In a prose poem of an introduction, children's literature specialist and novelist (Eli's Ghost, p. 56, C-2) Hearne links love and poetry as "". . .crucial to the fabric of living. . . woven of many feelings--romantic, erotic, egotistic, nurturant."" Thus this collection of poems written over 25 years includes sections on lovers and friends; child and family; and separation and loss. The subtitle is apt: the 59 brief poems have the immediacy of direct communication, baring a loving soul, sharply observant of self and others even in the midst of pain, wise enough to leave experiences open: emotion recollected in tranquillity, but poignantly reevoking the original emotion. Snatches of narrative (""A Dialogue with Pride,"" a rueful account of a quarrel); pungent epiphanies (""Opening I"": ""'Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth,'/quoted the sire in defense of his ire,/but his self-centered child/heard 'an eye for an I,'/learning early to prize/insight highly""); glimpses of relationships(passionate, sensual new love; marriage cozy under down; family members; even the cat); touches of humor (""Sex Hex"": ""Watch it babe the bogeyman'll get you/for living before wedding""); fledgling youth and the worn dignity of age--this is a collection rich in ideas and imagery, combining to celebrate love's infinite variety. It should appeal to anyone mature enough to yearn after love.