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 .

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Poem for Magpie Tales Monday and Beyond....

Photo by Tess Kincaid, Magpie Tales poetry meme. 


I could not do other than to rescue
The little house in the barrio
Built a century ago, leaning crookedly
Against a willow
The old dried red chiles had gone pale
So that I hung a new ristra there
And put a vase of red roses from the market
On the chipped gate-legged table

Someone had left behind
Little hands played here, made mud pies
To the trill of the meadowlark
Little grimy faced children
Calling to each other in Spanish

In that migration of the poor, one month only
in a rain-parched year
Where the sugar beets pulled easily
From the loam
Then the work drying up
Family on the run from hunger.

Even so a tattered and torn
Comforter in one room
Hung over a window
Until I came with my dreams and paint
To whitewash where late tears of rain

Had left a hieroglyphic of lack
on the old walls.
Down came the curtains
Heavy with dust
I wanted a swan-bright whiteness
Everywhere I looked

And I worked in the heat
In my compulsion to purify…
To make new, this work
Of a woman’s hands
Even a woman alone
Weaving a nest for herself

And then a Sunday morning
Bitter espresso, real cream
From the grocery on the corner
And against the new white walls
I hung the paintings of red poppies

My landscapes with their green and blue
Depths of field
A lily like a jester’s hat
Thick rich pigment
Of mountains and a flaring
Tangerine sky

And then the chaff went out back
My paint cans, my roller,
I had come home once more
To self whispering to self
This is where we must rest,
Where we will dream.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews jenneandrews2010@gmail.com


the green breaker said...

I like the subtlety of the connections that you made with the colors.

Mystic_Mom said...

Bella! Bella! I love this, I can hear it, see it and smell it...even loving the poppy paintings! Just wonderful Jenne!

erin said...

how we carry about ourselves, our greater selves, and impress them upon the world. here - i am, my skirt and i, and our paint palette. how you will become me as i beat within these walls.


signed...bkm said...

the migration of workers and all they leave behind, I live around many in the central valley of CA...they come and they go..making home where they can, then gone as the season is gone ..and those that remain take rest...bkm

Maureen said...

Wonderful take on that photo prompt.

Some outstanding images throughout; my favorite may be "A lily like a jester's hat". The narrative is punctuated with rich visuals that make the reader stop and collect herself - "tears of rain // Had left a hieroglyphic of lack / on the old walls" is one; " this work / Of a woman's hands/ Even a woman along/ Weaving a nest for herself" is another. Both the choice and combination of details produce an affecting poem.

Mama Zen said...

"And I worked in the heat
In my compulsion to purify…
To make new, this work
Of a woman’s hands
Even a woman alone
Weaving a nest for herself"

Beautiful. I think every woman has felt this way at one time or another.

Brian Miller said...

some nice textures to this jenne...the memories left behind and in the end coming home yourself...nice.

jen revved said...

Thank you each for your wonderful comments-- xxxj

Tumblewords: said...

Beautiful imagery, colored with heart and filled with soul. Love this.

Ann Grenier said...

Gorgeous poem Jen. Such a pleasure to be right there watching, drinking in the whiteness and the rich color, the poverty and pain of the previous tenants and your vision for renewal of the old place. I always look forward to your work with high anticipation.

Steve Isaak said...

Love this - excellent word picturing.

Trellissimo said...

I'm all for restful dreams...

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I think this is magnificent. I love the way you take me right into the poem and the experiences recounted, as if I'd been standing beside you.

Lucy Westenra said...

I think this is about the best I've read so far this week. All's to say about it is in the comments already here. Thank you for an inspiring poem.

Erratic Thoughts said...

This is very nicely put, love the way you have weaved words...
Nice imagination of would have been and what changes you have done...I liked it!:)