Sunday, November 22, 2020

Water

 

 


 

The graveyard is still, still,
    the quietest I've ever seen.
The Day of the Dead has been and gone,
    and I am here, belatedly bringing flowers.
Slowly the oaks have released their leaves, one by one,
    but Mama and Daddy's names greet me plainly,
    unhidden by the crinkly brownness.
I bring the pure white Christmas flowers,
    and the blood red.
Suddenly I'm pouring out my soul,
    thanking them, remembering them,
    revealing myself, and weeping.
How I miss them!
Their struggles, their troubles, pervasive as my own,
    all of us on this path called Life.
I sit for a spell nearby.
One leaf falls,
    one bright yellow butterfly, all alone,
    zooms by my cheek.
And then water!  A spigot up from the ground,
    fresh, cold water, never before seen here.
I wash my face three times in the icy coldness
    and hold my face up to the November sun.

Annelinde Metzner

November 21, 2020

 

Mom, Dad and niece Emily

 

Mom, Dad and my son Peter

 

Family on the Catskill farm



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Grandmother Oak Speaks

 

 


I climbed the steep dirt road
    behind the old farmhouse,
    the back slant of the roof caving in
    from snow, winter, neglect,
    bricks falling from the chimney.
There I was! in the land of the Fairies,
    the majestic Grandmother oak appearing to my left,
    bending gracefully to the sky.
To my right, my nephew's hunting camp,
    target practice set up,
    and a grill ready for the fresh meat.
I turned back to my Grandmother,
    moss rising greenly from Her massive roots,
    ferns bowing reverently at Her feet,
    Her huge old grey body bending gracefully
    up to the wide-spread branches high above.
I gazed upon Her, and a sparkling city
    rose from Her roots in front of me,
    translucent, silvery, rainbow.
"Let Life be what it is," I heard,
    imagining conflict, sadness, despair.
    The power of these Fairy beings astonished me.
"We promise always to do what We do."
Hands raised, long we exchanged energy.
I touched a small double oak near to me,
    through its own body sending great thanks.
I turned down the hill, bowing,
    and left. 

 

Annelinde Metzner

September 5, 2019

Catskill Farm















Sunday, November 1, 2020

The Dark Goddess in Autumn

 

 

 



Hekate stirs Her cauldron,
     and no one knows what’s in it!
Bits of this and that,
     leaves, worms, cast-offs of all kinds,
     body parts, fears, worries and doubts,
     missteps, blind alleys and yes! a little blood.

Into the dark goes your last-ditch effort,
     your best attempt, your wishful thinking.
     Hekate stirs for you all your crap
     back into the pungent stew of all being.
Toss something in! It’ll end up there anyway:
     miscalculations, hopes and dreams.
Hekate may add a song,
     a howl or a hoot or a bark or a scream,
     eye of newt and toe of frog,
     She cares not!  Doesn’t give a damn.

It’s Her job just to stir the pot,
     break it down, boil it down,
     transforming, regenerating,
     down to the next thing, compost for the new.
And YOU?
Sleep, and get ready for change.
 

Annelinde Metzner

Asheville, November 1, 2014

Hecate is the ancient Greek Goddess who represents the wisdom of the Crone, the Elder.  She will meet you at the crossroads where she waits for travelers, accompanied by her dogs, owls and wolves.

 


 











Sunday, August 16, 2020

She Speaks in Thunder

 

 

Rain over Looking Glass Mountain

 
In the high, cold mountains I feel Her power.
I don't exactly feel safe.
"I care only about your Spirit," She calls
as I humbly enter Her queendom.
Under me, ancient solid rock.
Above me, grey clouds bowing to Her as I do.
All around, the dark woods, the evergreen forest,
deep and unfathomable.
Something in me relaxes, gives thanks.
I do not speak Her language, I only feel it,
acknowledging Her antiquity, a power beyond my ken.
I walk gingerly through the halls of Her realm.
Far in the distance, She rumbles Her thunderous song.
A guy on a motorcycle comes by,
breathless and sweating with fear.
"That was the scariest thunderstorm I've ever been in.
I thought I was hearing the voice of God."
He shakes his head, unsure he would survive.
On my way home, I glance back one more time
at Her high mountain realm,
grey-black and shaking with thunder.
She has given forth an egg, Looking Glass,
A gift made of stone.

Annelinde Metzner    July 26, 2020 

 

 

Looking Glass


 

  





 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Brandywine


Brandywine Tomato

I was after the Holy Grail, so delicious I could taste it.
The golden August sunrays pierce the green canopy,
the air smells sweet,
and I was looking for the perfect tomato!
Mostly bred for shelf-life and good looks,
it seems even the most earnest backyard tomato gardens
fall short when it comes to flavor.
But it's Brandywine time at Joe and Debra's farm!
A garden lovingly tended on the mountain's south side.
Years of stewardship has married them to their soil.
A juicy compost pile in the middle
of the garden whose very design and evolution
is a collaboration with the Goddess.
Debra lovingly croons to the bees,
never taking honey from their sanctuary.
And in this Paradise grows the Brandywine!
Joe has saved seed over decades,
nursing and tending the plants,
and here are the rosy, almost-magenta globes,
bursting with juice and yes! tomato flavor.
He sits me down to a tomato sandwich.  Oh ecstasy!
Two slices of toast, Duke's mayo of course,
salt and pepper at the ready.
Joe slices the fat Brandywine right into his palm.
I'm so ready! I've heard the siren-call
of that big precious ruby
all the way to this mountain aerie, high up on Ballard Branch.
Debra congratulates me, and we all give thanks,
that I asked for and got what I wanted.
I take a big bite, juice squeezing out everywhere,
and I no longer try to contain
my low moans and long, sweet-tart slurps.
The August sun warms my arms
near the niche of the Holy Mother.
Oh Brandywine, how we give thanks!

Annelinde Metzner

August 11, 2020


This is a poem of thanks to friends and farmers Joe and Debra Roberts who foster a whole lot of beautiful plants!


Joe, Debra and Tomatoes




Joe under the squash vines.


Madonna in Her new spot built by Joe









Thursday, August 13, 2020

All We Ever Are

 

 

 

 

                                        

Thousands of years, we have found ways to live
integrated into Earth life, warm, colorful,
artistic, joy-filled, 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 times,
a natural response to the ugly, the unwarranted,
the cruel, the violent, the unjust.

But here I sit beside the quiet waters,
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 Me with your urgent voice,
your ancient joy and pleasure,
with all the pure love you can wield.”

 Annelinde Metzner

 

The We'Moon Datebook for 2021 has just arrived.  In it, on page 169, is an excerpt from this poem, "All We Ever Are."  I thank We'Moon for featuring my poems and those of creative women from all over the world.

 

Rhododendron thicket
 
 

 

Creek near my home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Mid July






That orange-yellow light,
baking through the outrageously overgrown 

plethora of green,
laughing, ecstatic with the miracle of photosynthesis.
It's mid-July, such an overabundance,
such an all-out fling, a gala of green.
I know it's not long until we fold in again towards Autumn.
But I will stay here!  I will be here, now,
here and now,
where delicate pink lilies bask on the water,
dragonflies zoom with great abandon,
sycamore tosses me her peeling bark,
frogs grunt and croak in the cattails,
singing with all their might,
where berries ripen oh-so-slowly.
A leaf drops, and the water responds,
ring upon ring upon ring.
I am happy in the heat and the mid-July sun,
listening to the tumbling creek,
not needing to be anywhere but here.

Annelinde Metzner
Nels' Pond
July 17, 2020
















Monday, July 20, 2020

The Rainbow Kites



Photo by Mike Wheeler


Evening at the beach,
six of us sing with delight, 

pouring ourselves into the lapping waves,
Aphrodite’s lacy foam blessing us.
Two turn back home, remembering, 

because today, just this day,
this windy June evening full of light,
is the perfect day for kites.
Two bright rainbow kites, one short, one long,
unfurl into the sky as if born there.
Higher and higher, released and released
by loving hands on the strings,
the brilliant tails whip and flutter,
exulting in freedom, 

at home in Oya’s winds.
We loll in the warm waters,
washed inland and out 

in the undertow’s slow rhythm,
leaning on one elbow, head tilted to the sky,
as the evening sun and the two kites
vie for our attention.
I remember my son, 

whose kite this once was,
and there he is, 

visiting these beloved women,
laughing, untethered by string.
For that moment, we connect, 

the kite and the spirit,
the wind and the women lolling in the surf.
The rainbow kite snaps its tail 

and shouts with joy
for this windy day,
as families pass by, hand in hand,

the sun setting slowly in the surf.

Annelinde Metzner
Folly Beach
June 9, 2014



The Beach Babes


Rainbow kite













Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Love in the Time of Rhododendron






How does the Goddess appear to us
     this July, lush and rich,
     a woman in Her prime?
The rhododendron blooms are everywhere,
     unstoppable,
     laughing in their largesse,
     delicate and powerful,
     tiny and huge.
The Goddess is everywhere,
     but in the blooms of the Rhododendron,
     She is vastly Herself,
     each bloom exquisite,
     more and more of them.
More than you think possible!
High and low in the forest canopy,
     down close enough to touch-
She is here!
She is with you.


Annelinde Metzner
July 2, 2020














Friday, July 3, 2020

Tree Mother of Africa






Planting trees with the Green Belt Movement



“I’m a child of the soil,” says Wangari.

“I don’t think you need a diploma to plant a tree.”



The women learn.  They plant trees.

Teaching one another, nurturing the seedlings,

brown arms reach deep into the brown earth,

anchoring the eroding hillsides with tiny saplings.

Thirty million planted!

On the faces of rural women in Kenya, there is hope.

“I have a new dress, and I can eat!”,  says one.                                                 “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Each seedling is watered from hand-held tin cans. 
The new forest grows,  the soil stabilizes.

Animals begin to return.



“Deep in the roots,” says Wangari, “we are planting the seeds of peace.”

After thirty years of planting, nurturing and growing,

Wangari gets the Nobel Prize.



“I’m a child of the soil.”



And isn’t that you and me?         
Aren’t our own brown hands there, planting, waiting, mothering,

knowing all our futures are in the thin new stems, their bending and giving?



“You must empower yourself.  You must break the cycle.

You are planting hope in your life, and for your descendants.”



Wangari steps out on the Oslo balcony with her prize.

The streets erupt in ululation!



This is how we heal the Earth.

This is how we heal the Earth.

This is how we heal the Earth.



“Let’s plant trees!”

Annelinde Metzner
April 2008


Wangari Maathai


Dr. Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) was a brilliant environmentalist and activist who founded the Green Belt Movement. She was responsible for planting 52,000 trees in Kenya.  With her life's work, Dr. Maathai drew focus to the needs of the African environment as well as its women. 
       Dr. Maathai is featured for the month of July on the We'Moon Wall Calendar.
       Listen to my poem, "Tree Mother of Africa," read by Becky Stone with Sahara Peace Choir providing the ululation!






Wangari envisions the future


























Sunday, May 31, 2020

Flame Azalea




Appalachian native flame azalea


Flame Azalea  

At the top of the long grade,
through the rhododendrons and flame azalea

abloom in a bower,
I arrive at Grandmother’s side, yet once more.
“Depend on me,” she has been calling, 

from many miles away.
I step nearer. Tears fall.
Not another soul appears, here where crowds have been.
I circumambulate Her, dragons in the air,
Star magnolias blooming. 

I am here, I am here with Her.

At my little campsite, not a soul.
I fill my bottles with icy water and eat my lunch.
Not a soul but a big brown beetle in the bath.

I travel on to the church of the Lady,
Our Lady of the Hills, 

and am blessed with the talk of the gardener,
the magenta blooms of rhododendron so high,
encircling the bell tower, chiming on “one.”
Inside, quiet, lights and candles, and it’s Spring!
On the kneeling pads, at the pulpit,
lily-of-the-valley, iris, rhododendron, phlox.
Our Lady’s church blooming inside and out.
She gives me Her shy glance, holding the child,
and She is saying, “from pain blooms love.”

And finally here, by my son’s bones
mockingbirds raucous with things to say twitter all around.
I leave Bridgid’s cross, an offering to the trees.
My toes revel in the sweetness of wild strawberries.
The cattle are out on the sacred mound, 

under the apple tree,
new calves scampering to be with their moms.
Sweet the sun burns the scent into my being.
The flame azalea, bent by winter’s fierce storms,
reaches out to me in all shades of opening.
“Keep growing, Annelinde!”, they call. 

“There is still more.”

Annelinde Metzner

Grandmother Mountain
May 25, 2011

Every year, I return to Grandmother Mountain, near Blowing Rock, where I remember my son.  This poem is in my chapbook, "This Most Huge Yes."




St. Mary of the Hills
















No festival




Lake Eden, site of the Lake Eden Arts Festival in spring and fall


By the festival of the Nine Lakes, Lake Eden,
all is quiet.
No drummers wailing.
No grooves.
The wind blows, each night getting colder,
and all is quiet.
The grey fuzz of a gosling floats by with its mom,
the flock honking across the lake,
or at the sandy beaches.
No tents, no food trucks.
All is quiet.
Even the memories are cleared away,
Black Mountain College, the world-renowned teachers,
the egos, the intellect.
All is quiet.
History too has faded away.
O blessed reset of human life!
A chipmunk sits long on a stump,
eyeing me fearlessly.
Sunlight glistens on the lake,
no cries, no laughter.
Coming back to zero, breathing deeply,
letting it go, dropping all baggage.
Breathe.  Sigh.
Be silent but glisten like the wind on the lake.
Your breath, your being is enough for now.


Annelinde Metzner
Lake Eden
May 9, 2020



Lake Eden sky








Tuesday, April 28, 2020

April in Sandy Mush




Cabin in Sandy Mush


I save the world by loving Her.
April in Sandy Mush, the new green apple leaves,
so soft, each flutters a different way at the slightest breeze;
the butterfly, fresh out of the cocoon,
careening downhill, already a crackerjack
at navigating with her iridescent wings;
the blackberry blossoms, full of themselves,
wide open to the hungry and meticulous bees.
The air is filled with buzzing things, 
delirious with the sun’s warmth.
Even a cloud floating high seems to smile with delight.
It is true, I know, someone crouches somewhere in a room,
cut off from the world,
fervently praying that the next gunshot, the knock at the door,
does not come his way.
I know somewhere, a mother walks miles for a jug of water
diverted from her village to sluice the mines.
I know the world will end, or so they say.
But Gaia exhorts me, “Look at me!  Take notice!
For you I have perched these roses on their stems,
for you I bring the striped grasshopper  to set beside you,
and the wild turkey walks, stately, through the woods.
Are you listening yet?   For you, four wide-eyed deer
come to gaze at your body while you sleep.”
I cannot ignore her, I cannot turn away.
It is my job to love Her, and She is vast,
and long, and wide, and huge;
I save the world by loving Her, 
and in this way, She saves me.

Annelinde Metzner 
Hawkscry  April 13, 2012


Many thanks to William Stanhope for allowing me to write at Hawkscry.

Listen to Annelinde reading "I save the world by loving Her":








Sandy Mush farm in April




Dogwoods at Hawkscry
















Sunday, April 19, 2020

At Nels' House





All clayworks by Nels Arnold


I visit Nels' house, more than a year
     since we said goodbye and let her go.
It's early Spring, the not-yet-green mountaintops
     peeking through the almost-bare trees,
     fiddle-head ferns just uncurling in their astonishing way,
     maple leaves so new and soft, 

     I can barely feel them to the touch.
I knew you would never be gone.
Around the house I go,
     through your beloved gardens,
     in every surprising nook and cranny
     some clay work you brought to life with love.
How you envisioned your infinity garden, a figure eight,
     made of moss, still thriving!
A mysterious woodland staircase, and a beckoning path
     up through the woods to your daughter's home.
Ages and times blend together as I climb the trail.
You are there in the old house, raising your children,
     "Look, look there!"
     finding some new art in each day.
I knew you would never be gone.
I turn a corner of your house,
     past your clay studio glowing with your energy,
     and take a deep breath.
Here is a circle of humankind,
     all of us seated, contemplating seashells,
     a circle, yes.
A circle where each is equal, everyone's thoughts matter,
     children and elders gathered 'round,
     a small circle, a magic vision of our future
     you left for us.
Each of your works so human, bending, curving,
     voluptuous, scarred, aged, brand new,
     "I want movement!," you would say.
And here you are everywhere, because someone so alive
     has an energy that lives on, that never dies.
In all the beauty of this Appalachian Spring,
     here you are, Nels, saying "Look!  Look here!'
     offering this world cupped in your potter's hands,
     as you have ever done.

Annelinde Metzner
Bishop Cove
April 17, 2020
















Fiddlehead ferns




Stairs to the woods








infinity garden



Maple leaves
























Nels Arnold