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


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





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


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


Thursday, October 15, 2015


Don’t run
Don’t do this and that
Don’t get your camera
Turn off the phone.
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.  

Annelinde Metzner
Catskill Farm

August 3, 2011

St. John's Wort


Friday, October 2, 2015

The long haul


“I think of the long haul”
says the sparkling jewelweed outside my window,
curling her brilliant orange flowers
into tension-sprung seeds, so sensitive to passing touch.
“Do you feel it on the breeze?”
I feel it on the breeze, a quiet zephyr,
luxuriating across the wide meadow,
heralding icy months not far away.
“We’re in this for the long haul,’
say the hummingbirds, quite relaxed,
zipping from blossom to blossom,
storing up energy to fly,
to fly! across the Gulf to Mexico.
“Think of the long haul,
the wide expanse of time,”
says the barn owl, spotting a wee mouse.
“It’s our time, and guess what?
It’s your time too.”
Late at night, heat lightning explodes,
incandescent over the horizon, without a sound,
reminding us to paint our lives long and wide.
It’s time, it’s our time,
the long haul, long and wide,
you and I.

Annelinde Metzner

Catskill Farm
September 4, 2015

Milkweed for the monarch butterflies

Yarrow and strawberry

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Go Fund Me campaign: "Annelinde's Music and Medicine"

Please consider helping me in my Go Fund Me campaign while I'm dealing with a number of health challenges.   Also, planning on a new CD with Kim Hughes!  Listen in the video on the Go Fund Me page.    Much love and thanks to you all.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

September light


The light in September!
As if She were a lover,
tender fingers on the lover’s soft cheek,
as if for one last time,
as if tomorrow were goodbye,
the Sun floods the leaves bountifully
with September light.
Still green, the leaves turn to Her, adoring,
knowing this day will never come again.
September, the last hummingbirds drink and drink
for their impossibly long flight.
So quiet! but all is changing,
transforming, metamorphosing,
intimations of new colors to come.
September light is a radiance,
a golden honey, still warm in the hive,
pleading, admonishing, 
“Turn your faces to me!”
knowing soon we will drop

to the ground.

Annelinde Metzner

September 19, 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015


In the morning stillness, clouds in the valley,
each mountain a Lady’s breast,
I feel Her body, Gaia’s self,
speaking, speaking.
These mountains here in New York State
reach out to my Grandmother, far to the south.
And Denali!  Chumalungma!  Kilimanjaro!
Her grand body speaks, one to another,
mountain to mountain, radio towers,
sister to sister, across the aeons,
reaching, reaching, holding.
I look around and think,
“and this one, too!,”
this old home mountain on which I stand.
She who has fostered me well through the years,
She who has given me courage and strength.
This one, too, speaks across the world,
breast to divine breast,
sighing, holding,
holding us, Her wayward brood,

Annelinde Metzner
Catskill farm
September 5, 2015