Dress Pockets

Over the years, I’ve collected
the best fragments
from the jagged breaks
of the past,
revisiting the scenes
after the immediate threats
have into ashes passed.

When the sun faithfully returns,
each ray seems to gently lead,
reflecting in intermittent beams,
to rebuild resilient dreams,

refracted off each of these
gorgeous shards of glass.
I add to these, the heartifacts
unearthed from avalanche

and dug up from old spots,
buried for protection,
washed and polished rocks
diversifying my unified vision.

In dress pockets,
I tuck into shadows
the reflections resurrected,
reunite them with the rays
as I sentimentally
deconstruct them,

assembling a mosaic
stained-glass arboretum
to grow from pains and grief
a new garden of suncatchers
and walk among the rainbows
into a new and beautiful future.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Resetting the Sand

With wide-opened arms,
I offer myself
again to the sea,
double-red flag at the
abandoned beach
and in me.

I give it all to God
who takes it up
with the wind,
wild waves
rush up from within.

Benevolent powers
remind me
who I am
and what I’m capable of
in this lifetime chance

when He is inside me
like He’s always been,
and all of nature,
my lifelong friends.

The beach itself
is rippled clean,
new slate
on which to imprint
the path
He leads,

another first step
into the trust
of His plan,
the next leg of a journey
to lead me even closer
to where He is at.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Gravitational Falls

We all fall. Sometimes.
It’s inevitable. Natural.
Stumbles and knockouts
along the way.
Bumps and potholes,
from obstacles and pitfalls, 
All paved roads, manmade. 

No wonder we get lost. 
We make through-streets
when we are meant to meander
on foot, following brooks
and the day-star beacon
through the trees. 

I believe it lights
a different direction
for each. 

Newton’s laws are really
a Universe thing, 
term ego-coined by humanity,
but even that which 
has no momentum to soar,
has never been granted
the boost or breeze,
seems to fall
with a harder thud
from crawling.

Perhaps the greatest
and most needed fall
is the one to our knees,
when we give it all 
up and let Him 
take the lead. 

Perhaps in that moment
we are granted our wings. 

But in that excitement,
will we remember
to fall silent and still 
enough to feel our soul’s 
gravitational pull?

We can now go anywhere
the heart leads.
This time I will stay away
from the paved
and listen to the whispers
of the wildflowers
and leaves. 

I feel your heart
out there
gravitating toward
me. 

Always Surmountable

©LauraDenise

We are never trapped,
just fated to faulty perspective,
succumb to specious perception;
it’s all relevant, related –

one more rock-move away
from the light 
on the other side
of the avalanche,

one more “wrong” turn
lost in the forest
before hearing
the anabranch…

much is necessarily experienced:

near suffocation sometimes the only way
to motivate a life-saving change,

the legs of the journey
in the humanless woods
lead to the reflection
and feeling of wounds,

and all paths probably have purpose
among the universe’s higher powers.

Without the lonely, looping trails,
we could not emerge anew
with our truest selves

and others we met along the way
not-so-coincidentally placed.

We are never trapped. 
We are never lost. 
At least not for very long. 

No change was ever ignited 
without the spark.
So many opportunities
missed, passed up, though
after being gifted matchsticks
but still refusing to start
the fire. 

Unstoppable

I am unstoppable.

Though I have fallen,
though I have felt
sealed in a tombed fate,

I have risen,

I have relentlessly followed
that one ray of light.
I have never
lost faith.

I have found my way,

and the light of day
blinds my eyes
and its warmth soaks into
my soul;

I have found my glow.

Which way to go?

D
o
w
n

upon my knees
to once again pray;
in complete humbleness,
I express to Him
my thanks.

I feel His hand

finally
upon my shoulder
as He lifts the clouds
and clears my path
with the other.

I hear the Spirit

in the wind whisper,
“You may go whichever way you choose.”
Every single one of the paths
to me seems
so equally beautiful…

What will I do
with this new power?
Go back
and help the others.

 

Southbound

This photo popped up on my Facebook Memories this morning with some comments about my inspirational journey that made me teary.

It is of my daughter looking like she is deep in thought. I had just uprooted her life with a sudden move from Ohio to Florida when I accepted my first teaching job at the start of the school year. Six years later, she reports still not being happy with me about that. But I think it was all for the best.

It actually felt selfish. I had finished graduate school, but competition for teaching jobs was fierce in my area despite my having served all of the districts as a substitute teacher. It was the end of July. It looked like I would have to sub another year.

I actually don’t even remember how I learned of the vacancy in Florida, in the area my mom lived, the area I was a regular tourist of for many years. It wasn’t through mom because I remember surprising her with the news.

I got hired over the phone. My future supervisor claimed she just had a feeling about me through our conversations. (Or they were desperate.)

I had three weeks before I had to report to work, three weeks to move! Ahhh! I am NOT a frequent mover. I get very attached to homes and hometowns. We had lived in Ohio from the time my son started Kindergarten to his then junior year at The Ohio State University. We came for a (failed) career opportunity for my husband. Previously, I had lived in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. That’s it.

But Florida was familiar to us all as tourists since my mom moved down there when I was pregnant with my first child. The absolute heart-wrenching part of the decision was leaving my adult son, separating the siblings. But he had already moved out and led a busy life of his own. Most kids grow up and move away, but I was blessed in having mine stay. It was I who left him and moved away, like my mom did when I was his age. It tore me up emotionally. Lots of tears.

But I felt very strongly God’s calling, like I had a few times before in my life. With my marriage at its end (again), I should have been able to make the decision for myself, for my future, for the future of my children, but I simply would not have without feeling God’s hand.

I do still have guilt I moved my daughter and left my son. But I also acquired a stable salary with benefits and was able to pay my bills for the first time in my life. Although my husband followed me down here and we gave it one more shot (again), my twenty-four-year marriage finally came to a peaceful end once and for all four years later.

Above all, I could not ever imagine being more passionate or more fulfilled than I have been every day at this high school, with my staff and student family. Would I have gotten hired eventually up north? Maybe. Would I have loved my school? Maybe. We can never know.

We can never know what the future holds for us, what lies just beyond the next curve in the path. We simply blindly choose the paths, though we must be willing to change direction as needed, sometimes even going off-trail altogether. Sometimes we must collect, empty, exchange the gear in our packs depending on which path or non-path we wish to explore.

We must keep moving forward until we are sure we are home. That direction only becomes clear when we still ourselves enough to hear the calling, feel the gentle tug, of the soul.

I know I ended up where I was meant to be. And now I feel another’s pull leading to me. My story is filling with so many new beginnings.

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Wandering (With Audio)

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Lost and wandering

upon endless winding paths,

not fretful,

yet homeless,

a nomad

among camps,

 

with True North

obscure

in a fading compass,

 

pole star

finally

comes

into focus.

 

With God always

beside me,

never do I

walk alone,

but now

I sense clearly

the direction

to go.

 

My balance

centers,

my axis

stills

with the gravity

of you,

this sweet, gentle

pull.

 

I may never

reach

you,

but with each step

closer to your glow,

I am no longer lost,

simply enjoying

this road

 

home.

 

Poem, image, and audio ©LauraDenise