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 .

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Poems for Saturday....

The Literary Nature of the Lioness

I see the lioness bereft of young
Mothering a new gazelle

I see that one raised by men
returned to her habitat
Go running to them,
Knocking them down in joy

I see the great Hemingway lion 
Macomber gut-shot
Crawling toward the maw of Wilson’s rifle
And then I despise my own kind

I see the lion-head death mask
On the wall of a hunting lodge
Hung there by someone
Who thinks he is brave

I see the she-lion fishing 
up to her shoulders
In the savannah stream
I see twelve lions
Bring down an elephant
To stay alive

I see the lions of time
Guarding humanity
When they range and hunger
Desire and long
Pace and cry

We say how fierce
And unbelievable
When there is some tenderness
in us that belongs
to the lioness.


Of the lioness
I know little
Only that to the very end

She mouths her cubs to safety
Hiding them in the cave
She drags in a rotting carcass
They tear at it.

She lies down
Leaching blood from an old wound

Her cubs cry in the grass
The hyenas hear them
She lifts her head
They retreat and wait
And return

The pride watches
From far away

As we watch our own
Out on the Sudan
Flailing in the sun
Without bread or water

Shrinking up around their own bones
On time’s burning tether.

Second Poem for Today  


By the time you realize you have made numerous
Wrong turns, the moon has disappeared
Behind the hills.  You are alone then at a dead end
In the cooling truck.

You had been dreaming along, following
What appeared to be a road, old sayonaras
Unwinding in your mind
Ignoring the warnings of sliding rock

There used to be a ghost town
Here, you murmur to yourself
Looking out to the edge,
The rim of the canyon

Broomstick trees rustle
In the cemetery
Light from a weak moon
Sifts down on the ruins
Where you played as a child.
There were wild horses there
Only you could see.
There were magnanimous uncles
Thinning, paling
To scarecrows

You take the wing suit
Out of the car and put it on.
You step out to the rim.
You focus, squaring your shoulders
As the others did
You put your feet
In their footprints.

You turn and fall back
Into the long, lavender stillness—
No seraphim appears
To catch or welcome you;
The rushing air
Closes your eyes
Appropriates your breath.


Maureen said...

Visions of "Thelma & Louise" but lonelier and more forsaken.

jen revved said...

are you talking about Unbound? perhaps... I know. I am feeling very lonely and forsaken. It's good to hear from you. xxxj

Kel said...

Jen your 'unbound' poem grabbed my attention this morning - what a way with words you have - painting vivid pictures in the air

may you feel less alone in the company of another whose heart resonated

Maureen said...

Jen, I commented before the second poem when up.

Just read your poem on fierceness. Glad you were inspired to take the prompt at the Abbey. I'm posting mine on Tuesday. I think you and I will have the most different takes on the prompt.

I was on safari in South Africa in 1997. It was an extraordinary experience. We did get to see a pride on one of the outings, as well as a lion taking down a kudu. Your poem has some searing images, especially at the end of section ii.