Last June, in the middle of the 2020 summer, I spent a day and did a thing: I self-published my first eBook of poetry. Mountains Were Calling: Poems of the Journey came together as a series of life chapters were coming to an end. As with writing my poetry, compiling this book was an exercise in reflection and culmination of my first three decades of life, of what I learned along the way, of clearing out the past by making sense of it through order and images.
Basically, it was therapeutic.
The book is short, divided into three sections:
Walking the Path
Each section contains around 10 poems that fit the theme of that leg of the journey. This book is that journey coming to a close. There will be more journeys! They have already started and begun and sprouted new paths. I hope I can share those moments someday, as well. But here, you’ll find an evolution, both of my own experience and those I witnessed in others. Looking back from this side of the mountains, from my day job, I see how my spiritual searching and mental health journey, quarter-life crisis and prefrontal cortex growth played such a role in these poems and in my life.
And that’s what I hope you will find in this book: a reflection of your own journey; a reminder of the ebb, flow, and cycle of the many seasons we experience throughout life. The read is short, but the depth is there. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
If you love it, meh it, or hate it – awesome! I’d love if you left a review: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BFD1RHB
It takes thunder to remind us
This winter is ending
We do not see how the changes are coming
How the moments are going quicker behind us
Than they rise to where our eyes look for the horizon
We haven’t prepared enough
For the spring
Our lethargy kept our sight to the snow
Our hands in our pockets
Our hearts in books we fell asleep reading
Will we be ready?
When the rains end and the cold clears
When the grass decides overnight to remember itself
When the trees speak in songs instead of sleepy whispers
And our lives speed up with the energy of lightning
Brought on by thunder
Of whatever we’re not sure is coming
Of wherever the next moment will take us.
I want to hold you like the light in my hands
Like lungs hold the pace of breathing
And a heart, the space of beating
I want to take you into my arms
The way the grasses take in the winds
That have traveled, oh, so far from the sea
And what a journey
Laden with salt from seaweed
And wishes from lonely hearts
I will watch over you like the sky.
I have spoken few words in the dead of night
That haven’t haunted the morning next
Nor that haven’t succeeded in overcoming a solid mind
As mine so seldom had been,
That yet closed some hole lingering from day’s end
I have thought through centuries of moments
That only lasted a whim by what was known to others
But were wishes to whatever my heart found itself groundlessness upon
I have cried, or slept
Withered or refreshed anew
I have meditated by seconds and lost years from my life
in the attachments of my mind’s pursuits
At some times, I have prevailed
In peace, watching the light go down
In warmth, my soul lighted like a hearth by the companionship of friends
I have even sustained that peace which I once doubted would return
Though it is often fleeting, through it’s often hidden form–
My experience has known its truth.
And while in night my memory might forget,
It lays beneath, still true.
There is enough room in the human heart to hold all of these emotions, these hurts, these loves, these hopes and worries, at once. There is space for the things we feel in all of the thousands of moments we feel them. They pile up in the infinity inside us, they stack and tumble and gather dust. Our heart squeezes, and there is still room. Our heart breaks and yet there’s enough space for it to be broken, to be healed, to mend and crack and yet beat again. This space is here regardless, whether we have drawn our shields or opened the gates. There is space enough for ourselves.
I am struck by seeds
The wind caught from dead floods
Stuck in my hair like wet petals
On the sides of my boots
When my hair slapped my face
But the windmills still drown out
The sound of Himalayan earthquakes
When we walked this lane
Our shadows waited longer than today
And I still have no money
For garden gloves.
I collected Emily, and Audrey, and Anais
read with Camus and Maugham
replaced Heinlein on the bookshelf with Hardy
only to return to them both, side by side
as so many things now stand before me,
side by side
Here and now are so similar to when and then
And as I speak I hear all the words
I’ve never said
and all the things I’ve said before
I have not twisted, but lain prone
beneath the silk curtain, this body was healing
draped by a mind always changing
and yet still in service to this moment
There is no road that has not led back to now,
and no preparation that has been any less.
Always in awe of the trade off of Time,
I sit guard while you two sleep
Parents I can’t help but parent
In your timelessness I still watch over.
You meet modernity with enthusiasm
As I look back through old books
And write cynicism on my tombstone
Your eyes shine like the child you remember
But I fail in my fatigue to think with fondness of the past
Yet we laugh the same
Still speak our drawls in synchronized smiling
Leaving no question of my heredity.