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, November 16, 2011

New Rilke Variation: The Salt of Heaven

The Salt of Heaven

I can still only think of God as the One who allows 
everything, the One who is not caught up 
in the whole inexhaustible drama.

Rilke, Letter to Marianne von Goldschmidt-Rothschild
December 5, 1914

The drama of the garden
And the redolent golden apple
Is not the only one:

In every instance something is battling
To stay alive and when we see
The polar bear pierced by walrus tusks
Go down crying out
In hunger

We see how small we are
That we cannot go to what we deem should
Be plucked from the mountain
Landslide In time.

God allows all, it is said
And then one asks
Why then should I turn
To the one who fails to intervene?

Some say God weeps
But unless the rain and sleet are
His tears, the salt of heaven

There is nothing to believe in
But that it falls to us 
To absorb grief's immensity
As great as that of the Orca
Whose calf has beached itself,
Emitting her sonar cries in futility;

To turn away quickly, loading the brush
to paint the poppy fields on fire,
the lucent pond in moonlight.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Maureen said...

Standouts: the images of rain and sleet as God's tears and "painting / a poppy field on fire / a lucent pond in moonlight". Beautiful!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Wonderful! Thank you.

Shashi said...

Dear Jenne

Bringing in the Orca in the end was quiet emotive... we all are kind of left out because of the cosmic designs of God to be beached at the living planet earth and we call out ... to all those we have left behind believing in some solace in the end... of joining to that universal soul - sea

I liked it all thanks for such a wonderful imagery...

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

Beachanny said...

Beautiful and poignant.

I, however, know the answer.
It was flashed upon my windshield the first day I taught Lotus 1-2-3

If God intervened, if God allowed himself to know, there would not be free will. Probably time could run in both directions. It must have been set that way from the first. For surely one has the right to duck, hide, face down the truth or the enemy, turn right or left in strange towns and find what's ahead on that route. It might be even more cruel if God could foresee everything; and require much more oversight in a cosmos this large. I never bought in to predestination. Although I've read the arguments for those who do.

My little philosophical share for your eloquent and caring poem.

Ruth said...

This is simply gorgeous, Jenné. You turn these images on your skilled lathe, and I feel deeply moved.

This reminds me of "Tree of Life" which we finally watched last night. Your question rings throughout the film: <"Why then should I turn / To the one who fails to intervene?"

Tremendous work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenne--Agree with Ruth, of course. Sent you an email not on gmail but hotmail. I can resend on gmail. K.