Back in the days of Every Day Poets, Kathleen submitted some poems. We liked them a lot. We took them. Eventually we invited her to become part of the editorial team. After five years working together, EDP folded. Connie and she moved on to Gyroscope Review and I moved to The Linnet's Wings but we stayed in touch, we remain friends. Now I am so glad to see Kathleen's first Chapbook come to fruition from Gyroscope Press with a lovely cover by Kath's son, artist, Shawn Dalsen.
How We Learned to Shut Our Own Mouths follows the seasons through a very difficult lock-down year. It is honest and brave, poignant and humourous and, like its author, it is gentle and kind. Kathleen is a person who chooses to love, chooses to hope, chooses to
welcome the clarity that our fear keeps obcured
That's not an easy choice. We see that play out in the many moments within these poems, tiny personal, precious moments of crystal clear insight and realisation that there is always a choice to be made of gratitude perhaps because
our miracles feel endless
even as our time grows short
This book does what Kathleen's poetry does best. It reminds us that the world constantly changes around us, that we can't smell it or predict it and that it is up to us to keep ourselves grounded within that change. Of course that's difficult to do but then you can always Cook Your Way out of a Funk or Tuck some gentle things away to hang onto and this book suggests lots of ways you can do that. There's ordinary magic to be found in the book and some extraordinary and very profound insights.
I highly recommend it to you.
I do have a favourite poem but I won't tell you what it is because I know you will find a favourite too, a poem to hang onto. A poem that helps.