Amidst and Between

Amidst the thorns,
beneath the wounds,
we can take turns
bringing self-love
to bloom,

we’ll smooth
the edges
so raw and jagged,
each lend the silk
of virgin petals

birthed in kisses
and gentle touches,
countering the poisons 
of previous “gardeners”
with ill-intentions,
fencing us from 
freedom.

We’ll remain
faithful companions,
take turns in the cycle
of taking and giving,

in sun and shadow,
through every internal
season and weathered vane.

We’ll simply heal
and learn
what love is,
together
the right way

until we both
blossom white,
centers exposed
to feel 
the cleansing 
rain. 

Love will 
beget love
which will 
beget love
to spread.

It begins
with us.
It begins 
within. 

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

Dimensions

My heart and soul
tire me out,
always frolicking
away and about,

relentless in their
prodding and searching,
no toe-dips,
just all-in swan-diving

into every unknown,
exploring, testing, challenging
the boundaries
of this world,

restless to breach
every deterrence
placed by societal rules
and norms…

So much fear
in potential soulmates
with whom to travel
these magical non-roads.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Flickers

Fear resides on both sides,
in the direct sun and in
the borderless shadows;
the light, however,
competes with mine,
so my soul still remains
largely unexposed.

I unzip my skin
behind the bushes
and dip into the sea
of all that I am
and all that I have
yet to be,

a flame underwater, inextinguishable,
no longer chained to the illusion
of drowning;
I dive deeper in belief
of my self
and arise, wet and glowing.

In my new skin,
a more comfortable fit,
I swirl together
the sun and shadows
as I dance,
and the flickering
upon my upturned face
reveals another transformation
taking place
within.

Poem and image ©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

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. https://www.instagram.com/bylauradenise 

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
home;

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