Shifting

shifting sands
grains unable to be grasped
slipping through fingers
sieve of my existence
footprints vanishing
in vain trying to leave
an imprint, fingerprints
fossilizing

as I watch
sea drops dry on shells
shells of mankind
displayed non-selves
on shelves

shifting painted shapes
offer to take me away
only to lead to the next
drifting cumulous cloud
lateral when I need
to be higher
homeward bound

shifting sands
I open my hand
spread my fingers wider
I know what the answers
are not
to feel the silk
is to feel
nothing caught
but sensory strokes
the void
in the curve
of my palm
no trail found
to my entrance
into the sea

saltwater can’t sting
when the wounds
are too far beneath
the body’s surface

arms open
I invite
the above in
home-
sick
let me know
I am not

forgotten

Two Blades

we reach for the light
we reach for the warmth
of the dawning sun
of any other 

when the shadows come
when the ice forms
each part beautiful 
naturally born

we reach 
in hope
we reach 
in need
we gravitate
we discreetly lean 

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trying not to show
the desperation 
the fear
of becoming 
too far frozen

we reach 
to feel
the thaw
to reset
in another season 

are you the one
to love
me?

Poem and images by Laura Denise

Dimensions

My heart and soul
tire me out,
always frolicking
away and about,

relentless in their
prodding and searching,
no toe-dips,
just all-in swan-diving

into every unknown,
exploring, testing, challenging
the boundaries
of this world,

restless to breach
every deterrence
placed by societal rules
and norms…

So much fear
in potential soulmates
with whom to travel
these magical non-roads.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Dissolving into Grace

Saving grace,
whole heart back
in your arms,
you hold all of me
as me;
I never knew
how non-words
could feel the best route.
Unspoken is our reset,
mutual forgiveness,
moving on
but not leaving
anything unaddressed.
We understand,
silent resolutions,
in the simple language
of love.

Do you mind if I stay
extra near
awhile,
to just exist
in this balance,
a respite
from the drama
of being so much?

Sometimes
(more often than not),
I exhaust
myself
with this wild heart
and wild soul
I house.

Hold me tight, my love.
You are the only one

who can.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Parting Kiss

I must part ways with you now,
dear Darkness;
Light is forlorn
without its Laura,

my aura
is dimming
the further I drift
in this alluring
cradling
away from attempts

of putting forth
the efforts
to swim
back up
toward Bliss:

I still hope,
believe (barely),
that it exists.

A parting kiss…

Yes, I know
that means
I will have to let go,
for now,
of that dream,
but I can keep
the parts
that were seeded,
for weeds
they are not;
I feel it,
in that new spot,
how I can nurture
it into something
beautiful
still…

I will.

I return to the isle
from a distance,
leave a trinket,
so it is known
I’ll always
be near,

no need to desert
every future
possibility.

We will all
someday
see.

Fresh Rain

Rebirthing rain,
refreshing breezes whipping
through open windows
to shake me free

out of this trance
of overfeeling,
overthinking,
overbelieving.

I did not go out,
so the out found me.

On my knees.
A solemn prayer.
You should be feeling
better;
I am there

inside of you
eternally,

no matter the routes
to our dreams,
no matter even

if we ever meet.

I’ve sent my soul
to breathe
into you;
listen for a whispered
syllable or two…

Come, love,
let’s get you
rebloomed…

❤️

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Sun Sets on Christmas

In my backyard, I take a few moments to myself after sun sets on Christmas.

I am drawn to the silhouetting branches of a tree and the stars surrounding it and eventually retrieve my camera to play with all the ways I can arrange the composition. I realize again what could be one of the reasons why I am drawn to photography: control.

I, in fact, am moving the stars. Positioning them. I manipulate the light. Later, I can manipulate in even more ways with editing apps.

I have danced with control so many times over the years, I had begun to think I was actually the lead. Control for me, though, never has had anything to do with power, simply the illusion of stabilizing, balancing, the perpetual chaos. Little bits of time. Of moments. Of situations. For survival.

As much as I’ve danced with control, I’ve had affairs with denial. Love-hate relationships. I think denial at times was truly a friend, keeping me afloat. At times, I think a betrayer; I could have stood up in the water that was actually shallow. I could have walked out of the water instead of treading. I could have maybe avoided the future near-drownings.

I am drawn most to putting the star here, cradled between the branches reaching for it.

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My Labraheeler has joined me, and I give in to kicking his ball for a bit, then decide to do a few laps around the half acre. He is used to this and follows beside me, jollily carrying his partially deflated mini basketball. We run, silently in companionship.

The weather is simply beautiful, the kind that the soul takes in as the breezy, summer-like night air is inhaled. I trust I know the yard enough to not trip in the growing darkness and trust my pup enough to not cross my path underfoot; I look up to the sky as my blood extra pumps, and all of me feels refreshed, renewed, freed.

This is peace.

The day was merry, and Christmas Eve too. I can’t recall another Christmas in which it truly was. Last year, I wore the smile, made it through, and then was nearly drowned in my after-tears.

I believe in miracles. And in magic. And in love.

I’ve always held fast to faith over the years, but in that hopeful someday kind of way, struggling to not drink in the devil-potions that would make me question and challenge the unfairness of the situations plaguing me. Only a few years ago did I fully recognize miracles, the direct hand of God at work, the Spirit inside me. I had a merry Christmas. We all did. That was a miracle. I’ve always wanted that. I did not think it possible.

I made Christmas magical and happy for my children when they were younger (with the help of my community most years), but I did so under the immense weight of all that being married to an addict-alcoholic adds. Add the strain of being the peacemaker, the glue, and often the leader of my whole family tree. Heavy. Stressful. Masked. Martyr. Superhero. Weighed. Bending. Cracking. Moth-eaten cape. Suffocating. Hiding. Pretending. Pleasing. Holding in. Suppressing. Swallowing. Denying. Lying. Stretched. Thinner. Thinner. Breaking.

Currently, light, airy, floating, feathered, free. Breathing.

So this is Merry Christmas…

I don’t think I’ll edit anything.

Mythological Growths

Cycloptic serpent
scorched deep
into my being,
color of decay
not even attempting
to camouflage
into my resilient green,
laying eggs,
disease breeding,
growing larger,
but still unable
to see,
for at my core
is also my heart,
and it bleeds
in light.
You try
to grow more eyes,
but this love
inside
will always
render you
blind,
not Karma
but what is right
finally
for I have falsely seen
too clearly
all my life

your lies.

The exorcist has arrived:
self-love.
Parasite,
good final bye.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise