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

In the Sea of Shells

In the vast sea of shells,
you found mine,
on the island upon which I buried
the saltwater in my eyes.

Or is it that…

In the vast sea of shells,
I finally found you
upon a remote shore
with a heart I’d renew.

Who found whom?

Perhaps not a finding at all
when God as Matchmaker
guides two souls
together to love
and to forevermore hold.

So grateful to finally be led
home.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Inside Clouds

Dense fog advisory. Dark, early Saturday morning. Mild temperatures. A perfect time to… head to the beach! I make my coffee to go.

I love fog and mist, as I do rain and thunderstorms…something about the mood of this kind of weather invigorates my soul. It is another clue in the discovery of my own inner roots, another clue in the direction to go, to finally arrive at home, that place my soul has always tugged me toward. I have come to co-exist with this spiritual restlessness.

As I make the short drive to the bridge, I am fascinated by the “disappearance” of the familiar land and ocean across the bay, parallel to the road. If I didn’t know it existed, it would seem that this was where the flat earth simply ended, the beyond, inaccessible yet really only veiled by the fog, like El Dorado or Atlantis. But I do know it exists, and I take the bridge into the clouds…

I am obsessed with clouds, so I suppose it is no wonder that the ones reaching down to embrace me call to me. It is a strange sort of adrenaline to me to be on a bridge in a cloud; even though I know by heart what surrounds, it is simply “not there” now, and it is “just me” (why I love early mornings) in this bizarre reality. 

I was hoping to experience the phenomenon I’ve only driven by before: when the fog hovers above the bay. That is not the case today, so I am a bit disappointed and walk to the ocean side. My soul is thrilled, though, to immediately see the lone fisherman: it is another clue about my timeless soul, the comforting spiritual connection I feel observing (or reading poems about) fishermen and remote fishing villages. I ponder again if I may be part mermaid after all. 

A few steps in, I lose vision, my eyesight becoming foggy itself from the sea mist upon my glasses. I will have to look for treasures and take photos partially blind, but always finding the adventure and the positives, I embrace the challenge. It seems more fitting anyway, to have even blurrier vision in the fog; it doesn’t make much of a difference really. For a bit, though, coffee thermos in hand, I sit in the silky white sand and just exist, me and the lone fisherman, phantoms in the mist… I love the coast on days like this, too early or in unfavorable conditions when I can have the world to myself. The fisherman was here first though, an indigenous ghost representing generations of past fishermen lining the coast and not-lost at sea. When the local residents begin their descent on the paved horizon, I will take my leave and return to my bird sanctuary, the lot that contains my abode, never quite a home, though it’s still my favorite place to retreat to.

I find it senseless to come to the sea if you do not at least dip your feet into the magical waters; I am surprised that the water temperature delivers no jolt of briskness. I let the waves wash over my polish-chipped, never-manicured toes, my capris get soaked…oops, but oh well. I walk for a while in the surf, feeling the gentle ebb and flow, benevolent nudges to and fro, the pull teasing, seemingly luring back into the benevolent parts of the deep; I look at my feet, but no tail is morphing.

Back upon the smooth sand-slate, I stoop low to inspect sea-strewn debris and treasures, and I think the difference is truly in the clichéd eye-of-the-beholder; I always favor the forgotten and discarded. I listen with genuine interest to the stories dripping with lessons of the “broken” shells, let them also feel a touch, too often only stepped around and upon, at best inspected and tossed back, seashell hunters looking for “the perfect” ones, visibly whole, sometimes even shunning all and purchasing faux.

I do hold one of those “perfect” formations, though its plainness probably makes it unseen. What I notice most is our prints, and I compare and ponder the non-insignificance, silent lifelines that brand us, as non-related species of different trees, yet neither with roots. We are both free. Both molded with love from the same Creator. Our prints, non-replicable, keep us entirely unique yet give us away, register as “identity,” though no print-reader can ever know me, as none can know the secrets of the story-keepers of the sea.

I get lost for a while in a different time and place, lost in the intriguing details and textures in the muted colors in the calcified, granulated, and liquified elements about me. The wall of a ripple, individual drops, each frothy bubble that comprise the vast ocean collide and linger on a partial sand dollar, and I think to myself how priceless are the macromoments…

Next, I happen upon the jackpot. Or graveyard. Or castaway club. Or secret congregation. Or paradigm peaceful, diversity-infused community. No fog when viewed up close, no excuse of unjust obstruction of revelation, even preconceived notions rinsed with salt-water solution. It all comes down to perception. Yet what we see…how much of our past experiences still renders us blind, keeps our perspective shrouded?

The large beach tangleballs tossed about I can easily “see” without my glasses on, but it is not until I inspect them up close that I realize what is entangled. I see my past. Debris, skeletons, corpses, clutter that the waves of time have purposely weaved and wrapped up and expelled from the waters in its natural self-cleaning process. In my palm, I can hold it all, after the fact. It seemed so large and heavy at the time I experienced each symbol artifact. Droplets of seawater evidence this present expulsion, not even dry yet. Have I added just now to it with this cleansing morning coastal visit?

I take my time on this walk through nirvana, sand grains sparkling like crushed diamonds, priceless like the partial sand dollar, the dusted-jeweled surface soft as sugar with the clouds kissing the surface of earth. I think I see forever, though nothing is clear. I am thankful that what’s behind me has also disappeared. In this muted moment, I feel the celestial peace.

Perhaps limbo is not what we think, for I wish to be suspended for some time in this world of in-between. In between my past and future, in between reality and dreams, in between the highs and lows, snuggled in between these muted sheets where time itself lullaby-sings through the sound waves of the sea. I half expect to see holy spirits from the past and future; I would not be scared for such an encounter. There is no fear here, no extreme emotions, just the sweet, soothing serenity, the peace I knew existed. I wonder if we can take it back with us, have it emanate from our pores, after walking in the clouds so close to heaven’s door, no bright light in sight upon these non-printed, angel-visited shores.

All words and images ©LauraDenise

My Buoyancy

When a million mixed feelings rise up in me
despite the dam I’ve so meticulously built,
and the tears threaten to overtake, 
in the emotional disturbance, overspill,

and I get so frustrated
for not being able to keep it down,
and I get exhausted from 
the not understanding
of these things too buried within myself, 

and upon my pillow, I offer up the prayer
for God to calm the waters for good, 
and right on cue, I hear the notification
that you have both heard, 

and through the start of the tears
that may have come down for days, 
my smile, just like that, returns
from your excited, happy emoji face, 

and upon my cheeks,
the sunless warmth is felt, 
and the flood recedes 
before fully rising out, 

and just like that, 
I feel the peace
like a rainbow promising
that both of your love
for me,
now two doubled-up,
will always be
my buoyancy 

in every real and unrealistic threat
of drowning. 

Poem and images ©Laura Denise

Fins and Fairytruths

I gave others
just about all
of me selflessly,
and it drained
and
d
r
a
i
n
e
d
me
until I was left
baking in the sun
at the bottom of
a dry well,
fossilizing.

You found me. 
Gently lifted
my head
and breathed
a fountain of life
into me,

and the well filled
as our hearts did,
and instead of treading water, 
we taught each other
how to swim

in the direction we needed to,
dreamed of once,
instead of being at the mercy
of others’ currents,

and we rose together,
buoyant and free,
grew fins and made
a home of the sea.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

It is the Sky

Awesome and tranquil Sea
soothes me, strokes me with peace…

The Mountains huddle protectively
and I feel snug in the middle of their majesty…

The Woods beckon me to wander endlessly,
enchanted by flickering sunbeams between trees….

Unsurpassed beauty in the petals’ intricacies,
I hesitantly unfurl with the Flowers delicately…

But of all of the nature in gifted creation,
nothing captures my heart quite like the heavens,

the glimpses of paradise where angels reside,
looking down on us, their love reaching with light.

It is Sky that makes my heart leap the most,
can’t take my eyes off of; it’s entranced my soul.

The clouds carry my every dream and hope,
and one day, will lovingly carry me home.



It Calls to Souls

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It calls to souls,
summons apropos
when we are weary with worldly woes,
wants to wash us whole,

and I feel the pull…

So benevolent is the offering,
selfless power there dwelling,
to wrap me in the healing dressing
and infuse the peace;

I feel it filling…

It calls to souls,
universally, indiscriminately so;
every ocean and sea seems to extol
us when our true selves we simply show.
I get brushed into that timeless tableau,
the heavenly mantel family photo,
and His love takes hold,

welcomes me home.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise