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, January 17, 2012

New Poem for DVerse Open Link Night and Beyond....

Photo New Mexico View,  Tom Sheldon

The Flight-Path of the Soul

Sometimes the soul is a wild and starving thing
trapped in a storm drain,
falling in during a night flight from the family,
its predator, its perpetrator.

Cajole all you will, it wishes to remain there
however hungry and cold and tired and thirsty,
for it is safe
out of the reach of anything’s long arm.

It has no scent, it leaves no tracks for the bloodhounds
of social services or a search party of evangelicals,
even a contrite and withering mother
her dugs swinging beneath her haunted face.


The soul and the wounded child are one 
and the same;
they belong to each other and time
is not on their side.

They have learned how to self-forsake,
keep low to the ground when traveling,
disguise themselves as shadows.

Oh these broken two, hoping to fuse
into one functional thing, a healthy
and radiant girl, unafraid
to return to the living.


Someone called 911
and 911 came and he lay down
to look into the drain.
He saw the soul looking at him
coughing up bile, trembling, wet.

He reached in with his long and masculine
arm, his fingers,

And she gave forth the low, desperate
growl of something with its back
to the wall.


I was painting when my soul
jettisoned itself from my body
like a monster bride breaking a lantern
over her own head; I could see
she had been longing to self-destruct.

I spun a sling, a cocoon, with the silver
skein of the twilight; I called to her.
I will sing you lullabies, I’ll rock you,
but she fled and melted into the winter trees
stranded in their hoar-frost salutes.

I worked on and a kyrie eleison
traveled like a zephyr through all
my tungsten silences.  What is a body
dreaming along, seated in the moment,
but a desperado soul on the lam.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews


erin said...

i don't know what to say other than how foolish of me not to come back sooner. !


Lorna Cahall said...

Amazing images - powerful. Pulling
things back together, so shamanic, and so difficult.

Mystic_Mom said...

Oh Jenne! Your words, your images they move me...I can see and feel them! Love it! Love it!

Maureen said...

The imagery of being in a storm drain, a thing dark, often nasty, a means for carrying away, underscores the controlled, pent-up and vivid emotion and pain in this, particularly in that second section. The weighting of the abstract "soul" against all those concrete details also lends to the feeling of being trapped. . . until suddenly exorcised. And what a contrast the whole is with the image you provide.

Anonymous said...

Well, this one is just terrific. Really, this time, one of my favorites. I like all of the different sections--the soul and child fusing, the man with the fingers in the drain, this last bit--the tungsten silences and the coaxing and the eventual rebirth, the hoary salutes.

It moves to a much more ethereal place as it proceeds, of course, which is a wonderful progression. K.

Anonymous said...

sometimes we do need to cajole the soul at will

kez said...

beautiful in a horrific way so descriptive and atmospheric really makes one feel the hurt pain and ultimately the disgust of mankind ...loved it thank you x

Brian Miller said...

this one i think you should put with some pictures...not formal maybe like a shaun tan...and turn into a book...it is fine story telling...and your opening stanza speaks volume and pain in a few lines...

Pat Hatt said...

I wonderful flight your verse took me on, the soul on the lam line was great and with the Desperado remark made me think of the movie.

Mama Zen said...

This is a full journey. Gorgeous progression.

Zoe said...

This called forth a deep, wordless soul-cry in me, resonating with every word.
There are so many strong images here, such raw, broken, healing, tumultous, ragged emotions. Wow. You wouldn't think it, but I am almost speechless. Incredible, truly incredible. I just wish I had the faintest idea how to write like this. :)

Shashi S said...

A lovely story in the making...
Liked it so much..


ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
At twitter @VerseEveryDay

Beachanny said...

A molten poem poured into urban and natural spaces..filling the darkness, the silence, the empty dark long thoughts culminated in that most Western US image - a desperado on the lam. I relate to these seemingly incongruous images because they fill a modern woman's life. Another consummate poem, dear Jenne.

Semaphore said...

I have, in my drafts of unfinished work, a piece which is trying to find its voice. It is still unfinished because, no matter how I tried, I hadn't been able to get the voice authentically right. Its working title is "Out of Body" - I tell you so that if ever it comes to light, you will remember and smile knowingly.

But if I never finish it, it doesn't matter... Here is the intent of it, you've done it.

You've found the voice for that lost, tortured child, whose soul has physically fled her abused body because that is the only way it can survive.

And you've merged that idea with the well-known tale of the "precious thing that has rolled into the storm drain" - the diamond earring, the charm bracelet, the rolling nickel - that all of us, or someone we know, have experienced.

Those two concepts merge powerfully in this fable, beautifully woven "with the silver skein of the twilight", as only you can. This poem is beautiful, painful - and, ultimately, brilliant.

jen revved said...

I'm confident that poem will be born in you, Sam-- thank you, and Gay, many thanks... xxxj

Sheila Moore said...

So beautiful, jenne!