Mountains Were Calling (a book!)

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:


Hold Space Here

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.


The world is heavy here
sinking before the morning came to be
we wake in coffee to read outrageous news
match riddles in our minds to new killers
lose track of the sprawling progress we were making
even together, it is heavy here
Clouds cannot hide the spread of sound and lies
You were not meant to speak freedom
you were meant to breathe it and live.




Irkadura begins with a chilling opening that will destroy you if unprepared. Having read Ksenia Anske’s Rosehead several years ago, I was still impressed by the amount of immersion and experienced as I waded through this flood of a novel, showcasing Anske’s mastery of plot and pacing. Overtime, the story buoys the reader rather than drowning them, like a crocodile playing with it’s meal, with scenes that deftly unfold as we escape with Irina out of the one hell and into another. We read her thoughts and learn her tragedy, balancing our hope Irina isn’t going crazy with the fear of another failure once things look up for our traumatized anti-heroine.  As new characters are introduced, we see the world of butterflies and ravens is more colorful with each inspection. Indeed, we may even dare hope for a happy ending, propelled by the inner strength that Irina, pregnant and only 16 years old, may yet uncover despite a life of abuse in a city on the edge of utter turmoil.

While difficult at first (the first few chapters were like a punch in the gut), I quickly came to love this book, the shape it took in my heart, and even the ending, which I’ll leave for readers to discover. The duality of human kindness and cruelty, of love and apathy, and the irony of in attention on even the happiest of days are intricately woven throughout this novel. Irina’s journey against backdrop of human apathy in the midst of hate is both startling and grounding in it’s place in history.

Irkadura is not just a story about the darkness in this world, but also the importance of finding your own freedom, in whatever form that may be. Perhaps the reason I favor this book so much is because of it’s truth, without limiting itself by what’s required of the genre, but being itself. Brace yourself; it’s worth the read.

Interested in this author?


Review: The Alchemist

The AlchemistThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

While I liked this book, its sweet simplicity and dear observations of the world in which it dwells, it didn’t seem to have the same magic for me as it had for others. Perhaps because I felt I have already learned many of the lessons it discusses, or maybe, as Santiago mentions in the story, I simply learn a different way.

The magic this story holds for others is more vibrant in other books, such as The Last Unicorn, where the life lessons are more subtle, but not at all lacking for its enrichment through the story itself. Perhaps The Alchemist is more accessible, and therefore more popular.

I appreciate this book for what it is, and thought the Hero’s Journey our traveler lives through was worth the read.

View all my reviews

Review: Rosehead by Ksenia Anske

RoseheadRosehead by Ksenia Anske

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My early-teenage self would have loved this book! The imaginative story Ksenia tells is full of imagination and quirky realness. I loved Lilith’s character, and the banter between her and Panther. While sometimes the writing seemed a bit scattered, the plot kept me interested and waiting for more. Great lines and a bit of unexpected darkness make “Rosehead” a compelling and very fun read.

View all my reviews

Review: Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body by Jennifer Ackerman

Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your BodySex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body by Jennifer Ackerman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Understanding the mechanics of one’s body is so necessary, I almost believe that everyone should read this book. Ackerman presents sound science in a way that is accessible to everyone, making findings of science through the years interesting as she takes us through a day in the life of our own bodies.

At times repetitively formulaic, the stories and personal anecdotes Ackerman uses to piece together the narrative throughout the book were charming if occasionally tiresome. That said, I very much enjoyed her writing, and would be interested in reading other books or articles in the same voice.

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New Year’s Post

Last year, January 2nd, 2015, I wrote a blog about the new year and new beginnings (and new blogging). Clearly, it takes me a long time to get around to writing anything but poetry. Here we are again at start of another new year, 2016, already turning down the lamp on our night stands.

Today is the first day of the accepted New Year, but darling, start where you are. Start whenever, however many times. You decide the first day of your new year, each day, with your own choices and intention. Never be afraid to start. Never wait. And never be afraid to start again.

Wishing you a wonderful beginning, wherever you are.