Glimpses

I thought I saw a glimpse
of angel wings

with one tear clinging, 

or maybe it was my imagination 
or my dream

realized, or so I thought, 
for in that fleeting brush
and drop,

a celestial 
crystal ball 
of truths; 

after all, 
I write 
my own future, 

and sometimes the signs
are only meant to be

clues

only detectable 
in the listening 
of the vision 

within 
that flutters
when the white wings 
whisper, pay

a visit,
ironically when I turn 
quickly, 

situationally maybe
when I come to find

I am 
the gift

yet to be
collected.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Confirmations

Some set off to find themselves; 
some say wherever you go, there you are. 
Some never choose paths to explore
but remain stagnant, wishing upon stars. 

(But stars are evermoving,
taking those wishes with them,
beckoning the dreamer to follow
the paths constellationly charted.)

I set off with no objective,
but upon returning, the self-reflection
(thoughts actually in the clouds!)
made me realize about myself
that I am exactly who I thought I’ve already
found.

It’s the lightest I’ve ever felt
upon returning, for now, to the ground. 

Pursuit of the Bloom

Thinning tightrope, 
teetering plank:
I’ve walked them both.
I’ve fallen.
I’ve sank.

Tentacles brushing,
shadows lurking,
up the stalk, 
through the Valley of Thorns,
relentlessly clambering. 

Holes in the boards
opening and closing,
disguised as light, 
trap doors
back to start
heartlessly sending.

The invisible bridge 
always glistening 
against Defeat’s whispers
in the first rays each morning,

fleeting, only sustainable by faith
and a resolute spirit’s strength.

Maybe today
will be the day
A thought repeated
over decades…  

Finally achieved
and coming slowly into color,
the self I sacrificed
when I was younger. 

Some are late bloomers.
Some are reborn. 
Some never learn
self-love’s importance. 

Never is the climb
nor crossing required, 
only the belief
you are worthy
the way you are

of Sun’s kiss, too:
all that was ever needed
to bloom… 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Twirling Petals

Between my fingers, I slowly twirl
the way I’ve done before,
white petals like the pinwheel
that may in turn propel my heart
and set in motion in the universe
the dreams I’ve protectively harbored, 
but now I realize, those dreams have been
all granted by the stars,
so the only thing that fades
in the mist of heaven’s clouds
is my grip on hope
for I can release the hold
now that I have been delivered
to your arms. 

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)

Gravitational Falls

We all fall. Sometimes.
It’s inevitable. Natural.
Stumbles and knockouts
along the way.
Bumps and potholes,
from obstacles and pitfalls, 
All paved roads, manmade. 

No wonder we get lost. 
We make through-streets
when we are meant to meander
on foot, following brooks
and the day-star beacon
through the trees. 

I believe it lights
a different direction
for each. 

Newton’s laws are really
a Universe thing, 
term ego-coined by humanity,
but even that which 
has no momentum to soar,
has never been granted
the boost or breeze,
seems to fall
with a harder thud
from crawling.

Perhaps the greatest
and most needed fall
is the one to our knees,
when we give it all 
up and let Him 
take the lead. 

Perhaps in that moment
we are granted our wings. 

But in that excitement,
will we remember
to fall silent and still 
enough to feel our soul’s 
gravitational pull?

We can now go anywhere
the heart leads.
This time I will stay away
from the paved
and listen to the whispers
of the wildflowers
and leaves. 

I feel your heart
out there
gravitating toward
me. 

Always Surmountable

©LauraDenise

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. 

Peanuts in the Cobblestone

When I was a child, I simply and casually went with the flow. I don’t think that’s common, but maybe it is for the good middle children, as such was I. Even when my parents announced their divorce, I took it in stride, felt it was best for all. Mom said it would hit me, affect me, someday. It never did.

In grade school, maybe sooner, I discovered the joy of being funny, of making others laugh. I’ve never shied away from a performance; I’m quite comfortable on stage, enjoy being the center of attention, the life of the party. Later in life, I believe being a comedian became a defense mechanism. But at the same time, I did and still do truly like making people smile. All people. That is not to say, as I will have come to learn, that I was ever actually an extrovert.

I think humor became a defense mechanism as an adult when I began hiding my personal life, all of those pesky elephants that kept trying to escape from the horrific circus of my home; we never discussed those giants, inside or outside those walls, as families tend to not do when alcoholism and addiction and denial are involved.

Eventually, my smile became that wall, and evolved further into a fortress, as many smiles do, I suppose, separating inner and outer worlds. Eventually, I even kept the fake one on at home. In front of the children anyway. And to avoid upsetting the alcoholic. I made my alcoholic’s life as cushy as possible. I became a liar, to everyone. To myself. I lost myself eventually, as spouses of alcoholics often do, I suppose.

It must be my nature, it seems, to be a peacemaker, a people pleaser. At work, I still go with the flow; I’m the one you can give the difficult tasks and people to. I don’t complain. I don’t resent. I am intrinsically motivated. I make do. I succeed. As resistant as they are, I relentlessly try to make my teenage students smile.

Where am I going with this as I sit on my patio watching the sun set, filling a blank screen with a supposed “nature essay?” As I recount my life, as I flip through my mental album, I search for the point in which nature infused my soul. No epiphany comes to mind. This seems essential as an essayist. To reflect on those pivotal or deeply seared moments. 

I was very regularly exposed to nature as a child, so I am happy to give my parents partial credit: dad took us fishing and camping, we went to week-long summer camps each year, we were sent outside to play as a lifestyle. It became natural then for me to take my own family camping and on nature walks and outings as a lifestyle. And as my nest becomes emptier and my tie to one alcoholic dissolved, I am finding the ability, the freedom, to be able to be present in nature’s moments, more so than ever before, even as a child.

I do have twinges of near epiphany when I think about how many miles I rode my bike as a teenager. Alone. How those wheels and that wind set me free, how I escaped and left my siblings and parents behind, chose my own direction, traveled in and out time. Myself and the outdoors were all the company I needed. I discovered peace. I discovered healing. For as long as I can remember, I also remember not fitting in, feeling a sort of detachment. It is still how I feel, content in my surroundings but still an outsider looking in, bored only in the company of others, never in the company of myself. Especially when I am surrounded by nature.

Never before until now have I had the accumulated experiences I have to see all that I see in the overlooked daily wonders, gifts, and blessings so abundant all about me in the natural world. Perhaps I see myself in these stories that each petal and leaf and shell whisper to me. Perhaps these are the missing pages of my album I collect on the shore, in the trees, in the clouds. Perhaps it is my nature, that deep connection. Perhaps my home. Maybe going with the flow in all of my memories is because I always have been, even before my birth, from the soulline of Mother Nature and the universe.

Maybe I really search only for the light in my lens for myself. But I faithfully reflect the rays as inspiration and positivity to you, because of all the things I remember, I’ve always liked to make people feel better. And maybe each of these clues, each of these messages, each of these revelations are the manageable peanuts I am meant to open one by one, left by those invisible elephants of my past.

All words and images ©LauraDenise