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

Parting Kiss

I must part ways with you now,
dear Darkness;
Light is forlorn
without its Laura,

my aura
is dimming
the further I drift
in this alluring
cradling
away from attempts

of putting forth
the efforts
to swim
back up
toward Bliss:

I still hope,
believe (barely),
that it exists.

A parting kiss…

Yes, I know
that means
I will have to let go,
for now,
of that dream,
but I can keep
the parts
that were seeded,
for weeds
they are not;
I feel it,
in that new spot,
how I can nurture
it into something
beautiful
still…

I will.

I return to the isle
from a distance,
leave a trinket,
so it is known
I’ll always
be near,

no need to desert
every future
possibility.

We will all
someday
see.

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.

Aforementioned

There is no greater feeling
(other than love, and perhaps forgiveness)
than the way the heavens
ever so slowly open
in the last of the
fading rumbles,
parting clouds
to reveal nothing more
than the forgotten,
that supreme is
all, above and beyond this,
that we never were alone
through any of it;
it makes me almost wish

for another storm…

I realize that this is
that love and forgiveness
aforementioned
taking form.

This is how inner
peace is born.

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Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Pitfalls and Wings

I remember you describing it like trap doors.

That unexpected drop we don’t see coming. It’s one thing when you are watching your footing, placing your soles carefully around the eggshells, having been conditioned, trained, skilled, at moving around in this on-guard, defensive way. It’s another when you’ve just started to have confidence in the spring in your step upon trusted ground. I was outdoors, in my favorite place, when it happened this last time.

A trap pre-set by a predator disguised as a friend. Another very unexpected fall. No problem. I’m used to it. I know what to do. It’s all very logical. Except when I go to grab onto the root to begin the climb, it opens another hole. I unexpectedly drop again. I reach, I lift myself, I lift myself, I reach for the wrong root again and another hole opens… I don’t understand these. They come from deep within my own self. These were not set by him. There is no logic; I’ve tried every pattern. Eventually, I make it out.

And then another pit sends me plummeting.

I’m thinking about these pitfalls today, sitting upon a rock in a favorite dress on a beautiful day, revisiting the scene, the trap pre-set especially for me. I find myself thinking the all-too-familiar question for each of us, so universal, so personal: why me?

I honestly do feel I should have been spared by my higher power. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve done my time. With Trauma. But what sense of entitlement and special treatment is that? Not to mention the whole free-will clause which others can use to interfere with my own hard work and desires.

So I do now reflect on the possible reasons. Does God have yet another lesson for me to learn, yet another trial to overcome? How strong does He want me to be?! And why?… When I think of this, I do not feel like a victim; there is very little woe is me. I actually get a bit excited that He is preparing me for big things. Like I am a chosen one. And if ever I were to be in training or to serve, I would definitely want it to be for Him! I feel empowered. I feel an ego I never thought I had. I always thought I was selfless to a fault.

I did it. I think. Again. I’ve lost, yet won.

Are you proud of me, God?


I think, too, about how much I have control of and how much I don’t. I know how we react is everything, our miseries often self-induced, self-perpetuated, the way we keep ourselves trapped and prisoners; we look down sometimes and see the cuffs and chains are unlocked, and we scramble to re-secure them. Why?

Is it all fear?

If so, are we really trusting God is with us, sees what is ahead? We cannot get there if we keep re-locking ourselves when He keeps setting us free.

My past is my past. I have freed myself from it. I must shake the dungeon dust fully off. Perhaps that is the purpose of these new wings.

I feel the breeze of your and His love…

Thank you for always believing in me.

I suppose with wings,
these pitfalls can

no longer sink me;
I’ll keep my eyes

forward in these skies
and focused
on the portals
to my dreams.

Words and images ©LauraDenise

December Pinks

The pink blooms I never planted
are more beautiful than ever
as I return rejuvenated
to the patio in December.

Autumn has rained
its traditional hues too;
warmth in the setting sun
dries a wet spell of the blues.

I am tickled by the message
of the southern bell for whom it tolls,
waking the possibilities in me
of choosing the way it goes.

I’ll keep growing these pink blooms
even if they get winter-taken,
for I’ve reseeded in my heart
a season of hope to never end.

Solarium

It’s not an attic window,
there are no shutters bolted tight,
no tower, no moat,
no strandedness by height,

no yellowing wallpaper,
no final-resting dust,
no musty-air poisoning,
no bed coils caked in rust.

You are in a single-story solarium
with windows open wide;
the enticing garden path
tries to lure you outside.

I’ve laid it myself;
it leads away from here.
The butterflies know the way;
the fireflies by night, steer.

There is no warden present.
There is no warden at all.
You are not kept prisoner;
screens and panes make up the walls.

I do see your ghosts;
they cordially serve you tea,
sit faithfully by your side,
read you books of false history,

but they are apparitions
as thin and weightless as the breeze
I blow into your windows
in hopes of distracting.

You feel me again,
look past them out the window;
your heart flutters to wake you,
but it’s noticed by one ghost

who floats to the window
to look out again at me.
I try to stare through him;
he grins maliciously.

I come by again in each tomorrow.
You are starting now to grey.
I’ve since given up my immortality
to free you from these
non-chains.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

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

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