Welcome....

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.

Order the Collection here. Contact her on Facebook as Jenne R Andrews and Twitter @jenandrewspoet. e-mail: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .

Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Poem: Carbon-Dating, for Magpie Tales and Beyond...



Ponytail - by Last Exit


Carbon-Dating

"Everywhere...the stench of the informer."

Vladimir Lenin

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
hostile fire,
grey metastatic nodes in the center;
their scent is like smoke,
with its poetry of sorrows.

ii

The earth remembers
and narrates with her rising 
clouds of ash, its filigree of wisps
on cold wide fields of gray sky.  
Limpid clouds
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

To participate in The Mag, a weekly writing meme hosted by the lovely Tess Kincaid, click here.  





8 comments:

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Your work is wonderful--poignant and vivid

The Write Girl said...

Oh the wonder, pain, and sorrow you see in black smoke. I enjoyed your imagery and beautiful storytelling taking us back through history into the present.

mindlovemisery said...

This is one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read, deeply effecting work.

Berowne said...

The loquacity of smoke - terrific.

Maureen said...

I read this when you first posted it yesterday and re-read it again just now. It is lyric narrative poetry at its best. It's impossible to read it without feeling the words and being moved by the images that so powerfully speak to that "contrail of absence". I'm especially drawn to the last stanza in the first section of the poem and to the beautiful concluding tercet.

Timoteo said...

"the smoke of desire and the smoke of atrocity wind together..."

Bullseye...as certain traditions would say that atrocity rises from desire.

I love this, you mad genius! And I like that you have modified the background color on the blog--much easier to decipher now.

Ann Grenier said...

An amazing response to the prompt, Jenne. So many lines that draw the reader in to the atmosphere you create, especially in part i. So enjoyable to read your poetry as always.

Tess Kincaid said...

Beautiful...powerful...and so very timely for Memorial weekend...