The Tiller

Trust in the shadows;
they are benevolent too,
dimming the wrong ways
so the beacon may shine through.

Listen for the truth;
it whispers faithfully through the gale.
Turn your back to the blustery lies;
the bitterest of winds best fill the sails.

You don’t need a map
for an evacuation route;
just follow the signs
He’s already laid out.

He knows all,
including what’s up ahead.
Listen for The Light;
drown out the ghost voices
haunting your head.

You took the steps.
You left that land.
These turbulent waters
will lead to the end

of that decades-long storm
that shredded every kite you raised
that lightning struck
on its way down
to reiterate
that you will never
be freed from this fate.

But fate was a falsity
and now you will know
that destiny
is all within
your control,

and He wants you to have
all your heart desires.
He will lead you there
through these uncharted waters,

but He wants your hands
on the tiller
to feel
the power you have
that He instills.

He calls upon the winds
and every fin in the sea
to escort you on your voyage to
your chosen dreams.

Poems and photos ©LauraDenise


Valley to valley,
shapeshifting sands,
mountains slipping down
and through my hands, 

peak mirages
yet they block my view,
do not permit ascent
from the shadows
to vistas of truth, 

yet I knew
beyond the traps and setbacks,
somewhere out there
was a billowing mast

and endless skies of blue
and a sail or cloud or both
to take me away to where I knew
my hopes as harbingers
had successfully found

the place where all my dreams
come true:
where I crossed paths
with you. 

January Fire

Winter in the South means a mix of seasons but the absence of snow. My soul needs the snow though. Still, I find much beauty in the messages and stories that appear in my lens. There is always a story in my lens.

I have been admiring the stubbornness of Autumn. Colors still ablaze that arrived in standardized winter months hold fast, refuse to let go. Soon it will be spring here. How long can Autumn hold on? Will she co-exist with Spring next? As much as I admire her, part of me wants to console her, let her know that it will be okay to relax her grip, to let change occur. I have known such resistance, such unsettling feelings, such pre-nostalgia, such fear.

I am not a fan of change, which surprises even me given my fiery resistance to conformity. Part of me admires the fiery leaf refusing to be classified into a season, to be confined to certain months. Part of me sees a sadness though too, especially paired with the fiery setting sun, similarly seeming to stall in its descent, wanting to stay just a bit longer.

Autumn clings
or weeping;
its leaves
like the setting sun
seem to desperately
hold on.

Blue Canvas

Upon the blue canvas
of my dreams,
I take hold of a brush
and my destiny.

Having painted atop
a darker past, 
I choose the brightest hues
and happiness.

Never actually fated
to the dead-end path I was on, 
self-shackled, I eventually realized
there were no locks,

and the way I was living
really upset my Father,
but I thought the sacrifices
were what He wanted.

Twice in recent times, I
opened empty fortune cookies;
people said that was such
a foreboding prophecy, 

but I took it to be a deeper message
that I alone must choose my direction,
and I felt a sense of being chosen
and a rush of empowering liberation,

and so I dusted off the bristles 
and am painting now my future;
I know God has a plan for me
but also a part he’s lovingly reserved, 

and what I design on this canvas,
I feel He’ll help me achieve,
for He’s waited so long to have me realize
my own needs,
and all along He’s only wanted
the best for me. 

I take hold of the brush
and firmly, finally begin
to shape my desired reality.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise


Seasons change
slowly in the South
and not so obviously;

finding the autumnal
magic relies on
mixed with dreams.

And in both,
I see you
and our future

like a crystal ball
and snow globe,
certainty and wishes

I stoop low
to capture
the golden
of two seasons
and a sunset

frame these thoughts,
this moment of
our glorious story

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Mystery to Me


extra sensitive,

picking up mixed signals

of every human emotion,

eyes brim with

unidentified sadness

but do not spill over,

for tears that mix

simultaneously with


get recalled to the cauldron

to start over

in the feelings-concoction,

stirred not by hand

but all that I am,

have been through,

have yet to see,

and the substance

that holds it 

all together

in the center

comes from the faith

I feel

He has

in me. 

I am transforming

into exactly who

I was always

going to 


still a mystery

to me.

Lord, keep making me

an instrument

of Your peace. 


The Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi 

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Drops of Time


Sometimes you need
to let go
of both the past and present
to make room for
your future

waiting so patiently
to embrace you
if your heart
and arms
were not so

of nonliving yesterdays
and unfulfilling todays;
though they may haunt
and though they may sustain,

it is only your future
that can bring
what you can’t help but

and deserve.

the future, too,
moves on.
And before you know it,
you’ve achieved

until you’re


Let your future
bring you