Jane Mead is the author of four full-length books of poetry, most recently World of Made and Unmade, from Alice James Books. Her poems have been published widely in anthologies and journals and she is the recipient of grants and awards from the Whiting, Guggenheim and Lannan Foundations. She has taught at many colleges and universities including Colby College, The University of Iowa and Wake Forest University. She now manages the ranch her grandfather purchased in the early 1900’s in Northern California, where she grows zinfandel and cabernet wine-grapes. She teaches in the Drew University low-residency MFA program in Poetry and Poetry in Translation.
In animal darkness, before
the first day of harvest,
I walk up the vineyard’s main avenue—-
thumbnail moon, and the floodlight
from the big barn. Clanks and shouts.
The squat stone structures of the homestead
vanish, its layers of ghosts flicker
and go out. The black dog Leo follows me—-
almost invisible when I look back:
he floats,–a low-lying, uncomplaining
black cloud. Day by day, I hum—-
to the dog and the moon and the vineyard,
I guess,–let me see you more clearly.
Love is a ticket, whatever love is.
And to where I could not say.
-from World of Made and Unmade, Nominated for the National Book Award