Friday, March 15, 2019

Shiva Ratri

"Maiden, Mother, Crone" by Tamara Adams

Call and response.
I slip into my alpha waves.....
     "Om Namah Shivayah, Om Namah Shivayah..."
The simple joy of being together
to eat and to make music unto the Gods.
Near me, singing and praying,
two of my healers, my caregivers,
my priestesses who, a year ago,
came to me, fresh out of surgery,
and spent the night.
     "Om Namah Shivayah....."
Seven women came, healers all,
spending the night or the day,
changing my bandages, bringing me food,
going for me wherever I could not go.
So huge their kindness, so heart-felt,
unquestioning of my needs, my vulnerability.
My protectors, my priestesses!
     "Om Namah Shivayah...."
Feeling held and grateful,
I rested, at peace, much loved,
at one with my time on this Earth.

Annelinde Metzner
March 5, 2019

Recently I was blessed to attend kirtan (Hindu chanting) with two women who generously assisted me after my surgery in June of 2018.  I felt so loved, even a year later!
     Thanks to Tamara Adams for the beautiful art above.
     Below is an image of Shiva, the God/Goddess honored by a special day called Shiva Ratri. This aspect of the god is called Shiva Nataraj, the Lord of the Dance, who sets the world into motion each day with the rhythm of his rattle.


Friday, February 1, 2019

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

     I would like to dedicate this post and the gripping reading below, to the memory of my dear friend Nels Arnold.  Her presence at my concerts was unforgettable and timeless.
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.

Nels Arnold performing at "The Abundance of Mary". 2006

Rhododendron thicket

Friday, January 18, 2019

Her Winter face

Her Winter face

She wears Her Winter face.
Cold, cold, cold and clear,
layer upon layer of skeletal trees
lead us up to Her summit.
This is a Bone Forest now,
the land of the Dead.
The air an oceanic indigo blue,
deep beyond knowing.
It is quiet, all quiet,
the people home by their quiet hearths.
She is powerful now, today,
showing Her Winter face.
The clear lapis sky and the unstirring air
offer no resistance to Her divine emittances.
She is in Her element, the Earth,
Her arms extended above Her,
giving, giving us of Her power.
My Grandmother, undisturbed,
goes about Her business, Her divine charge,
replenishing the Earth with Her energy.
Still, She smiles at me.  “Welcome, daughter,
dancing one, my beloved, poet and friend.
Take my warm love into your heart.”
I sit beside my Grandmother, basking in the sun,
grounded in Her giving,
at one with all my Earth.

Annelinde Metzner
November 9, 2012

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Wind Drum

The shaman elder in Greenland weeps and sings into his wind drum
as his Mother, the Big Ice, sacred site of millennia,
shrinks away to dwarf Her former self.

We sing, we cry for Her loss.

In Bangla Desh, rice farmers build their homes on stilts
to avoid the big floods, the rising salty brine
leaving the ancient nourishment of the rice fields
unfit to farm, cakes of salt where rich humus once was.

“We did not cause this!” cry the people, at the extremes of the world,
and at Her center.
But the cause is here, the origin right here,
a gigantic failure of imagination
causing nuclear reactors of eleven billion dollars each
to arise where we might be catching the wind,
where we could be reaching for the sun.

Fukushima’s lessons are set aside,
as if “it couldn’t happen here,”
forging on blindly in a way we know just doesn’t work.

The shaman elder in Greenland weeps and sings into his wind drum.
Here, right here, is where the beautiful world tilts toward meltdown,
here where our children too
will one day scratch the soil and weep,
where we’ve gone too far, where She turns her back and goes,
where this one precious Home shrugs us off like pests,
and turns Her face once again to the rich beauty
we have forgotten to see.

Annelinde Metzner
Fukushima Memorial
March 8, 2012

Listen to Annelinde in a reading of "Wind Drum:"

Click here to hear and see the elder Angaangaq sing with his wind drum, accepting the wisdom of Mother Ocean beside the brilliant ice of Greenland.

Angaangaq singing into his wind drum.

Glacier in Greenland

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Falling Away

December, the biting cold creeps under our shirts and stays.
All of us have given away whatever we could spare.
Brown and crackling leaves, sheets of bark,
molted feathers, old skins,
To the Earth they go!  and we
pull the thick covers around us, and wait.
It’s decaying time, the winter of the year,
the dry and the old falling away to our beloved Earth.
Time to wait, time to gaze,
fix the eyes in the far distance,
fall inward, and dream.
The cypress, old and long dead,
resonates hollow to my knuckles.
She gives away, layer upon layer,
falling down and reaching up with pointed fingers of  bark,
falling more beautifully with each wind, each snow and rain.
And what am I left with when the rain and snow
tear away at me, leaving only what She will?
What fingers do I use to point with grace 

to the blue cold of the sky,
as to each thing I bid farewell?
When the Earth herself is pure, deep, black ice 

down to the roots,
have I what it takes to hold, to wait,
to dream of the deep, and to dream of the turning,
to know what comes next, to hold back, 

to inhale, watch and wait,
let the falling away and the icy stillness
make me more simple, more pure, more austere,  

more beautiful every day?
In the long stillness, seemingly endless,
is there a cell in me somewhere reveling 

in the new spring rain,
the moisture of someday,
the lush rich humus waiting to open beneath our feet?

Annelinde Metzner
December 2008
Meher Baba Center, SC

Here is Annelinde reading "The Falling Away."

Thursday, December 6, 2018


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

Below is my reading and piano improvisation of "Rebirth" from my 2009 concert, "In the Mother Grove."



Friday, November 23, 2018

Just Friday

Just Friday                                                                  

(a spontaneous poem from the beach)

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.
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

Friday, November 16, 2018


Flowers by the lagoon.  Photos by Patty Levesque.

Waiting to remove our shoes on the porch,
the elder, held on the arm of another,
smiled at me, “Jai Baba,” when she came near.

“Jai Baba,” I returned, 
the tenderness  flowing easily between us. 
“Jai Baba.”
This healing energy, devotion,
all of us gazing at a heart-space,
the lovingly-tended necklace of sand dollars 

upon the pink shirt,
the roses and dried flowers strung
with medallions of Radha and Krishna.
The almost-unbearable sweetness of human devotion,
the kneeling at the velvet-roped chair,
or the beribboned bed,
each pilgrim entering in awe and leaving changed,
holding that precious energy as if this were all there is,
and there are tears, and anger,
and the cleansing of a thousand emotions-
it’s the energy of devotion, precious and human,
a way for us to see in each other the Divine.

Annelinde Metzner
Meher Baba Center
December 29, 2013

     I was recently blessed to make another pilgrimage to the Meher Baba Center, a beautifully preserved nature sanctuary near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.   Though I'm not a devotee, I have always felt warmly welcomed into this deeply spiritual atmosphere.  The above poem was written at the Meher Abode.  Thank you Patty Levesque for the photos!

Wooded trail

Tree friend and mushroom

My photo of the lagoon at sunset

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Release your fears of this world

"Healing" by Autumn Sky Morrison

Release your fears of this world!
Angry men carry guns
and everywhere they shoot,
enraged, they shoot,
carrying away women, children,
everyday people.
Far from feeling remorse,
they shout all the more,
proud, swollen with hate.
“We should all carry guns,” they cry,
meaning them, or men like them,
as if this world had somehow slighted
the muscular, the Caucasian, the loud.

If you are not afraid, you are somehow tired,
hearing of these senseless acts
day after day after day.
Like the bully on the block,
they take all the attention,
voracious for your gaze.

Thousands of years, we have found ways to live
integrated into Earth life, warm, colorful,
artistic, joyfilled, unique to each place.
Each corner of this perfect globe
has its arts, its languages,
its people ingrained in the life of that place,
seeds sprouting in native soil.
Yes, we were born for this!
A daily life of magic, of ingenuity,
creativity, days spent unearthing
the gifts of our soul’s being.

Now I hear, “protect yourself,
shield yourself, be on your guard,”
warnings that seem to make sense
for these crazy times,
a natural response
to the ugly, the unwarranted,
the cruel, the violent, the unjust.

But here I sit beside the quiet waters,
pen in hand,
life still churning within me,
joy bubbling up from nowhere,
and I am on notice:
“I am coming,” She cries,
“and you will see...
Soon I will bring the spring flowers to bloom,
the migrating birds to return to your window.
Regenerate! is My call,
all you who are heavy laden.
Rebirth is our watchword, all we ever are.
Look to the East with me,
the bright burst of sun in the sky,
and call out to Her with your urgent voice,
your ancient joy and pleasure,
with all the pure love you can wield.”

Annelinde Metzner

January 30, 2016

Another mass murder. It is said, "Hate is on the march." Once again I call on the Goddess, regenerate this world, make us new!

Friday, October 5, 2018

"I Feel Like a Big Person"

Dr. Mukwege with Congolese family

Dr. Mukwege sews and sews, 
hunting for the pieces of Alfonsine’s bladder.
Dark circles lengthen under his eyes, 
that yang look, hardened really,                     
born of living closely with viciousness every day.
     “Sometimes you go on your best guess,” he says.
Alfonsine is newly arrived to Panzi Hospital.
After her rape, 
the perpetrator blew his shotgun into her body.
How could she survive?
But then, one day, lifting one tired and jaundiced eye,
Dr. Mukwege glimpses her on the hospital grounds.
This is the day she sang and danced!
She lifts her face and looks Dr. Mukwege in the eye.
     “I feel like a big person in my community,” 
      states Alfonsine.
     “I can do something for my people.
      Women must lead our country.  They know the way.”
Congo,  emerald jewel of Africa’s plenitude.
Dr. Mukwege raises his head from sewing,  sewing,
the intricate patching of torn flesh.
He hears the song that joins the women’s power 
to the earth and sky:

     “I will never be ashamed.
      God gave me a new heart that I can be strong.”

Annelinde Metzner
September 2, 2007 

   Thanks to the work of Eve Ensler for introducing me to the work of Dr. Mukwege, who has just been granted the Nobel Peace Prize.
     Out of their work arose the City of Joy, a safe community for survivors of violence in the Congo.

Dr. Mukwege at Panzi Hospital (V-Day)

Friday, September 28, 2018

Being With What Is

Sun rays through the mists

I worried for months.
I couldn’t sleep.
I trusted no one.
I lived in fear.
And here today, this green,
the last green of September against the deep blue,
I am here, just here,
being with all that is.
Looking up, I love the leaves of the hazel,
the sourwood already going bare.
In all my loving,
I often forget
how much they are loving me!
My bare feet crunch in the new-fallen crackle
of brownness,
the ash leaves dropping like happy kids,
crying “Watch me!  Watch me!”
The tree frogs clickety-clack,
the chickadees hanging upside down
on the sourwood branches.
And here today, the breeze on my neck,
the green breathtaking as ever,
I am just here,
my feet on the Earth,
just me,
being with what is.

Annelinde Metzner

September 6, 2010
Light Center Labyrinth

Listen to Annelinde reading "Being With What Is:"

Black-eyes Susans

Slightest turning

Monday, September 24, 2018


Milkweed pods

September in this magic, open meadow- Milkweed pods!
Full and fat, ready to burst
     into their feathery seeds and float away.
"Welcome" to even more beauty,
     the noble Monarch butterfly,
     who needs the pods so dearly.
It's only September, feels like summer.
     Bees float voluptuously from aster to aster
     in this magic meadow.
I hear, "Welcome, daughter,"

as breeze bends milkweed stems.
The Sacred Mound reminds me to walk in beauty.
Truly these are all my relations!
The familiar scent of wild strawberries.
Goldenrod mimicking the Sun.
That persistent sound, ephemeral,
     like a tender tap on my shoulder
     from that place in the woods.
My spirit sings with this connectedness,
     my family, my joy.

Annelinde Metzner
September 21, 2018
Sacred Mound  

Monarch who posed for my camera


Golden rod

Grandmother, September of 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

She's Still There

Grandmother in the blooming rhododendrons

Poison ivy blisters our legs,
bugs get in our eyes, under our tongues,
it rains on our best notebooks,
it’s too hot-
and all the while,
even as we scratch and slap and spit,
Grandmother lies face up in the sky sun,
arms spread in the daisies
and the blood-red myrtles,
nose in the clouds,
inhaling and exhaling our lives,
breathing our lives throughout the millennia,
infusing stone with the spark of stars,
singing mystery into the hollow spaces
where the thousand things
daily vanish.

Annelinde Metzner
July 1, 1994

Recently at a retreat at Wildacres, I reviewed my many years of poetry composition and came across this one, one of my first "love songs" for Grandmother Mountain, known popularly as Grandfather, whom I experience as an ancient, wise, feminine presence, grounding and offering energy to the Earth with Her arms outspread.

Grandmother's View of the world


Wreathe of abundance at St. Mary of the Hills

Grandmother in Her glory from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Incredible, Edible Todmorden

Garden in Todmorden, UK

The industrial revolution came... and went.”
Thus begins the story of Todmorden, England, 

the little town that could.
Food grows free for the picking, everywhere,
at the police station, the fire house, 

the schools.
Yum, yum!  Fresh and free, 

festivals and street fairs,
recipes traded from around the world.
All grown here or right nearby.
Everyone’s got to eat,” they say, 

and so they do!
The time to act is now.”
Creating a world truly nourishing, 

for their children,for us all.
Food production begins 

in the garden of every school,
vegetables, chickens and fruit trees.
The joy of connecting people is fabulous.”
Training the young people to grow food 

and market it,
small sustainable jobs 

where despair and depression had been.
In every nook and cranny, an apple tree.
Go ahead, take some, it’s free!
Poultry raising, bee keeping, dairy.
You just have to give a damn about tomorrow.”
Dear little Todmorden, 

voting for life with all your being,
keep those three plates spinning in the air!

(The foundation of the philosophy of Incredible Edible Todmorden, England, is to keep these three plates in the air: community, education,  and business.)

Annelinde Metzner

November 4, 2012

   This poem about Todmorden has been selected to appear in the 2019 We'Moon Datebook!  Thanks We'Moon!

You can see lots more that is currently happening in Todmorden at this link.