Pitfalls and Wings

I remember you describing it like trap doors.

That unexpected drop we don’t see coming. It’s one thing when you are watching your footing, placing your soles carefully around the eggshells, having been conditioned, trained, skilled, at moving around in this on-guard, defensive way. It’s another when you’ve just started to have confidence in the spring in your step upon trusted ground. I was outdoors, in my favorite place, when it happened this last time.

A trap pre-set by a predator disguised as a friend. Another very unexpected fall. No problem. I’m used to it. I know what to do. It’s all very logical. Except when I go to grab onto the root to begin the climb, it opens another hole. I unexpectedly drop again. I reach, I lift myself, I lift myself, I reach for the wrong root again and another hole opens… I don’t understand these. They come from deep within my own self. These were not set by him. There is no logic; I’ve tried every pattern. Eventually, I make it out.

And then another pit sends me plummeting.

I’m thinking about these pitfalls today, sitting upon a rock in a favorite dress on a beautiful day, revisiting the scene, the trap pre-set especially for me. I find myself thinking the all-too-familiar question for each of us, so universal, so personal: why me?

I honestly do feel I should have been spared by my higher power. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve done my time. With Trauma. But what sense of entitlement and special treatment is that? Not to mention the whole free-will clause which others can use to interfere with my own hard work and desires.

So I do now reflect on the possible reasons. Does God have yet another lesson for me to learn, yet another trial to overcome? How strong does He want me to be?! And why?… When I think of this, I do not feel like a victim; there is very little woe is me. I actually get a bit excited that He is preparing me for big things. Like I am a chosen one. And if ever I were to be in training or to serve, I would definitely want it to be for Him! I feel empowered. I feel an ego I never thought I had. I always thought I was selfless to a fault.

I did it. I think. Again. I’ve lost, yet won.

Are you proud of me, God?


I think, too, about how much I have control of and how much I don’t. I know how we react is everything, our miseries often self-induced, self-perpetuated, the way we keep ourselves trapped and prisoners; we look down sometimes and see the cuffs and chains are unlocked, and we scramble to re-secure them. Why?

Is it all fear?

If so, are we really trusting God is with us, sees what is ahead? We cannot get there if we keep re-locking ourselves when He keeps setting us free.

My past is my past. I have freed myself from it. I must shake the dungeon dust fully off. Perhaps that is the purpose of these new wings.

I feel the breeze of your and His love…

Thank you for always believing in me.

I suppose with wings,
these pitfalls can

no longer sink me;
I’ll keep my eyes

forward in these skies
and focused
on the portals
to my dreams.

Words and images ©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

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

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

Pursuit of the Bloom

Thinning tightrope, 
teetering plank:
I’ve walked them both.
I’ve fallen.
I’ve sank.

Tentacles brushing,
shadows lurking,
up the stalk, 
through the Valley of Thorns,
relentlessly clambering. 

Holes in the boards
opening and closing,
disguised as light, 
trap doors
back to start
heartlessly sending.

The invisible bridge 
always glistening 
against Defeat’s whispers
in the first rays each morning,

fleeting, only sustainable by faith
and a resolute spirit’s strength.

Maybe today
will be the day
A thought repeated
over decades…  

Finally achieved
and coming slowly into color,
the self I sacrificed
when I was younger. 

Some are late bloomers.
Some are reborn. 
Some never learn
self-love’s importance. 

Never is the climb
nor crossing required, 
only the belief
you are worthy
the way you are

of Sun’s kiss, too:
all that was ever needed
to bloom… 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Drawing Water

Keep drawing water
from that creative well, he said, 
so I went out back
and rubbed the penny in my hand, 
but realized, no wish I needed, 
for He has finally sent showers
to quench the drought
that may have been necessary,
for if I never formed the parched lips
drowning in the dry well,
how could I fully, to this extent, feel
the gratitude I do now,
for rejoicing in the rainfall 
as it overfills me inside
are the waters I carry always
and the excess comes out
in light. 

I still toss the penny in:
a wish I make for a friend… 

For John 🙂 Thanks for the morning inspiration! 

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Story Roots

Don’t think my sunny outlook 
comes from a lifetime of easy;
I’ve walked through the dark wood
and from depression’s cliff,
still find myself sometimes clinging.

I’ve cried my share of flash floods,
drowned several lives in the deep, 
survived decades of verbal abuse,
spent my time vowed and banded to Lonely.

I’ve been there and back,
having spent most of my life there,
but through it all, I kept the marker on
where my dreams were buried,

inside a humble chest
beneath the patch of wildflowers;
I watched the live hues grow
as the turpentine slowly stripped 
my own colors.

But the spirit, like pain, is buried deep,
like music in the heart, cannot be reaped
by any other, and perhaps the tears
upon those wounds are the rain needed
to combine with the light of the soul
in that long, desolate season,

and we finally figure out
how to use that manure
to fertilize our strength and desire,
and the sprouts from within
finally catch fire
and rise up to inspire,
and the wildflowers burst
from that buried chest,
breaking the lock 
from the inside, having had
enough of that old
non-life.

So when I see all that I now see in each bloom, 
know I, too, like you,
am the seed, the petals, the stem, the story, 
the roots.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Cleaning Windows

Revisiting cracked window scenes
from my past,
on my terms,
in a controlled mental environment,

I strip him of the victim persona,
no, not persona…
I believed him victim
deep within
since as a boy, Addiction took hold.

I wipe the film
from the glass,
but it only smears more;
I clean it properly
and reveal myself
looking out,
eyeing the door.

Only my hidden tear
from that year escapes.
I cannot comfort 
younger me,
assure her
one day… 

I look behind her
at him, 
bellowing profanities
in strings
that never end

while others received
from their men pearls,
he only gifted her
inadvertently 
strength after stripping
her worth. 

Her back is turned,
but I look him in the eye
and try
to hold him accountable
for these actions
despite Addiction inside;

the exorcism
in his gray
will still need to be
performed,
but it’s not my job
to try to arrange it
anymore, 

and only now
do I realize,
it never was, 
but enablers are always
the last to learn
the lessons. 

While I look at him
in the eyes
through that window of time, 
still sickly sympathetically, 
Addiction rises out of him
and looks directly at me. 

It smiles evilly and winks. 

I look into my own eyes
on the other side 
of the pain/pane 
and futilely wipe the tear.
“Oh, my dear. I’m afraid

you foolishly will choose
for decades to stay,
but you will endure it all,
and it will make you 
who we are today, 
way beyond okay, 

with a heart intact, 
repaired and whole,
filled with love of self
and the one God sends
to properly have and to hold.” 

In Darkness and Doubt

This one’s for a friend. For my son. For my student. For you. For me.

We all stumble.
Sometimes merely a trip,
sometimes down a seemingly
endless, dark abyss.

We all get lost.
Sometimes we find our way,
sometimes indefinitely
in the same spot,
we remain.

We all face obstacles.
Sometimes they lift,
sometimes they seem
utterly hopeless.

(Photo by my son)

We all lose sight
of the beauty within.
Sometimes a mirror lies,
sometimes a “friend.”

We all are small.
Sometimes toward Him
we feel the pull,
sometimes we feel
invisible.

But…

The thing about a hole,
even one without a bottom,
is that there is always a top
so the direction is clear: up.

A loved one will be by soon
to lower the rope.
It is up to you
to hang
onto that hope.

And if no one comes,
the direction is still the answer:
He is always there.
He hears your prayers.

Sometimes the hole
was put there on purpose,
the time in it ironically necessary
for advancement.

Sometimes you have the tools already
and simply need to begin the ascent,
for sometimes it is up to you
to get to that ground-level summit.
He already knows you can do it.
Sometimes the self-help in itself
is the only missing ingredient.

The last thing about a hole
is that you never forget
how much space
what is missing inside
takes up,
and you will feel
so much fuller
than any other
when it gets filled up.

We all get lost
in different forests,
for no one ever
seems to be around,
endless looping trails
we wearily trudge,
the darkness of the deep wood
making the light
but a teaser,
the source unable
to ever be found.

The key to getting out
is to keep moving
in new directions;
the path worn
by our own feet
is the very one
that sinks us
into the false belief
that there is no other way.
Sometimes we even stop
trekking altogether
and set up camp
in one spot,
a surefire way
to eliminate
a destination
is to not move
at all.

The light is ever-shining,
day and night;
we are never truly left
in the dark,
for He gave us
both sun and moon
as an eternal spark,
and to keep
our whispered dreams lit,
the stars.

Obstacles work
in similar fashion,
a mountain before you
threatening to spew
lava and ashes.

Obstacles are meant to be
overcome,
sometimes the threat
intentionally sent
from Satan himself
to paralyze you with fear;
the paradise on the other side,
he tries to keep you
from getting any nearer.

But the mountain is harmless.
You can waste time and effort
attempting to go around it,
but the view from the top
is worth it,
so I highly recommend
climbing it.

img_7047
(Photo by my daughter)

And when you reach the top,
you get to see
that past in better perspective
in which you felt trapped
before turning back
and beginning the adventure
of what comes next,
the future not clear,
but the lush panoramic
welcomes your fresh
starting steps.

When it comes to sight
to see the beauty within,
if you don’t know it yet,
then you need to start
with dispelling the myths
that usually come
from another’s words
or simply judging yourself
by warped societally-produced standards.

Two remedies I have found to be effective.
The first: submerse yourself
in the positive affirmations
that come from someone else
until those whispers
drown out
the past-yelled lies
and even the ones
in your own eyes
you cast upon yourself.
They are false.
You will, in time,
come to love
yourself.

In the meantime,
you can dispel
those warped society beauty-standards,
for you were created
with love and purpose,
precisely as God intended,
every detail;
there are no imperfections.
Do what you can
to honor
the body your soul
was given;
it is the temple
of the Holy Spirit within.

We are, indeed, all small.
It is meant to fill us with awe,
to remind us we are part
of something so much grander
than we could ever imagine,
a divine plan.

We are never alone,
the presence of a higher power
is around us all
so when we begin to feel
undetectable,
when our “lives”
seem the end of the world,
our perspective
of those big problems
should dissolve some
to know
it is much of that
that is insignificant
in the grand scheme of things.

We are embraced
in the loving arms
of Mother Nature,
the personification
of the natural world
gifted by our Creator.
We are all interconnected,
each an essential thread
of something in the making,
a much larger picture
guided by a divine hand.

The key component
in all of these woes
is belief in a higher power;
it is essential for faith
and hope.
You are never
alone.
The direction is up,
always the Guiding Light
home.


When we give up,
we give in
to the doubt
of His very personal plan
for each of us.
Only He knows what lies ahead,
and it often lies in
our own hands,
for He gave us free will
and intellect and talents,
throws us curve balls
like holes and mountains
not to test us,
I don’t think,
but for our own good
to steer us
to challenge us
to shake us
to wake us
to become all that He knows
we can.

I am His child.
I will always
trust His plan.
Especially in the times
I get frustrated
because I just don’t
understand.

We are not meant to
until we are,
and that revelation
may only be revealed
in the language of
stars.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)