|Ponytail - by Last Exit|
The American West figures strongly in Andrews' oeuvre and gives rise to her most lyrical work. Her first collection of poetry in thirty years, Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
New Poem: Carbon-Dating, for Magpie Tales and Beyond...
"Everywhere...the stench of the informer."
When certain fields are burned
plumes from the chaff ascend,
writing across the sky--
oh brave loquacity of smoke.
The stories it would tell:
of the woman painter in Mexico, sitting up
at the moment of her own cremation;
of the terrible folly of the perpetrators:
the ethereal vapor climbing
with its aching cargo of souls.
The fields remember this
even after Auschwitz or
the burning of the bodies
during the pogrom at Kiev.
Once a violinist went to Dachau
to serenade its ghosts. He walked quietly
through the showers and out
to the gardens flourishing from
the calcium infusing the roots.
He had chosen a Bach partita; he wept
as he played.
Now memorial lilies flay afternoon light;
they have opened like white wounds,
bells mutely warning of incoming
grey metastatic nodes in the center;
their scent is like smoke,
with its poetry of sorrows.
The earth remembers
and narrates with her rising
clouds of ash, its filigree of wisps
on cold wide fields of gray sky.
too aggrieved to rain.
A translucent atmosphere
that hates being breathed in
and out again.
We clasp hands
in the comforting dark
of our lair. Mist
rises from our skin
damp from making love.
The flames of ardor
die back to ash;
the smoke of desire and the smoke
of atrocity wind together
like filmy hands with white
wrists, a braiding of the terrible
with the holy.
Great flocks of tundra swans
see the burning of the fields:
they flee the acrid air,
soaring until they are pinpricks,
unrecognizable--a contrail of absence--
until everything the heart
cannot bear has forgotten
what it was.
copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2013
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