Review: This Is The Fire – What I Say to My Friends About Racism

This Is The Fire –

What I Say to My Friends About Racism

Author: Don Lemon

Little, Brown & Company


ISBN#  978-0316257572

This book is a call to action, as seen through the eyes of a black man. Anchor of “CNN Tonight With Don Lemon”, Lemon is articulate about presenting his views, and the historical reasons behind his views. Above all, one walks away from reading this book with a sense that decency and honesty should prevail, and that tough questions need to be asked in search of bottom-line answers.

We experience in this book not only Lemon’s feelings and viewpoints, but glimpses of his life, the people in his life, experiences from his life, and amazingly in-depth references to past and present racial injustices.   

The book begins with a letter to his nephew, ala James Baldwin in “The Fire Next Time”. In this letter, Lemon talks about family, what they have been through, and what his nephew should expect.

Lemon discusses his partner, Tim, the death of his sister, Leisa, and the home that his father (a lawyer) and his mother (his father’s secretary) created for he and his sisters. His speaks with eloquence, honesty, and humor.

Lemon gives the reader a very in-depth, honest look at racial issues going back to the founding of this country, and the issue of slavery. He makes a very real connection with the past, and with current actions (such as taking down Confederate statues). The historical references in this book are amazing – some I was not aware of, some are more of my generation, and I was aware of.

At the end of this book is an Appendix listing book reference, Podcasts, movies, and organizations.

This book is a treasure trove of information, written in a fluid, eloquent manner. It is one of those books that you read more than once. Both personal and global by nature, this book speaks its own truth.

© April 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission.

Review: Inspirational Visions

Author: Judy Mastrangelo

Artist: Judy Mastrangelo

Red Feather


“Inspirational Visions” is a 50 card, full-color oracle deck that comes with a 120-page companion book. Deck and book come in a sturdy keepsake box beautifully shaped like a book, with a magnet closure. The presentation is so beautiful that you want to just sit and look at it – meditate on the colors and images if you will.

The cards are 3 ½” by 5”, with no borders. The card edges are done in a lovely blue foil. The card backs are a light blue/green, with light white snowflake type imagery on them. They are reversible. The card imagery is done in rich, intense pastels that are an absolute delight. The cards are not numbered but show the card name in a little colored cloud at the bottom of the card, with a short message about the card’s energy in black lettering across a white strip under the card name. The imagery within the cards includes bunnies, cherubs, faeries, unicorns, wizards, and more! There is a whimsical world of fantasy and wonder that can be accessed through these cards. The cards are presented in alphabetical order.

The guidebook devotes two pages to each card – the left-hand page is a full-color representation of the card, while the right-hand page gives the card name, the energy of the card, and a bit of advice about how to work with the card.

In her introduction, Mastrangelo notes the “Imagination is the stuff that Dreams are made of.” Her intent with this deck is that it works to enhance the skill of imagination. In other words, we can use the cards to open-up our imagination, and our world. She talks about a specific technique called “Mind Painting”, where we create an image in our mind of what we would like our ideal self to be. Through the use of this deck, we can develop our own intuitive abilities, and overcome our fear of trying something new.

There are some solid suggestions on how to use the cards, including working with the special message on each card. Mastrangelo encourages relaxing before beginning to work with the cards, and she provides a meditative process that anyone can use to do so.

In her section on “Mind Painting” Mastrangelo makes that point that everyone is born with talents that they can develop using their own intuition. One way in which this deck enhances working with intuition is that it has no borders, which makes it so much easier to “enter” (in my humble opinion). By “entering” a card, I mean that you go into a meditative state and consciously enter into the scene, see the colors, feel the energy, and talk to the characters. Listen, and they will respond. I cannot wait to work with “Alice and the White Rabbit”. I want to talk to the Rabbit!

There is a wonderful process presented for creating a “Mind Painting”. Basically, you find a quiet, safe place to do the work in. Create a vision in your mind of what you want to do. Hold the image in your mind. There is more, but these are the basics. And the reader is encouraged to develop their own way of doing this.

I found within these 50 cards both a system and a whole new world. Anyone, from any background, of any age can work safely with this deck. It can be used with children to help them express themselves, with adults to help them understand themselves and their issues, and with aging adults, or developmentally challenged individuals to help express themselves, and find their “safe-place”.   

You can pull a card each morning to see how your day is going to go, you can choose to carry a card with you each day to bring that energy into your day, you can ask specific questions about people or issues in your life, or you can create unique spreads to give you guidance. The colors and imagery in this deck are gentle, yet profound. A deep thanks to the artist for sharing her vision!

© February 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

What Do We Need To Know Post Inauguration?

“I believe in intuition and inspirations … I sometimes feel

that I am right. I do not know that I am.” Albert Einstein

I wanted to take a look at what we need to know post-inauguration. The deck that I am using is the Oracolarium Oracle, by Andrea Aste and Neil Kelso. It is a portal to expanding our perception of the world, and what makes it tick. It is based on images, which allows us to develop our own interpretations. I was going to do a random draw, as I usually do when working with any divination system. However, I saw the card above and knew that it held my answers, even before I saw the card title (intuition).

I was impressed that in this card we see a literal “handing over” – we are connecting with our intuition, and we are able to see things in a different manner. President Biden is a proven quantity, so we are not waking up wondering what fresh hell was created overnight. We have faith in him, and in his ability to walk a path/create a path that will unify this country. We may not see the manner in which things are going to play out, but we know the direction they will play out in. We need to go with our intuition and trust that where it is taking us is the right path.

This oracle is image intensive – how we interpret the images is the foundation to understanding the response to our question. In the center of the card, we see a book being handed perhaps from our unconscious/subconscious self to our conscious self. It represents studies and learning. We need to learn from the past (the last four years specifically).

The darkness in this card represents toxic influences, things that we need to be aware of. Toxic influences in the guise of mis-information were the very foundation of the past four years (IMHO).

I love the definition of time, as represented by the clock. Aste and Kelso remind us that time is fluid – past, present,and future are something that our intuition flows through effortlessly.

The symbol for the planet tells us where we are most at home, and where we belong. While this can be a physical place, it can also refer to beliefs and ideologies. In the aftermath of the inauguration, we are still adjusting to the good feelings, the warm feelings that this administration brings with it. We have already seen that this is a working administration. In a recent press conference (where everybody is now respecting everybody) Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted that President Biden has no interest whatsoever in redoing the color scheme for Air Force One (the presidential plane), something that the previous administration wanted to address.

The Sun is a symbol of light – it shines its light into all spaces, so that nothing is hidden. Aste and Kelso note that this allows us to both confirm our beliefs, and question them.

The Cup, while beautiful, makes a very deep statement: that we need to maintain our physical and emotional well being to make best use of our intuition.

My thoughts post-inauguration is that a breath of fresh air has come through this country. We have a lot left to do, but we have a decent sense of trust in this administration to do the right thing. And I sincerely doubt that anyone will be fired over Twitter! In fact, after four years of skullduggery, I am now feeling comfortable enough to follow @POTUS on Twitter! And one of my favorite photos – the one of President Biden holding his grandson Beau Biden. And there are two First Dogs coming into the White House too! These are exciting times!

More on the Oracularium Oracle can be seen here:

(c) January 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.Neil Kelso,

Conversations Overheard: Emperor (2020), Hierophant (2021)

The cards above are from the “Tarot of Jane Austin”, by Diane Wilkes.

I was trying to think of an interesting way to use the Tarot Majors to move us from 2020 to 2021. This is not the energy of an older, aged man stepping aside for a baby – it is the energy of Archetypes talking. As with my other “Conversations Overheard”, I am presenting the Archetypes in human form. In this case, they are in a private home, sitting before a fire in the library, with drinks in hand. The Emperor (we will call him John), representing the outgoing year 2020, is well dressed, with an air of quiet authority about him. The Hierophant (we will call him Jason) representing the incoming year 2021, is conservatively dressed and presents himself as someone who listens well.

Jason takes a sip of his brandy, then turns to John. “John, what can you tell me about the year 2020. What needed to be done, and how were you able to handle it?”

John sets his glass down, with a deep sigh. “The first thing I want to say is that the dynamics of the year 2020 had been coming on for some time. Things looked relatively stable on the outside, but inside things were simmering. This was happening on local levels, as well as the global level. Of course we realize that the global level is in large part a reflection of the various local/national levels around the globe.

The real problem was people losing the big picture of life, and focusing more on the material side of things. It is the decisions that man makes, and the actions that he takes, that create the world around him. Humanity is one big unit, that has been acting as little individual units. Those at the helm have been acting for their own advantage, and not caring who gets left behind. As a group, you know that the Archetypes have been trying to show humankind the error of their ways.

On all levels there needed to be massive change, and it just wasn’t happening. You will remember the meeting where we decided to bring another pandemic into the world. It was there in 2019, but we ramped it up in 2020. We knew that a pandemic would affect all levels of society, and would show cracks in two major systems – healthcare and finances. An offshoot of this was that the politics of each country was shown to be what it was. “

John took a sip of his brandy and sat in thought for a moment. “You asked me how I was able to handle dealing with 2020. I knew going in what had to be done. The wild card is humankind, of course. They had to see the worst, to experience the worst before they could turn themselves around. They took too long to react, but we expected that. They defined ways to deal with the pandemic by requiring masks, hand sanitizers, and social distancing. That worked, to differing degrees, in different parts of the globe.

Hospital space and medical supplies became scarce. Individuals and companies stepped up. Some companies converted a portion of their machinery into making hand sanitizers. Companies – and individuals – started making masks. Several sports teams got together with health officials in the UK and developed a better breathing device that falls somewhere between an oxygen mask and full ventialtion. Humankind began to think beyond their individual selves.

Of course, we were still dealing with those individuals that refused to believe that the pandemic existed outside of someone’s imagination. So I had to go to the next step of specifically placing the virus in these individuals’ lives. Some died from it, some survived and went on to recant their original statements of disbelief.”

Jason stared into the fireplace. “So, John. Exactly what kind of a starting place are you leaving me with for 2021?”

John stretched his legs out before he responded. “Jason, my job was to get people to pay attention, and to get people thinking. To do that, I had to make things worse before they got better. I had to close down businesses, put people out of work, and shake up the economy. However, I also gave them the tools of multiple COVID vaccines, of having learned to work together, and of having been shown how to use technology in a better way. I gave governments a chance to work for the people. Some of them did, some didn’t.

My hope is that the lasting legacy of 2020 is that humankind is willing to change, willing to take responsibility for itself. When that happens, we may not have to send elemental energies like fires, major storms, and floods to get their attention.

Your job is to bring stability back to the world. To set a “new normal” for daily life. Start out by making sure that attention is paid to the manufacture and delivery of the various COVID vaccine. Get humanity involved enough to set a timeline for vaccinating the most people possible. The next step is getting people back to work. Having a paycheck coming in builds confidence, provides the means to adequate shelter, and to feed families. Then place emphasis on communities, and the focus on helping each other. Let them deal with their own politics, put the emphasis on mother earth, families, and peace.”

Jason took a sip of his brandy, then spoke. “John, you have done a very good job with 2020, and set in motion all of the things that we as Archetypes talked about. Thank you for sharing with me how I should start my work for the coming year, adn where my focus should be.”

January 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review – Suburban Souls

Suburban Souls

Author: Maria Espinosa

Tailwinds Press


ISBN #978-1-7328480-2-3

“Suburban Souls” presents itself well against a background of affluence in 1970’s San Francisco. The story is multi-generational, following a storyline of two German Jewish people that barely escaped the Holocaust, immigrated to the United States, grew up here, met and married. It is very clear in this story that family history, and family expectations play a large part in the choices that are made. Memories are constant shadows in their lives.

We see the father (Saul) focused on his work as a scientist, but not on his wife. He is close to his children, but wonders if he should have married his wife, or if he would have been better off with someone else. He becomes involved with New Age teacher Shivaya. The mother (Gerda) has the benefit of a nice home thanks to Saul, but she is stuck in that home with the children all day, every day. She yells at her husband, who refuses to connect with her. She both loves and resents her children. For her, alcohol is a solace.

Throughout the story we see the issue of mental breakdown being addressed, along with being institutionalized. (Gerda moves in and out of psychiatric care.) Several characters have a very difficult time relating to life, including Hannah, Gerda and Saul’s older daughter.   

This is a very accurate picture of the 70’s, and the environment these characters would have lived in. The holocaust and being German Jews are ever present in the background. It is sad to see the mother in this story spiraling downward in her life, choosing friends and making choices that do not always support who she is.

The storyline is held together with empathy and understanding. Each character has flaws, but they also have their good points. They are real people, with real problems.

© December 2020 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written consent from the authors.

Review: Surfing The Quantum Field – A Human Perspective

Surfing The Quantum Field –

A Human Perspective

Author: Andrew Keith

Editor: C.J. Anaya

Kindle Books


ISBN #979-8576678396

The first thing that you want to remember when reading this book is that Andrew Keith is a psychic medium. Why is this important? Because this book is all about Keith’s personal perspective on the quantum field. Through his eyes we view the quantum field through varying lenses, such as energy healing, meditation, what he terms Divine flow, the concept of past lives, cell memory trauma, and healing on differing levels. The objective is to give the student a better understanding of how the physical and quantum worlds work together to form our human experience.

Throughout the book Keith shares personal anecdotes on how he navigates the quantum field as a psychic medium. Through his stories the quantum field is brought to life for the reader in order to help them to understand some of their own experiences.

What exactly is quantum physics? Keith explains it as a concept that physicists came up with in the 1940’s called a limitless world theory, meaning limitless dimensions, a limitless number of worlds, and a limitless number of universes that we do not (yet) know how to access.

In his introduction Keith talks about his personal belief that we are Spirit appearing in human form. He also holds the belief that our souls can be in multiple places at the same time. He equates the dream state as surfing the quantum field. How many of us feel “out of body” in dreamtime? I know that I do. How many of us have been jerked back into a waking state when we encountered something in dreamtime that we could not handle? I know that I have. Those of us that follow Eckhart Tolle know the emphasis he places on being “in the present”. Keith states that it is ultimately necessary to be “in the present” to be able to slip into the quantum field. One example given is imaginary playmates – beings that are strictly experienced in spiritual form.

An aspect of this book that I find interesting is that the book itself was not intended by the author. He was “encouraged” to share his wisdom over the past ten years by guidance from God and his Soul. They would not let up until he wrote the book. I for one am happy that they pushed!

In Part I – My Story, Keith talks about who he is, and what he does. His life reflects a mix of many diverse teachings from psychics, mediums, and masters, with more than a bit of humor thrown in. Literally, his words are “What you see is what you get.” As with all of us, he is a product of his heritage. Through story, Keith suggests that we are all healers, in our own way.

In Part II – How Spirit Speaks To Me, Keith addresses concepts such as connecting with our guides, working with the highest love, and trusting spirit. There are also some very wise words on managing energy, and the feeling of being an “outsider”. We also see up close and personal how spirit healed a very serious medical issues faced by Keith.

In Part III – Lessons Spirit Has Taught Me, Keith addresses concepts such as soul plans, and how we write (and are responsible for) our own soul plan. Through his own life experiences, we see how we as individuals can choose to have differing perspectives on issues that we face, and how those perspectives guide our path. Keith also suggests that we choose our own names before we come into this lifetime. I will have to look into that further, as I truly have never liked my first or middle name at all. For no special reason – I just have never liked them.


In Part IV – How To Manage Your Personal Energy, Keith starts out with the concept that everything is energy. It is up to us to manage our external energy (our auric field) and our internal energy. Keith’s advise is to listen to your gut (your intuition, your initial response) on whether something you are encountering is good or bad. If it feels good, it is good. If it feels bad, it is bad. Keith also recommends that we start out each day with a daily spiritual routine. I find this not only to be recommended, but to be necessary to start my day out on a good note. I also agree with his recommendation that some form of meditation be included in the daily spiritual routine. For those that wish to work with manifestation, Keith has some excellent suggestions on how to go about doing this.

From the book:

“One of the most important things I’ve learned is that to achieve spiritual growth, for healing work, and for living life is integrity. Integrity is the foundation of love, for ourselves and others. To be honest with ourselves first and others, as well. This helps us let go of control and live in more peace and harmony.”

In Part V – How To Manage Spirit Energy, Keith discuses ten specific ways to allow spirit to flow through you. A huge bonus, IMHO, is his discussion on clearing homes of spirit energy and closing spirit portals.

In Part VI – Spirit On Steroids And Sedona, Keith addresses a specific time that he spent in Sedona, and how things came together to make this happen. He also discusses the nature of Sedona, and the effect that it can have on people. This chapter is really all about turning things over to God – it is impressive!

In Part VII – Surf Into The Flow, Keith talks about the consciousness of the world shifting, and that we need to go with the flow. Old belief systems are being released, and we are becoming open to new ones coming in. When we are in the flow we are not alone, we are at one with all that is. We are in the flow when we can accept that we do not control the flow.

From the book:


I am very happy that Keith was encouraged by God and his Soul to write this book. Through sharing his own story, he can help others make sense of the metaphysical world, and their part in it. He references energy masters, therapists, and different healing and reading modalities throughout the book. It is as if you are sitting in your living room, your favorite beverage at your side, speaking with a good friend. Whether you are a healer or reader working with others, or you want to work on yourself, this is the book for you.

© December 2020 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review: The Parallax Oracle

The Parallax Oracle –

Archetypal Kabbalah, Tarot, and The Tree of Life

Author: Heather Mendel

Artist: Heather Mendel

A Word of Art


ISBN# 978-0-9710976-9-8

I had the honor to meet Heather Mendel in person – her work personifies the very gracious individual that she is. (Her previous work includes “The Oracle Speaks”, “The Magic Moon Lenormand”,  “The Sacred Mandala Tarot: Mystery, Mindfulness and Manifestation”, “The Sacred Mandala Lenormand Oracle”, and “The Syzygy Oracle: Transformative Tarot and the Tree of Life”.) The focus of her work is the Sacred Feminine, as expressed through the Kabbalah, Tarot, women’s spirituality, sacred geometry, and mythology. You can find her work on her site:

I knew that I wanted to work with this deck/book as soon as I heard about it. (Facebook is good for something!) It will appeal to readers that are interested in the Tarot, in the Sacred Feminine, and in working with the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life. I was very impressed with the presentation of the deck and accompanying book: the book cover and the box that the cards come in are black. Some might call this minimalist – I call it a reflection of the mysteries that they contain. The image on the covers for the book and deck is that of the four worlds.

The cards come in a lift-top box, with a lovely lavender mesh bag to store the cards in. There is a silver elastic tie that holds the box together. (I have feline “helpers”. A flick of a paw would have cards all over the place if the box were not contained!) The card backs are red, with a black and white yin/yang circle of the side view of a head, with a red apple (complete with a green leaf) in the center.

The card faces show the card, and where it sits on the Tree of Life. The suits are defined by color: Wands are yellow, Cups are red, Swords are blue, and Pentacles are green. The card faces show a black background, with a diagram of the Tree of Life in the suit color in the center. The numbered cards show the number where they sit on the Tree of Life. The Court Cards (Page, Knight, Queen, and King show their respective crowns where they sit on the Tree of Life).

There are two additional “mystery” cards with purple arrows – one pointing up, one pointing down. They are meant to suggest that the focus for the reader is either the journey down the Tree of Life, or the journey up.

The Parallax Oracle, as noted on the box that the cards come in, is a Minor Arcana deck that can be used alone, or in conjunction with The Syzygy Oracle as a full Tarot deck.

The 179 page companion book is absolutely amazing! Part One addresses the esoteric basis of this work, covering intuition and the Hero’s Journey, the sefirot on the Tree of Life, the sefirot and the minor arcana, and using the Parallax Oracle in a spiritual practice. Part Two addresses each card through a black and white image, an affirmation, keywords, meaning, sefirot, suit, numeric significance, summary, questions, and notes.  

In her preface, Mendel talks about the possibilities for connecting with the intuitive, and that it is really a continuation of work that was done with her Syzygy Oracle, which focused on engaging intuition through the archetypes. She sees the Tarot and the Kabbalah (with its four worlds and three levels of soul vibration) as a lens through which we view our daily activities.

I love the questions that are posed with each of the cards. For example, one of the questions for the Two of Swords is: “Do you have a regular practice to enter the silence?” For the Queen of Cups one of the questions is: “Do you believe romance lasts?” For the Nine of Coins one of the questions is: “How do you share your successes?” For the Six of Wands, one of the questions is: “Are you comfortable in the spotlight?” As you can see, the questions take the reader on an internal journey.

At the end of the book there is an appendix that includes a summary of the journey from 1-10, and a summary of the journey of the four suits and the four worlds.

“The kabbalistic teaching of the 10 “cosmic chakras” (sefirot) become a practical tool for spiritual practice. The Four Worlds become familiar as readers understand the interconnection of the four Suits; three levels of soul development— nefesh, ruach, and neshama— become evident in the understanding on the Court cards and their application to finding meaning and balance in our lives.” Heather Mendel

Experienced Tarot readers will find that working with the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life adds another layer of understanding to their readings – specifically in the areas of spirituality and esoteric teaching. For someone with a more Kabbalistic mindset the study of the ten sefirot brings the gift of a practical tool to their spiritual practice.   

I want to add a small word of thanks here to Wald Amberstone, co-founder/director of The Tarot School. It was through him that I began to understand the connection between the Tarot and the Kabbalah, and to add that layer of wisdom to my readings.

© October 2020 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

Review – Raising Our State of Consciousness to Fulfill Our Soul’s Growth

Raising Our State of Consciousness

To Fulfill Our Soul’s Growth

Author: David Lacopo

Light and Love Production

ISBN #978-1-7772328-0-1


Lacopo sees the Tarot as a tool for personal development, as well as gaining understanding and raising our state of consciousness. He also feels that Tarot can be used to restore personal balance on all levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

In this book Lacopo brings to the reader a collection of his personal experiences, Divine knowledge received from his personal guide and spiritual mentor (Achquelin), and spiritual growth exercises. The exercises include working with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet to manifest positive changes and working with the Kabbalah (The Tree of Life) to help understand and improve human relationships.

At 229 pages, this is a nice sized book. In other words, it does not overwhelm. It is packed with full color images from the Tarot (using the Rider Waite deck), as well as black and white and color images of the Tree of Life. There are charts included throughout the book, and a focus on understanding the four energy levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

In his introduction Lacopo speaks of receiving Divine downloads and Divine guidance from his spiritual guide Achquelin. In 2017 he was guided to start speaking out about his journey.

From 1997 onward for fifteen years, Lacopo walked what he terms “darkness”. It wasn’t until 2008 that he reached a crossroads – he left his musical dream behind and began studying the Bible.  He went on to study the Kybalion and the Sefir Yetzirah.

In his chapter on meditation Lacopo does an excellent job of defining the four aspects of our being – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, as well as the chakra system. He takes the reader through the process of meditation, including correct breathing, and introduces the concept of working with the Tarot.

Included in the exercises in this book are raising our vibration and working with our yearly lessons (using numerology). There is a wonderful section on the Tree of Life, the Three Pillars, the Four Worlds, and the Ten Sephiroth, and the Twenty-Two Paths (which associates each path with a card from the Tarot Major Arcana).

This may all sound complicated, but it is not. The heart of this book is focused on having the best relationships that we can have, by raising our state of consciousness. The tools used are the Kabbalah (The Tree of Life), Tarot, meditation, and Lacopo’s own personal experiences, along with wisdom gained from his personal Guide, Achquelin.

The material in this book is very easy for the reader to understand, and to incorporate in their life. I recommend it for individuals from diverse backgrounds that want to apply themselves to raising their consciousness.

© September 2020 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review – Grandma’s Gardens

Grandma’s Gardens

Author: Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton
Artist: Carme Lemniscates
Philomel Books
ISBN #13: 978-0593115350


“Grandma’s Gardens” is a lovely book, a wonderful addition to any library. It is about family – grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. It is about gardens, flowers, love, and connection. The writing is very nicely done, the illustrations outstanding.

We follow Grandma Dorothy as she shares her love of gardens with her daughter Hillary, and her granddaughter Chelsea. The warmth of this story immediately comes through, reminding me of my childhood, and my mother and grandmother’s love of flowers and gardening. It is written at a level that children will understand, but also written in a manner in which it can be shared by an adult reading to a child.

I love this book as an adult, I would have loved to have my mother or grandmother read it to me when I was a child. It brings back many wonderful childhood memories. Gardens are magical places where birds, bees, ladybugs and all sorts of things can appear and amaze. They can be places of introspection and healing.

This coffee table size book is definitely going to be kept out where I can pick it up and go through it any time that I want to! For me it is a comfort book, and that holds great value.

© May 2020 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Review: Swerve – environmentalism, feminism, resistance

environmentalism, feminism, and resistance

Author: Ellery Akers
Blue Light Press
ISBN #978-1-4218-3640-9



“Swerve” is a very appropriate name for this book, as it references sudden “swerves”, or changes in direction (i.e. one day the Berlin wall, the next day no Berlin wall). As an environmentalist, Akers notes that we do not know that the future holds.  In this short (53 page) but amazing book, Akers addresses the topics of environmentalism, feminism, and resistance as issues that we need to confront.

Within these very well written poems we find a way to grieve our current state of affairs, at the same time that we are seeing hope for the future. We walk away with a new perspective on issues that confront us every day. We need to know that we are not alone, and that our grief needs to be experienced, then released, so that we can move forward.

The book is divided into three sections: The Earth, The Women, and Resistance. One of my favorite poems from “The Earth” is “Our Grief for the Earth Is Hidden”. Akers talks about how our world is being diminished, how species are becoming less populated, how we need to pay attention to the insects that are leaving us. In other words, we need to pay attention to the world around us.

There is a poem in “The Earth” entitled “The Buddhist Practice of Bowing”. The gentleness of Buddhism fascinates me and draws me. Akers is bowing to iron bracelets on prisoners, to women at both ends of the social/financial spectrum, and to young men who love cars. All of these things are part of life. In bowing to them Akers is acknowledging them. It is good to acknowledge things, but then to place them in our life where we can handle them.

In “Women”, the poem “Smoke” describes two different groups of people, both of whom are going to die. One group wants to make sure that the other group dies sooner. How reflective of our world!

In “Resistance”, the poem “Not Too Late” expresses the thought that as much damage as there has been on this earth, there is still time for a “rebirth”.

Akers poems are beautiful, sharing the truth of things we may not want to see. This little book is a gift, a gift that allows us to understand ourselves and the world around us much better. There is an imbalance in this world, which we need to acknowledge and move through. Grieve and move forward.  Answer the call to activism.

What a wonderful resource for these very trying times!

© March 2020 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission.