Today, I Choose

Today, I choose
to mute the gray,
encroaching ghosts,
and the negativity
of others attempting
to block the rays.

I turn up the colors,
the cardinal’s song,
my own showtune voice
singing along,

the sky blue,
the verdant greens,
the leaves infused with
late summer’s breeze…

Today, I choose
to mute the grays,
to focus only on
the beauty gifted
in this day.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Drops of Fuchsia

A sojourn among the wildflowers
is what my soul needs
in regular doses,
down low 
among the “weeds”

where time does not stand still,
but the world does,
for nothing exists in the moment
except for us, 

and no greater beauty 
can there be
than in the nonmanhandled,
outside-the-garden-lines seed
that blooms so gracefully,
silently defying, 
yet exuding pure peace;

that peace
transfers into my essence
as I listen with my soul
to the whispered sapience, 

no lesson or story 
captivates my interest
more than what the petals transmit,

and to think how often it goes unnoticed –
underfoot, sole-crushed, disregarded –
the natural therapy for inner balance.

If you happen to have the interest, 
I’ll share with you what was imparted 
on this Tuesday morning in my own backyard
during my daily sojourn 

among the wildflowers…. 

I wish to simply be
the color in your gray,
to open your heart to seeing
every season has new days,
and there always exists
little blessings sent 
personally your way… 

We all at times lose focus
as the world becomes tear-blurred;
that’s why we were given each other
to lean on, lend strength, stay near.

When we get closer
through the growing trust,
we become less guarded
and show the rest of us,


the complexities, 
the other ways through 
the protective shield,
the scars, the webs, the truths,

and we find,
though all unique,
we are the same
in our sufferings,

made so we
take turns with it,
return to the circle 
of falls and lifts
.

I am here
to share my hues,
overflowing now,
but once like you
.

And when you come
into fuller bloom,
pay it forward
so others may too
become imbued.

Poem and this morning’s backyard photography ©LauraDenise

Drifting

Blue skies seem sometimes
behind us too far,
and when the oasis of nearness 
dissipates into illusion
yet again, 
we dangerously tire,

as the colors of hope
fade
like sidewalk chalk 
in the rain,
and we drift
without care
into the storm. 

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But as long as there are
forks and bends
in the paths and roads,
what-ifs and depends,
Fate can only temporarily take
hostages,

for choice and circumstance
and weather will permit
the opportunities
to change direction
over and over again;
only lack of faith
can lead to the
false perception 
of dead-ends. 

Sometimes when we are
too weary to drive,
another takes the wheel: 
sometimes God,
sometimes Satan, 
sometimes someone
who loves you still. 

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Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Destinationless

Destination to nowhere,
traversing on foot,
no longer running away,
just enjoying the non-route 
and what blooms
from roots wildly seeded
and the textures
of the season
and infinite skies
ever shape-shifting
like my thoughts
and the way I get lost
far away in them.
Dusk hushes.
Frogs belt out.
Alert for bears
and human predators, 
I turn toward home
and the portal of color
gradually closes.
My feet return to pavement,
having being lowered
back to reality
which, these days,
is equally rewarding.
Outside in the mornings
and in the evenings,
essential to my emotional
well-being.
I can’t imagine
not being gifted
this amazing, tranquil 
creation. 
Thank you, Lord, 
for the free and natural
cure-all medication. 
In my backyard,
beneath the stars, 
I continue my wandering
contemplations… 

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Tears Dry (With Audio)

tears dry
like rain subsides
weather a part of nature
designed with intent
by our Creator

feelings, emotions
love and joy
despair and heartache
all part of what
deems us alive

would you trade it all in
for numbness instead?

if you already did
what could bring you back
from the breathing-dead?

perhaps a lot of it
comes from our own doing
and neglect

how many times we must
get in the way of His plans!

His plans for each
never carved in stone
I do not believe
for fate takes away free will
and free will shackles and frees

these pains must too
have a purpose
maybe more than a force
forming us

these tragedies…
who is to say
the why until
it is revealed one day

it is the blind eye
that is turned
rather than the cheek

that I think each
must explain
for admittance
through the gates

will He play back the footage
what will He deem as the highlights
will they match with what we think
we’ve done to please with our lives?

tears dry
like rain subsides
even the sky
cries sometimes

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Unforecasted Rain

Rain and storms, natural parts of the cycle;
why do I let them sometimes level 
me? Perhaps it’s the blindsiding.
What if I had a service to alert
when my past in shallow puddles lurks?
Tentacles too quickly encircle
around my ankle–
down the rabbit hole
again. Yet even then,
I know from experience, 
the falls are physically
harmless. What’s another
puncture in a wound
unable to be seen?
Though no bodily pain 
I’ve ever known 
makes me so heavily 
internally bleed 
out. Hemorrhaging soul. 
Still, it is inevitable:
the weather changes 
back again every time.
What’s left behind?
A piece I bury, not of me,
but a part of the repetition 
of unhealthy;
one less tentacle grows back, 
unable to regenerate. 
One by one, I slay them, 
and the only way 
to pass through the portal
is through those puddles,
so I brace 
for the rain. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Overlapping Storms

Choking on saltwater waves
that relentlessly batter,
you smile and assure me
you don’t need the preserver. 

You insist I take it,
even though we both know
I am the better swimmer. 

I pass it back. 
I can tread
these waters
longer. 

We will alternate. 
Save your strength. 
You can give me
intermittent breaks. 

This is my
domain. 
Titan hears you
pleading
my name. 

Mermaid fins 
are reinstated.
I transfer them
to you instead. 

My faith and your support
will keep me afloat. 
Our love will make peace
with the tempests
and be our lifeboat. 

And when we 
feel the shore firmly
beneath our feet, 
I will let you again
carry me. 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Event Horizon

Part three of an unnamed work in progress. Here are parts one and two: My Star and A Coat of Sunshine

Time to talk about the song.

When my son last visited, he played this song a lot on our Bluetooth speaker while he and his girlfriend and my daughter stayed up all hours playing board games (while I tried to sleep in the master suite of the ranch on the other side of the door). It’s a song he really feels, like the movie. At the first notes, when it comes on the radio now when he is not present, I immediately change it. To “control” my sadness. I try to avoid thinking about him and his sadness and his addiction, him as Bradley Cooper in the movie. It just hurts too much.

It was the mention of the movie and allusion to the song in passing on social media that stemmed this writing spree in me though. I connected with a fellow English teacher-poet on Instagram where I usually just post and go without actually socializing. I am one to put a song on repeat for hours, for days, to feel, to lose myself in the zone, to somewhere it seems I am being led, but only hitting repeat on max volume on my earbuds and a lot of patience simply lingering at the portal is necessary. To let myself feel without thinking for once. For a long while…

I listened to the soundtrack while sweating through yard work. Then I watched the video… and cried. What a sad movie. One of his favorites, of course. I could never remove the movie from myself now. I didn’t know that that Instagram post I “ran across” by someone I did not yet “follow” would lead me here, to pouring out prose, whether or not I post it or lock it up. I knew it was going to mean something though. I believe strongly in paths crossing for reasons.

I need this. To let my fingers fly free across the keyboard in prose again. To feel the release that comes from that and also through music.

I connect the most in songs to the non-words, the soul eruptions that exceed alpha-translation. That is what pain and love is, after all. And the fall. For me, it is the rise of the wailing “uhs” and “ohs,” and in voices like Lady Gaga’s and Calum Scott’s (“Dancing On My Own”).

In “Shallow,” that point is the moment of free fall. And free fall… could end or not end in a limited number of ways, albeit in limitless places, could be initiated or not initiated for so many reasons, could be the beginning or the end. For me, regarding all of this, it is that push to the edge at the end of my marriage, when I could no longer breathe, and my panic-attacked heart raced as if it were going to give out once and for all. The 2:42 point of no return is when I leapt, screaming on the way down that I have had all I could take, not being able to see the bottom, leaping entirely with the final no-turning-back point of faith, faith I would crash through the mirage of the surface into the “anything more than this.”

I am happy to report, it was the best jump I ever made. The one that saved me. I didn’t want to have wings. I just wanted to crash through it to the other side. Full speed. Once and for all. 

I am also keenly aware that others feel that same desperateness and take the leap to leave this life altogether. The song’s narrator makes it clear she will never meet the ground though. I feel a need and calling to string nets for every jumper off course. So they are forced back up and can only pass through the same portal as me and her, only with faith and courage. In the more that is here in this life.

May angels escort each at the edge. To safety. To life. 

Carry Me Awhile

Daydreams of our realities
honey-coat my soul
in ever-flowing, slow-motion doses
countering the draining quotidian 
as I give and give myself. 

Your touch, your love,
your whisper, your smile
live within me, always
carry me that last mile,

strength lifted
into the arms of strength;
faith amalgamated
with faith,
against the sunset,
our silhouettes
refuse to fade,

pure love’s light,
two hearts of white.
Carry me home, love.
I wish to only be
your wife tonight. 

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Too Soon To Title

You can find me among the wildflowers
in the golden light;
this is one of the few things I know
about where my soul resides. 

You’ll carry the scars;
they make you who you are, 
but rarely will they remind
of the battles you thought you lost
when you slipped through 
that presumed eternal hole
inside.

He lies. 

That’s all you need to know
for now.
God hears your prayers. 
Oh, broken child, 
please get up from the
cold, hard ground. 
I’ll be the one
to hold you for a while. 

One day,
so genuine and bright
will be
your smile. 

Seeing you here
on this pivotal day, 
your hemorrhaged
soul upon the tile…

This is it, my love.
The epitome of
raw, awakened denial. 
The tomorrow 
you consider
giving all hope on…
well, even the greatest
of fighters fall before
the rise. 

You don’t have to
dry your eyes. 
I just came by
to let you know
God does indeed
send you the one
to do more than 
have and hold;

he’ll show you how
to love yourself,
and with that gifted key
you’ll unlock every
chain and door,
be able to go
wherever you want,
for home is not
a destination
but who you are
when you

find me among the wildflowers
in the golden light. 

A poem to deliver to my 2018 self. 
A poem for those like me then. ❤