Skies and Chasms: Poems
by James Richard Hansen

"But I know you are waiting on Earth,
so I return home
and float in the heaven of your love."

In this poetry collection, readers discover verses where nature and passion coincide. Poems such as “Freedom” remind them what a difficult journey the path to freedom is. Meanwhile, other poems such as “Corinne” remember a loved one, while “The Silence” encourages one to take the time to listen to the messages sent by the environments surrounding a person. In these poems, readers also discover a deep devotion to nature. For example, the poem “The Beach” encourages readers to “sink into experience” as they encounter the natural world. Similarly, “On a Starry Night” transports one into “an otherworldly glow” where “gossamer clouds stretch,” leaving both the reader and the poem’s speaker wanting more. Other poems like “Writing” take a different path and remind us how a simple act can become life-changing.

In crisp, clear, relatable language, the speaker in each selection offers the elements of everyday existence and observance. The pieces embrace short lines and brief lengths, which make the language even more real and accessible. Hansen's offerings are sensitive and full of light, and the speaker in each is carefully attuned to the world around them. The poems also carry a spiritual element, one that leaves readers with quiet contemplations about this world and the next. The book’s section, “Love Poems for Kristen,” is a tender one, and it offers those looking for the perfect romantic sentiment the opportunity to find one. Readers who like their poetry steeped with natural imagery find that in this collection. This book is accessible to poetry lovers of all ages and backgrounds.

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