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

To Where You Are

A poetic letter to me sent upon a wave and star
to reach through time, back to where you are… 

This “he” of your fantasies
receives your Little Red Balloon
and your whispers
to be delivered by Moon.

He will continuously clean
your mirrors until you see
as he does, all of your beauty
clearly.

You will weave wedding
wildflowers in your hair
and feel the wind whip
freeingly through the despair.

You will radiate in dresses
and feel feminine,
barefoot and free
upon grass and sand.

Your wavy locks
will be teased by the breeze.
Your hand outstretched
for a companion will receive.

Your heart reopened
will be filled to overflowing,
exceeding your dreams
with God-blessed reality.

Your voice in song
will again reach the heavens,
your loquaciousness endlessly
received with eager anticipation.

That voice in your head
and grip around your growth
will fall away as he convinces you
to love yourself.

Your faith will grow
as anticipated;
God will see you through
as He always has.
He knows always
what is ahead.
He will deliver love
if you cut the thread…

You will not give
your whole life
to this verbally-abusive “man.”
Soon you will be filled
with enough courage to act.
You will come to realize
those decades
of hurtful words
were lies all along;
you will come to know
your worth.

Who you once long ago
hoped instead you were
will appear as unwavering
truths in every mirror.

May I?

May I never lose my way
to getting lost,
may I never resist the urge
to leave it all, 
may I never shelter my face
from the storm, 
may I never let my arms fall
in the downpour,
may I never fully wash off
the grit of the sand, 
and may I never be restrained 
by clock or human hand.

May I never negotiate with my soul: 
may I never let anyone close the window. 

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

Wild Bound (With Audio)

Natural material
but man-constructed
walls me in
instead of fences,
I breathe best
in more open spaces.
Wildflower ascends,
climbs up the border –
two-by-fours frame
her bold yet soft colors,
star-shaped for a reason,
skyward bound, rooted
in treason, restrained
by seasons –
toward freedom,
back to the wild
shunning the restrictions
they keep trying to place
upon her style.

I will follow,
eventually,
perhaps at the end
of the lease.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Humble and Free

Innately humble,
previously crumbled,
leveled beneath the rubble
of decades of reinforced
word-misuse,
untruths, 
I now know,
this self-love journey
continues to unfurl
quite like the protective petals 
finally believing 
the whispers of the golden
morning light.

img_5169

I have done more
than bloom:
I have begun the rise.

Saltwater rightfully weathers
tears petrified.
Scars from my past
cannot be erased,
but the open wounds have sealed
and the sting of the waves
I no longer feel,
only the saving 
grace. 

(Photos of me by my daughter)

Sand Blooms

Sunflower in the sand
is what I strive to be,
an example that you can be
whatever you want to be,

that you can bloom
from your own inner seed
wherever you desire,
despite circumstance,
soil-free,

but my wish for you
is that you will come to see
being you
is the best way to be

for all that you are
was gifted lovingly
by the Ultimate Gardener
before your sprouting
that First Spring,

and no amount of saltwater,
though it may sting,
can prevent you
from achieving your dreams

if in yourself,
you simply believe.
You have what it takes
to set your own self
free.

Raise your chin
to the sun and breathe
the winds of change
dusting off your leaves.

Finally found-home rooted
or adventure-husked by the breeze,
flourish in or find
what makes you truly
happy,
what makes your soul
cheerfully
sing,
what makes you blossom most
naturally.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise