The Petals I’ve Known

It’s been sunny and seventies, and the seasons
have not so much been confused
as they have been seemingly
just leisurely mingling, amused,
some stalling, some joyfully letting go;
nothing in the South rushes though.

Like melting cubes of ice in tea,
we take it sweet and slow down here.
It tickles me pink to have the mix
sprinkling personal messages so clear.

Today started differently,
gray with a bit of nip in the air.
Certain trees partaking in autumn
are almost now bare,
covering the patio in a bland
blanket over stone,
which made the flowers
I did not grow
even more the focal point
of my windowed soul.

I smiled for how they have become
so deeply rooted in my journey.
Marking my heart’s pages,
so many petals and leaves held so dearly,
imprinting with their colors and scents
my most powerful untold stories.

Sunsets in Mirrors

Sunsets in rearview mirrors
we notice then drive off into the future;
the golden moment morphs orange
and is extinguished as we turn.

The past is over our shoulders
the instant we cross it;
no two sunsets the same, though
the next we take for granted.

While I still can, I u-turn and loop again,
exerting control over this moment
so my daughter can get a better shot;
soon, she’ll too leave my nest. 

Lots of what I hoped to instill
seems to have slipped through 
the sieve-holes of time,
but this hobby I’ve shared
I think will remain
as a tie that mother-daughter binds. 

I take my own shot
of the second shot at
making subtle pleasant memories, 
freezing the golden and the orange
to develop and hold
when we are both older;
I hope we grow closer
in this future I turn to again
and hesitantly proceed. 

Sunsets in rearview mirrors. 
Years later, I sigh nostalgically, 
holding my grandbaby’s hand
and tearing up over her mother
with the requited affection
that the years since her teens did bring.  

Sunsets in rearview mirrors:
never let go of the more
that they may someday be. 

Out of Season

Determined to counter the moody clouds
others have been attempting to cast onto me,
I choose to seek out the sun, spring-infuse myself,
dip my soul into the fresh-blooming green,

breathe in the revitalizing April air,
let the warming rays seep in through my pores,
absorbed more in the whole of the reborn panorama than
focused on the details imploring to be explored, 

labrador-blue heeler happy for any outdoor adventure, 
not a hike but a mutually restorative leisurely linger, 
ahhh…a new season…

Circling back to the start, back to the car, 
I am not allowed to leave, it seems, 
until Mother Nature imparts
a lesson, whispers words of wisdom 
through some not-new, refusing-to-be-forgotten
leaves from two seasons ago, 
still here, and starkly so, 
weathered, fossilized autumn,

a reminder of the past
not so easily dismissed;
buried or not, it insists
on revisits,
coming to you
if you neglect it, 
but what we make
of what is, 
that is the endless work
or blessing
depending on the nature
of what was–
bright, shiny yellow
of yesterday
against the conglomerate
of rocks, man-manipulated
into asphalt,
a yellow sickness
or stubborn
fading sun,
either way the marring,
tattered edges and holes,
do not seem to take the whole,
still here despite the winter
with a fortitude to witness,
to reunite with the green 
it was itself once.

I see a reminder that
we can turn
our back on the past
and run to spring,
but all seasons remain, 
never really leave,
inside us always
are the memories,
tears of joy and loss,
the scars of life;
we can embrace it all, 
co-exist in peace
with all that is inside. 

I choose to find 
the positive,
even in the stumbling 
upon the past
in my determined
celebration of the
present moments,
all presents indeed,
and then I find a smile
in the concrete
when I see
yet another unexpected
chapter of a
love story,
so pure and yet to be
complete…

I wonder what those
resigned to defeat see.
Perception can sting
regardless, some things
we simply must feel
but perspective…
that is the key
in our control
and possession,
a powerful tool we
can self-weld and
self-wield,
manipulate,
to preserve
our internal
peace.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

The Past In Your Palm

Natural beach tangleballs
messily woven with care;
the tides tidy the past,
clean up the yesteryears,

least-cherished experiences
ready for burial but not at sea,
rejected from the ocean
to keep the present clean.

From the depths, the debris
from storms and dune erosion
get collected and rolled like snowballs
and returned to the shores,

sand burial for these non-treasures
heavy in the chest
that successfully sunk
but then resurrected.

Inspect it, if you can,
at this time of the future,
the mess and the once unbearable
now so compacted,

once thrashed about
then captured by the dark and deep,
now in your palm, non-crystal ball
looking back controlledly–

the imagined lines and ropes
and exoskeletons of past selves shed,
the stench of rotten wounds
and splinters of the shipwrecks,

all detailed in
the collection of symbols,
the litter of your old life
ready for respectful burial. 

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Dig the hole
in sand or dirt,
and if so desired,
place a marker on it,

then walk back to the water
and submerge yourself:
the present is clear,
and blissful is this
new soothing swell. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Window Shells

Out of body, I float through time, 
hover unaccompanied, no ghost as guide; 
nonetheless, through windows I peer,
Dickens-paned, layered veneers.

Yet in them, in those moments, 
the mise-en-scènes are still amiss–
a faraway look, a laugh insincere, 
a single, silent unwitnessed tear–

not necessarily sad, just adrift; 
have I never settled into my prints?
My soul, a gypsy, but wishing to barter–
tent for cabin, canoe for harbor.

My life does not flash before my eyes,
for this person, I barely recognize;
experiences play out, acts with multitudes of ends,
the quilt more mishappen-patched than threaded.

So many past lives I’ve lived and died within this one, 
so many false dawns that made me suspect the sun,
yet through it all, in this saga of my non-selves, 
I walk the beaches of my past and collect the treasures

beneath and between the shells 

and place them on the sunny sills of my present,
the true dawn of the genesis of me
that began when you kissed me into living
and finally led me home into my awaited dreams. 

For A While

Times are changing,
the earth keeps rotating,
seasons arrive and depart…
Change is always hard on my heart.

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No shadow now joined to my hip.
Gradual independence.
Children grow up and detach.
How can we know which kiss may be the last?

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Years unravelled from finite twine; 
at the end, the kites will fly.
If Father Time were to grant my wish,
which moments would I revisit?

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The sands keep slipping;
no way to flip it.
How should I spend this day?
What memories can I make
to leave my family as legacy
to have, to hold, to keep
as the distance continues to grow
and life leads us down different roads?

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Tomorrow is never promised,
another sunset never guaranteed.
Priorities must be organized
so nothing overshadows the people.

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This moment may be all we have,
so when I reach for your hand,
let me draw you nearer.
Come sit for a while and talk with me, dear. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Lone Fisherman

Lone fisherman at the sea
I watch as the sun begins to bleed
into the horizon and the golden
makes a moment of the scene
that in turn seeps into me
and coats in a honey so sweet
each of my memories and dreams.

The fisherman fades in footsteps away
into the sunrise of a thousand days,
and I paint upon the canvas of my soul
a thousand stories I do not know.

Poem and image by Laura Denise

Future Moments

I’m thinking of all the little things, love,
that will fill the moments of our lives,
the day-to-day non-mundane
together as husband and wife. 

I’ll be the one to rise first;
you’ll wake to the aroma of coffee
and the comforting presence of my love
filling every cottage nook and cranny.

We’ll ride together to our jobs,
or better yet walk,
to have more time together
because we can’t be apart too long.

We’ll talk and talk and talk
about nothing trivial, 
so much cerebrally spinning,
the topic-queue always full.

So many funny and witty things you’ll say
to bring up my mirth with ease,
and all the teasing silly ways I’ll act
will keep your dimples creased.

We’ll regularly lounge around together
in joggers and pajamas,
always touching, limbs entwined,
reading the same novels. 

I’ll help you out in the kitchen
as you fix us our favorite dish.
I’ll chop all the vegetables
in between all of your kisses. 

We’ll take frequent walks in nature,
always hand in hand,
except when I’m taking my pictures
and you’re smiling affectionately behind my back.

We’ll get the kids moving,
playing games outdoors.
The familiar sound of family laughter
will be natural from mine and yours.

You’ll chase me too
in the spring through the park
like boys used to do at recess
in the school yards.

You’ll catch me (if I let you),
and we’ll tumble down into the grass,
gently with you protecting me,
and your smile will relax

as your eyes become awash
with sentimentality for your beautiful bride,
and you’ll kiss me tenderly
like you did on our wedding night

just before the grandchildren tackle us
and the children call after them,
and you’ll add to your diary
each of these treasured moments

with me that never end…

Editing Memories


I can’t help but think
of all of those moments
that still play in my head
in slow motion…

each one that filled me
with such escalation,
anticipation,
heightened emotion…

so many instances
I’ve framed in my mind
in the scrapbook
I’ve assembled over time…

so sure in each of those
jovial junctures,
you were sharing
the same wish
for a someday
happily-ever-after,

and even if we could never be,
you sharing in that romantic dream
would have been everything to me.
But you say in each of my memories,
I was mistaken; they were all false reads,
that you never “like that” cared for me.

I replay each scene,
trying to mend
my distorted reality,
but that leaves
in each sun-kissed,
summer moment,
me bereaved,
for shared love
died before it ever
breathed,
all in my mind,
simply make-believe.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise