Friday, July 22, 2016

Thank you, Hillary

Hillary Clinton from CNN

A deep relaxation, an exhalation, a gratefulness,
knowing you have been there to represent us,
you, a woman, the mother of a woman,
the daughter of a woman, one of us.
Hillary, you inspire us, with your bravery, your clarity,
your firmness, your discernment on the world’s stage.
High up in the echelons, you represent us.  Thank you.
Traveling, traveling, in ease and in strain,
you spoke of Malala and Inez, all our brave women,
at one with our great community, this world.
Hillary, without fear, you went feet first
to the most dangerous places in the world.
Yes, we share your pain, our pain,
we born with a womb, our badge of courage,
our births that say the way will be rough,
the climb uphill all our lives.
We born with a womb, and from a womb,
our daughters, our mothers and ourselves,
know from birth that we must be strong,
we must know our minds and love our bodies,
we must speak for ourselves when our Hillaries are gone,
remembering her and teaching ourselves,
going on, for their sake, for Malala and Wangari,
for all the women who show the way,
to live strong and free, to move as we choose,
to be what we are, to be.

Annelinde Metzner
December 7, 2012

I wrote this poem of deep thanks to Hillary Clinton in December of 2012, after listening to her speech on Human Rights at Dublin City University in Ireland which you can listen to here.

Hillary Clinton from ABC

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Farm Kitchen

The farm kitchen in 1992

Cups and cups hang from hooks,
plates of every color and design in the cupboard,
enough for a field full of neighbors some hungry noon.
Rafters and ceiling a greasy black
even now that the big wood stove is gone,
flavored of pancakes and kuchen,
Sunday chickens and potato soup.
A ladle and a dishpan over the sink
where the cold, clear water gleams to the taste.
On the table, flour, salt and sugar flow,
foods that keep and stretch
and fill the belly to last all day.
Mice scurry across the floor
and hop up on the big table
to gawk at the evening game-players,
forgetting themselves momentarily
and then startling to the squeals.
Foot baths on the step, warm and sensual,
makes you feel clean all over!
In the morning, the aroma of coffee,
and a child’s dreamy inheritance
of the never-empty pot,
abundant evermore.

Annelinde Metzner

Catskill Farm
July 13, 1992

  The old farmhouse, circa 1860, in the Catskills is just about gone now due to age and recent vandalism.  But the memories and mysteries I learned there from the deeply shared culture of our immigrant family will remain with me forever.  I give thanks for all I carry with me from this place. As with immigrants in all times and places, we knew that we must love and take care of each other in order to survive.

Farm upstairs bedroom with Mom's old vanity

Detail of barn construction

Farm house wave

Brother and sister, Martha and my dad Rudolph

Enjoying a beer on the front lawn

Friday, July 8, 2016

In Love with the Rooted Earth

Small rainbow, Black Mountain

When people see rain, 
it’s “get the umbrella,”
“cancel the game,”  “close the window,”
“my new hairdo!”
When rain comes to the wild grasses
they lay back like expectant lovers,
Gopis awaiting Krishna,
and it’s just the sky changing.
Just the gray massed clouds 

becoming dragons and mermaids,
fragrant with the next field over,
jolly with surfeit of love.
And the Gopi grass hears one, two,
three splats on the head of the drum,
and then party!  It’s Krishna, gaining momentum,
entering like the mayor in the small-town parade,
rolling in rain like the ship had come in,
drunk,  timeless,  out-of-grass-body
and in love with the rooted Earth.

Annelinde Metzner

July 9, 1992

Marsh rain

Blue Ridge Mountain rain

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Looking Glass Mountain in the rain

‘Way down in the valley below,
     the rush of Little Pine Creek
     is full of mystery, portent.
She is warning us, analyzing what we do,
     a wise woman full of the lessons of history,
     if we will only listen.

Nearby in the tree tops,
     the rain is a sheet of sound, pointillistic,
     as each leaf receives a drop.
In the woods in the rain, I am rewarded,
     gratified, satisfied,
     hearing Mother’s great bountiful “enough for all.”

Here on the screened-in porch in the rain,
     the taps on the tin roof go deep,
     settling into my soul.
The soft gentle beats are the Goddess’ finger patterns
     moving down my spine, reminding me
     of the heart-stirring journey that began all this.

The black crow glides across the white sky,
     crying, “raining, it’s raining.”

Annelinde Metzner
May 29,2016
Little Pine

Catskills rain

Betsy's Little Pine cabin


Friday, June 24, 2016

The Platter of Dates

Moulid An-Nabi, dates

The Platter of Dates                               

This is the Holy Month of Ramadan,
a time to dwell on Scripture, and to pray.
Heaven is wide open.
A time to fast all day ‘til the sun goes down.
I remember, touring Morocco,
our gala nights of dancing and singing,
the Sufi Issawa.
Praising God all night long.
The repetition of the chants, call and response,
the hypnotizing movements of the body,
the long, slow, beckoning solo,
pulling us into each song.
As we danced and sang, young people
roamed the floor with platters of dates,
assuring we would not faint in ecstasy.
Today on the radio, a Muslim woman
remembers her father’s store in New York,
owned by Muslims, staffed by Jews and Hispanics.
At dusk, everyone broke the fast together!
She carried a platter of dates,
to break the fast with all who would partake.
This is the world of possibility.
This is the soft bed of my dreams.
The platter of dates at dusk,
the smiles and thank you’s all around,
the long sacred days devoted to God,
the oneness of our holiness, all one, everyone.
The touch of a soft scarf against my neck.
The generous hand of a young woman,
her platter of dates.

Annelinde Metzner
June 19, 2016

On a trip to the Fez Festival of Sacred Music which I made in 2002, we were honored guests at a Sufi Issawa, a religious gathering in private homes, usually lasting all night, featuring (loud!) music, singing and dancing in honor of Allah.  It was mesmerizing and unforgettable.
     I was extremely touched by the memories of a Muslim woman of her childhood in New York, sharing a platter of dates to break the fasts of Ramadan.
    May we all remember our Oneness!

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Flame azalea

Angry men carry guns
and everywhere they shoot.
Enraged, they shoot,
carrying away women, children,
everyday innocent 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,”
caveats 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 still waters,
pen in hand,
life still churning within me,
joy bubbling up from nowhere,
and I am on notice:
“I am coming,” the Goddess cries,
“and you will see...
Soon I will bring the spring flowers to bloom,
the migrating birds to return to your window.
When did men, beautiful men,
turn themselves into weapons?
Why do they worship the gun, and forget Me?
Regenerate! is My call,
all you who are heavy laden.
Rebirth is My watchword, all we ever are.
Look to the East with Me,
the bright burst of sun in the sky,
and call out to Me with your urgent voice,
your ancient joy and pleasure,
with all the pure love you can wield.
Then human flesh will soften again
and guns will speak for us no more.”

Annelinde Metzner
January 30. 2016

 On June 2, 2016, the country and the world observed its first "National Gun Violence Awareness Day."   The watchword was "Wear Orange."  I am letting the beautiful native Flame Azalea wear the orange for this post.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

through the green


Delicate, the new willow leaves twist and turn
     before me in the wind.
From somewhere, the five notes of a wind chime
     carry to my other ear a gift,
     going deep, so I must tilt my head
     to completely receive their vibration.
From the underside, the leaves glow brilliant.
Chlorophyll, green fireworks within each leaf,
     explodes with gratitude for the Sun.
The brave new garden plants,
     each claiming their patch of dirt,
     show their best posture, row upon row,
     standing tall and delicious.
I soak up this silence almost desperately,
     pulling in the sweet, sweet air,
     the purity of the breeze cleansing me completely,
     replacing my tired staleness with life and space.

Annelinde Metzner
May 6, 2016


Saturday, April 16, 2016


Azalea in my front yard

Each year more precious,
the rebirth of Spring!
As if now, at my age, I have my doubts,
mired down in tasks and obligations,
living just day-to-day, sunrise to sunset.
But this! The joy of brand-new life,
a quickening in the brown Earth,
and in my soul.
The lilac is back,
each bud bursting into four-petalled sweetness.
Deep in the dry leaf mold,
bloodroot arises from the forest floor,
its sap vermillion, exploding with life energy
into unique white variegated wonder.
Dandelions resume their relentless growth
with a yowl!
Trillium emerges, complete,
ready to live a miracle of grace.
And I too burst forth.
Spring flowers gorgeously in my chest,
silencing my fears,
pulling me back, whee!
into my place in the wonder of living.

Annelinde Metzner

April 8, 2016




Baby jewelweed

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Egg

The egg, elliptical, luminous, whole,
separate, indivisible, complete,
nexus of life, invisible, unspoken,
unnamable ancestral pearl of power,
chosen one: you are my pride, my treasure.
I nurture and guard you with all my life,
a green dragon whose jewel lies hidden
in the humming recesses of her dark-red cave.
I share you with the mammals, and the fish too,
the birds, amphibians, insects, snakes:
our common inheritance, our common being.
All of us, whether we fly or swim,
trot, slither or leap beyond our height,
we all love you the same, and commend you
with lifetimes of attention and lavished care.
There are others, too, ferns and firs,
and maybe fruits, too, our cousins
guarded within the muscled trunks
of our rooted green sisters who grow in the Earth.
There they pull from the black nutrition
the crystals of power, the amino molecules,
fuel from which you radiate light
in fruit, in flower, in ovule, in shell.
I feel you well, with every moon,
through thirteen moons in every year.
You arise and make yourself plain,
crown jewel in the parade of our homeland,
flowering, intoxicating, odoriferous, fecund,
temple priestess of life everlasting
in burgundy velvet, concealing and beckoning.
It is easy, and not easy, to court you, egg,
and find you whole, enthroned in all life,
at once at the center and imminent in all things.
It is easy, and yet to properly seek you,
one must have peace, and presence, and life,
abundant life, and love without question
that leaps into the future, many times ones own height.
I bought a dozen of you today,
to boil you and color you, an essence, a symbol,
a ritual item more real than words
and you’re everywhere, among baskets and bunnies,
colored and white, foam and fluff,
and children’s hands under the bushes.
It is Eostar, your long-ago day
when Russian mothers baked you into bread,
and Czech mothers painted you for hours,
and my own ancestors walked for miles
to gather you one by one from afar,
all of us looking to the reborn world,
the flyers, the creepers, the unfathomable sea-swimmers.
These eggs are ours, our hours, our years,
the perfect pearl of our lives.

Annelinde Metzner
March 19, 1989

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Peace Choir

Some of the members of Sahara Peace Choir

Sing, O heavens, shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!    Isaiah 44:23

The women come to sing.
In the cold and icy dark, we gather
to rehearse the songs of peace.

“I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield...”

Putting aside aches and pains, and serious ills,
we come to sing with that wee bit of faith,
that last urge somewhere hidden deep in the heart.

“Oh, if I could ring like a bell...”

The great Black Dome, the great mountain
hears them coming, the mountain heart leaping.

“a song of peace, for their land, and for mine...”

until we arrive, there at Black Dome’s feet,
to open our mouths and hearts for Her love,
leaving our homes with all our annoyances,
to sing, to wail, to cry out
for the world we can see, within reach.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who publish peace.  Isaiah 52:7

Annelinde Metzner      

April 10, 2010

 In 2008 my friend Roberta Newman asked me to start a new choir to sing for a program sponsored by the Friendship Force to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims on a trip to their common Holy Land.  I had made arrangements of music from all three religious cultures as a way to bring them together in spirit.  We've been singing these songs ever since, including many songs that help nourish the human spirit and honor women of all world cultures.
      I wrote this poem for our yearly concert for International Women's Day, which we will give this year on March 12th.  We will be at Ten Thousand Villages in Montreat, where I can feel the strong vibes of Mount Mitchell (known to the Cherokee as "Black Dome,") highest point in the East, very nearby.
     I quote a number of Bible passages, in italics, as well as some of our song lyrics, to give this poem my wholistic vision of what our concerts are like.

Sahara 2014

Sahara 2010

Singers on the water

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Down and Up on Lexington

Lexington Avenue in Asheville, NC  

You can begin at the perennial Penny Sale at Tops Shoes -
Begin at the top!
There's old Morrison's, enameled pots and pans,
barrels of candy, ancient drawers,
and we are descending!
I cross Walnut Street.
In the little windows, blue and cream bowls and urns,
hand-painted from Fez,  Morocco,
start that wonderful spin that says, “How did these get here?'
Bricks loose under the feet
clump along with the rhythm of Salsa.
A black girl and a white boy stroll by 
with guitars on their backs.
Dreadlocks under a gray wool cap call out,
“How ya doin'? Where ya headed?'
Sky People is empty now, altars of the world all gone.
Purple and yellow walls, and everywhere,
“March Against the West Asheville Walmart."
I see bins of cotton cloths, 
and a DJ stand called “Rooster Sauce,"
as incense pours into the air.
The river of Water Street rushes boldly under the manhole,
still relentless, still full of sheer will, the need to just be.
Look up! Listen! The water, the hills!
Downtown Books and News, 
old turquoise paint and comfy sofas,
every book you could ever want,
“I Am Spock," “Sex, Money, Kiss," and don't forget
“Christian Yoga and You."
Descend a little farther to Rosetta's Kitchen -
Get some tofu and mashed potatoes!
Remember LAFF, the jousting bikes, 
the belly dance for peace,
the warmth, the youth, the flirting.
Crinolines of all colors, and a young man with a palette.
As I write, a peeking passerby says “You write it, Sister!"
I do, and I agree- “Start a Revolution!"
Old chairs and old friends relaxing at Izzy's Coffee Den.
“I don't ever get in trouble as long as you're with me."
A tiny ghetto, this street, one of those freedom spots.
Who will show up next?
One of those little worlds that make us dream big,
where what you create today can feed your next ten years.
The gate to Vincent's Ear is quiet, quiet,
rhododendrons dormant for winter.
“Don't forget how we need this!," old Vincent seems to cry.
“There are wild beings inside of you no money can buy."
Past the Liquid Dragon and I begin to ascend again,
a bit cleaner and prices rising, Minx and Bouchon.
Paper stars at Chevron, indigo, stained glass and rose.
Red prairie skirts and gnomish shoes.
Shiva and Parvati dance in copper. Palettes again,
palettes of bead, of paint and cloth,
palettes of poetry and bread and babies.
God wants choices, yes She does,
carved onyx and luscious nudes,
mud brown figures in window seats.
"God Bless the People of Every Nation"
I see before I go.

Annelinde Metzner
November 2008
Asheville, North Carolina

       Lexington Avenue is Asheville's East Village, Asheville's Haight Ashbury.   My son loved to hang out at Vincent's Ear, a great place for the young and aware to spend time.  As is often the case, these places come and go so quickly.  This poem will serve as a snapshot for how it was just that one day in 2008. I wrote it by jotting down impressions as I strolled the length of the street from top to bottom and back up the other side.  The last three lines are taken from bumper stickers on cars, including "Imagine."


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"