I don’t plan this on purpose, but it seems like the last couple of people have been highlighted close to their birthdays. This month is no different. I’m delighted to bring you the very talented poet Jane Hewey this month.
Who is Jane?
I am a Reiki practitioner/teacher. It’s an honor to work closely with human beings. My interests in the life sciences, quantum physics, and human spirituality are at the core of my writing.
Running in the woods has been a longtime favorite of mine; kundalini yoga is a new favorite.
Spending time outdoors with my family is bliss. We paddle around in our old, wooden canoe scoping the Seattle waters for beavers and herons, hummingbirds and osprey. Come visit, Laurie!
Well, I just might! How do you make it through all the rain, though?
The evergreens. Cedars, spruce, fir. I see emerald green from any window in my house on any day of the year. In less than 3 hours I can be in a temperate rainforest. I love the way the air feels here. I have daphne in February, camellias and daffodils in March. Rain equals life. When the sun comes out in Seattle (which is way more often than most people know) it is bliss. Imagine a speechless blue sky with arms around those evergreens. An added plus, I can run in the woods all year long.
OK, I can see your point and I like your positive attitude. What have you been up to, Jane?
Looking for a birthday party dress. Turning 50 in a few weeks and I’m throwing a party.
What kind of party?
A summer evening party in a wine tasting room.
Nothing fancy, everything tasty.
Sounds elegant and fun.
Snacking more than usual today, I’m recovering from a 19 mile run yesterday. (training for a 50k)
A 19-mile run, oh dear… what do you snack on/ eat?
Avocados- whole, with salt. And dark chocolate-with almonds or coconut.
I’ve also been volunteering in my youngest child’s classroom. They are turning stories into books. Eight-year-olds are great!
Yes, they are… and how wonderful of you to encourage writing at that age. How long have you been writing poetry?
As a sixteen-year-old, love-struck girl-woman, I wrote flowery, aching poetry. All I couldn’t understand about my feelings or experiences, I puzzled-out in poems. “In the Corner of my Mind” was the first poem I shared. I was proud of it: rhyme, repeating line structure, meter. The original might be in a box somewhere. Lines like “Locked up with a tiny key/ in the corner of my mind” stick with me. The one person I shared it with was unimpressed; being highly impressionable, I wrote in my bedroom closet for a few more years, and then quit writing for thirty.
What brought you back to writing, Jane?
Finding dVersePoets in 2011 was like finding treasure I didn’t know I was looking for. Talented writers, who are also genuinely supportive humans, frequent this site. The connection has been profound for me. I feel a secret sense of having found another part of my tribe.
This is the first poem I posted on my blog in January, 2011:
Beauty, Trust, and this Uncertain Turn
by Jane Hewey
by centuries-old breath,
her stingy, mud-encrusted hands
clasp the contours of a solitary gift
opened to the wilderness, gasping
from unseasoned light,
the slivered shadows shirk
from all she has to say.
Now that’s a grand entrance! How does your family feel about your poetry?
My husband, two young children, and adult daughter support me by reading my work aloud, throwing me adjectives, and giving me space and time to write. They are also the source of living, breathing content and inspiration.
I’m so glad your family supports you, and that you share your work with the world. Shame on whoever it was that ran you into the closet growing up.
Do you have any plans for publication?
I don’t have plans to write a book. I had a dream in which I was holding six small, (emerald green) carefully bound hardcover books, all written by me. I woke up wondering what it meant to me.
I’ve taken one writing workshop and am signed-up for a cool looking class in mid-June.
Four and Twenty, a sharp, short-form online poetry journal published some of my poems last fall and winter. It’s fantastic fun to see my work in the world. I haven’t submitted much since then. The submission process is rigorous, and I haven’t completely figured out how to best approach it. I am in no hurry. Right now, I write to learn more about myself and the world.
Do you have any special influences in your life?
I googled the phrase “how to make a poem” one afternoon during a fit of dry, wordlessness. I came across a blog called “How a Poem Happens” by Brian Brodeur. He interviews a wide selection of contemporary poets. Reading their work followed by their answers to his questions helped me move forward in my poetry efforts. Pablo Neruda’s love sonnets always sing to me, and Mary Oliver usually gets me breathing more easily. I am also beginning to feel the influences of several poets who frequent dVerse.
I’m deeply influenced by Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961). Here is a favorite.
The Walls Do Not Fall
by Hilda Doolittle
In no wise is the pillar-of-fire
that went before
different from the pillar-of-fire
that comes after;
chasm, schism in consciousness,
must be bridged over;
we are each, householder,
each with a treasure;
now is the time to re-value
our secret hoard
in the light of both past and future,
coins, gems, gold
talismans, records or parchments,
explicitly, we are told,
for every scribe
which is instructed,
In America, we are celebrating Memorial Day today. Do you have any special plans?
We plan to spend Memorial Weekend catching up on house and garden projects. Depending on weather, I will either be installing a light fixture indoors, or building a chicken coop in our urban backyard.
What is your favorite thing about summer?
Heat is my favorite aspect of summer. Hands down. The big question in Seattle for vegetable gardeners: Will there be enough heat and light for tomatoes to ripen on the vine? And for the die-hard gardeners: How do I get my cherry toms to ripen without enough heat and light?
Childhood summers in western Iowa were humid and lazy. I spent long days in The Tree, a handsome old oak with limbs the size of my twin bed, or at The Creek, a modest trickle running along the edge of our neighborhood. Some of my earlier poems allude to these places. I’m sure some of my next pieces will, too.
sky was blue then, too
by Jane Hewey
We left daisy gingham doll dresses
with matching hats and ribbon ties
inside. At noon, we buried popsicle sticks
inches deep under the oldest dust we could find.
Seersucker shorts and scabbed knees
we looked for breezes, climbed the oak
with her knobbly handholds, and daydreamed
about early Septembers in evergreen.
Well, we can’t wait to read some of those poems, Jane. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a great birthday.
Do you have any questions for Jane? You may leave them in the comments and she’ll answer them there.