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Jenne' Andrews is an American poet. She has three published chapbooks including the recent Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, Finishing Line Press 2013.

A full-length collection, Reunion, Lynx House Press, was published in 1983; after a long hiatus to raise Golden Retrievers in Colorado, recent work has appeared in The Passionate Transitory, Belletrist Coterie, The Adirondack Review and Vox Populi, a journal of culture, politics and poetry published and edited by the august Michael Simms.

A bilingual collection of "Italiana," Bocca, Voce, Delirio, with translations by Lorenzo Luciani, will be released by Finishing Line at the end of 2016 and her latest collection, And Now, the Road, a finalist for the Autumn House prize in 2014, will be released by Salmon Poetry Ltd, Ireland, a highly regarded international house, Jessie Lendennie, Publisher, circa 2017.

Andrews holds the MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Colorado State University, is a literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, and was full-time Poet in Residence for the St. Paul Schools from '74-78. She lived in St. Paul from 1971-78 during the first wave of the Twin Cities literary renaissance, and spent the summer of 1973 in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The poet lives in northern Colorado's Poudre River Valley with her husband, fiction writer Jack Brooks; the couple has recently imported two British Golden Retrievers and expects a litter in June-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

For One Shot Wednesday and As New Challenge for All Comers....

Posting for One Shot Wednesday, a poem inspired by Tess Gallagher's Not a Sparrow which you may read by clicking on the link.  If you wish to take the challenge of basing a new poem in Ms. Gallagher's piece, please let me know; I'll choose a few to post on this blog next week.

Here's my poem:


Love in Advent

I thought I would rest there awhile
Next to the slowed winter creek,
My arm over his back,
The old sprigged
Comforter over us both
It was Advent and I must have heard
The Good News on the radio
“We shall all be changed”
I whispered to him,
Curling against his still, great
And cooling body.

It was quiet in the frosty shallows
And the snow sweetly fell
Over autumn’s smaller tragedies—
The beaver skeleton I’d found
With an arrow through its ribcage
The small bones of that which flies
Or falters, picked clean

Short months earlier
The great-hearted golden dog
Now lying against me
Had trumped the judge’s
“One last time around please”
For a Best in Show
And a feather in my cap.

Then one day, unattended
He’d busied himself
Grinding a small fiberglass fence
To shards
That when I found him weak,
Wincing, he threw up with rank water
I’d taken him in where they opened him up
And rebuilt him from the inside out
Three feet of intestine sutured every
Three or four inches.
They warned me these might not hold

And so it was that before first light
I was first to the vet’s place 
through the back door
My flashlight into that darkness
Where, great head on his paws
He had slipped away.

I loaded him into the back of the truck
And took him home
Skidding over frozen crabapples,
Opened the tail gate not seeing
The wheels had slipped over the incline
And he rolled out, knocking me down
So that we fell to the water’s edge
And I wrapped us in our shroud

I thought we should sleep on
Together
In the sanctifying, debriding cold
But then he to whom I have turned
All the years
Came, in his coveralls
His Farmall cap
Shovel in one glove;
I went back to the house
And ground coffee beans
To a fine, useless powder.

When he called to me
We walked down to the apple tree
Where he had taken care
Shovel full of loam by shovelful
To return love's body
To the earth.

I had not seen him weep before
But we did then as one,
Holding hands
Lingering there
On behalf of our dog
And our brother, Death

This is the cold dance
It has asked of us
Do you see how nothing less
Could bind you two
Together?

Turn up love’s flame,
Turn, and burn on.
Head back now,  
Through the apple blossom snow.



Copyright Jenne’ R. Andrews 2010
All rights reserved.  

7 comments:

moondustwriter said...

Beautifully written and sad turn of events. It is a fine and loving tribute to a friend

Thanks for sharing with One Shot

jen revved said...

Thanks, Moon-- but it did teach me much about love! xxxj

bumfuzzled said...

no better way to carry me back to same only in childhood, mourning process of my life's best friend. thanks for taking me back there. I smile now and enjoy his memory.

Fireblossom said...

I was doing all right reading this. I was. Then I got to the line about "To give the body of love/ Back to the earth" and lost it.

All the details are perfect...the crabapples, the flashlight, the description of the man, all of them make this so real. But it is the last four lines that make the poemn, in the end.

SO good. But you made me cry, dammit.

dustus said...

Such a beautiful, moving poem. Choice details render vivid scenes and by the end I felt spent emotionally, yet uplifted..."Turn up love’s flame,
Turn, and burn on." Well said!

Brian Miller said...

ah, beautiful story telling...regardless of the sadness it rings...and yes i can see how you learned of love...

Maureen said...

I can't improve on what the others have said of this already. The loss of Seamus still so close and Mr Stuffy before him, I feel the catch in my throat.