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 .

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Poem: Saving the Chairs, for Magpie Tales Photo Challenge

Photo by Rosie Hardy, found/used uncopyrighted per internet Fair Use Policy


Saving the Chairs

In my dream it falls to me
To rescue the chairs
And array them on the daybreak field.

Soon a seraphic audience
Will take its seat.
Soon an orchestra with its heralding
Trumpets will descend
On a  topaz cloud.

That is to say
The sun will rise
And make its way over the pasture
Dispersing the steam rising
From the scattered
And curing bales of alfalfa

The wild geese will pass
And pass again in triangular
Synergy, calling with one voice; 
The bare willow on the creek
Will draw a pale yellow bow
Over its own compliant strings.


There have been chairs I saved
From the landfill
Tan and cream damask
Without arms
The vintage armchair
Waiting at the curb
On Cherry Street
With new upholstery

The wicker rocker
In the dumpster,
Its legs unraveling,
Murmuring of azaleas.

But entropy claimed them
Peeling off their paint
Shredding their fabric
With a thousand claws

Water pouring in
From the roof
Set them afloat
Like old canoes
Trapped in the rapids.


Try as we might
We cannot save all of the chairs
Time has turned on its lathe.

Someone will come
And set them out to pasture
Where they will settle
Into the earth

And the old women whose parlor
Furniture they were
Dream on in metal beds
With cranks and locked rails

Faces bathed in fluorescence
the withered oak leaves of their hands
resting in rumpled gray linen,
Split leather recliners
Bearing witness from the shadows.


 Many thanks to the lovely Tess Kincaid and Magpie Tales  for another evocative photo challenge! 

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Anonymous said...

Hi Jenne--I wrote a comment that did not take!

It's a lovely poem--talk about evocative! The chairs are a great device. It's human but a bit ghostly/mystical and mist-ical, clever but in a gentle wise way. Very well rendered. K.

Anonymous said...

Jenne--I think I've posted two comments neither of which has taken! I'm so sorry. The long and short of them were that I thought this was such an interesting well-rendered poem. You've used the chairs to great effect, both on a human and symbolic scale. Well done. K.

Maureen said...

Wonderful poem, Jenne. Lovely opening section. I especially like the second section where you name the types of chairs, naming being like their reclamation. There's some terriby sad in "Try as we might / We cannot save all of the chairs...."

Great photo prompt.

Tess Kincaid said...

I've saved my fair share of chairs from the landfill...literally and metaphorically...beautiful write, Jenne...

Sue said...

One of my favorites today.


Mama Zen said...

That last stanza is so true and real it hurts. Amazing take on the picture!

Heavens2Betsy said...

I found this quite beautiful and enjoyed the images it evoked. penny

Kathy Bischoping said...

This is wonderful! The first part is needle-precise with its unusual powder-blue cloud, the willow drawing a bow, and the alfalfa. The second part dangles mystery before us like a carrot -- why the newly-upholstered chair is thrown away -- and has that wonderful wicker murmuring of azaleas and the bright spot of Cherry Street. And the third pulls the two together, still allowing the split leather despite the fluorescent metallicness of the setting.

Alas, I'm not Magpie-ing myself this week. But my latest write is here: http://drinkthenewwine.blogspot.com/2011/11/vacuum.html

Kathy Bischoping said...

P.S. I meant to say that something about the 1st part, I think about the line length or meter, had me think of the Cavafy poem about barbarians:


Tumblewords: said...

Truly stellar. I love this...

Ann Grenier said...

Beautiful as always Jen. It is always a treat to experience your creativity and have my mind expanded - see those quick bursts of light that spark as I read your lines.

Doctor FTSE said...

This is a lovely poem.