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 .

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fort Valley: for One Shot Sunday

Photo of Flagstaff Lake, Rob Hanson.  See notes on the photographer here.  

Expedition to Fort Valley

Before us in the elbow of the mountain
Lay our summer: small white cabins set out
In a half-distinct quadrangle
Like a pen and ink drawing.
Here came deer, bounding into the trees
The air criss-crossed
By frenetic bluejays
Pine needle loam yielding
To our footfall.

Sweet privacy then, our room in the cabin,
Where I shook out the old
Pieced comforter, dusting, arranging our books
Rubber dinosaurs, miniature plastic horses.
Ignoring, under the eaves a door
To a forbidden room
Filled with stuffed squirrels, marmots
Creatures of Fort Valley frozen in time's

Father, off with the other foresters in khaki—
Mother in a cotton dress
At the easel
Cursing a failed gingerbread batter, swilling Scotch—
Late and wild supper--
Puffball angel mushrooms
Floating in butter:
The taxidermy
Of dinner silence.

By day, the hired man overseeing the children
We piled into the truck and drove out
To collect arrowheads;
Once my brother and charge
Three years old, left behind
Came running, sobbing
Like a mother jay
Tongue-lashing the others
I scooped him up into my arms.

At night, my face cooled
By pine-sweet breeze
The bed covered
In a hieroglyph of shadow—
Rain’s fine silver fingers
Drumming on the cabin's roof
I had secret and profane dreams,
To wake tossing and flushed

In my narrow bed.
Chip of a moon
The does coming in to graze
In daybreak's window
The flickering white flag
Of Apache surrender--

But not that. In my father’s arms,
Rescued from a midnight forest fire
An orphan fawn.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Maureen said...

You create an evocative setting, especially with lines like "in the elbow of the mountain / lay our summer", "chip of a moon", and "in daybreak's window/ the flickering white flag of Apache surrender". What seems idyllic also seems menacing ("Under the eaves a door to a forbidden room"), memory-discomfitting ("a girl's windfall -- / a trembling, orphaned fawn" is lovely); "Sweet privacy" sought and yet disturbed.

Sean Vessey said...

Your poem is a feast of words to me. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing it. :-)

Ann Grenier said...

I love this beautiful photo and you have taken us to the location, put us up in a quaint cabin and made us part of the fauna on the island. Lovely.