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

Fissures

Fissures shift,
the inner lifts,
though I wish
to keep it
enclosed.
Exposed
to the elements
becomes my soul.
The tears rise
and flow.

When the painquake subsides,
there are less toxins inside.
I suppose it is nature’s way
of eliminating the accumulating waste,
that which we bury in false deaths,
that which we hide beneath the surface,
a sort of protection and procrastination
of that which we cannot bear in the moment
to face.

Two-faced
are we all.
How are you?
Good, thanks.
Why do we ask
that question
in passing?
Too often fake.
How am I?
Probably actually
similar to how you are
especially in the way
that we guard
the answer.
Brief eye contact.
Continue walking.
If only we acknowledged
anything.
Hands on phones,
hands of clocks.
Bombs inside.
Tick. Tock.

Fissures by nature
are meant to be breaks.
Down is mine. Again.
No brakes.

Not a fall
but an opening.
An involuntary wound-seeping.
Weeping.

My inner, risen now.
What will you do
with what’s come out?

Red is the heart
and magma
at the core.

I’ve left a puddle
of lava
upon your floor.

December Pinks

The pink blooms I never planted
are more beautiful than ever
as I return rejuvenated
to the patio in December.

Autumn has rained
its traditional hues too;
warmth in the setting sun
dries a wet spell of the blues.

I am tickled by the message
of the southern bell for whom it tolls,
waking the possibilities in me
of choosing the way it goes.

I’ll keep growing these pink blooms
even if they get winter-taken,
for I’ve reseeded in my heart
a season of hope to never end.

Solarium

It’s not an attic window,
there are no shutters bolted tight,
no tower, no moat,
no strandedness by height,

no yellowing wallpaper,
no final-resting dust,
no musty-air poisoning,
no bed coils caked in rust.

You are in a single-story solarium
with windows open wide;
the enticing garden path
tries to lure you outside.

I’ve laid it myself;
it leads away from here.
The butterflies know the way;
the fireflies by night, steer.

There is no warden present.
There is no warden at all.
You are not kept prisoner;
screens and panes make up the walls.

I do see your ghosts;
they cordially serve you tea,
sit faithfully by your side,
read you books of false history,

but they are apparitions
as thin and weightless as the breeze
I blow into your windows
in hopes of distracting.

You feel me again,
look past them out the window;
your heart flutters to wake you,
but it’s noticed by one ghost

who floats to the window
to look out again at me.
I try to stare through him;
he grins maliciously.

I come by again in each tomorrow.
You are starting now to grey.
I’ve since given up my immortality
to free you from these
non-chains.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Lost in the Yard Again

Sunny and 70s this weekend in northwest Florida but with enough seasonal variety to get to experience some autumn colors alongside the re-flowering trees. I meant to go to the ocean but ended up staying in my yard. It’s just so quiet and peaceful here, and that’s really what I needed most this weekend, especially since our house guests are out of town. It’s late Sunday afternoon now; I’m still in my pajamas and still procrastinating starting my schoolwork…. maybe after this blog post on the patio…

I thought I’d let you into my head a bit, since there is never a dull moment there. 🙂 This morning as the sun rose and dried the raindrops from the leaves, I enjoyed some nature photography. In my backyard. 🙂

A friend recently asked what kind of camera I use. Ummmm, an outdated and malfunctioning iPhone (8) and whatever photo editing app it came with. My old Canon is no longer working, though I really do need to try harder to revive it. I’m not one to spend money, and I hate updates and changing what I’m familiar and comfortable with. My daughter has the pro gear (and newer phone), but I’ve yet to borrow or learn it. I have an inherited camera too I’ve been meaning to play with. So me and my on-its-last-leg iPhone out back this morning….

If you know anything about me, you know it would be the wildflowers and white flowers that would call to me the most. From inside, on my way to make morning coffee (after going back to sleep earlier since I woke with a headache), the familiar white wildflowers drew me out. I loved that they were still blooming and wanted to capture them against the autumn-leaves background. There is such pure and soulful beauty I find in white blossoms, so this was my main therapy after my emotionally-turbulent week. Ahhhh…

I find nature the most therapeutic for me when I focus on the details, the tinier the better. I suppose that makes sense. When I’m spiraling out of control from an emotional trigger that trips a mine from my traumatic, buried past, the one who knows me best (I’ve recently caught on to this..) tells me something very specific in our conversation, a unique detail. I tend to focus on it. I tend to forget the rest for a moment or two. It’s a grasp for me, something to hold onto. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to stop the free fall. I focus on the folds in petals, the almost-evaporated drops from last night’s (all-too-coincidentally-metaphoric) rain, the tiniest bright stars in the unfurled center. It centers me. Again.

This one entranced me the most, like a beautiful ballet, its story performed without words but deeply felt… 

img_8173

Then there’s simply the beauty of autumn’s bright leaves, which I do not take for granted living in the South.

In just about every subject I frame in my lens, I also find a story or lesson. I begin my autumn adventure with the nest in the nook of my eucalyptus tree. This tree is not the mother of these leaves, but then again, home is sometimes found, and families can be made outside of genes, and both of these can save a soul. 

(Here is the eucalyptus’ biological offspring:)img_8132

Next, as tends to happen, I notice and go out of my way to admire and showcase the beauty in the imperfect. I chose this leaf to be the star today.

img_8155

I’m sure the ones who were more “whole” and less “marred” were confused. Like with flowers and seashells, I find the most powerfully-moving stories in the subjects that many would overlook or toss back, reject. We are all imperfect, though; we all have our scars, and with each, a very personal story, usually untold. Yet how similar, I’m sure, our hidden fears and pains are. The light seems to find all of us equally though, as a saving, nonjudgmental love.

This leads me also to respect the shadows. This bright red evoked a somber mood. I paused a while to pay homage.

This next green leaf intrigued me so! Among the astonishing inner workings, a very distinct marking gave my imagination the lead in metaphorical hypotheses formation: an internal imaging picture revealing the disease or alien or parasite inside; a tattoo (and what does it symbolize?); a birthmark; a branding; an astrological sign? Victim, chosen savior, scarred warrior? Its emblem is seared into my mind’s eye. 

Nearby, another attention capturer, the decay in such stark contrast to the green stem. A charred lung having always been fed plenty of oxygen. Self-asphyxiation? Leaving or returning to life? Maybe the later stages of the disease above? Open back up the valve to your heart! Choose to receive the love! (I told you there’s never a dull moment in my mind…) 

In this next one, I find the bittersweet. The sun’s rays have found this one and are comfortingly drying the pool of tears. Such a tender and touching healing story, especially since the leaf has detached from its life source. Perhaps the rays are the forgiveness before death, all amends made before the soul leaves the body to be lifted. Is there anything left unspoken in your own heart today?… 

Don’t worry, I’ve saved the most lighthearted for last! 🙂 Here we have the strawberry or the rose (shhhh…don’t let it hear you say its a leaf!). We can really be whatever we choose to be, can we not? This one made me smile. Now I could manipulate the leaves to create such a capture, but when I find it naturally so, it makes it so much better. 

And there you have it: a glimpse of what it’s like to be in Laura’s head when far away in the nearness of nature. I’d like to stay lost forever. I don’t think I’d miss the world. Wherever I go though, I promise to always send you rays of light, reflected with my lenses. ❤ 

Morning Kiss

The sea oats
have grown tall;
I let them
skim my palm, 

feel the tickles
gifted from heaven
as the sea’s soul 
is orchestra lifted 

above the tides
of this earth
to scoop me up
with open arms
into the surf.

I offer all I’ve brought
to sacrifice to God,

releasing the heavy,
releasing the pain, 
hoping the ghosts 
will choose escape

as I make it more
uncomfortable 
to haunt these
inner spaces

tarnished, turning gold
from the light
of love
joining the soul’s. 

My feet sink
in the warm silk
as my heart, 
with you inside,
even more 
fills. 

Buoyant become
the weights
as the shackles and chains
give way
to become part
of the dark, watery
grave.

Today, I take
back my life.
Today the curse,
I unwind.

Wet feet,
sand clinging,
I walk back
and through my fingers,

the sea oats feel
the difference

as the sun 
awakens,
rises to kiss
me so gently 
once

again…. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Upward and Hilltop

upward

a work in progress
perhaps no one should be
for to simply be oneself
should happen effortlessly
it would seem

it’s work for me though 
to attempt to undo
the disease seeds
enemy-planted deep
that choke the bloom 

contaminating the roots
robbing nutrients 
always pulling at
upward movement 

i grow my colors
lift my face to the sun 
drink the falling waters
offer pollen to everyone 

yet i keep coming
undone
keep feeling invisible
tugs

so i work
to break free
from that which
i cannot see
that has this grip
on me

and little by little
with each sinless absolution 
i sense each time 
another parasitical 
root is loosened 

directly by my
higher power
and the words
sinking in from 
finally believing
my true-lover 

feeling lighter 
is the way 
to the self 
i have begun
to realize 

to remove
the shackles
of the world
and psyche
to return
the soul
to the
sky


Hilltop

It’s true, I’m blooming.
I hope you can see:
I am blossoming 
because your love
has been seeded in me,
and upward is the only
direction I can go
when these internal
whispers of yours
hush the world
so ours are the only
voices I hear

when the storms
return raging from those
traumatic years.
Time need not
be turned back:
unraveling these knots
of old patterns, 
we’re perfecting
with practice.
I will do more
than hold on
for with your patience,
I am remembering 
more quickly 

that this is 
the present,
and I am nestled 
safely in the nearness
of you 
upon the hillside 
with the endless view
of anywhere 

I wish to go 
whilst bringing with me
my found, forever
home.

Poems and images ©LauraDenise

Tranquility Ripples

Tranquility inside,
a choice,
choosing the bay side,
slowing rough waters
to ripples,
muting colors to fuse
land to sky as
complex fades
to simple. 

Walking the plank
to pause the world,
abandoned pier, 
quaint and personal,
tucked between 
leafy trees
and sea grasses
swaying subtly,

a landscape painted
lovingly
just for you.
Slip into
serenity,
retreat until 
restored anew. 

Poem and image ©LauraDenise 

Somewhere Along the Way

I suppose somewhere
along the way, 
this became 
about me, 
this once person
conditioned
to inwardly
mistreat,
neglect, 
bury
prematurely
at sea,

too busy
keeping them
afloat
in puddles,
sacrificing my soul
for others, 

in the lows 
between lowers
in that life
unstable,
vows before God
to remain 
(abusive) spouse faithful,

the escape-clause
contingencies blurred,
repercussions lingering 
in the years after,

children ten years apart,
and always children,
I keep on 
giving,
Silverstein tree 
down to the trunk,
instead of remaining
to be sat upon,
I leave my roots
to carry on,

re-sprouting from
acorns and seeds
to reach the end
of land
as a sunflower, 
brazen yet desperate,
in the sand
to be plucked
by a youthful hand

and sprinkled
into the surf
for the mermaids 
to collect 
and bring to the site
of where I left
myself
and resurrect 

from Davy Jones’ Locker
the Heart of the Sea
still alive
in its keeper:
me. 

The ducks and swans
gather to greet
at the pond
where I used to
weep. 

Donned now
in floral dresses
and locks
long enough 
to dance freely 
with the breeze, 
(he always said
neither looked good
on me…)
the reflection I see
is another plot twist
in my ongoing story

with an ending
yet to be written 
but full of God’s 
golden glory,
His daughter’s strength 
ever-growing. 

Somewhere along the way, 
somehow this did become
about me. 
Another struggle lifted,
another soulful healing. 

In the setting sun,
I reflect upon the journey
and look so forward
to the fulfilling
of my legacy.

I will never drown,
for you can only
hold me down
so long, 
years but moments
in the eternity 
of dawn. 

Hope unconditionally
floats
from the buoyancy 
of love. 

This is my story, 
long overdue 
to be 
self-sung.

I actually do like to sing those soulful songs.
(He always changed the station if I even began to hum…)

Re-Lighting

Rough week. Double red flags waving. The bay wilder than the ocean. It called me home. Here’s to the ones in the throes of it. Let’s relight ourselves. Again.

I give my light freely,
but sometimes it is taken,
emotional perpetrators
breaching my innermost spaces.

They underestimated 
my strength
and did again
today,

for as long as there
is the sea and my God,
I will raise my arms
in faith;
you will never 
keep me down
as long as there 
are waves and rays. 

I will wash 
what you left
away. 

You underestimated 
our strength.