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







Milkweed pods




Milkweed    
                    
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





Asters
  



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




Daisies




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.















Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Holy City





Grandmother Mountain, my Holy City
                                                           

“This is the Holy City,” said Jouad, "Horse," our guide,
in Moulay Idriss, sparkling ancient citadel
climbing the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
“The Holy City,” 
and She is, my Grandmother of North Carolina,
vast, ancient, singing.
Oldest mountain,
what populations whir in your ethers,
unseen to ordinary eyes?
‘’All here is holy,” said Jouad.
All here is holy!
All is of Her, each rhododendron bloom,
each fire pink,
Holy! the lichen and the moss in the rock.
Holy! the cohosh with its spiked bloom.
Holy! the whippoorwill, the thrush,
the no-see-ums buzzing up my nose.
All who live here are of Her holy being.
All are one with Her.
No need for lies or self-deceit,
no need for bargains or slight-of-hand tricks.
You, fortunate one, have stumbled into
the Holy City.
You don’t need to wear a hat,
sew cushions, or even kneel.
Here with the worms, the creaking old oaks,
the star magnolias and the blueberries
being themselves,
you are Holy too, like it or not.
Whatever time it may be on your I Pod,
you’re in Her time now, as old as it gets.
Welcome to the Holy City.
In Her powerful winds, everything changes,
limbs fall from trees, inessentials vanish,
you may lose a limb too,
or parts of your ego you don’t need.
This is the Holy City.
This is your birthplace, you and the bending oak,
you and the ladybug and the black snake.
Around Her jagged outcroppings,  
a thousand births wail through time.
Some ascend, some descend 
the winding paths of the Holy City.
She breathes on, undaunted,
gathering infrasound from all the directions.
This is the Holy City, and we Her inhabitants,
why yes, the Holy Planet it is,
all of us holy, the clear of vision,
the jaded, the obsessed,
the wounded and the whole.
All of us live in the Holy City.
Rest your bare soles on her rich Earth,
wind your toes into her sweet-smelling grass.
Prostrate your bare Soul on Her holy ground,
many times, inchworm.
She is the Mother of us all.

Annelinde Metzner
Grandmother Mountain, North Carolina
June 20, 2011


Moulay Idriss, holy city of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco




Rhododendron budding



















Tuesday, July 17, 2018

When the Azaleas Bloom






When the Azaleas bloom,
don’t they grab you,
reach into you,
say, “Slow down, stop here,
stay with me, look at me,
I’m the pinkest creature you’ve ever seen!
I am a flamboyant Madam in Paris perfume.
I am every little girl’s Easter dress.
I am big and fat as five frangipani leis around your neck.
I bedeck the temple altar of Aphrodite.
I am the petaled carpet strewn before Our Lady.
My pink stamens reach for you, trumpets of your awakening.
Each of my green leaves shouts ‘New!  Begin anew!’
In my deepest recesses are gorgeous patterns
of darker pink against light.
Fat bees are engorged on me.
My blossoms crowd onto my stems
like a thousand virgins of Artemis
laying holy wreaths in our paths.”
The pink azalea says, “Here we are, perfect and whole,
powerful, adaptive, ready for change,
offering beauty open as a thousand yonis.
Stop right here, and love me!”

Annelinde Metzner

April 14, 2011
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina



















Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Black Dome, This Slowness





Black Dome or "Mount Mitchell"


Join the natural world with your quietness and your slowness!
At this blessed pace, the wild raspberry
     can see you sitting nearby,
     slow as apples ripening.
At this blessed tempo,
     birds drift to the tops of trees,
     to gaze off miles and miles through the clouds.
In this sacred slowness,
    the bees take their time to choose
    this blossom, then that,
    then that one, and maybe the next.
This is how slowly the clouds creep,
     white and bulbous,
     all of us present here
     in the same breath,
     slow, inaudible, eternal.
I breathe, I fill my lungs with air.
This is all we have, all of us,
     from now until the end of the world.


Annelinde Metzner
August 6, 2010





"Black Dome" is the Cherokee name of Mount Mitchell, highest point in the East in the Black Mountain Range of the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live.




















Monday, June 25, 2018

Carrying us still



My son Peter with family at 19



Don’t even have to look over my shoulder
to know the two walnut trees are there
where we hung our hammock one day like this,
Peter and I, long ago.
Don’t even have to creep 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,
tens time tens, and the pink, 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?
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?
On the magic path, our parkway, we walked the rails,
he thirteen, me thirty-six and us so new.
The ranger stopping- was that a warning?
Was danger hovering over us like a million laurels-
could everyone see it but us?
Yes, danger, or should we remember energy,
power,  ancient and cool as cats,
that burst forth as joy we had in each other,
so girls would say, “You come alive together,”
strange as that was for mother and son?
Long, 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,
(“Uh-oh, Augra, could be anywhere...”)
circling quiet as a nimble bird,
glimmering like stars, the water of the lake,
the rosy energy of Grandmother’s arms,
the powerful wind, all still here,
carrying us, carrying us still.

Annelinde Metzner
June 25, 2007

My post today is devoted to my son Peter Scott Rudolf Metzner, who passed away June 25, 2004 at the age of 29.    Grandmother carries us still!


Price Lake with Grandmother Mountain


Spirit painting of Peter by Arline Boyce


Sacred mound



Peter and myself, 1972


Peter plays the flute, 2003


Bridgid keens











Thursday, June 21, 2018

Solstice Stillness




Sacred Mound in Spring

Early, early on a Tuesday morning
so quiet, you can hear the squirrels
running spirals around the pine trunks
and scolding, scolding.
I brush my teeth while a mockingbird flirts with herself
in the rear view mirror of my car.
A wonder that the world is asleep
while brand-new webs are woven
in the rhododendron branches
where lemony rays of new sun
cut through to make them sparkle.
The rhodo blooms in tight pink buds
that burst into a myriad flowers in a bunch
while we watch.
I sit at a bench, writing, writing,
ignoring a tumult in my periphery
until, gentle and silent as the new day,
a mother doe steps into my vision,
her fawn following gingerly behind.
O, to be awake on this glorious day,
Grandmother gazing indulgently nearby,
this next new day, so young, so full,
gentle and fierce and long,
waiting like a robin’s egg
to open before our eyes.

Annelinde Metzner 

Price Lake      
June 23, 2009

Listen to Deb Scott reading my poem, performing in our concert "In the Mother Grove" in 2009.






Grandmother nearby in the fog








Rhododendron budding











Friday, June 8, 2018

Naiads






Price Lake



    To slip into the lake in the evening
as Grandmother lays back once more to rest
and the last of the evening birds fly
and the wood thrush reminds us,
    “beauty here, everywhere,”
    the water cool and soft,
    clean, pure as a new day,
wanting to float us, wanting to play,
to cool and clear our day-worn skin,
dunking the whole head until all of us is new,
all of us begins again.
    This is one of the gifts of evening,
the cool hour of Shiva’s dancing,
our minds carried on a wave of peace,
our laughter light as dandelion seed,
floating high on the skin of the water,
the gentle, joyful giveaway of the day.

Annelinde Metzner     

June 23, 2009


Grandmother rests


Toe River Naiads











Saturday, June 2, 2018

Morning at the Sanctuary






Stone circle at Mountain Light Sanctuary
 

The first morning light seeps in the diamond windows 
at the Bali House.
All night, accompanying my dreams, the river roars,
punctuated with her bass tones, under the boulders,
guiding me in a language I don’t speak.
“Weee-hooo,” says the first morning bird,
and “Thump!”, a half-eaten apple falls on the deck.
All around, the exuberant vines intertwine
with the butternut and the rhododendron of the woods.
“Safe here!”, they all seem to say,
even the three butterflies who fasten themselves to my shoe.
At three AM the stars blanket the night sky,
reaching their fiery fingers into our dreams.
This morning I gaze into the misted woods,
letting the visions speak to my shadows,
letting go, letting it be exactly what it is.
Barefoot, I feel the cool stones and the dewy grass.
A day on Earth.
The sun streaking through the walls by my bed,
a whisper of thanks unbidden.

Annelinde Metzner
Mountain Light Sanctuary
July 20, 2010

In this poem I honor the Mountain Light Sanctuary, truly a sanctuary in every sense of the word, in a very remote area bordering on the National Forest in Dillingham, North Carolina.  Thanks to Michael Lightweaver for creating and maintaining this healing and rejuvenating spiritual retreat where I can find peace in the sounds of nature.





Garden of the Divine Feminine



Silica seat in the grotto of the Divine Feminine
















Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Magic Pouch





Meinrad Craighead, "Enclosed Garden"


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

     I'm reposting my poem "The Magic Pouch" which I wrote three years ago for my uterus.  I had just undergone a hysterectomy and I wanted to honor this miraculous organ which is central to and emblematic of womanhood.  The poem is now part of the We'Moon Datebook for 2018, full of women's writings and art. It's on page 99!

















Friday, May 18, 2018

Magdala, Tower




Mary Magdalene by Brother Robert Lentz




Magdala, Tower, Queen of my days,

You are not Spirit, not Ether, not Will ‘o the Wisp.

but flesh and blood, a woman like me,

and my teacher.

I see You in burgundy-red, the Blood-Root flower,

the Wake Robin, deep red trillium of the mountains,

the royally curled and woody flower of the Spicebush.

You are so real.

And when You walk on Earth,

the steps of Your beautiful feet are firm.

Priestess, daughter of Isis,

Well-trained in lore and wise,

how I crave the touch of Your oil upon my face.

MM is here!  Mary Magdalene,

here for Her own millennium,

and the voice You bring has no shame in who You are,

who we all are, Woman, strong, deep,

burgundy-red and sexual.

You walk in the power of the Sacred Night,

here to walk wherever You must,

through Love, through Transformation,

unto Union with the Divine.

With Your powerful arms

and Your dark-red hair glinting like amber,

You guide us all through these darkest of days.

Mary Magdalene, You stand grounded

even as we hang in torment,

with Your strong and womanly Priestess arms

ready to carry us through.

Annelinde Metzner
April 17, 2012 

I'm feeling the presence of Mary Magdalene very strongly these days, maybe because the feast day of Her divine child, Sarah La Kali, celebrated by Roma people from all over the world, is coming up on May 24th.  
     I'm very excited and happy that on Mary Magdalene's feast day, July 22nd, 2018,  my own musical setting of this poem will be sung by the soul-stirring soprano, Kim Hughes, at St. James Episcopal in Black Mountain, 2 PM.   Seven of my solo songs for the Goddess will be performed, as well as a new poem, and presentations by the clergy on the Divine Feminine as well. 
     Three of the pieces feature Rita Hayes on flute and Isabel Castellvi on cello.
     A duet of my setting of Alice Walker's "We Have a Beautiful Mother" will be sung by Kim and Jen Worthen, and they will perform a few more songs as a duo.
     Plan to come and share the Goddess with us!