Saturday, July 25, 2015

Yemaya Knocks Me Down

Mother Ocean and three dolphins

She will bowl you over!
Leave too many salt tears,
and the Voodoo women say,
she will pull you in
to join your salt with hers forever.
But you can cry to Yemaya!
Whate’er your sadness, large or small,
she pounds the shores ever again,
in rhythms as old as Earth,
waxing, waning, high tide, low tide,
sister of the moons, pulling as she pulls on our blood,
the other salt sea we carry within.
Whate’er your sadness, she pounds our shores
as though our misery were just another tortilla,
and she is huge, and warm, and she smiles very big,
and without knowing, we reach for her,
the salt sea rises and falls with her.
She rocks us in her huge arms, wherever we are,
around the world she rocks us to sleep,
high tide, low tide, dreaming of the moon,
minnows in her pockets.

Annelinde Metzner
June 24, 1995

      Yemaya (Yemoja, Yemonja) is the Yoruba (Nigeria) Orisha or Goddess who represents the Ocean and all salt water.  She is a huge Mother figure of great compassion for all Her living beings.  She is the center of worship in Brazil, Cuba, New Orleans and many parts of Africa.

     This poem is one of mine that has been chosen to appear in the We'Moon Datebook, a wonderful compilation of women's art and poetry, for the 2016 edition.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Loving July

Blue and black butterfly, photo by Chuck Wilkins

I’m just here to love July!
It’s summer, and the in-your-face red, white and blue
has faded now, mellowed here
to the pink of mimosa, the cream of Queen Anne,
the lavender-blue of cornflower.
Wispy and bending in the breeze,
the colors blend delicately,
the flag of some other world,
my world.
I’m just here to love July!
The days are long, languid.
It’s so silly to be in a hurry!
The heat comes in clouds, wet and heavy.
Rose of Sharon blooms, in Her purple, color of thyme,
color of my fingers after blackberries,
flower of Magdalene, Her feast day nearing.
And butterflies! Hovering over the blooms,
blue and black, limenitis arthemis-
they teach us how to float and taste.
The mockingbird improvises all night,
courting his beloved with music.
How can I resist?
The breezes lift each branch slowly in the heat.
Their coolness soothes my skin.
I’m just here to love July.

Annelinde Metzner
Little Pine

Many thanks to my dear friend Betsy Murray for giving me her country cabin in Madison County to rest and write.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


In the meadow near the woods, 
lungs full of the ancient air,
come so far, 

scent of strawberries,
my heart seems to twist a little, 

warming with love.
I sit here, beside Her, 

my spirit an inchworm on the ground,
making obeisance, 

praying all day.
Blooms of rhododendron, just emerging,
all new, sticky with pink newness, 

I adore you.
Wide-roofed mushroom, 

new today after yesterday’s long rain, 
I adore you.
What else is there to do?
I sit near the woods in the birdsong and the wind,
joyfully adoring You.

Annelinde Metzner
Sacred Mound

June 21, 2011

Monday, June 15, 2015

The world opened

Mountain Laurel blooming

I was five when,
riding a country road in the family Ford,
I exclaimed with surprise and delight
and Dad stopped the car.
The laurel was blooming!
Throwing the car door open,
my parents solicitous of me,
I climbed a bank as close as I could
and gazed within the blossom.
The ten-sided blooms,
deep pink turning to white as they opened,
drew me into their world.
As the petals widened,
releasing their power to the wind
and the pollinators,
the one bloom made, not a world,
but a universe.
My five-year-old self
gazed into this tiny mandala
of white touched with magenta.
I rejoiced in Her being,
the laurel somehow freeing me,
calling to me, “Remember!
Here in my petaled calyx
is the beauty for which you were born!”
Mom and Dad called me back to the car,
and we went on our way,
forever changed.

Annelinde Metzner
May 23, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Shaman Visits

Ancient woman shaman from Manchuria

I lie in my bed, feet-to-the-head,
window wide open to the May breeze and birdsong.
The shaman has come to heal me!
Three candles on all sides,
the sharp aroma of Palo Santo incense piercing the air.
She shows me the magical items
in her sacred prayer bundle.
Stones, animal figurines, the jaguar and the snake,
a tiny drop of blood.
“Which stone speaks to you?” she asks me.
I choose the one with inscriptions, layers and depth.
“Let the stone absorb all your pain.”  I do.
The shaman moves around me, singing prayers,
shaking the carved Amazonian rattle.
The sharp, high sound cleanses the air all around.
I close my eyes and am at peace.
Slowly she moves up the center of my body,
testing me with the pendulum.  Hardly any motion.
She passes over my body with her hands,
her warm belly pressed against my side.
I release my fears into the Mother, into Pacha Mama,
into millennia of healing women,
the warmth of Her body held close to mine,
succor and comfort and clarity.
This healing is simple, a fact of human life,
the legacy of our bodies.
Slowly she moves her hands from my head to my feet,
intuitively pulling out this and that,
blockages and negativity and fear.
Once more, the high-pitched hiss of the shaker.
Again the pendulum, and, lo and behold!
Each chakra has movement,
a gigantic “Yes!”,  the glow of life.
“Tonight this will all begin to move,” she says,
“the path of healing.”
She comes to my side to pray to Pacha Mama once more.
“Now She will mulch you” she says softly.
With her two strong hands under my body,
I feel like an offering to Her, to our Mother,
and I’m good with that!
It’s Mother’s Day, and I am here,
my life is this gift, and this Shaman’s hands,
supporting me, offering me in this ancient way.
I’m suspended in the Mother’s hands
and I give thanks.

Annelinde Metzner

May 10, 2015

On Mother's Day of this year, I was gifted with a wonderful healing by the Ecuadorian shaman, Sylvia Ponce.  Right in my own home as she was visiting!   It was a truly healing, supportive and loving experience as described here.  See photo below of Sylvia and my dear friend Consuelo Nino.

Sylvia and Consuelo

Tuvan shaman

Friday, May 29, 2015

Three days of rain

Rocky Broad River, North Carolina

Three days of rain
and the thunderous Rocky Broad
rushes by my window, high, brown and roiling.
Kayakers scoot through the sluices!
Brown eddies swirl around the boulders,
the river roaring, roaring.
Above our heads, the gentle Hickory Nut Falls
blithely cascades over the long rock face.
I am transported in this roaring, rushing Spring.
The World has come back!  And loudly!
I release all my Winter’s stiffening.
The easy time is here!
A grey mist comes settling down
from the mountain peaks above me,
drawing me into this soft, moist world,
this roaring world,
supporting me, feeding me,
carrying me through once more.

Annelinde Metzner
Hickory Nut Gorge 
April 19, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Saint Francis at Hawkscry

St. Francis at Hawkscry

Falling in the mud!  Oh, no!
The St. Francis statue,
for thirty years at the neighbor’s house,
suffered severe neglect,
and a preponderance of falling over.
William, faithful and kind,
lifted Francis out of the mud.
Now Francis sits regally on his pedestal,
surveying this green domain,
prayer flags over his shoulder.
Gentle Francis, they say,
who learned to love all beings,
walked with a bird on his shoulder, and sang.
Teacher of kindness, of course you attract
more kindness from this alert neighbor.
Francis, this is a peaceful place. Welcome!
Cast your sweet grace
for miles around.

Annelinde Metzner
May 15, 2015

 Many thanks to my dear friends Jane and William Stanhope for letting me write at their beautiful sanctuary called Hawkscry in Sandy Mush Valley.

Hawkscry cabin

Hawkscry shrine

Angel bird bath

Hawkscry sky

Friday, May 8, 2015

Flying Is Just Learning By Doing

Flying is just learning by doing.
Three ospreys (then more, then more!)
announce themselves with a raucous caw,
spread their wings wide,
and fly out over the mile-high expanse,
Thunder Hill.
Right over my head they come,
so I face into the sun,
and then the moon, a tiny crescent.
Raaaack!  they cry
to get my attention,
and I see, with the high mountain wind,
the slight shifts of tail feathers,
rudders in the wind,
the bend and curve as they rise higher and higher.
I remember, in those dreams,
you can fly higher and higher,
just go!  You have your wings,
the wind will take you, you can bend-
Flying is just learning by doing,
after the first great thrust into the air.

Annelinde Metzner
May 20, 2009 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dogwood Blossoms on a White Sky

Today, dogwood blossoms upon a white, rain-soaked sky.
This is my world!
Robins chatter so earnestly, so convincingly,
I strain to discern their meaning.
A bluejay sails in a straight line through the newly-green trees.
This is my world!
This too, the whip-poor-will reminding, reminding,
the hummingbird bold, almost in-my-face,
this world so capable of cruelty, of pain,
where fear may shatter the day in a heartbeat,
this world too!  lies here, fragrant,
brand-new green of early Spring,
dogwood blossoms splayed open,
dancing princesses against the snow-white sky.
Azaleas, salmon-colored,
reach ever wider for our hearts and our wondering eyes.
This too is my world,
this unfathomable place,
my Earth, its fears, its joy and its tears,
this beauty,
white petals open to the whitest sky.

Annelinde Metzner

Black Mountain
April 25, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bundled Up with Grandmother

I’m all bundled up and sitting at Grandmother’s feet!
It’s February!  What good fortune!
Under a red wool blanket,
I exult and absorb Her pure, boundless energy.
I’m here!  I’m here!
Beside the sacred mound, so close to Brigid’s day.
What is this scent so sweet?
Oh grasses, oh pines!
I feel that we are stirring,
Life!  you of endless renewal,
Life!  with me here, dear Sun on my pen,
Life!  coming up through my feet.
Dear Son, nearby, his ashes on the Sacred Mound,
a Pagan too, like his mama.
In the ethers, he gives me a big “thumbs up!”
just for being here.
A big “thumbs up” from my son just for being here this day,
February, all bundled up, red wool to my ankles and chin,
Saule at my back, Gaia radiating through my feet,
the scent of May, the scent of becoming.
It’s Life! L'chaim, it’s the world, fresh,
I’m here, thumbs up, I’m here, bundled up,
I’m smiling, I’m here,
I’m here.

Annelinde Metzner
Sacred Mound

February 8, 2015

My name for a vast ecosystem in North Carolina, a tall mountain of almost six thousand feet, is "Grandmother Mountain."   Although officially called "Grandfather," Her energy is very powerful and feminine for me.
      I visit there and in the nearby area often, as a pilgrimage, and to be near the place I left my son's ashes.  I've learned to feel the abundant energy generated by these natural vortices, and I go there to recharge.

Grandmother Mountain in the distance

My son, Peter Metzner

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Egg

The egg, elliptical, luminous, whole,
separate, indivisible, complete,
nexus of life, invisible, unspoken,
unnamable ancestral pearl of power,
chosen one: you are my pride, my treasure.
I nurture and guard you with all my life,
a green dragon whose jewel lies hidden
in the humming recesses of her dark-red cave.
I share you with the mammals, and the fish too,
the birds, amphibians, insects, snakes:
our common inheritance, our common being.
All of us, whether we fly or swim,
trot, slither or leap beyond our height,
we all love you the same, and commend you
with lifetimes of attention and lavished care.
There are others, too, ferns and firs,
and maybe fruits, too, our cousins
guarded within the muscled trunks
of our rooted green sisters who grow in the Earth.
There they pull from the black nutrition
the crystals of power, the amino molecules,
fuel from which you radiate light
in fruit, in flower, in ovule, in shell.
I feel you well, with every moon,
through thirteen moons in every year.
You arise and make yourself plain,
crown jewel in the parade of our homeland,
flowering, intoxicating, odoriferous, fecund,
temple priestess of life everlasting
in burgundy velvet, concealing and beckoning.
It is easy, and not easy, to court you, egg,
and find you whole, enthroned in all life,
at once at the center and imminent in all things.
It is easy, and yet to properly seek you,
one must have peace, and presence, and life,
abundant life, and love without question
that leaps into the future, many times ones own height.
I bought a dozen of you today,
to boil you and color you, an essence, a symbol,
a ritual item more real than words
and you’re everywhere, among baskets and bunnies,
colored and white, foam and fluff,
and children’s hands under the bushes.
It is Eostar, your long-ago day
when Russian mothers baked you into bread,
and Czech mothers painted you for hours,
and my own ancestors walked for miles
to gather you one by one from afar,
all of us looking to the reborn world,
the flyers, the creepers, the unfathomable sea-swimmers.
These eggs are ours, our hours, our years,
the perfect pearl of our lives.

Annelinde Metzner
March 19, 1989 

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Peace Choir

Sahara Peace Choir 2010

Sing, O heavens, shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!    Isaiah 44:23

The women come to sing.
In the cold and icy dark, we gather
to rehearse the songs of peace.

“I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield...”

Putting aside aches and pains, and serious ills,
we come to sing with that wee bit of faith,
that last urge somewhere hidden deep in the heart.

“Oh, if I could ring like a bell...”

The great Black Dome, the great mountain
hears them coming, the mountain heart leaping.

“a song of peace, for their land, and for mine...”

until we arrive, there at Black Dome’s feet,
to open our mouths and hearts for Her love,
leaving our homes with all our annoyances,
to sing, to wail, to cry out
for the world we can see, within reach.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who publish peace.  Isaiah 52:7

Annelinde Metzner      

April 10, 2010

In 2008 we founded Sahara Peace Choir, blending the names of Sara and Hagar, the two lineages of Judaism and Islam.   In my poem are quotes from a number of our regular repertoire, as well as Bible quotes in italics.   We will be singing a benefit once more at Ten Thousand Villages in Montreat, North Carolina, this Saturday March 21, 2015.

Singing for an urban park 2014

Women singing change the world!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dancing with Swords

Sword dancers, photo by Holly Baumgarten

It seemed like water was everywhere-
     the shimmer of scarves,
     the shimmy of womanly bellies, muscular and yet soft.
Skin billowing wave-like to the beats.
The dancer carried water upon her head,
     blessing us, blessing us, healing our ills,
     casting water upon the Earth for its deep magick.
The room grew quiet, and a dark-haired dancer emerged,
     black skirts and gold, black leather, pearls in her hair,
     and-  what’s that?
     around her waist and shoulder, a snake.
Dancing with her!  The snake in love with her,
     this watery undulation hers too,
     the power of the serpentine. 
Soft power.
And all at once it’s long ago,
     women gathering to share this,
     this movement, this joy, uniting us
     with our bodies, with our Earth.
The Goddess is here!  Six women dancing with swords!
There is such power...
And the Goddess says, “Do not forget me!”
Thousands of years have passed
     since Inanna first dropped her veils
     to the tune of the ancient modes, with santur, oud and dumbek.
“Do not be ignorant of Me,” She cries across the ages,
with the seven swords balanced.
“Be wise. Be aware.”

Annelinde Metzner

White Horse Black Mountain
March 12, 2015

This poem was inspired by "Stars of Jerusalem Garden," last night at White Horse Black Mountain.  Dancer and teacher  Mizilca has been gathering fabulous dancers and musicians at Asheville's Jerusalem Garden since 2001.  This art form was created by and for women, as a way toward health and self-knowledge, and it invokes in me a sense of ancient wisdom.

Snake dancer Logan Labbe Jarrel- photo by Don Talley

Seven veils dance by Claire Dima- photo by Don Talley

Golden Wings of Isis, Charlotte Louise-  Photo by Don Talley


Scarf dance by Logan Labbe-Jarrel, photo by Don Talley