Not All Are Weeping
Jean Anne Feldeisen
~42 pages, $13 (+ shipping)
Projected Release Date: April, 2023
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Jean Anne Feldeisen has been writing poetry since childhood. She lives on a farm in Maine with her husband Don. Jean has degrees in Philosophy, English Literature and Social Work. She has owned a therapy business, a catering business, and taught piano to children. On her seventieth birthday she self-published a memoir, Dear Milly, about her parents’ World War II romance. Currently, she is working with a group of writers creating engaging audio portraits of older people for the Crow’s Feet Podcast. Jean uses her varied experiences to inform Not All Are Weeping, her first poetry collection.
Jean Feldeisen’s poems mix a restless, probing desire to know and show the truth, with deep compassion and care for all her subjects. Whether writing about her mother’s last illness, the spiritual soothing of nature, or a medieval saint looking with sorrow on horrors of today, she uses her copious formal skill and imagistic inventiveness to pull our hearts along for the ride, and I am always glad to learn from her wisdom and honesty. ~Brian Evans-Jones, former Poet Laureate of Hampshire, UK
Not All Are Weeping sweeps the reader through complex emotions and deep love of family in all its iterations. Jean Feldeisen journeys with us through porch conversations, bread baking and burger making with the clear-eyed honesty of Hildegard von Bingen: I drift inside a room draped/with pictures of many smiling/children’s faces…This collection captures the illusive spirit and the depth of the questions that linger after loss with precise and evocative language. ~Nancy Wheaton, founder of Wheaton Writing Academy
These compelling poems celebrate family relationships while acknowledging their complexity and the reality of loss. Like a walk through the woods, Jean’s poems bring a refreshing feel for the natural world along with a deep understanding of human nature enriched by her years of experience as a therapist. The poems are both lyrical and accessible so that we walk away enlightened and affirmed. ~Terry Karnan
Tangle is our mojo, we dangle
a lure, enchant with spin and dance
to catch the ancient one.
Pull her from rivers where
year after year she tears through
cut and slough, knows the grip
of bigger fish she has slipped
from, the tease of waving
leaves hiding a dart of tongue,
a mouth of tapered teeth.
Beneath and deep in dark
gullies she hides,
waits for the next hatch
of insects to rise.
Then evenly glides
into channel and spin and
bash of bodies as they clash
to catch the next meal.
We haul, heave her
out of the water. Her tail
flips, body arches, fights
to loose herself. Then
hangs there pulsing,
with soft eyes, helpless
to the shiny knife of air.
1920: Atlantic City, New Jersey
We walked the Boardwalk that night
Her long brown hair stretched past her waist,
blew around us─ her smile, her delight
in my stories blurred my eyes.
I bought salt water taffy, pop and hot dogs
for us to share. The wind’s salt smell,
pound of dark waves on the beach,
rushed my asking Might I kiss you?
I had wandered east, abandoned
a lifetime prospecting gold in Alaska.
This woman─barely twenty,
myself nearly forty─after
the ice-cold dangers I was pulled
to her like frozen hands to a fire.
She ended up in my bed, me with a vigor
I barely remembered, salt water taffy
tangled in her hair, and smiling.
Smiling at me. Of course we would marry.
We had a simple service.
After all those long years─ wed
to the forsaken and unknown of trail life,
I claim a constant wife.
Sewn with feather-tips of milkweed seeds,
stitched with spider webbing, it flows
over us like cream.
Beneath its whipped froth
our bodies tangle,
slide into gullies where warmth
burrows in milky fluff.
Pull up the comforter? Need water?
An aspirin? Let me get it. And each of us
aches to feel the other slip into sleep,
breathing slow and steady.
At night one creature. Yet by day
we shoulder opposing corners from which
we spar and posture, until
all kindness is curdled.