Peace Of Plank

“Whatcha doin’?” my teacher friend across the outdoor space between our classroom doors says, popping her head out.

“Just capturing poems I’ve passed by,” I say, still hunched over close to the sandy ground just before school started. “You know.”

I captured the wildflower oasis and the non-fool’s gold recently but have since discovered the plank in the magical world beneath our giant steps…

Peace of Plank

I wish I could have been afforded 
the plank
instead of all the times
each “he” just yanked 
my never-grounded footing 
away,
the sharks
themselves. 
The plank
in the desert
beneath me now,
still 
symbolic of how
we can feel so nudged 
toward the apparent 
doom to drown,
prisoners and victims
until the spell 
is unbound
and we are able to see
that the moat 
was always
a mirage,
and we always 
possessed 
the power
to simply 
step 
off 
into the safety of our 
selves,
trusting God 
would never 
let us 
down,
and if we ever did
get pushed into the deep, 
what He personally pre-planted within us each
would be all 
the buoyancy
we need. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

I Remember You

I remember you…
cute dresses,
bright eyes
up and ahead,
sun-kissed tresses, 
shades of smiles
genuine,
wonder and hope
and appreciation,
giving, giving, 
car conversations
with Him, 
up, up
chin, 
letting others in, 
learning to break
patterns
to protect
from theft
what’s mine
within.

I remember you,
am returning now,
will keep on the journey 
toward the true
and beautiful
Daughter, self.

Thank you, Lord, for the friends who saw me through it with You (again)…

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

Upward and Hilltop

upward

a work in progress
perhaps no one should be
for to simply be oneself
should happen effortlessly
it would seem

it’s work for me though 
to attempt to undo
the disease seeds
enemy-planted deep
that choke the bloom 

contaminating the roots
robbing nutrients 
always pulling at
upward movement 

i grow my colors
lift my face to the sun 
drink the falling waters
offer pollen to everyone 

yet i keep coming
undone
keep feeling invisible
tugs

so i work
to break free
from that which
i cannot see
that has this grip
on me

and little by little
with each sinless absolution 
i sense each time 
another parasitical 
root is loosened 

directly by my
higher power
and the words
sinking in from 
finally believing
my true-lover 

feeling lighter 
is the way 
to the self 
i have begun
to realize 

to remove
the shackles
of the world
and psyche
to return
the soul
to the
sky


Hilltop

It’s true, I’m blooming.
I hope you can see:
I am blossoming 
because your love
has been seeded in me,
and upward is the only
direction I can go
when these internal
whispers of yours
hush the world
so ours are the only
voices I hear

when the storms
return raging from those
traumatic years.
Time need not
be turned back:
unraveling these knots
of old patterns, 
we’re perfecting
with practice.
I will do more
than hold on
for with your patience,
I am remembering 
more quickly 

that this is 
the present,
and I am nestled 
safely in the nearness
of you 
upon the hillside 
with the endless view
of anywhere 

I wish to go 
whilst bringing with me
my found, forever
home.

Poems and images ©LauraDenise

Somewhere Along the Way

I suppose somewhere
along the way, 
this became 
about me, 
this once person
conditioned
to inwardly
mistreat,
neglect, 
bury
prematurely
at sea,

too busy
keeping them
afloat
in puddles,
sacrificing my soul
for others, 

in the lows 
between lowers
in that life
unstable,
vows before God
to remain 
(abusive) spouse faithful,

the escape-clause
contingencies blurred,
repercussions lingering 
in the years after,

children ten years apart,
and always children,
I keep on 
giving,
Silverstein tree 
down to the trunk,
instead of remaining
to be sat upon,
I leave my roots
to carry on,

re-sprouting from
acorns and seeds
to reach the end
of land
as a sunflower, 
brazen yet desperate,
in the sand
to be plucked
by a youthful hand

and sprinkled
into the surf
for the mermaids 
to collect 
and bring to the site
of where I left
myself
and resurrect 

from Davy Jones’ Locker
the Heart of the Sea
still alive
in its keeper:
me. 

The ducks and swans
gather to greet
at the pond
where I used to
weep. 

Donned now
in floral dresses
and locks
long enough 
to dance freely 
with the breeze, 
(he always said
neither looked good
on me…)
the reflection I see
is another plot twist
in my ongoing story

with an ending
yet to be written 
but full of God’s 
golden glory,
His daughter’s strength 
ever-growing. 

Somewhere along the way, 
somehow this did become
about me. 
Another struggle lifted,
another soulful healing. 

In the setting sun,
I reflect upon the journey
and look so forward
to the fulfilling
of my legacy.

I will never drown,
for you can only
hold me down
so long, 
years but moments
in the eternity 
of dawn. 

Hope unconditionally
floats
from the buoyancy 
of love. 

This is my story, 
long overdue 
to be 
self-sung.

I actually do like to sing those soulful songs.
(He always changed the station if I even began to hum…)

Soft Impressions

Let me walk
with you awhile, 
whether or not you
lend me your shoes
for a mile.

In fact, let’s both
take them off
and leave them here
as we surf the shore,

finding naturally
the treasures
within us each,
bare feet
on common
shifting grounds
equally.

One set of footprints
in the sand
they say is when
we are carried by Him,

but in the interim
let me be the second
impressions alongside yours,
for in this world
we all need sometimes
to see the touch
so longed for. 

We don’t need to hold hands.
We don’t need to even speak.
Let’s just walk together awhile
in the comfort of kindred company.

And should you be here again tomorrow,
maybe we could exchange shoes for a mile. 
And should you come back at our planned time, 
maybe for a bit, we could leave our shells behind.

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

Carry Me Awhile

Daydreams of our realities
honey-coat my soul
in ever-flowing, slow-motion doses
countering the draining quotidian 
as I give and give myself. 

Your touch, your love,
your whisper, your smile
live within me, always
carry me that last mile,

strength lifted
into the arms of strength;
faith amalgamated
with faith,
against the sunset,
our silhouettes
refuse to fade,

pure love’s light,
two hearts of white.
Carry me home, love.
I wish to only be
your wife tonight. 

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

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.