Saturday, April 16, 2016

Returning





Azalea in my front yard



Each year more precious,
the rebirth of Spring!
As if now, at my age, I have my doubts,
mired down in tasks and obligations,
living just day-to-day, sunrise to sunset.
But this! The joy of brand-new life,
a quickening in the brown Earth,
and in my soul.
The lilac is back,
each bud bursting into four-petalled sweetness.
Deep in the dry leaf mold,
bloodroot arises from the forest floor,
its sap vermillion, exploding with life energy
into unique white variegated wonder.
Dandelions resume their relentless growth
with a yowl!
Trillium emerges, complete,
ready to live a miracle of grace.
And I too burst forth.
Spring flowers gorgeously in my chest,
silencing my fears,
pulling me back, whee!
into my place in the wonder of living.



Annelinde Metzner

April 8, 2016



Trillium




Bloodroot




Chickweed





Baby jewelweed









Friday, March 25, 2016

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














Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Peace Choir




Some of the members of Sahara Peace Choir



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 my friend Roberta Newman asked me to start a new choir to sing for a program sponsored by the Friendship Force to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims on a trip to their common Holy Land.  I had made arrangements of music from all three religious cultures as a way to bring them together in spirit.  We've been singing these songs ever since, including many songs that help nourish the human spirit and honor women of all world cultures.
      I wrote this poem for our yearly concert for International Women's Day, which we will give this year on March 12th.  We will be at Ten Thousand Villages in Montreat, where I can feel the strong vibes of Mount Mitchell (known to the Cherokee as "Black Dome,") highest point in the East, very nearby.
     I quote a number of Bible passages, in italics, as well as some of our song lyrics, to give this poem my wholistic vision of what our concerts are like.





Sahara 2014





Sahara 2010




Singers on the water









Saturday, February 20, 2016

Down and Up on Lexington






Lexington Avenue in Asheville, NC  





You can begin at the perennial Penny Sale at Tops Shoes -
Begin at the top!
There's old Morrison's, enameled pots and pans,
barrels of candy, ancient drawers,
and we are descending!
I cross Walnut Street.
In the little windows, blue and cream bowls and urns,
hand-painted from Fez,  Morocco,
start that wonderful spin that says, “How did these get here?'
Bricks loose under the feet
clump along with the rhythm of Salsa.
A black girl and a white boy stroll by 
with guitars on their backs.
Dreadlocks under a gray wool cap call out,
“How ya doin'? Where ya headed?'
Sky People is empty now, altars of the world all gone.
Purple and yellow walls, and everywhere,
“March Against the West Asheville Walmart."
I see bins of cotton cloths, 
and a DJ stand called “Rooster Sauce,"
as incense pours into the air.
The river of Water Street rushes boldly under the manhole,
still relentless, still full of sheer will, the need to just be.
Look up! Listen! The water, the hills!
Downtown Books and News, 
old turquoise paint and comfy sofas,
every book you could ever want,
“I Am Spock," “Sex, Money, Kiss," and don't forget
“Christian Yoga and You."
Descend a little farther to Rosetta's Kitchen -
Get some tofu and mashed potatoes!
Remember LAFF, the jousting bikes, 
the belly dance for peace,
the warmth, the youth, the flirting.
Crinolines of all colors, and a young man with a palette.
As I write, a peeking passerby says “You write it, Sister!"
I do, and I agree- “Start a Revolution!"
Old chairs and old friends relaxing at Izzy's Coffee Den.
“I don't ever get in trouble as long as you're with me."
A tiny ghetto, this street, one of those freedom spots.
Who will show up next?
One of those little worlds that make us dream big,
where what you create today can feed your next ten years.
The gate to Vincent's Ear is quiet, quiet,
rhododendrons dormant for winter.
“Don't forget how we need this!," old Vincent seems to cry.
“There are wild beings inside of you no money can buy."
Past the Liquid Dragon and I begin to ascend again,
a bit cleaner and prices rising, Minx and Bouchon.
Paper stars at Chevron, indigo, stained glass and rose.
Red prairie skirts and gnomish shoes.
Shiva and Parvati dance in copper. Palettes again,
palettes of bead, of paint and cloth,
palettes of poetry and bread and babies.
God wants choices, yes She does,
carved onyx and luscious nudes,
mud brown figures in window seats.
"God Bless the People of Every Nation"
I see before I go.
Imagine.

Annelinde Metzner
November 2008
Asheville, North Carolina



       Lexington Avenue is Asheville's East Village, Asheville's Haight Ashbury.   My son loved to hang out at Vincent's Ear, a great place for the young and aware to spend time.  As is often the case, these places come and go so quickly.  This poem will serve as a snapshot for how it was just that one day in 2008. I wrote it by jotting down impressions as I strolled the length of the street from top to bottom and back up the other side.  The last three lines are taken from bumper stickers on cars, including "Imagine."


 











Friday, February 5, 2016

This Most Huge Yes



Elsie at 101 years.


I must have been four years old, 

out for an armload of wildflowers
-daisies, mallow flowers, phlox.
Elsie and I sat on a rock  

to rest in the shade of the gnarled apple tree.
“Oh World, I cannot hold thee close enough!” 

cried Elsie, my Tante,
and on and on, poems by memory,
astounding my young ears with the bigness, 

the width of life beyond my ken.
Dickenson, Heine, Goethe, Millay,
-all fair game to Elsie’s keen mind and deep delight.
What is the world? She answered for me,
just a hint of what was to come, 

what could be, beyond the now.
I gazed at her above me,
and walked home with her, my arms full of flowers,
my little hand in hers.
And now, many years have passed.
My Tante is ninety-seven, 

but still, poems sprout from her lips,
and she, with her searching mind, 

evokes them from me as well.
“Prithee, let no bird call!”
We happen into a field, wild with flowers,
daisies, phlox, a wild quilt of color.
Thrice we return, picking armloads of wildflowers,
holding, holding, ever loving this life, 

unwilling to let go.
This divine charge we accepted so long ago
just to love this, just to live this,
eyes wide as daisy petals, enveloped in earthly scents,
knee-deep in colors,
just this most huge Yes.

Annelinde Metzner
Wildacres, North Carolina 

May 2011



This week, on January 29th at 3 AM, my dear Aunt Elsie passed from this life.  She was 102 years old.  She influenced me to pursue the creative, engaged and inquisitive life since I was a tiny child, taking me for long walks in the woods and fields, and quoting wonderful poems, such as the one quoted above, "God's World" by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

God's World

By Edna St. Vincent Millay
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
   Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
   Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour!   That gaunt crag
To crush!   To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
         But never knew I this;   
         Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call. 
 
Elsie learned many poems by memory in middle and high school, which she could quote verbatim all her life.  She studied at the local college, Furman University, until she was 94, often astounding her professors with her memory of world events.  
    My girlfriend Susa Silvermarie gave her a written copy of the Millay poem this past Christmas, and we all recited the lines.  Elsie liked to stretch her arms 'way out on either side whenever she quoted "Here such a passion is as stretcheth me apart."  
Oh, precious one, a thousand thanks for your deep example and unforgettable teachings of how to live! 
 
 
 
Elsie at her hundredth birthday.
 
 
 
Remembering her in the wildflowers
 



Oh world, I cannot hold thee close enough!

















Friday, January 22, 2016

Holle





Snowstorm today




The hard wind tearing through the Nantahala Forest
is the big swift hand of Grandmother,
getting crumbs off the table, thoughtlessly,
readying for the next thing, washing clothes or serving soup.
In the hollow, under the cold wind, you are the crumb!
You may like it here, but you’re gone!
Loud and long the fierce winds howl through the deep forest.
She brushes Her hand, and ancient oaks crash, 

obedient to Her will.
The Rhododendron stands patient through eons and eons,
accustomed to the Grandmother’s whims.
Her brown and mossy stems meet and turn exquisitely,
solid, rooted, yet reaching for air,
a ballet on the brown forest floor.
Her leathery broad leaves are good for all winter,
each whorl of leaves a brilliant, fleeting thought.
They call this Rhododendron Hell:
Hell, Holle, the Holy, the One Who Lives Death.
Plants and animals die here, ecstatic
to feed Her, to become the next thing.
I, too, would die for Her, 

here at Her feet in the Nantahala Forest.
“Guten abend, guten Nacht,” sings Grandmother,
tucking me in as I dissolve into nutriment.
Here at Holle’s side, Her perfect whorls elegant,
I’d wash into dirt at the first icy rain, 

rejoin the family of all being,
sing the green songs of the ages.
Fierce winds tear through here, uprooting oaks.
I sleep at Her feet until whenever She needs me.


Annelinde Metzner
October 29, 1995

     I dedicated this poem to Holle, the ancient Germanic Earth Goddess who is said to create snow in winter-  by shaking out her featherbed!  
     Here is a video of my song to Holle, the Winter's Queen, being sung chorally by members of Sahara Peace Choir. 
     As synchronicity would have it, here is a beautiful video with some of the ancient attributes of Holle, or Holda, of Northern Europe.  



Holle is shaking out her feathers!








My snowy yard today








The beautiful rhododendron in warmer weather!!












Sunday, January 10, 2016

Autumn Fullness









The abundance of Autumn.
Apples ripening, apples of Avalon,
every grain at its fullest,
amaranth, oats and wheat.
Milkweed pods, ready for Monarchs,
about to burst open and float away.
Goldenrod flowers bend on their stalks.
Blackberries, raspberries for the bear’s delight.
There is no coolness yet, no frost,
but still, we are storing away,
all living beings, storing away,
aware at some level of the icy cold to come.
Autumn! Why have I not seen your fullness,
your round abundance, your gifts?
Seed after seed on the underside of ferns.
Burrs clinging to our clothes.
Dragonflies dip and soar across the field,
bees and hummingbirds gorging.
Oh, round fullness of Autumn!
My mouth opens:  feed me.


Annelinde Metzner
September 1, 2015




St. John's Wort




Aster





Burdock




Plantain






Milkweed







Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Wheel






"Celebrate Women" pot by Nels Arnold, 2002



At night, when the charges had drifted off to dream,
we counselors were allowed in the craft rooms
to awaken dreams of our own.
At the wheel, a good big slab of clay,

my thumbs, fingers, water, slip,
centrifugal forces flinging gray matter away.
My fingers slipped from node to node,
my touch creating change in quantum.
A gain of height, of depth, of shape,
gray tree evolving prestissimo,
trimmed at the base, lipped at the summit,
and voila!
Done for the moment,
but then there’s glaze!
Pots of possibilities and combinations,
and what of the fire?
A test, a trial of color at the lip,
yellow like dandelions
upon the red of my young womanhood.
Through trial and heat emerged a chalice,
a crimson vessel spilling over with promise,
and the beginning of a creator’s life.

Annelinde Metzner
January 1990






In December I attended a birthday celebration for Nels Arnold, my long-time friend and co-creatrix.  She is an inspired potter, reader and actor and we have pushed and motivated each other's creativity for many years.
     The above poem, recalling my camp counselor work at age 17, full of self-discovery, was inspired by Nels.  The pottery piece at the top was created by Nels for me after our performance in 2002 of my music and poetry of the Divine Feminine called "The Mountain Moving Day." The entire cast sponsored her creation of this beautiful piece featuring women of the world.



Nels' crane plate on my stove





Nels Arnold narrating




Nels' pot, "Women Dancing"











Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christiana saves the world






Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of UNFCCC





“What if we don’t succeed?”  is asked of Christiana Figueres,
months before the climate summit.
Tears well up in her blue and hazel eyes.
“Ask the islands. Ask Bangla Desh.”
Here is the woman charged with saving the world.
Chairing the world climate summit, fearlessly taking on
almost two hundred world leaders-
with her emotions intact, with her tears and her laughter,
her deep hearty laugh always at the ready.
And she succeeds!
O Christiana, with your well-trained sense of respect,
wanting no supremacy of one culture over another,
not needing to make anyone take the blame,
the anthropologist ‘til the end.
With her staff of five hundred, the Secretariat,
she rips off her formal jacket 

to dance.
Fending off global collapse with international agreement. 
Nothing is impossible!
Christiana travels the world, pulling, pulling,
pulling us all together.  We are inextricably linked,
“consciously uncoupling” our growth from our emissions.
“This is your moment,” Christiana tells the ministers.
The agreement is emerging, a new child,
a new kind of child of the world’s making!
Christiana, how we hold you up in praise.
Christiana, go ahead and cry your tears!
Those big, healthy tears for us, for our world,
that yes, you have helped so much to save.


Annelinde Metzner
December 14, 2015 



        This week, we've had the glorious news that the climate change summit in Paris has come to an agreement accepted by almost 200 countries!   In this poem, I give thanks to the woman who pushed, pulled, persuaded and corralled all these disparate peoples so that we may all survive.
     For an excellent article about Christiana Figueres, see Elizabeth Kolbert, "The Weight of the World," in the New Yorker, August 24, 2015.
      Here is a short clip of Christiana from December 9th.









UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon and Christiana Figueres.  It's time!!





Be proud, Christiana!










Monday, November 30, 2015

I Have Sworn to Protect Her





"Healing" giclee by Autumn Skye Morrison




I have sworn to protect Her!           
Miracle blue-green jewel of all the worlds,
ancient blue mountains, vast golden deserts,
hummingbirds in the jewelweed,
black bear in the raspberries.
I speak for Her!
I howl for Her!        
I howl, “Beware!”
to you who remove Her sacred mountaintops
torturing her body to get at Her coal.
I howl, “Beware!”
to you who go deep within her mineral layers,
scraping away at her core
for your own gain.
But no one gains by this.  She feeds us all.
I have sworn to protect Her,           
this day that She needs us,
when even Her vast blue-green oceans, teeming with life,
are tainted with blood, the black oil of power and greed.
This is the day, this is the hour.
She, long-silent, awaits our voice.
The signs of Her anger are everywhere:
desert, flood, tornado, wildfire, earthquake, typhoon, tsunami.
I howl for Her!             
I love my Earth as my own body!
I have sworn to protect Her!


Annelinde Metzner
July 31, 2011


As I turn the page to "December 2015" in my We'Moon wall calendar, I come upon an excerpt from my poem above, with fabulous art by Autumn Skye Morrison.  You can see her wonderful giclee, "Healing," as well as other art pieces at her website here. 

     I send out my poem once more as a prayer, to add to so many others, for divine wisdom to come through and among the many world leaders courageously meeting this week in Paris for the World Climate Summit of 2015.  May we all protect our Earth, our beloved Home!!   May we love Her more and more each day!!




Delaware River, Margaretville, New York
  






Sacred mound, Blowing Rock, North Carolina


















Monday, November 2, 2015

The Magic Pouch






"Don't Tread on Me," by Jenifer Mokren






I have released my magic pouch.
Fathom this- the miracle sac nestled in my abdomen
where spirits come to Earth and find their destiny.
This wondrous space that grows exponentially
to accommodate a new human being!
I have released my uterus!
Here I am to honor you, oh alchemical gift,
carrier of the species, deliverer of DNA.
Oh place of pure regeneration!
Miracle tubes where fertilization occurs;
Ovaries, hatchery of the round perfection of femaleness,
oak-split egg basket 

where my mother and grandmother
held me tenderly too;
cervix, precious tunnel that, entranced,
widens a thousand times for human birth.
Oh wine-sac, imbued with love,
Oh world gift, numinous as the stars,
womb of all creation,
meeting place of divine spirit and blessed flesh,
welcome center for all our souls.
With this release I honor you, magic sac,
locus of intense and sexual feeling,
dark cave I have loved and honored all these years.
Woman’s divine chamber
which we must guard from violation,
our own and our sisters’,
which we pray for and protect
throughout our lives.
Sanctuary and cauldron of mind, spirit and flesh.
In letting you go, I hold you up,
I see you now for what you are.
I prostrate myself before you.
Oh womb who has made of me a shaman,
as all women are!
I have offered my body for the incarnation of souls.
If women deem it right and good
for all of us and for ourselves,
we will usher in a life.
Oh magic sac that made me
a conduit of the divine,
I hold you now in my open palm,
acknowledging your perfection,
astonished as, like a butterfly just emerged from its cocoon,
I open my hand and let you go free.





Annelinde Metzner

October 26, 2015


On October 19th, I underwent a successful laparoscopic hysterectomy.   I then realized I wanted to write this poem honoring all that my uterus means to me.
     Here is a wonderful blog by watercolor artist Helen R. Klebesadel of Wisconsin.   In 2012 she collected many examples of women's art, many of them in textiles and embroidery, featuring the artist's very personal relationship with the uterus and the freedom that implies.  The resulting exhibit was called "The Exquisite Uterus Art of Resistance Project."  
     When I began this poem, I didn't realize how my creative process would take a turn toward our need as women to protect our uterus all our lives, and to be solely responsible for what we create with it.


In her studies of ancient Goddess art in Neolithic cultures, anthropologist Marija Gimbutas repeatedly pointed out the resemblance of the uterus to the head of the bull.  Thus, the bull became a symbol of the Divine Feminine.








Minoan bronze bull figurine











Friday, October 23, 2015

Surgery




Metzner family, 1957, at the Catskill farm.  I'm in the middle holding Keith with Tante Elsie holding me!




My blessed ancestors walk with me
to one of the edges of the world.
Oh you who now walk balanced,
one foot in each plane of existence!
I inhale your fragrance.
Your reaching hands pull me,
pull me upward, toward you, beside you,
pull me forward to your place between the worlds.
Oh Nana, your warm soft skin, your welcoming smile!
Oh Mama, your soft tender caress!
Oh Daddy, your chuckle and a chuck under the chin.
Oh Peter, my son, your helping hands always.
My ancestors, your power so strong now, near Hallowmas,
your nearness almost audible, your fragrance all around,
you guide me back, back to this life,
back to this exquisite sparkling world we once shared,
and still do.


Annelinde Metzner
October 23, 2015



Dad and Peter




Mom and Peter





Nana











Thursday, October 15, 2015

Stay








Don’t run
Don’t do this and that
Don’t get your camera
Turn off the phone.
Stay.
Feel a little uncomfortable, antsy, but stay.
It’s quiet now, but soon
the world begins to reveal itself to you.
The oriole is leaping, up and down, up and down,
over dried seed pods.
The hummingbird finds each and every flower
of the brilliant jewelweed.
The warning call of the raptor,
and the pale-winged osprey
flies clear across the open field, north to south.
Stay.  Grow as slowly as a hawthorne.
Ripen one thing a day.
Be Still.  
Stay.

Annelinde Metzner
Catskill Farm

August 3, 2011



St. John's Wort









Goldenrod