Here you will find my poetry, short stories, and other creative works!
If you would like to publish one on your platform, please feel free to get in touch with me.
Cracks // Rain— A Poem on Acts 2
A world where borders
Titles and class
Hate and pride
Here, we destroy
Each other, ourselves
Never full, our hearts—
Seep out through
Deep, dry cracks
Fractured are these social lines
Shattered, our best plans for peace
No one can rise above it all
Inside and out, our common truth:
Brokenness… Emptiness… Despair
Close your eyes
Imagine with me
A plain as far as you can see
Distraught with draught
Cracks deep and dry
Lifeless and littered…
Stand in its center
Hear the brittle crunch,
The moaning wind
Breathe in and feel your throat go dry
Close your eyes — you know this place.
Now rolling in imagine this:
Wind heavy with a scent
Sweet and healing, the silence pierced
Sounds of coming thunder
Feel on your breath and flaking skin—
Rejoice with every drop of rain!
Hold it in your hands and dance,
On ground becoming holy
Life is here- here in these cracks
Redemption is falling
Drip by drip
A place once dead will come to life
Beauty will bloom and
These fracture lines,
These cracks and walls,
These hateful chasms will
Be bound like wounds
Cleaned and wrapped—
Will be made new
Only one thing can make this true
One Holy Spirit
Come work in me and in you.
-By Erin Rain Gautier, Poetry on Acts 2.
Maple Spice Granola Recipe
I get a little dramatic after watching The Great British Baking Show, like suddenly I could make a three-layered trifle pudding showstopper with caramelized glaze in under and hour. In reality, I am not sure what trifle even is. But I do think that baking is fun (in moderation), and especially feel the urge to bake when cooler weather begins to move its things in. First it brings a cold breeze from the mountains, then brisk mornings, and then suddenly, fall is here. In honor of the season, I created a simple and yummy granola recipe to pair with a thermos of coffee or hot tea on the trail!
3 cups of oats (steel cut works, but no instant!)
3/4 cup of slivered almonds
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Dash of salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (not including brown sugar) and set aside.
In a separate, microwave safe bowl, add the wet ingredients and brown sugar. Microwave for about 1 minute, and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth and blended.
Pour the wet mixture into the large bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until fully saturated.
Transfer the granola onto your lined cookie sheet, spreading it into one single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, stir with spatula, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Once your granola has finished baking, let it cool for at least an hour without touching it.
Throw in any add ins you want after the granola has cooled, like raisins, chocolate chips, or coconut flakes! This granola will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Throw some in a bag and go enjoy the changing leaves!
Happy fall, adventurers!
By Erin Rain Gautier
Only the snow
Written about Russia Canyon, New Mexico. By Erin Rain Gautier.
Trail Journal: The Oregon Umpqua
I had not known the color green until today. Every millimeter of the Umpqua is clothed in a luxurious coat of true emerald in every shade. Deep, bright, neon and muted all blend together in captivating harmony.
Near the spray of waterfalls, the rocks boast soft moss like a favorite blanket or warm bathrobe. Some of their stony shoulders are draped, as if they are trying to keep warm in the shady chill. Others slumber placidly beneath green patchwork comforters. I imagine for a moment that they stir once every few years, only to groggily fall back into the fog of sleep.
I did not know that trees could be noble and wise. This is an old growth forest, steeped in silence and age. It is magical and humbling. I believe, from my spot beneath the misty treetops, that this place has a personality so different from the massive Coloradan mountainlands I am used to. Those mountains surge with youth and recklessness, their temperamental side revealing itself in jagged ridges and sudden storms.
Not here. This silence and peace that has aged so resiliently echoes into me.
I think I am beginning to understand the forest, and sense its heartbeat. It is at once the most calming and the most alive place I have ever been.
Written from the Toketee Falls Trail. By Erin Rain Gautier.
Encouraging E-mail to Self:
(And to every travel/outdoor writer starting out)
You do not make checklists, like a housewife organizing her grocery trips.
You are not a content mill, and you do not use words for the purpose of clickbait or some aura that makes products sell.
No, you are a storyteller. A creator, a guide who leads others through experiences. You are the person who opens up the world through a single moment. Every story is more than just a report or an article: it is a journey that has been captured in time and space through words to be traveled again and again and again, by different people, countless times.
Do not sell the journey short. Do not sell it for anything less than it is, a mysterious porthole into other minds, cultures and landscapes.
This is what is means to truly be a writer.
Today, no matter what you write or who you write it for, ask yourself:
Does it inform?
Does this do the experience justice?
Does it immerse, empower and inspire?
Written (no joke) as an encouraging email to myself. By Erin Rain Gautier
Step crick step
Heaving breaths and sore shoulders,
The wild and free wind,
Plays with my hair.
All of me is here,
At once I am a cedar,
And fragile thin glass.
The mountain is
Am I a part
of her fabric,
Is my communion
sweet flowing water,
Are these shady arms
made of pine
gathering me close?
Or am I a child,
Playing with matches,
-Written after 4 days on the Timberline Trail. By Erin Rain Gautier.
Why We Need Climbing Friends
All of me was trembling as I hung askew from the top of a bouldering problem. My entire body was frantic as the crash pad below seemed to move further and further down, like I was suddenly hanging onto the bottom of a rising elevator. I knew that I probably looked stupid and should be embarrassed, but my fear of dropping was too real to let that decide my fate. My stomach churned, both because of the height I knew I had to drop from and from the air, thick with chalk and sweat. Beneath my suspended climbing shoes, I could see my friends. Some of them were cheering for my finish. Others noticed my sudden panic and tried to reassure me. One told me that I most likely would not die.
Climbing is ever-changing, always presenting you with fresh challenges and new mountains to summit. It is both individual, when you battle against your fears and perceived limits in your mind; and it is done in community, where you rely fully on those holding your rope and pushing you on.
My now-husband is constantly looking for ways to get out and be active. He is the friend who suggests sunrise hikes and plans packing lists for other peoples’ camping trips. “Growth Mindset” is his M.O. The first time we went climbing outdoors together, I had a similar freeze moment. For minutes I clung to one spot on the rockface, my muscles shaking and twitching as I tried to bring myself to reason. Finally, after his patient waiting and encouragement, I concluded that if the rope was going to break, I would die going up instead of going down. Of course, he would never have let me do something remotely unsafe.
Though I can laugh and roll my eyes at my own flashes of terror now, it is not surprising that both times I made it to solid, horizontal ground without a single scratch.
When my husband’s cousin moved to Golden, I was desperate to get to know her. I’ll be honest: I needed more friends around. When she began climbing with us, we quickly realized that she and I were on about the same climbing level.
There were more than few times of falling gracelessly flat on crash pads, many times of encouraging one another on a new problem, countless sarcastic comments made, and some silly games played when we were almost too tired to hold onto the wall. If we needed something to connect over, we found it. She pushes me to go to more yoga classes and eat less ice cream. We can passionately discuss patriarchy at the drop of a hat. She is the friend I really needed.
On a far different note, one of our favorite people to hang around with in the gym is skittish of anything that requires a harness and ropes. Most nights, he would likely be tango dancing or making pasta from scratch instead of climbing with us, but he comes almost every time. He has put his hands at the top of the wall and throatily whispered, “TAKE!” since hanging out with us. Without climbing, I’m not sure if he would have been willing to trust us and venture out of his comfort zone like that. Without him, I know that we never would have spent hours preparing ingredients for Italian food on a weekend evening, or gaped with childish awe at quick card tricks.
Another friend who climbs with us is always sharing obscure news and events. He can come up with anything from a video of puppies to strange political satire within an evening. He’s the friend who chronically has great stories and a broken car. Climbing with him is always stretching and motivating.
I am far from over my flashes of fear when climbing. I am not sure if I ever fully will be, but I do know that I am growing braver and braver with every overcome snap. My friends, who have gathered around climbing as an activity to challenge us and hold us together, make that possible. They all are making me better and broader, both in the gym and out.
No matter what level climber you are or dream to be, I suggest getting some people to climb with you.
For me, it is a highlight of my days and weeks.
By Erin Rain Gautier