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Poetry. Gayle Kaune's third book, NOISE FROM STARS, is a collection of lyric poems, rich in sense of place, surprise, and imagination. Kaune's mind takes quick leaps, sometimes shifting point of view, making her story rich and complex, while motifs of water, stars, and swimming hold the book together. Kaune's spiritual journey begins in the desert with the 'swamp coolers of childhood, ' the air 'laced with particles / from Yucca Flats, ' a nuclear testing site. She takes us though years with her physicist husband near Hanford, 'love and sex and blood and babies..., endings as happy as endings can be.' Kaune writes funny poems like 'Charon as Neuroscientist Researches Alzheimers' and moving poems about her parents' deaths. She also writes compassionate poems about her involvement with the Samaritans, a group that helps immigrants. After she and her husband move to the Pacific Northwest, they travel back to the desert where 'It is good to write these things down, / like water in your backyard fountain, you flip a switch, everything flows.' Kaune has written a wise and well-crafted book that comes from a life 'blessed by the ordinary.' Her poems are connected to something larger than herself, and come from a deep place, a place of reverence. I enjoyed reading these beautiful poems.--Richard Widerkehr
NOISE FROM STARS goes out beyond the comfortable with courage and creativity hand in hand on a journey into the terrifying dramas behind the shuttered windows of the past--how a life can be defined by what it refuses to see--'...why are the picnicking ladies naked / looking away, while the men / dressed like dandies / are ready to pounce?' Ms. Kaune writes with the ferocity of a war correspondent sending the news back from the battlefield of her body--her life--in a dimly lit world where thirsty ghosts drink memories from the open mouths of the dead. 'I think of God, crossing the desert / slowly, touching the ears / of an old jack rabbit / condemning it to die...' Think of your unspoken prayers for yourself--for the world--think of the last breath of a loved one--think of stumbling upon a book of poems that turns into a door you've been waiting to enter. This brilliant book takes the lens cap off the telescope and these poems remind us to look not just at our feet plodding forward but up at the hot stars that are always there.--Gary Lemons
Thirty years of marriage--surprises, sorrows, delights. These vivid poems show us ways to live and ways to face the end of living.--Peggy Shumaker.