Curses and Blessings

Deep in the thicket,
the strangers met, 
each escaping
abusive relationships,
seeking the alleged
encampment to rest.
They talked, they comforted, 
they began to open up.
Feelings were born
or stirred to remembrance.
Something magical 
organically flourished. 
But the curse of each 
found them and convened
and grew a thorny wall between,
but pure love and innocence 
in the end will summon 
The Supreme,
and upon wings, 
the Blessing came,
and the last of the Obstacles
fell forever away. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Bridges and Piers

Sunset-lit pier
fades from focus
as the miniature shell-bridge
draws me closer

and gets me thinking…

about what we extend
in our reach to connect, 
and what we retract
when we fear-react,

and all that’s gained
and lost from the taking
and passing of chance,
from the courage 
to not or to
act, 

and how far the distance
can be misjudged from perspective,
and in the grand scheme of things, 
how important it is,

and how often we miss 
and what we learn
when we look up
or bow our heads
to discern 

the difference. 

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

Garden Escape

“Marguerite Gachet in the Garden” by Van Gogh

I have always been one to so easily lose myself, to be lured so very far away, in a painting, a song, a window…

In the years of his cussing at me, I would often detach, escape, into this 1890 white-wooden-framed window… Thank you, Vincent.

I was overweight and often wore comfortable, baggy, masculine clothes. He said dresses did not look good on me. My hair was much shorter then. He said I didn’t look good with it longer.

I was trapped in that marriage, I always (erroneously) felt. From the beginning, it seemed. From the very, very hesitant, “I do” when I was six months pregnant. Twenty-four slow years of the same-old cycle (after cycle), same broken record played over and over.

I wanted to be the young lady in the painting. Mostly because she was far away from the cigarette-butt-and-beer-can scented patio. Mostly because I bet she could hear the birds singing. Mostly because I felt the freedom in the breeze that teased her tresses and hem.

When he finally agreed to leave once and for all, he took the painting. I think he knew…

My daughter wanted to get it back for me. Eventually, I asked too. He said no. This past Christmas, my daughter was going to get me a replica. I told her I don’t really want it anymore, that he ruined even that for me.

But then I realized, I didn’t need it anymore. Because I was now her.

Cussing cacophony
chokes me.
Into my secret garden,
I escape;
surrounded by white flowers
and open air,
I inhale both in deeply.
If his bowl were not empty,
the words would not be
so nasty.
A bottle smashes,
but I know I will only be beaten
verbally.
I run farther
into the open fields
until all I can hear
is the birds’ sweet euphony
soothing me.
The lady left behind

is a statue of stone.
Eventually, he will pass
out cold.
I’ll stay out here a while
longer,
tuck behind my ear
a keepsake wildflower,
run
my fingers
over the soft-tipped grasses,
consider staying forever
on the other side of this glass,
but I can’t leave her.
I head back.
Morning rays have again
made their rounds,
but upon the wet pillow,
a petal has
drowned.


But that was then, and this is now.

Thank you, love,
for the continuous cleaning
of the mirrors of my past,
for your endless patience,
for making me
every day blush
calling me beautiful and princess,
for being my rain and sun
blooming me into
this miracle of
self-love
.

❤️

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