Present Turning

Version 2

footprints in the sand

headed to the sunset,

the present turning

to memories

with each leisurely step


time stands still

yet it doesn’t,



while holding forever

the moment


no turning back

as history proceeds,

no undoing


once the pressure

is released


and the shape

is ingrained



though the tide

may wipe

the slate clean


and the imprint

may no longer

be seen


only time

may be able to change

the feelings


what kind

of trail

are you leaving?


footprints in the sand

headed to the sunset,

the present turning

to memories

with each step

Alongside Me So Faithfully


Paths cross.

Some, like I,

believe for reasons.

I get disheartened when

the trail diverges

and someone again

leaves me,


but even in that,

as I take more steps

into the great unknown,

I know

so many

are not supposed

to walk with us

all the way



You came along

and were soon nested

in my mind and heart;

your patience,

your shoulder,

your understanding,

you offered so selflessly

from the very start.


My laugh

you seemed to arrive with,

the greatest gift

I continuously unwrap.

So many fears

you convince me

to relinquish,

that together we

can combat,


my biggest being

the path diverging

up ahead



but you assure me

you’ll keep walking

the way I go,

like our path together

has no end…


Poem and images ©LauraDenise

A Dream on a String

We all (hopefully) have memories and associations tied to kites. For me, it conjures up the idealism of carefreeness, takes me back to childhood, my own but also nostalgically, in general, observing the kite-fliers about me in the present, often older generations enjoying the tradition with younger ones. As an adult, I have acquired the added symbolism of hope.

Hope and dreams go hand in hand, need to if you are hoping or dreaming “properly,” in my opinion. And everyone needs hope and a dream. I think it is absolutely essential for good mental health. We all need something to believe in and the allowance of the “someday” or “some how,” the permission for the “maybes” and the “what ifs.” It is the hope that launches and fuels the dream. Dreams should all be allowed to be launched, no matter how foolish, no matter if just make-believe. I see no harm in keeping possibilities alive, no harm in even far-fetched fantasy.

Those who do not believe in any kind of higher power, believe life is meaningless, that there is nothing after or beyond this… what a dreadful, bleak outlook. I can’t imagine going through one day with that attitude, walking a mile in those shoes. I can’t even see colors when I look through that lens.

I am a dreamer. I spend a lot of time with my head in the clouds. I wish upon stars and tell my secrets to the moon. God knows what is in my head and heart, but I repeat affirmations aloud, as if to convince Him of the depth and degree of my feelings.

A kite for me symbolizes a dream launched by hope. A possibility. A future with unlimited potential, in which anything is possible, whether it be peace in America, peace on Earth, or personal inner peace.  I watch the kites in the clouds, in the sea breeze, hovering with the seabirds above and in the endless blues. I watch the kite fliers, their concentration making adjustments to keep the kite soaring at its fullest potential. The kite, the dream, seems to want to break free, but I am torn when considering rooting for that. If the kite broke free, it could reach an even greater height, but it would soon come plummeting down in a destructive crash. Control and patience seem best, to be able to raise and lower the kite at will.

And so it is with dreams, I suppose, to launch them in the best moments, yet be able to recall them and tuck them away for a while until another day. Maybe dreams are best allowed to fly on the perfect days, maybe on the worst of days. Kites and dreams are made of colors like rainbows decorating the sky, reminding us that the breeze or breath, a sigh, of hope is all that is needed to keep the dream in flight.

I grab on to the kite tail and let it take me away for a while…


What are your kite-related memories or associations?

All words and images ©LauraDenise 

The Lines that Lead Us…

IMG_8285The theme for this week’s Lens-Artist Challenge #80 is Leading Lines.

After spending way too long going through my photos and selecting some of my “prize-winning” shots, I came to this one and halted. My eyes watered, too. Although this image does not at first appear beautiful, its story is.

The idea of lines in photography is to lead one’s eyes in a certain direction. That direction always seems to be forward, ahead. In this photo, my subject is barely discernible. It is a stranger in passing. But it moved everyone in the car quite powerfully.

I took this photo this past Christmas Day, in the early evening, on the way to drop off my son at the airport. He was complaining about his data being over and therefore slow, making the travel night ahead less to look forward to. At the white road sign on the off-ramp, we detected a woman standing behind the pole, like she was hiding. It was creepy; we assumed she was crazy.

As we passed though, we saw that she was dressed in black, grasping the pole with her head bowed in mourning, above the flowers she laid there. When we realized more of the true story, my son was the first to comment how terrible and sad that was, on Christmas Day no less. My kids and I had unplanned moments of silence. It hit us all hard.

The lines in my photograph lead us in a direction we are often told not to look: behind. But sometimes, the lessons that truly matter can only come from just that.

I took the picture out my window after the misjudged moment passed. I took it to be moved again, to be reminded again. Because sometimes, that enables us to journey forward as better people, more compassionate in the understanding only retrospection can provide, when we slow down and process the past that too quickly flew by.

Do not be too easily persuaded by the “Wrong Way” signs. Sometimes the right way can only be found in rearview mirrors, captured by the reverse camera, bypassing your own self-portrait.

Sometimes the blur of a stranger can stay with you, change you, forever.

God, bless this woman.


The windows

I’ve peered out from in life

have often been cracked

with broken blinds

and non-parallel slats,


no out-of-the-ordinary views

for I have not seen much

“of the world”

in terms of geography,

only my local beautiful.


Yet when I revisit the panes

in my gallery

to see if I have any for the

“Windows with Views” theme,


I find myself

strolling down

Memory Lane,

and I realize the pains

have dissipated


and how much time

and distance

and perspective

can change the views

out those same windows

that come from within


only revealing

the positives,


the blessings,

the way

those specific windows

made me who I am



On the El on my last trip to Chicago.

I was born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, married there, and began raising kids there. My in-laws’ love of the Cubs has been passed down generations and now lives in my own children.

Those times have passed though. My 24-year marriage dissolved. And although my parents-in-law are no longer with us either, I am blessed to have had their love for so long. So when I look back through this window, I remember the years of happy memories with them, all the ways my northern hometowns are a part of me.

I am still very much this girl today.


This window I remember well. I drove solo, leaving in haste, when my adult son was getting wheeled into surgery, 12 hours away. Anyone who knows me knows I am obsessed with the sky: I felt so blessed to have such amazing clouds accompany me on this road trip. I felt so grateful my son only shattered his collarbone in his freak accident.


Pets at the window.

It’s been 14 months since we had to say goodbye to our little lapdog Biscuit sooner than expected. The pain of losing a pet is forever, but I’m happy he is in a place without suffering, running and jumping again. He brought us great joy for 9 years.

6 months ago, we rescued Beau. 💝


A former student at the pickup window.

I live in the same town I teach in. Since my students and I have amazing rapport, I am like a celebrity when I am out and about. To have a career I am passionate about that directly impacts lives is one of my greatest joys, achievements, and blessings. No matter the monetary value.


Windows down!

Last school year, I discovered a new route to work, and it is beautiful! Our commute is only about 10 minutes, but now it’s even better: uncrowded and extra scenic (with no stoplights). It’s been such an added bonus for our morning mental health.


Windows and windows

I have always meant to “be a writer.” I let life get in the way though. Year after year. Finally, in January of 2018, I picked up the pen again. It led me quickly back to poetry. I’ve written nearly every day since. I’ve found lots of the pieces of me I’ve been looking for along the way.


My home office window with a few of my daughter’s many solar bobbleheads and the wildflowers I let grow in that section of the yard. (I love wildflowers.)


The mother dove in my bedroom window. She had two healthy babies, and they all stuck around beyond the nest. My focus on this busy window was just what I needed for my mental health in that season. Nature is like that sometimes, isn’t it—perfectly and personally timed?


I love my naps, the breeze, and the shadows that dance from my bedroom window, paired with my dreamcatcher one of my former students made me.


My favorite window view of all 💕


The best part about windows is that the light through them beckons to be let in…

I created this post in response to the Lens Artists Photo Challenge for this week: “A Window With A View.” So much personal reflection came from this. What a great prompt! Thank you to our hostesses!

You can link to it here!

Looking Back


Looking back

at you, my future,

looking for treasures

in the tide,

I hope what you seek,

you will always be able to find.

I hope the salt water


and only from happiness

falls from your eyes.


Looking back

at you, my future,

with summer’s breeze

and your golden strands

at play,

may you never

lose your way

back to nature,

back to this day,

from the magic and wonder and awe,

never let your heart

too far stray.


Looking back

at you, my future,

the silhouette of innocence,

I pray the world

is gentle with you

never scathes you with harshness,

that you retain the grains

of sands

of time

and the power to reverse it,

to transport you

back to this moment

when you are most in need of it,

To my absolute greatest joys, with love,


Evergreen Autumns


Motherhood memories

framed in faded fall foliage

stay forever green in me

and bring me messages––


younger, naive eyes,

somehow knowing,

look to me as a reminder now

that time keeps moving,


and I try not to count the moments

we could have made better,

for forward is the direction of

and lesson from nature,


and each year of these passing seasons

brings more (numbered) moments

we can make evergreen

for we are never too old

to catch

snowflakes and leaves.


Don’t Blink



There is a certain trust

that is birthed, it seems,

when we let go of those things,

the ones,

we are not meant to be gripping,

for the wind cannot carry

that which is so willfully tethered.

If we simply allow ourselves

to float and let go,

all that is meant for us individually

will work itself out.


I am in no hurry

and my hands are empty,

the pace and weight required, I think,

to be light enough to be picked up

by the breeze.



Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Leaf Boats


A peaceful creek flows through me,

not babbling despite how much I speak,

its waters every day turning clearer

from the runoff of the mud from yesteryears,

and the leaf tossed from the bridge

by my younger self

comes into view

“racing” still,

but the current is gentle

and the waterway meanders,

and I follow the trickling


into my future…



Poem and image ©LauraDenise