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, December 20, 2011

New Poem: for DVerse OLN

Where It Had Been Dark

Let all mortal flesh keep silence…

From the psalm of Habakkuk, 12:20

This is the foretelling that won
my heart
became more than a story
years ago
the one with its tiny foot
outlined by certain stars
suddenly come to the fore
on the horizon

At dusk, just above
the line of light

Where we all went on
in a fever of worry, spreading
the virus of fear
fallen, as we were made of dust

Falling like forlorn angels
through perpetual night.

That there could be a flint-struck
infant life
that it might be there in the plain
mud hut
where someone might have labored
and brought it forth

Planted itself in the fist of the heart
the fist wrought of pride

I will not will not yield
to this unordinary thing, the mind said
I will this thing not to come to pass

Take away your votive lights
close the book, let it gather dust.

And yet in the night, like some invisible
stranger knock knocking on the door
with his crook

Or the rustle of wings
or the fabric of dreams
or the impossible river
of tears down the face

The need came, as if we were blinded
and trapped in a skein of love
out on a cold plain, where
it had been dark.

It was the thought of the face
the opening within
in the impoverished rooms
of the self

That we knew we were stumbling
sliding down the rock face
into the desert and into
the bowels of war

And the high plainsong
of the cantor then
the shimmering steeple
the starving see
in delirium

The hot needle in the heart
how it rankles there
as if we had splintered an ancient
petroglyph with our very fists

As if we had wandered in the snow
with our unbowed heads
curling up against a shrine
with our brandy, in the storm

And then saw or heard something
voluble and dear
a hand, an embrace staving
its presence in the heart

So that we came back
from the edge in the dusk
for the sake of the possible
in the onslaught of silence within
the flesh.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Maureen said...

Exquisite, Jenne. So many beautiful lines, the lovely cadence, the images that shimmer. I especially like "For the sake of the possible/In the sudden silence".

Brian Miller said...

nice. i like the hope in this, that we can come back from that brink...and still have hope...well spun jenne

Anonymous said...

Just inexpressibly terrific. Really a wonderful Christmas poem. So many good parts--fist, splinter, skein of love. brandy, silence, flesh. K.

Ann Grenier said...

Yes, in spite of ourselves the spirit can move us. Another beautiful poem Jen.

I wish you a peaceful holiday and good health in the new year.

Steve King said...

You describe a great arc here, and a great journey within. I admire the vocabulary, the pace, the mythic sense of the narrative. Very nice.

Brendan said...

Great inwarding of the ancient myth of rebirth. As Emerson said, every age requires a new confession, and you take wonderful strides toward it. Best of the holiday to you. - Brendan

Anonymous said...

sorry I had not been by to return the comment, I lost my step-dad early this morning but, I saw your request so here I am. I enjoyed your piece. Thank you for sharing.

Kim Nelson said...

Your piece swept me up and carried me along, like an epic screenplay or well-written historical novel. I felt the setting, the crescendo, the conclusion, of sorts. You imparted a sense of culture and societal norms and environmental hazards, too. Multi-layered and filled with meaning, as well as excellent word choices. Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Some wonderful imagery here. And I really enjoyed how you structured the verses.

Great work here.

Laurie Kolp said...

This is simply beautiful... every single word and vivid detail spectacular. Merry Christmas!

Victoria said...

Oh, my dear Jenne. This leaves me speechless--there are really no superlatives to describe this poem that would not sound banal.

The fact that you invited us in with the quote "Let all mortal flesh..." set the stage for a sense of mystery. Blogger's not letting me toggle back to the poem itself and I know there's more I want to comment on but I will say this deserves to be up there with other great poems on the subject.
Thank you.

Victoria said...

Jenne, I'm trying to figure out how to subscribe to your blog on wordpress rather than blogger since I never check my blogger blog. Going to try to sign out of google--maybe that will work. Hope you got my comment on the poem itself. xoVictoria

Semaphore said...

What a surprise, this is a bit of a departure for you! A more lyrical invocation, much like a Neruda ode in structure, and just as evocative. I so love your work.

jen revved said...

thank you everyone-- happy holiday/merry christmas et al-- thanks for coming through-- it helps with the holiday blues for sure! xxxj

Anonymous said...

Came back to see if there was something new, and as always found something new! Same poem but so rich. Really lovely. K.

Bluebell Books said...

playful words. wow.

Bluebell Books said...


Happy Holidays.

You are quite a talent in short fiction! check out our short story slam week 17 prompt today,

Sample something new is a way to escape boredom,

Hope to see you be part of our short story slam team.


Enjoy A Blessed Winter Break.