Second Apiering

Tide flows, 
tide ebbs, 
changing, hiding, 
revealing the edges
of division.

I watch
the transitions,
half dream-drifting,
half paying
detail-attention.

Always thinking. 

I ponder on 
the ebb and flow, 
how one takes
and the other gives
in its rhythmic dance
to and fro

and how taking
can also be
giving, 
and giving be
taking,
and for each,
the difference 
is in the
seeking and releasing.

We send bottled messages
afloat, hopeful for
its accurate delivery
and offer what we desire
for burial at sea;

we collect treasures
and look for clues
from gods and mermaids
Destiny-strewn.

I notice in the wet sand
in between surf’s blanketing,
a secret passageway, 
a ladder to dreams,

unless, of course, 
it’s an evil illusion,
a detour or trap
set by opposing forces.

I wonder
how much 
is serendipity
and divine intervention
verses taking control
and free will’s actions,

if choosing the evanescent
option not on the maps
is a test of fortitude
or foolish brassiness.

Another option,
nonetheless, is presented:
two piers to walk,
but only one may
have no end. 

Poem and images by Laura Denise

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

Catapults

Internal disposition
of slipping
into loss
of direction,
contingent upon
situation, 
origin, intention,
catalyst participation,
leisurely initiated or
punitively inflicted,
meditation or conviction.
Usually welcome
as an introverted creative,
this episodic disillusion 
stripping me of all pulls
keeping me rooted
to anything… 

The void.

Loss of hearing
among the noise.

Galaxies inside.

Gravity denied. 

Lifetimes paused,
unable to decide

anything at all.
Desirous of a

f
a
l
l,

anything to move the air
to revivify my trackable pulse,
the beat of my heart
back on the radar
to be found again,
though I am not

lost.
I’m right here. 
The voice,
gone.

Why did I wander
so far 
from home?

The fall,
granted:
my return,

a

c
o
m
e
t

flung from
catapult. 

This will hurt
us all… 

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Glimpses

I thought I saw a glimpse
of angel wings

with one tear clinging, 

or maybe it was my imagination 
or my dream

realized, or so I thought, 
for in that fleeting brush
and drop,

a celestial 
crystal ball 
of truths; 

after all, 
I write 
my own future, 

and sometimes the signs
are only meant to be

clues

only detectable 
in the listening 
of the vision 

within 
that flutters
when the white wings 
whisper, pay

a visit,
ironically when I turn 
quickly, 

situationally maybe
when I come to find

I am 
the gift

yet to be
collected.

Poem and image ©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. 

img_0583

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. 

img_9736
Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Rider

Illusion of control, 
I never really drove, 
not on a road trip
of my own;
I rode
round and round, 
hair in the breeze,
holding on to the mane
of carousel dreams, 
never free. 
Now I am.
But the invisible reins
of pleasing so long
keeps me stalled
in the corral;
my voice on auto-pilot
agreeing with everyone else. 
A passenger yet.
I sit quietly 
still looking out
the windows.
But in the rearview mirrors,
I frame my favorite parts, 
and up ahead in the near distance,
I see the peaks 
of my heart’s desires. 
I think I am ready
to take the wheel
while listening to nature
on God’s behalf appeal
to my soul, that home, 
I’ve carried all along.
I only needed to use my voice
to steer to where
I belong. 
I will need to put it in park
for the final leg,
so I can ride bareback
on my stallion 
away from all of them… 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Peanuts in the Cobblestone

When I was a child, I simply and casually went with the flow. I don’t think that’s common, but maybe it is for the good middle children, as such was I. Even when my parents announced their divorce, I took it in stride, felt it was best for all. Mom said it would hit me, affect me, someday. It never did.

In grade school, maybe sooner, I discovered the joy of being funny, of making others laugh. I’ve never shied away from a performance; I’m quite comfortable on stage, enjoy being the center of attention, the life of the party. Later in life, I believe being a comedian became a defense mechanism. But at the same time, I did and still do truly like making people smile. All people. That is not to say, as I will have come to learn, that I was ever actually an extrovert.

I think humor became a defense mechanism as an adult when I began hiding my personal life, all of those pesky elephants that kept trying to escape from the horrific circus of my home; we never discussed those giants, inside or outside those walls, as families tend to not do when alcoholism and addiction and denial are involved.

Eventually, my smile became that wall, and evolved further into a fortress, as many smiles do, I suppose, separating inner and outer worlds. Eventually, I even kept the fake one on at home. In front of the children anyway. And to avoid upsetting the alcoholic. I made my alcoholic’s life as cushy as possible. I became a liar, to everyone. To myself. I lost myself eventually, as spouses of alcoholics often do, I suppose.

It must be my nature, it seems, to be a peacemaker, a people pleaser. At work, I still go with the flow; I’m the one you can give the difficult tasks and people to. I don’t complain. I don’t resent. I am intrinsically motivated. I make do. I succeed. As resistant as they are, I relentlessly try to make my teenage students smile.

Where am I going with this as I sit on my patio watching the sun set, filling a blank screen with a supposed “nature essay?” As I recount my life, as I flip through my mental album, I search for the point in which nature infused my soul. No epiphany comes to mind. This seems essential as an essayist. To reflect on those pivotal or deeply seared moments. 

I was very regularly exposed to nature as a child, so I am happy to give my parents partial credit: dad took us fishing and camping, we went to week-long summer camps each year, we were sent outside to play as a lifestyle. It became natural then for me to take my own family camping and on nature walks and outings as a lifestyle. And as my nest becomes emptier and my tie to one alcoholic dissolved, I am finding the ability, the freedom, to be able to be present in nature’s moments, more so than ever before, even as a child.

I do have twinges of near epiphany when I think about how many miles I rode my bike as a teenager. Alone. How those wheels and that wind set me free, how I escaped and left my siblings and parents behind, chose my own direction, traveled in and out time. Myself and the outdoors were all the company I needed. I discovered peace. I discovered healing. For as long as I can remember, I also remember not fitting in, feeling a sort of detachment. It is still how I feel, content in my surroundings but still an outsider looking in, bored only in the company of others, never in the company of myself. Especially when I am surrounded by nature.

Never before until now have I had the accumulated experiences I have to see all that I see in the overlooked daily wonders, gifts, and blessings so abundant all about me in the natural world. Perhaps I see myself in these stories that each petal and leaf and shell whisper to me. Perhaps these are the missing pages of my album I collect on the shore, in the trees, in the clouds. Perhaps it is my nature, that deep connection. Perhaps my home. Maybe going with the flow in all of my memories is because I always have been, even before my birth, from the soulline of Mother Nature and the universe.

Maybe I really search only for the light in my lens for myself. But I faithfully reflect the rays as inspiration and positivity to you, because of all the things I remember, I’ve always liked to make people feel better. And maybe each of these clues, each of these messages, each of these revelations are the manageable peanuts I am meant to open one by one, left by those invisible elephants of my past.

All words and images ©LauraDenise

Everything Passes

everything passes
the good and the bad
time keeps nudging
us forward
with or without
what we once had

we can only carry
so much
in a heart, in a mind
some things we cling to
time tries to help us
leave behind

sometimes what we
strive for
simply cannot be
reached
glass divides
sound and touch
mirrors reflect
incongruities

for reasons we may
not be privy to
for certain people
may only be
meant to be
crosspathing through

to serve
but one purpose
which is not to stay
but to nudge us again
in internal direction
pitfalls propelling us
alternate ways

everything passes
including the pain waves
time keeps nudging
us forward
with or without
permission
every moment
of every day

Poem and image ©LauraDenise