Four Seasons (Four Haiku)

choking vine pierces
peering into window pains
drains the last color

ember of strength flares
colors of chested dreams surge
from the inside paints

momentum floods up
the courage to turn away
and spread self-love’s wings

the greatest fear yet
overcome when exposing
the heart once again

Did you know I post my photo haiku daily to Instagram? This is today’s. 

There Is No Fear

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

(1 John 4:18)

To have no fear in love
is to have total faith, 
but sometimes my heart leaks, 
so exquisitely, I feel
the break.

When the darkness comes
and I feel alone, 
I must always hang on
and trust
you will find your way back

even when I am certain
I have ruined His plan,
I must believe He’ll mend it
once again. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Forever is the Sunrise

Forever is the moment 
that stills me
when everything
is swirling inside
my heart, my soul, 
my mind…

Forever is the moment
that absolves me,
that nature bestows,
head bowed or not,
heart knotted or atoned. 

Forever is the moment
that holds me
so personally close,
the rays extended
to touch 
with warmth. 

Forever is the moment
that soaks me, 
in waves that rebirthe
or ripples that trickle
to my inner caverns

where I buried
the treasure
of me 
in a chest of fear,
where only the mermaids
are entrusted 
with the key
shaped from 
my tears. 

Forever is the moment
I carry with me
in every moment
I am away
from the sea. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Bubble Dreams

Dangerous to dream, I know. 
Foolish to fly in a bubble! 
Either could burst
without notice, 
drop you fast in a plummet 
to the hard reality surface. 

But what if…

the trajectory was directed
by angels’ breaths 
and the bubble made impenetrable,  
a shield only able to be
forged from the past,
and you were gently lowered
precisely as intended
by the benevolence
of your higher power
assisting you in the navigation 
toward your heart’s
deepest and purest desire?
What if the bubble 
met passion’s fire?
And in the ashes
two phoenixes rose
and began new life
and left behind 
all the rainbows 
found in bubbles?

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Always Surmountable


We are never trapped,
just fated to faulty perspective,
succumb to specious perception;
it’s all relevant, related –

one more rock-move away
from the light 
on the other side
of the avalanche,

one more “wrong” turn
lost in the forest
before hearing
the anabranch…

much is necessarily experienced:

near suffocation sometimes the only way
to motivate a life-saving change,

the legs of the journey
in the humanless woods
lead to the reflection
and feeling of wounds,

and all paths probably have purpose
among the universe’s higher powers.

Without the lonely, looping trails,
we could not emerge anew
with our truest selves

and others we met along the way
not-so-coincidentally placed.

We are never trapped. 
We are never lost. 
At least not for very long. 

No change was ever ignited 
without the spark.
So many opportunities
missed, passed up, though
after being gifted matchsticks
but still refusing to start
the fire. 

Cobwebs and Wings

With yesterday’s cobweb
still clinging to me,
in the bright blue of day, 
I begin my hatching

with the two of You/you
coaxing me,
divine and mortal 
truths in whispers
I want to believe.

I grow into my green wings.
Please neither leave
me now. 

I don’t want to learn
how to fly
if I’ll be in the blue beyond
by myself. 

I want the nest, too:
my home in the sky
but also finally,
with roots. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Spring Trepidation

Nothing blooms
without first being buried;
seems I’ve spent most of my life
underground waiting,
gripping the darkness,
but denial is shapeshifting,
roots repeatedly rejected
despite the yearning.

This time, maybe…
the maybe the bravest part,
for the doubt is the drought
when the clouds become
quenchingly dark.

Perhaps only faith
in love and the dream
can fertilize the seed,
and only continued belief
keep the sprout growing. 

I suppose that’s why some break
through the earth
while others retain
fear of fruition 
and why we have seasons
to vary the conditions

to inspire the buried,
the dormant, the hibernating,
to take that final leap
whenever they’re ready.

Some burst through
on days with blue skies and
sun’s spotlight on debut petals,
embraced by love, the gardener
waiting with welcome arms,
and the dreams get fulfilled;

others with faith
still laced with trepidation
may emerge under the
protection of the shadows
unsure if their hearts’ desires
will be met in this new world.

It is my time.
Or so I thought.
So sure he’ll be there. 
But what if he’s not. 

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Solar Love Story

She is the sun; he, the moon.
Her radiance sustains the whole galaxy:
her rays embrace all.
“She will never notice me.”

Her light reaches him though,
making him feel he is aglow himself.
“She is out of my orbit,
the entire universe’s mademoiselle.”

Day and night, he thought of her
and ways he could express his affections.
“Maybe she will notice
if I reflect her incandescence.”

He looked forward to when
he circled nearest her,
rehearsed how he would present himself
but each time, choked with fear.

And away the gravity took him,
parting him from her once again.
He finally gave in
to thoughts self-defeating.
“I am but one plain moon,
of her love, not worthy.”

All the while, she longed for him,
her reach at each sunset especially visible.
Each time he passed her at that closest point,
she tried to turn down her heat
to show they were compatible.

Until she, too, gave up hope,
never moving on but letting go.
“Oh, my dear sweet moon.
how I wish, to you, I could have been

And so it is and continues:
the greatest love story never to be,
not gravity but themselves preventing
the realization of the same dream.

(Pano shot viewable on my site.)

Sea Feathers and Leaves

Many specific, powerful moments have I captured at the beach, with and without a lens, that live in me so vividly, there to be called upon on a whim whenever I need them. Two of these are my images “Pigeon on the Pier” and “Sunflowers in the Sand,” their lessons, how they resonated with me, similar.

I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and started my own family there. In city parks, pigeons are popular, as well as those sitting on benches feeding them. City pigeons are what I had always known. They were standard and expected in my world. They had their place. They were common, not viewed as anything spectacular or especially beautiful by others.

Many years later, on a visit to the Gulf shores of Florida, I came upon the same type of pigeon on an ocean pier.

Pigeon on the Pier

It stunned me with unexpectedness. A pigeon at the beach? I never heard of or imagined such a thing. There was only one, hanging out with the traditional seabirds, sitting on the pier railing. Its colors, illuminated by the unobstructed sun, against the backdrop of the sea’s blues and greens and white-capped waves and the aquahorizon blending into the endless blue sky, were truly spectacular, the most beautiful and striking bird on the pier.

So deliberately and boldly out of place, shattering preconceived notions, limitations, stereotypes. This pigeon was free, beyond cage, beyond park, beyond fear. It was deeply inspirational, motivational. A “city” pigeon with feathers caressed by the salty sea breeze. Of course, in my mind, I spun a whole story about it, how it defied and transcended expectations, went its own way, flew the coop, against the flock, followed dreams deemed foolish and unattainable, highly discouraged by other feathered friends and family. This pigeon heard of another place over the rainbow or simply believed in one with no such evidence, a place where it knew it had to reach, a place where it knew it belonged.

I wondered if it now called this place home, or if it had more unknowns to explore. Years later, that pigeon on the pier would very personally resonate with me even more…

Another sight that mesmerized me was a patch of sunflowers growing out of the sand along a short boardwalk that led to the sea.

Sunflowers in the Sand

Another out-of-place image that struck me, shook my preconceived notions of what is expected to be and not to be. Flowers can grow without soil? Have I lived such a sheltered and naïve life that I didn’t know that was possible? Sure, the sea oats grew tall and majestic from the sand, but such a well-known flower so far away from gardens and fields? Its deep green leaves and signature golden-burst blossoms were such a stark contrast, like the pigeon’s colors, against the muted hues of the seashore. It too seemed to be making a bold statement, had a story.

The sunflowers in the sand reminded me of young childhood thinking in the time of innocence and uninhibited creative thinking before all of the influences that seem to dissolve such wonderful early notions of coloring suns green and the grass purple, of coloring outside of the lines, all before we were told… Told what? What were the words spoken, yelled, whispered that changed and molded a notion, a belief, a mind, a child, a nation? What was the guidance? What word-seeds planted, and what did they grow? What fertilizer in lieu of seeds, and what did it kill?

For a while, for a period of my adulthood, I responsibly packed up the unrealized dreams, the unfulfilled fantasies. Once a creative colorer, a young artist, an older painter of grandiose possibilities, I laid down the crayons and paints, crumbled up more and more of my drawings, on paper and canvas and medialess in my mind, my aging heart. Some paths I chose seemed permanently outlined, with me trapped on the inside of those lines, now without my coloring tools. Trapped in the book, a pigeon in a cage, a sunflower seed eaten, not planted.

Eventually, though, something inside me made me finally reach. For the latch, for that crayon. I am now the pigeon on the pier, the sunflower in the sand.

All words and images on this site ©LauraDenise