Thursday, December 6, 2018

Rebirth




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."






Rhododendron






Buttercups












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.
And I’m NOT SHOPPING.
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

Devotion




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







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