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 .

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Poem: Leavetaking - for Friday Poetry Fest and Beyond....

A "bosque"-- clustering-- of poplars along a river.


Tonight when I left the old place
I was blessed with the poplars’ suffusion
And illimitable presence:
It seemed they stretched with wide green hands
To pull down the skeins of starlight
Milky the way, untrammeled the night

I remembered the Golden bitches
In the pens that we made of found lumber
The slow steady thump of their tails
When I came out with clabbered goats’ milk
And stewed fish and corn oil in the kibble

The irresistible and omnivorous fat puppies
Small curiosity-driven moon babies rolling in the dust
All things mothering, near, rewarding
That bone-breaking work
Love’s work, to stay with the bitch
In labor and catch each pup, tearing open the sack
Wrapping it in a clean rag and clearing the airway
Awash in the seas of birth, all of us.

I loved most of all when the bitches
Came out of the labor trance and delighted
In their young, could not bear
To be parted from them, even for a swim
In the gilded creek seaming the property
End to end

This was my Eden, my cache of golden dogs
Under the fast-growing trees.
I gave my best years to them, the sweat
And the tears, pulled off miraculous saves
With Ringer’s solution and formula
And generic penicillin, long nights up
Holding and stilling each one

How we loved each other and how hard
It was then when two stud dogs
Were lost to obstructions
And the day a bitch whelped fifteen
With no milk
So that I was forced
To let them go to sleep in the element
from which they had just come.

Tonight I don’t want to leave
That sacred place scarred over
By the green wealth of the poplars: 
Nowhere else
On the six acres we bought
Our old dreams fading
To a mirage and friendship

Did the trees come in as if by intention
To make a cloister of shade and beauty
So full just now with summer
I could give myself to them, lie down
Against the yielding earth.

Gilded Peak Don't Rush Amor aka Tess (Gilded Peak the Craft of a Good Kiss ex Gold-Rush Gilded Peak Sevilla)

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Most beautiful! You make me feel it all as if it were me — which is quite a feat as I don't have that kind of courage and dedication, let alone knowledge. Really, what can one say in the face of a poem so full of lived life and true emotion? It's perfect and needs no commentary.

Ruth said...

There is breathtaking beauty here, Jen. You are such a gorgeous writer. The lilt of your lines is immensely satisfying, always perfect. The "skeins of starlight" line really knocked me out! What a way to start this tale of bitches and their pups. Rich, rich language, and beautifully seen. What a craftswoman you are!

To see the arbor of poplars as scar, protection, is brilliant and once again shows the healing of nature, if only we can see it, slow for it.

Just stellar work.

James Rainsford said...

A wonderfully authentic write. Your vivid imagery and the beautiful construction of this poem are deeply moving. Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards, James.

jen revved said...

Many thanks to each of you for these humbling comments-xxxj

Mystic_Mom said...

Images, feelings, sights and sounds, smells and so much more just come to life in your poetry Jenne! I love this poem, and the heart of it is rich with your love.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love these autobiographies of yours. You have such an ability to take the experiences of life and turn them into art. Love the golden puppies, each one brought to life (and death) by your words.

Lisa B said...

Beautiful Poem...and beautiful dog!