
return to the circle 
of falls and lifts
.

I am here
to share my hues,
overflowing now,
but once like you
.

And when you come
into fuller bloom,
pay it forward
so others may too
become imbued.

Poem and this morning’s backyard photography ©LauraDenise