Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The sky in May

I know there are stars,
     galaxies, worlds,
     nebula, planets and moons,
but in this sky, this green, green day,
     there is only wonder.
Only the unknown in this all-embracing blue,
Gazing at Her blueness, I hear Her tales,
     Her ancient wisdom, Her deep knowledge,
     but in a language I do not know.
I am a child at Grandmother’s knee.
Here is the air, filling us with breath,
     everywhere, like the water we swim in,
and yet in the sky of May,
     even as we feel Her
     in the tender winds upon our skin,
there is a magic, an enchantment,
     oh! that our very home, the air,
     is so beyond our ken.

Annelinde Metzner
May 24, 2014

 Many thanks to Will and Jane Stanhope for giving me space to meditate on the air at Hawkscry.  Also the same to Betsy Murray for her beautiful Little Pine sky!
      Friends, you keep my spirit afloat.

Sky at Hawkscry

Sky at Little Pine

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Tulip Tree Flower

The marvelous flowering tree!
     the Tulip Poplar,
     liriodendron tulipifera,
     tall denizen of the forest,
     wide shiny leaves so full,
     riotous with movement and green,
and here on each branch, a tulip flower!
Imagine!  A flower orange and green,
     three sepals separate from it all,
     and the flower tropical with lushness,
     orange base a watercolor
     whirling into the bright green corolla.
This is the tulip-tree flower,
     magnificent being,
     and adding to the wonder,
     in late Spring,
     She casts Herself off in a flourish
     to land in perfect beauty at my feet.

Annelinde Metzner
May 24, 2014


Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Story

The daisies bid me tell their story.
Clean as sun among mallow, at pond's edge,
all beauty, Oshun's delight. 

A thousand forget-me-nots glory in Her, 
say "forget Her not,
     the Goddess of Beauty,
     beauty of all things."
And the impoverished exile, trudging roads,
counting children, hauling possessions, 

no home but her own two feet:
     Does she forget?
The bombing victim, glassy eyes staring from under beams:
     Does she forget?
Victim of annihilation, limbs fused at odd angles:
     Does she forget?
The slow pleasure of the eye for blue-white flowers,
the sailing swallow, the hummer's buzz,
Your worship, Lady Oshun, for whom all beauty is:
your worship is careful, time-consuming, slow.
You were born in a wide expanse of time, 

elegant jeweled Girl.
The exile by the roadside remembers
and weeps trails of tears for You.
In the minutes before death, the bombing victim remembers
and dreams long sweet-smelling dreams of You.
At her deathbed, the Hiroshima victim 

rides a chariot bedecked with roses,
floating in Your muscled arms, Aphrodite-Oshun,
to the blue-flowered lovers’ bower, from beyond memory.
And the daisies bid me tell their story,
powerful as they gleam by the hundreds,
basking in sun and bending in rain:
     that in these green beings is far more power
     than any steel bomb in the sky;
     that in the green gleam of everyday grass
     the power of life begins and thrives
     through millennia; through exile, torture, coup.
Though the government of countries 

change ten thousand times,
     the forget-me-not still crowds her blue joy
     into the puddled corners of Earth.
Time in plenitude to widely love Her,
     deep and sweet as the tongues of lovers.
Forget-Her-Not,  green beings of Earth.
Love Her beauty.
Love Her.

    Annelinde Metzner

    July 11, 1995
    Catskill Farm

Oshun, Orisha of rivers and fresh water

Friday, July 18, 2014

I Have Sworn to Protect Her


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

    My poem, "I Have Sworn to Protect Her," has been chosen to appear in the 2015 edition of the We'Moon Datebook and also in December of the Wall Calendar.   In the spirit of this poem, Sahara Peace Choir, which I direct, will sing this Sunday July 20th to envision and help manifest a public garden and green space where now all is paved over.
      This will be at 6 PM across from the Basilica on Haywood Street in Asheville, North Carolina.
     "Goddess Bless the Grass!" is our theme, taken from the powerful song by Malvina Reynolds.

Sahara Peace Choir rehearsing for "Goddess Bless the Grass!"


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Evening Sonata

As the long winds of evening come,
the dove purrs herself to sleep in the barn.
In fading light the hawk spreads her wings,
catching more wind, more wind.
Her breath takes her higher, a wider flight,
big as night, old as dreams.
Seems every night, thunder plays with wind on the horizon:
orange, yellow, surprising shapes!
In the long winds of evening,
whispery wands of dandelion seed hold just a little longer,
on the edge of their big drift.
The sun mixes gray and green with night 

on this edge of the earth.
A blue paler and paler, and a lustrous streak of white,
the mountain “sundown”.
A play of sound like Brahms, rhapsodic, contrapuntal,
the changing paths of wind.
Voices cross the hills every which way,
searching for their dreams,  already going deeper,
drifting off into night.

Annelinde Metzner
Catskill farm
July 16, 1995

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Forest Rejoices

Did you know that

the forest is rejoicing in you?

On the forest floor, this June,

Galax is blooming,

tall white candles lining the path

where you walk.

The rain, the plentiful blessed rain

has filled each lake and stream

and draped each stone and hard place

with brilliant green mosses,

each stone a small village of miniature trees,

small hopes.

For you, the air is cold and sweet,

redolent of the ferment of humus,

the lush bed of new life laid before you.

For you, the soft breeze on your tired skin

cleanses you of all your worries,

and overhead, fit for any blushing bride,

mountain laurel in impossible numbers

bloom in your lover’s bower.

Loving you!  Loving you!

Loving your being, breathing with you,

exhaling with each of your inhalations.

She welcomes and embraces each cell you offer here.

In the cold recesses of the wild deep cataracts

that pour out your welcome, layer upon layer,

the sun breaks through in rays, brilliant yellow-green.

She pours out her joy, yes,

she crashes into the black pools,

just for the joy of being here,

just for the joy of you.  

Annelinde Metzner
June 14, 2009

In Asheville, I am offering a poetry workshop entitled "Gaia Speaks Through Us" at the beautiful OM Sanctuary.   This poem embodies what I try to convey with my "poetry en plein air" way of writing.

Galax on the forest floor

Dwarf iris

Friday, June 27, 2014



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

Nantahala Forest
October 29, 1995

Now in June with the rhododendrons blooming anew, I thought of this poem and Holle, the Northern European winter Goddess for whom Holland is named.  I composed a song for Holle for my songbook, "Lady of Ten Thousand Names."  It sounds like snow falling!

Holle makes it snow

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Price Lake

Peter Metzner, circa 1994

Don’t even have to look over my shoulder
to know the two poplar trees are there
where we hung our hammock one day like this,
Peter and I, long ago.
Don’t even have to creep along
under the rhododendron
to know that morels are growing there, and Indian pipes,
and if you creep further, the lake,
The lake! that on a starry night shimmers,
stars to the tenth power, moving, glistening,
and maybe even a moon.
Don't even have to lift my head
to know the mountain laurel blooms, millions upon millions,
with all their geometry,

the pink, and the white,
and how they float as they drop to the shimmering lake.
Is that the wee branch that gurgles by,
that gurgled by our tent then, by Peter’s big self and I,
he crashing out solid on the hard earth, snoring,
me, the princess, dragging foam pads and pillows,
and Peter taking them over in the morning?
In the tent, his pocket, and my pocket,
wrist watches and eyeglasses,
the setup and the takedown as smooth as water.
And out there, above us, Grandmother.
Did She know?  did She know?
Did She watch, Her patient self, 

or even pick him out for Her own,
one of those long-ago days, him so young, so fine,
an Aztec prince, perfect for the sacrifice?
Was danger hovering over us like a million laurel flowers-
could everyone see it but us?
Or should we remember- energy?
Power, ancient and cool as cats,
that burst forth as the joy we had in each other,
so young women would say, “You come alive together,”
unusual as that was for mother and son?
Old, old knowing that filled our days,
welcomed the world, overcame pain,
old knowing that never dies.
We came with it, we leave with it,
we live this way still, Peter and I, at home everywhere,
glimmering like stars, like fireflies,
the rosy energy of Grandmother’s arms
carrying us, carrying us still.

Annelinde Metzner
Price Lake
June 2007

This month, my son will have been gone for ten years.  I make a pilgrimage every year to Grandmother Mountain, where I have many memories of being with Peter.

Price Lake and Grandmother beyond

Peter's soul portrait made by Arline Boyce

Peter playing recorder, circa 2003

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Rainbow Kites

Kite reels in India

Evening at the beach,
six of us sing with delight, pouring ourselves into the surf,
Aphrodite’s lacy foam blessing us.
Two turn back to home, because today, just this day,
this Sunday June evening full of light,
is the perfect day for wind.
Two bright rainbow kites, one short, one long,
unfurl into the sky as if born there.
Higher and higher, released and released
by loving hands on the strings,
the brilliant tails whip and flutter,
exulting in freedom, at home in Oya’s winds.
We loll in the unceasing surf,
washed inland and out in the undertow’s slow rhythm,
leaning on one elbow, head tilted to the sky,
as the evening sun and the two kites
vie for our attention.
I remember my son, whose kite this once was,
and there he is, visiting these beloved women,
laughing, untethered by string.
For that moment, we connect, the kite and the spirit,
the wind and the women lolling in the surf.
The rainbow kite snaps its tail and shouts with joy
for this windy day,
as unsuspecting families pass by hand in hand,
walking together on the warm sandy Earth.

Annelinde Metzner
June 9, 2014

Guatemalan kite

Chinese kite

Rainbow kite

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Have Sworn to Protect Her


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

With the news that the North Carolina legislature has set in motion the approval of fracking in our state and in our mountains, I'm posting this poem which I composed in which I honor Her and swear my allegiance to my precious Earth.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Flame Azalea

Appalachian native flame azalea

Flame Azalea  

At the top of the long grade,
through the rhododendrons and flame azalea

abloom in a bower,
I arrive at Grandmother’s side, yet once more.
“Depend on me,” she has been calling, 

from many miles away.
I step nearer. Tears fall.
Not another soul appears, here where crowds have been.
I circumambulate Her, dragons in the air,
Star magnolias blooming. 

I am here, I am here with Her.

At my little campsite, not a soul.
I fill my bottles with icy water and eat my lunch.
Not a soul but a big brown beetle in the bath.

I travel on to the church of the Lady,
Our Lady of the Hills, 

and am blessed with the talk of the gardener,
the magenta blooms of rhododendron so high,
encircling the bell tower, chiming on “one.”
Inside, quiet, lights and candles, and it’s Spring!
On the kneeling pads, at the pulpit,
lily-of-the-valley, iris, rhododendron, phlox.
Our Lady’s church blooming inside and out.
She gives me Her shy glance, holding the child,
and She is saying, “from pain blooms love.”

And finally here, by my son’s bones
mockingbirds raucous with things to say twitter all around.
I leave Bridgid’s cross, an offering to the trees.
My toes revel in the sweetness of wild strawberries.
The cattle are out on the sacred mound, 

under the apple tree,
new calves scampering to be with their moms.
Sweet the sun burns the scent into my being.
The flame azalea, bent by winter’s fierce storms,
reaches out to me in all shades of opening.
“Keep growing, Annelinde!”, they call. 

“There is still more.”

Annelinde Metzner

Grandmother Mountain
May 25, 2011

Every year, I return to Grandmother Mountain, near Blowing Rock, where I remember my son.  This poem is in my chapbook, "This Most Huge Yes," available in the "Buy" tab.

St. Mary of the Hills

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Mountain Laurel


Midsummer sun on raspberry,
the spiced scent of fern, the color of red clover.
There is no better place, 

no holier ground than this.
And what is near you? 

What grows by your door?
How you longed to be here, 

those nine months in the quiet room,
all suspense and expectancy, 

a few noises and bumps.
Your first aroma, new to breathe air, 

was luscious as this:
raspberry, fern, Mother’s blood, 

her milk, her musky skin.
The vision came and went as you gazed.
Here today, 

it’s new green berries tight as Chinese soldiers,
apple leaves against July’s blue,
and darker in the shade, 

the mysterious abyss.
That first day, Mother’s soft face came and went,
and each gaze another joy,
a bit of the immense puzzle 

you came just to experience.
With hunger and thirst, with tongue and lips,
our loudest “yes!” we sing.
Draw to your heart the new life, 

the new places of each day!
Draw into your soul the warm flesh of being, 

her musky skin, her colors.
She is not going to disappoint you.

Annelinde Metzner
July 10, 1995



Friday, May 16, 2014

It's May!

Native flame azalea

It’s May!   How much more
     can crowd into my senses,
     this morning, this bright morning, so green?
A chickadee, dressed sharp in black and white
     flies up and hovers near.
Each leaf, so tender and green,
     flutters, flutters in the cool breeze,
     sharing its tenderness with everyone.
It’s May!  The Goddess is here,
     the world relaxes, just a bit,
     we step where violets and clover bloom,
     our Mother cradling us.
We swim in the soft warm air.
We flutter our tender leaves,
     unafraid in the world.
It’s May!  We swim in the newest of Green,
     unafraid, alive again, loving this world,
     new, soft, tender, green,
     and fluttering in each new breeze.

Annelinde Metzner
May 16, 2014

Mountain Laurel


Dwarf Iris

Friday, May 2, 2014

Grateful for the thawing of the world!

New green leaves of Spring

Grateful for the thawing of the world!
Perched on a stone, two little brooks encircle me
     as I remember how to bask in the sun.
I am still, so still.
At my feet, the sparkles of mica and fool’s gold.
The purple-blue butterflies, Spring Azure,
     tiny and new,
     settle onto my bare feet to sample my taste.
How curious they are, of me,
     we strange creatures
     with shoes and clothes, bright colors!
I must be delicious, for they linger long.
The tiniest violet, yellow, courageous,
     springs up between stones on this April day.
The waterfalls tumble, step after step,
     no stone escaping the wearing-away
     of water’s relentless descent.
The sound engulfs me,
     overwhelms me, enchants me.
The sun warms my spine,
     the new Galax shines back.
I splash my face with the blessing of Water.
Fall to me, fall to me,
     icy Spring water of life!

Annelinde Metzner

April 11, 2014

Spring Azure butterfly


Friday, April 25, 2014

Medicine Wheel

Medicine Wheel at Mountain Light Sanctuary

Stepping slowly around the Medicine Wheel, I gaze across,
breathing with each Sister there, my other Selves.

In the East, all wet and newly sprung,
just cracked from the shell in dewy wonder,
I gaze across the wheel: myself in the West.
How can it be? She knows so much,
too much, maybe, of self hurt and other’s hurt,
unexpected turns, no hope, no help, the darkness.

In the South, from my place of staunch will and fiery passion,
I gaze across the wheel: myself in the North.
Can this be me? I am cool, analytical,
I’ve learned something, I see two sides,
I weigh, I discern, I know.
My wisdom cools my ardor and gives me choice.

In the West, place of Death,

place of the deep sea of fears,
the lurking shadows, weariness, pain and loss,
I gaze across the wheel:  myself in the East.
Baby girl child, wide-eyed with wonder, fresh.
How I love this girl, as I stand in my pain,
reliving Her, being Her, child Self!

In the North, cool abode of wisdom, 

hard-earned knowledge, awareness,
I gaze across the wheel: myself in the South.
How I love that dynamo, the me that demands, 

the fiery one, the sure one,
stirring up the world, her cauldron, sure of right from wrong.
How I love that woman of passion.

Stepping slowly around the Wheel,
how I love each Self there, my other Me,
each Sister on the other side, 

played out each day in my one soul.
We reach for each other, Sisters all,
me and me, and me and me,
and make one whole.

Annelinde Metzner

July 14, 2012

     If you look at We'Moon Datebook around this date, April 25, 2014, you will find an excerpt from my poem, "Medicine Wheel," below the art of Sophia Kelly Schultz.  I composed this poem while walking around the Medicine Wheel, contrasting some of the aspects of my self.