Postcards from Jim brings together a collection of poems that flew back and forth by mail and email over the past few years between Washington State and Alaska. Sometimes only a word or the glint of an idea was enough to launch a companion poem to fit in this book. As one reviewer says, “the poets effortlessly lob poems back and forth like two professional tennis players locked in a championship match of poetics.” The approachable poems do play off each other and provide insights into a life lived close to the natural environment of the Northwest. Of course, the larger world is only a website away and these poems probe deep into the fabric of the world but with the insights into creek and stars that surprise and delight the ear and mind. The poems address nature, myth, place, relationships and belief, but always at the center of the collection is the gentle profundity of human life. The skill in language and the strong image resonance pull the reader back for more. A bonus is the notes on process that each poet provides in the back of the book, a great starting point for anyone trying their own hand at the craft of poetry, craft that can easily occupy a lifetime of exploration and enjoyment of language. The book opens with two poems that set the tone for the surprises ahead. Thielman’s “When you picture” twists the familiar scene of a magician pulling rabbits out of hats into a much stranger world where the rabbit and female assistant turn tables on the star of the show. Hanlen follows with a similar twist: a young boy at a Seaside school sent out for discipline soon forgets why he is there as he stares at the ocean until his dark eyes become blue and he finds another person living inside his skin. In “This Letter” we find a tribute to the creators of fonts and paper and the long journey to today’s instant communications. Hanlen follows that with a kind of square dance through his lines to the heart of things, the emotion that grabs you in a good poem. Many of these poems are meditations on life lived deeply, a starting point for the reader’s own explorations of life’s mysteries and memories that flow like water alongside our paths.