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, September 27, 2011

New Poem for DVerse Open Link Night: Survival Game



…They all have tired mouths
and bright, seamless souls.
And a yearning, as for sin,
drifts at times through their dreams.

 My Own Deep Soul, Book of Images, Rilke

The great-hearted salmon
bodies heavy with roe
convene at the foot of the falls.

It is not just the feat
of breaching the flume
leaping with such volition
they surge to their nesting waters

But that the dark shadows at the crest
wait with their immense paws
their claws long as the thorns
of the honey locust

And the expectant lethal maw, the Kodiak’s
way of going in the world
so that she may take her prey in
sate herself for the snow’s long season.

But the salmon mating urge bests
common sense
in that collective metamorphosis
to innumerable rainbows
hurling themselves over the cascade.

So it is that we are transfigured
just as we are spent
in those last pulse racings, that last flaring
torsion of the body upriver

We give our spawning cry
in an instant rid of all our follies,
our dream-flecked breath.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Beachanny said...

Your chain of life shows our connection to all that lives, the fragility of life, and its shortness. From cradle to grave is like a blink in the life of the universe, perhaps less for the creator..could we but know. Well written as always. G.

Timoteo said...

Another stunning climax !

Ann Grenier said...

This poem seems in some ways an echo of your previous piece, Calling to Poseidon, about longing. We too follow instinct like the salmon at times, perhaps often, no matter what or who awaits us with long claws. A beautiful poem.

jen revved said...

Thanks very much-- yes, there is some overlapping in these pieces I've been doing to the Rilke lines. These are all in a different vein for me, more meditative/philosophical. The video Erin sent me of salmon leaping the falls, many of them landing in the mouths of the Kodiaks, was very compelling. xxxj

Brendan said...

Perfect image of the furious leap of salmon through the threshing gears of bear-paws: that's life, and the uphill grandeur of attempting the next poem. Its all appetite and need and satiety. - Brendan

Mark Kerstetter said...

Gorgeous - love the last 2 stanzas. Life so often feels like that, that just as you feel equipped through experience and so-called wisdom to handle things the whole paradigm shifts and once again you're off balance.

Maureen said...

Am late reading as family have been visiting.

You build up wonderfully to the stanza where the Kodiak appears; following the stanza ending in "the snow's long season"), a moment when your title is realized in the action of the bear, the poem splits, giving us a second section with the more philosophical take on the food and life chain. I like "bests / common sense / in that collective metamorphosis / to innumerable rainbows".