Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter Moon









Trees bare at the edge of the ridge,
scraggly, December, full of secrets.
Cold Moon rises, barely there among branches.
She shocks me!
“Come out of your house!,” She challenges me.
“Breathe my bare cold.
Clean and direct I’ll fill your lungs.
Come out of your comfortable house.
I want you now!”
With that slap from the big Cold Moon
I’m made to remember.
The white pull of Her glow tugs hard
at some treasure I’ve been hiding.
Gazing into the white-glazed night forest
I pause for the Moon to paint me, too,
with cool Winter’s light.
For Her, I am what I am, nothing more.
The days go and go and go,
bright and noisy as ever,
but within me, as in dreams,
She demands my attention,
tripping me up,
no matter how well I hide.


Annelinde Metzner
December 21, 1995





My home in Phoenix Cove where this poem was written

















Friday, January 9, 2015

Run toward your creative life





Cabin window at Hawkscry









Run toward your creative life with all your might
even when, and even because, tears stain the very surface,
the fiber of your creative being.

Isn’t this your truest self?
Isn’t this a pristine beach,
more wild than winter, more vast?

Doesn’t the joy breath of your inner life
smell fresher than new-washed cottons hung in the air?

When the long day finally ends,
and I come close to the inner self,
I pull back the veil.


Annelinde Metzner      

June 2006









Lagoon at the Baba Center








Pine cones











Piano at Wildacres






Sand dune at Ocracoke












Friday, January 2, 2015

Clouds across Ocracoke










Swiftly, darkly moving,
nothing impeding,
clouds move dramatically over Ocracoke,
beautiful spit of an island
‘way out here, twenty four miles out to sea.
These clouds move, they move darkly,
grey and white,
powerful and overwhelming over the little village.
The clapboard houses and flooded streets
are quiet, quiet
as the clouds move as they will.
I feel our farawayness, our immersion,
I feel the clouds moving over the vast sea,
over Ocracoke, over me,
we a village of beings unnoticed
by the clouds,
darkly, swiftly moving.

Annelinde Metzner

November 28, 2014


Ocracoke is the most southern of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, reachable only by ferry.
































Friday, December 26, 2014

New Year's Gathering









Candle circle at Hawkscry, New Year's 2012







         “Come, come, whoever you are,
          wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.”

 
We come New Year’s day, to Sandy Mush,
that Shangri-la, quiet always, but quieter still, this January day,
the rapeseed fields lying fallow, waiting for Spring’s yellow,
the old dogs and the old farmers beside their wood stoves.

         “Ours is no caravan of despair.”

 
And it isn’t!   Many old friends, one behind the other
to get there for sharing warm food and warm regards,
to share births, deaths, all the new, all the new.
The caravan shifts on the leaf-layered road,
and one tire goes ‘way out over the abyss.
“Stop the car!” and everyone hops out.
What to do?  But a neighbor has a come-along.
This has gone on before, so many times before,
at the end of a long dirt road, where we are our own future,
it’s only us, and what we can do,
stuck on the road in winter.
Twenty arms and hands, a dozen brains
ponder and work, trying this and that,
pulling here and tugging there,
until, voila!  the van is free with its big load,
a wheelchair and four eager passengers.
We’re free!

            “Come yet again, come!”  

   
Arriving up at the top of the road,
laden with food and one more good story,
we eat, hug, regale and gather around the flames, lighting candles for the world,
for our futures and all peoples’, 
for making it one more day in this body.
Out to the woods to dance beneath the grey, bare trees,
for Allah, for God, for the Goddess,
and to remember, as grey winter clouds lumber gloriously across the sky,
we are all here together in this.
We are all one.


          "Come, come, whoever you are,
           come, yet again, come."       (all quotes from Jelaluddin Rumi)


Annelinde Metzner 

Hawkscry    
January 4, 2012


Many thanks to William and Jane Stanhope for sharing their beautiful land in Sandy Mush, North Carolina for my writing, my spirit and my peace of mind.  


Listen to Annelinde reading "New Year's Gathering" here.


 






Many brains, strong backs and a come-along.












Friday, December 19, 2014

Coming Back Christmas







my family at the Catskill farm, 1957




One must leave one’s mountains
one must descend early in the day
through ice and snow, fog banks,
ripped up trees and branches helter-skelter,
one must leave one’s silent warm cabin on Christmas
and descend through the trees
down the long grade in fog, way down.
One must leave one’s silent cabin 

full of fire, full of sadness,
silent, remembering,
on Christmas one must come to family,
come down through the trees 

while smoke curls up through the woods,
come down to help old Tante by her stove,
down to a place with children, with messes,
with pots and pans helter-skelter in Tante’s kitchen,
where there will be singing and jigs playing,
“Ihr Kinderlein kommet” and the Crist-kindl,
chocolates in tree branches and sooty fingers,
the old stove that pops and moans,
family groaning around the table,
with resentments, accomplishments, aches and pains,
medicines and red wine and forgotten addresses,
all of us elbow-to-elbow, 

hunters and hairdressers,
poets and plumbers,
day-to-day survivors making do.
One must come in a hurry on Christmas,
come gladly to the loud rooms of one’s family,
full of judgments and kind advice,
full of wariness and unspoken joys.
One must remember to leave one’s quiet warm cabin 

full of sadness
and come down each Christmas, be pulled magnetic
to let one’s heart warm again unbidden,
with no plan, just you, and nothing else.




Annelinde Metzner

December 25, 2005







My son Peter around 1995



My aunt Elsie at age 100










Friday, December 5, 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


On Sunday, December 7th, I will be reading this poem and others in honor of its release as part of the We'Moon Datebook 2015.  It's the first poem in the book, near the Winter Solstice of 2014.  I am honored!  An excerpt also appears on the beautiful December page of the wall calendar, with Earth art by Autumn Skye Morrison. 
     Susa Silvermarie will also be performing her poetry including "The Girl God" which appears in the datebook,  and two of my songs will be performed by the wonderful Kim Hughes.

 




       












Saturday, November 22, 2014

Just Friday














It’s forty-five degrees, and the water feels even colder,

But I splash in the foam like Aphrodite, 


even though I’m almost sixty.

And I’m NOT SHOPPING.

A kite is suspended in the sky,

so much wind that no one at all is holding the string,

and it stays suspended for hours,

and the kite is NOT SHOPPING.

A child builds palmetto fronds into an altar in the sand,

a  child NOT SHOPPING.

A boy out in the ocean paddles by on some board,


standing straight up in the ocean, 


looking for all the world like Jesus,

and certainly Jesus would not be shopping.

Two dogs whirl around each other,


joy sparking off of them like the flash of Venus in the night,

like the Pleiades in the dark moon night,

and today is just Friday, and no one is shopping.



Annelinde Metzner

Isles of Palms, South Carolina


November 25, 2011































Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Darkness




Crescent moon





Coming together here, we warm each other’s hearts in the darkness.

The Sun, far away, yearns to embrace us in Her warmth once again.

But this is our time to journey into the depths of the darkness.

This is the time to surrender and listen deep to our souls.

This is the time to close our eyes, slow down and be lulled by the darkness.

Our blessed Mother Gaia dwells within the darkness.

Inhale the song of Her soul, Her soil, Her dark caves, Her rich dark humus.

Mother Earth welcomes you into the darkness.

Walk with confidence, all people, walk safely into the darkness.

Let us love the night, the moon, the stars, the planets, the Seven Sisters high above.

Revel in this other half of our lives, the darkness.

The beauty of the dark earth, the darkness of skin, the dark curves of mountain roads,

The Seven Sister Mountains in their powerful darkness, presiding over Black Mountain,

Our dark blood, our Earth, our deepest selves, the darkness.



Annelinde Metzner
November 16, 2010



On Tuesday, November 18, I will be giving a reading along with two other poets, Antiga and Barbara Gravelle, which we're calling "The Dark Goddess in Autumn."   We will begin with this poem as a responsive reading.   I like to remember that the darkness is positive and beautiful, just one of the sides of life.

Here I am reading "The Darkness."





Purchase Knob double rainbows caught on webcam!











Friday, November 7, 2014

Don't Live Here





Grandmother puppet by Lisa Sturz from "The Abundance of Mary" 2006 





Tourists buying postcards on Craggy Mountain never suspect me.
It’s always, “Time to get back in the car!”
just before my long, wild winds come up the hollow.
My winds always precede me.
Folks who have lived here long look for haints and boogers
when they feel me coming near.
But few have seen me. Maybe it’s my hair!
The chokecherry vines that form sort of a bouffant...
I love it when the berries ripen in autumn!
But few have seen me when I creep through rhododendron,
chokecherry and laurel for ornament.
I breathe the dark bass tones of the rhododendron thicket,
my skin like her bark, ancient, enduring.
My breath is in sync with her, unfathomable, unconquerable.
When you step into the dark places of the thicket,
your breath stops.
You’re whirled back to your own birthplace, before time began.
All over my hands are tiny red mushrooms,
rising from moss like a Mardi Gras village!
When you see my hands, you feel as though
you have swum up the bank of a rushing creek,
holding your breath until you emerge.
When you gaze into my eyes, my pupils fade into trillium,
blood-red blooms dangling at the rims, speaking in tongues.
My eyebrows are slow-creeping woolly worms, orange and black.
I float over the hills in a cape of Appalachian flowers:
Jack-in-the-pulpit, butterfly weed, flame azalea, bloodroot,
Indian pipe, chicory, pokeberry, cohosh.
My scent is of millennia of these green beings,
composting, seeding, bursting forth, decaying once more.
When you inhale my scent, you will remember your family.
Generations will array before you
in the distinct garb of your ancestors.
When you breathe my essence, you will fall and weep
at the millennia of lives willing to help you,
sponsor you, give you life.
I carry a staff of mountain ash. Don’t be afraid!
I won’t harm you! though my laughter alone
could squash you into the earth, mere compost,
cousin to the road kills, just another woolly worm.
My staff speaks of power, and that is what you fear,
citizens, tourists, quick-leavers, loud-builders, e-mail talkers.
In the landfills where I wander are your rusted bodies:
freezers, microwaves, last year’s computer.
Decades they require to rust or fade,
the plastic, the alloys, the silicon chips.
And I float to your door. I beckon you and your children’s children
when they wander too far from the flickering screen.
I speak of spice bush, yarrow, ginseng, jewelweed,
sassafras, Solomon’s Seal.
I pull you to the dark where you speak with your soul,
where life takes your breath away.
I make you pine for Life, scream for it.
I hold a mirror to this desire until all else is forgotten,
until you reach for life, until you’ll never give up,
until there on the forest floor we cry, together,
tears of joy.

Annelinde Metzner
September 1995



Listen to Nels Arnold reading  "Don't Live Here" by Annelinde,  performed at "In the Mother Grove" in 2009.  Grandmother puppet by Lisa Sturz from our 2006 performance, "The Abundance of Mary.  (photo above, Norma Bradley.)
      Both concerts of my music and poetry are available as CD or DVD by going to the "BUY" tab at the top of this page.







Rhododendron thicket








Friday, October 31, 2014

Grandmother in October






Grandmother and Her clouds




I come to see Her, my Grandmother Mountain,
a pilgrim at Her feet, making homage throughout the year.
Today, in Her Autumn dress, 

maples already red-orange-yellow,
little touches of color everywhere 

among the dark firs and pines,
I come to see Her, and I breathe deep.
Still, still now, She is the pure ground, as calm as the eons,
even now as greed and domination rage in the world of men.
She lifts me. I’m Her toy.
She is so delighted to see me.
I giggle to be with Her, I’m a much-loved child.
Motorcycles roar by, boys holler at their games.
I gaze at my Grandmother, and She smiles,
loving us through the millennia,
sighing and inviting, a twinkle in Her eye.

Annelinde Metzner

October 5, 2014



Grandmother in October



Autumn from my back porch



Autumn from my front porch









Friday, October 17, 2014

Malala's Birthday Speech





Malala Yousafzai at the UN Youth Assembly



Malala’s Birthday Speech

“In the name of God, the most beneficent, the most merciful...”
          Malala Yousafzai in her birthday address to the UN Youth Assembly, July 9, 2013

 
A pink lacy shawl frames her dark hair and determined face.   She is sixteen!
Confident and convivial, she commands the podium in front of the world’s leaders.
Sixteen!   Malala has survived a gunshot at close range,
on her schoolbus in Pakistan,
a target of the Taliban for speaking her strong mind.
She has survived!

“Respected elders, and my dear brothers and sisters,  Salaam Aleichem.”

 
She fingers her delicate shawl, bequeathed from Benazir Bhutto,
one woman to another, a gift of strength

from across time and beyond the veil.
 
“This time, we women will do it for ourselves.
Thank you to God, for whom we are all equal!
I speak so that those without voice can be heard.”

 
Her mother wipes away tears.
Men in suits stare, making space in their consciousness for Malala,
for this empowered young woman who has enraptured the world.

“Weakness, fear and hopelessness died.
Strength, fervor and courage were born.”

 
The room breaks out in emotion-filled applause.
Imbued with ahimsa, forgiveness and non-violence,
her strength uplifts us all.


Annelinde Metzner

July 18, 2013




























Friday, October 10, 2014

Three girls





Hawkscry clouds



In the back field above the apple orchard,
fern-scented, the pasture low-cut,
ancient boulders humming distantly at the edges,
we three girls, sixteen, giggled on our backs,
under the cloud-strewn summer sky.
They left us alone.  Who cared?
That blessed juncture when children are free,
past the need for guardians, but still not grown,
they could care less where we were, what we thought,
high on this mountaintop in early June.
We were carving ourselves a place, three girls.
The world held no leads,
“woman” meant not too much,
not a wide space, anyway,
and choices seemed so irrevocable,
not too far into our future.
But they left us alone, blessedly,
with the bulbous clouds changing shape each minute,
never remaining long with, say, an apron and a skillet,
but becoming, say, a witches broom, a magic mirror,
a scarlet dragon, or nets of silver and gold...
On a blanket in the high field,
we formulated no words,
but hourly worshipped the Queen of Change,
our future, and Hers, and maybe all women’s:
metamorphosing, shape-shifting, adjusting, changing,
altering ever so slightly and poof! a new vision,
carrying this blessing like a textbook in the sky,
the soft fern-scented lessons of nature’s giving.


Annelinde Metzner
July 16, 1995
Catskill farm

I'm posting this in honor of myself as a girl, for my Sisters of that long-ago time, and for all the world's precious young women in honor of October 11th, the "Day of the Girl."





Balsam clouds




Grandmother clouds




Grandmother clouds














Saturday, October 4, 2014

Autumn Samba



The bite of fresh compost,
sharp leaf mold in the wind.
Goodbye to the galax,
farewell to the creeper,
“Adios” to the chokecherry vines.
It’s the majestic farewell,
the queen’s farewell.
It’s delicious, it’s numinous, it’s forever!
This is the goodbye of no tears but the rain’s.
Goodbye as relaxed as Guernseys in the alfalfa,
as relaxed as three women in a hot tub.
It’s goodbye, never more be seen,
and it smells like Paris perfume.
It lifts the feet. It’s Fred Astaire.
It’s a lilting “adieux.” It’s bagpipes.
It’s all the cousins waving.
Orange, red, a fandango,
it’s forever, it’s the end,
and if you twirl and spin your way down,
you’ve got the idea.


Annelinde Metzner         September 2001

Listen to Annelinde reading "Autumn Samba:" 

The poem "Autumn Samba" appeared in the Autumn 2011 issue of Goddess Pages edited by Geraldine Charles. 


Autumn leaves at our feet











Friday, September 26, 2014

Sacred Swim

Lula swims the French Broad




Here on the banks of our own river,
here in the divine Blue Ridge,  the French Broad,
here where we gathered to worship Her, Oshun,
Mother of the River,
here in our town, and here too
in Nigeria, Osogbo, sacred to Her,
we gathered by the river, to sing, to drum,
to dance our love for Her, for each other,
for the beauty of the day, for the golden honey,
for the rippling waters of our river, and Hers,
we came to be Hers, to live our lives with Her,
at our own river, the French Broad, and for all the rivers,
for the Oshun river, for the Mekong,
for the Mississippi and the Yangtze,
we came to sing, to pray, to call out to Oshun,
and yes!  to swim,  lover of the river,
immersing in Her, feeling Her currents,
as so many of us watched and swam along,
together as one, one with the swimmer,
and Oshun, Her ripples, Her currents,
Her smooth stones, Her coolness and warmth,
one with the birds and the leaves falling,
the offerings we cast upon the water,
one with she who swam all the way,
all the way and back again,
with us, with all of us, loving Her,
loving our Lady, swimming with Her,
swimming for the love of Her.

Annelinde Metzner
Blessings on the River
August 26, 2011


Above is a photo of Lula Moon, who was inspired to swim across our French Broad River, during our celebration of the sacred day of Oshun, Ifa (Nigerian) Goddess of the River.

      Oshun is a Yoruba orisha who reigns over love, intimacy, beauty, wealth and diplomacy.
For the second year, inspired by priestess Yeye Siju Osunyemi, along with the Wild Bodema Drummers and the Mother Grove Temple of the Goddess, my choir, Sahara Peace Choir, has helped celebrate Oshun and all rivers, and supported the Oshun Grove, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Osogbo, Nigeria, where the people celebrate Oshun on the same day.  


For more information on the Ifa religion, follow this link to "Soul Seeds" by Rev. Anthony David, a UU minister in Atlanta, Georgia:  Soul Seeds




Yeye Osunyemi and others in prayer by the river


By the River                       

I returned to the riverside park,
the day quiet,  a few dry leaves blowing,
the river glassy, more like a lake really.
The lovely park which is all river, all Her,
Her power and majesty manifest,
just some grass and a sidewalk
plus Her, the River, magnificent.
There in the quiet by the tree of seven stems,
not a shred remained, but the memory of all this,
Oshun holding us gladly, still gazing and singing on the shore.
The voices chiming forth Her name,
the drummers and the drums,
the priestess bowing right to the ground,
the dancers, the smiling families,
the babies held high,
the worshippers offering their golden honey
for Her, for Her they moved to the river’s shore,
for Her they poured out their golden love,
their needs, their pain.
For Her someone doffed her clothes
and swam to the other side!
We gathered there by the river,
in the name of love and no more war.
We called out loud to Oshun,
for joy, for water, for our lives,
and She sings there still, calling back to us,
remembering our names.


Annelinde Metzner
Blessings on the River, Woodfin Riverside Park
September 15, 2010 











 

Friday, September 19, 2014

What She Is










We live in small spaces, working, eating, sleeping.
Do we know what She is, really?
How, in Arizona, She explodes up from the ground
into mile-high red rock, the Cathedral, the Hands,
or She implodes far down into Her own belly,
displaying Her inner self without secrets,
silent, awesome, vast, powerful, infinite?
Or how She riles Her cold Pacific, 
daily washing the Western shore,
turquoise and lapis, 
boulders thrown like pebbles hither and yon,
sea weed and sea lions rejoicing,
whales diving and blowing air as they pass year by year?
North, how She sets forth giant trees,
so wide and tall that each is a world,
each a life for a thousand species, 
Her silence immense and eternal?
And how Her blood, Water, 
crashes over rocks through Colorado,
worshiped by the Hopi, drop by drop,
measured enough to grow corn on the dry mesa
or wild enough to scrub the arroyos clean again?
Do we see how wide She is, how vastly new?
Do we gain that joy She intended for us,
privileged as we are to be Her guests?

Annelinde Metzner
Cross-country road trip
August, 2003 


Listen to Nels Arnold reading "What She Is" at a performance of "In the Mother Grove" in 2009:









Thursday, September 11, 2014

The sun comes slowly











It’s morning in the forest,
the sun coming in slowly, ray by ray,
bright yellow, burning through mist over the treetops.
I bathe in the new rays, lit up yellow,
each leaf and blade slowly warming, warming.
As Saule’s generous light sinks deeper,
deeper into my bones,
I want to move, write this poem, start my day.
How simple are the needs of this world!
Stoneflies pop up from the ground,
a bumble bee floats to the next blossom.
I float too, in this rich, fresh air,
wanting to breathe deep, to get it all,
to be saturated with this sweet coolness,
cleansing my being.
How simple, how easy are the needs of this world!
The rays of the sun, the generous Saule,
the ever-rushing freshwater creek.
Saule gives of Her abundant light.
I move my hands to this page.
This is all we need, every one.

Annelinde Metzner
Rattler Ford

August 15, 2014














































Thursday, August 28, 2014

My grief, my love for the world







Balinese dancer




I watch the dancer, one arm framing her face,
one hip drawing upward in the belly’s rhythm.
The dance of mature women, Raqs Sharqi,
born of the sensuous music of the Middle East.
Her hips pull us into infinity,
an inward-outward shout of beauty and desire.

In Cameroon, babies learn music
while strapped to Mama’s back.
Coming of age, boys leap high,
beaming with the village’s newfound respect.

In Bali, the gamelan orchestra cues the dancer
with clangs and thumps,
the bodies telling stories of monsters and gods,
each movement of eyes, and fingers, and feet
a perfectly timed posture of sacred geometry.

Oh humans, oh, humans, can’t you love all this?
Can’t you love the way we’ve created the world,
each culture born of each unique place,
and each of us expressing in our own way?
Doesn’t this beauty tear at your heart,
that everywhere we draw up our Earth’s strength
through our feet, through our hands,
and we thank Her with leaps and turns,
ecstatic to be stretching our bounds?

Oh people of our Earth, can’t you love all this?
The exquisite mudras of Bharat Natyam,
nuances of the courtship of Radha and Krishna, her love?
The kibbutz youth, leaping to dumbek and flute,
‘til joy bursts like fireworks from the chest?

Oh humans, oh infinite diversity,
aren’t you breathtaken, aren’t you amazed?
don’t you treasure each other, for the vastness
of what, together, we are?

Annelinde Metzner
Black Mountain





Boys practice drumming in Cameroon



Dancers on an Israeli kibbutz




Raqs Farqi, belly dancer





Bharat Natyam dancer of India playing Krishna's flute