Friday, December 30, 2011

Santeetlah Creek

In winter, under crowns of curved ice,
you trade liquid for solid in the cold, cold air.
In warm summer, you’re the laughing white water,
tickler of toes, leaping home of speckled trout.
Rushing, cleansing, each place a small volcano of water                                                      within shape of stone and rush of air.
Deep cold waters from the quiet Earth,
the source a cavern of crystals akin to this white creek.
Santeetlah, you pour down on us from forever,
white jets long to the finale at Santeetlah Lake.
You are a carrier.  You carry leaves of autumn, gold and blood-red,
pine needles, galax, speckled trout,
fragrant mushrooms, eggs of all kinds, rhododendron blooms in spring.
Babies of yours lodge here and there, wedged along the shore,
changing your shape as you change theirs.
Cold and white, the rushes sweep the stones below, and me above.
I’m but a stone here beside you.
In my hair is swift spray, smelling of ice water, galax and laurel.
Crawdads and minnows play “hide and seek” between my fingers.
My spine is the long stone of your vitality,
icy fluid whose leaps make me dance.
Annelinde Metzner


Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Darkness

Coming together here, we warm each other’s hearts in the darkness.

The Sun, far away, yearns to embrace us in Her warmth once again.

But this is our time to journey into the depths of the darkness.

This is the time to surrender and listen deep to our souls.

This is the time to close our eyes, slow down and be lulled by the darkness.

Our blessed Mother Gaia dwells within the darkness.

Inhale the song of Her soul, Her soil, Her dark caves, Her rich dark humus.

Mother Earth welcomes you into the darkness.

Walk with confidence, all people, walk safely into the darkness.

Let us love the night, the moon, the stars, the planets, the Seven Sisters high above.

Revel in this other half of our lives, the darkness.

The beauty of the dark earth, the darkness of skin, the dark curves of mountain roads,

The Seven Sister Mountains in their powerful darkness, presiding over Black Mountain,

Our dark blood, our Earth, our deepest selves, the darkness.

Annelinde Metzner
November 16, 2010

Purchase Knob double rainbows caught on webcam!

Listen to Annelinde in a reading of "The Darkness":

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blindsiding into Baghdad

I putter along the highway, in my own world,
and squeak! an eighteen-year-old hotshot with his dad’s Camaro
whips in front of me with an inch to spare.
I dare to pull into the left lane and in an instant
an SUV wide as a freighter, higher than my rooftop,
plants itself at my rear bumper
as though I had trespassed on its private turf.
It’s as if they didn’t know the car’s sides
are solid as Origami puffballs,
mostly plastic, a few thin supports,
just enough frame to get the car off the lot.
You’ve got your wheels, and off you go,
weaving and straining for speed,
thinking of Dale and some boss who cursed you,
never the masses of twisted metal,
the strewn and extruded body parts
you’ve seen lying by the side of the road.

High school recruiters know this.
The tender-faced boys of seventeen, barely shaving yet,
Moms still patting their shrugging shoulders
as they leave home with a bag lunch,
seventeen but already bored,
bored to tears with life as it is, the same girls, the same books,
the same horizon as flat as the future,
the same parents, the same nothing-to-do, forever and forever.
The almost-little boys at the recruiting table,
soft inside as Easter chocolate,
eye the M-16 rifles and the Hum-Vees, seeing the future there,
anywhere but here,
forgetting what they’ve heard of ambushes, booby traps,
amputees waiting hours for treatment,
mustard gas, nerve gas, depleted uranium.
You careen down the highway in your gossamer Camaro
and suddenly the day comes, you’re off the plane,
heat smacks you in the face, dust rolls in,
and a weapon’s on your shoulder, your little piece of power.
Boredom and terror, boredom and terror.
One hundred a week wounded in action,
home again with no health coverage, or no home at all.
You sit for hours playing cards
with guys from some other godforsaken town like yours,
loud rock and hip-hop to remind you of who you were.
Long after the uranium exposure, babies are born
anophthalmic, no eyes at all.
Napalm, another WMD, melts human skin in Fallujah.
But everybody run!  You’re out on the streets,
kicking down doors with one hard boot.
You aim past women with babes in arms,
grandmas and grandpas cowering in corners,
and back outside through terror-lined streets. 
Your buddies holler you back, and it's quiet,              
a retreat. Music plays, supper comes.
You have no idea where you are.
This is not Kansas and your best buddy is gone.
Careening through Baghdad, they fold like Jettas.
No one asked; never a frame for this.
You were heading for what?                                                                                                      The screaming women?  The blood?  The mangled babes?
The spitting rage?  The broken and endless days?
The tender flesh, once so shiny, fresh as dew,
blindsides into Baghdad, wishing you knew.

Annelinde Metzner
March 2005

In 2010, 468 active duty and reserve troops committed suicide while 462 died in combat, marking the second year in a row that more US soldiers killed themselves than died at war, according to Congressional Quarterly's John Donnelly.


Friday, December 9, 2011

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

Listen to Annelinde reading "The Falling Away":

Friday, December 2, 2011

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.
“The Holy City,” and She is, my Grandmother,
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 Blackberry or your Nook,
you’re in Her time now, as old as it gets.
Welcome to the Holy City.
In the powerful wind of Solstice, 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

Moulay Idriss, holy city of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco

Grandmother Mountain (or "Grandfather") of North Carolina