In her latest book of poems, Katherine Hastings threads together a lot of subjects in a crisp, moving, and lyrical style. There’s New York City and San Francisco, the moon and the ocean,
birds and a decent amount of angels. Hastings remains one of the best poets when it comes to
meshing people and nature, as in the ending of Orion by the agate sea,:

     you witness everything—a woman’s body
     delineated by wind and silk moving smoke,

     a lone man in a yellow window
     counting dreams,
     the ways that sunlight falls.

But I particularly like the way she deals with contemporary tragedies in a reverent, yet biting way. In her sequence on Sandy Hook, Hastings writes:

     And then it was over.

     No flowers.
     No bears.
     No candles.
     No prayers.

     Just a finger painting
     soaking up a splash of water
     on the bed tray.

The poems in this collection abound with intelligent, strong and, yes, beautiful language, even in a lighter poem like Ode to the Moo Cow (one of my favorites). And I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the lovely Aloha Mele where “needles blister with music”.

Katherine Hastings knows that while hope often stumbles and falls, it always gets back up and will never be denied. This from A Walk in the Park:

     I walk until the lopsided moon begins her weaving
     over and under, under and over,

     interlacing her lightfall of peace.
     I walk until the nighthawks cry.

And cry they do, magnificently. Nighthawks is a book to read and reread, and to savor.