Thursday, May 31, 2012

Florida Vacation

Florida panther


I happen upon a horned owl,        
three feet from me, in a tree branch.
The sense of recognition comes, an unexpected thud in my heart.
“Hi,  brother!,” but more:
that only a hundred years past, maybe less,
this animal presence was familiar as my breath, my blood, my sight.
Florida in the cypress.
Mallards float by, an alligator, a kite, and you should know!
You have been immersed in this.
You’ve been overwhelmed.
A thousand pink flamingos on a grassy plain, running, rippling roses,  
feathers with the inner seashell’s luminous glow.
We have been healed by this!
You roamed the land.
Fifty pheasants rose from the brush in a heartbeat.
You surprised a huge buck deer
and he stared you down before turning tail.
An easy bargain, all this gone, all this family gone.
The bargains are everywhere around us.
One chain saw to split the air with its shattering hum,
fifty Florida panthers gone.
Step in your car.  Put your foot on the gas.
Another black bear rolls over, ready to compost.  No heirs.
Send another fax and soon...
With every step, the human heart strangles in silence,
in emptiness, in lifelong loneliness.
No contract was written or signed.       
We’ve only just agreed to this spurious bargain:
one buzzing box for you to plug into,
a thousand of the animal kin, gone, gone, gone.

Annelinde Metzner
Tallahassee, Florida
March 20, 1996

Great Horned Owl

Florida beach

Florida jungle

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lifting the Veil

This Sunday, this Mother’s Day,
at my dear Grandmother Mountain’s side,
She is enshrouded in fog and rain.
She shows me her veiled Self.
How grateful am I, how sure of Her being.
Her vastness there
is complete in my knowing,
an unseen force of pure energy,
strong and palpable.
Over the Sacred Mound, a white veil.
I stare, aware of Her power,
and She appears!  just briefly, just half,
by my precious son’s bones,
by the tree made of me.
Pan, dark and strong,
nods playfully among the rhododendrons.
At the lake, the white veil,
the delicate, steady patter of raindrops
on the lake’s surface and on my roof.
So this is how one lifts the veil!
This knowing, this many years of deeply relating,
these many stories:
the star magnolia magnificently drooping,
the hammock strung, the midnight swim,
the beaver dam,
the wild strawberries.
I know, I’m sure, I feel
I can lift the veil.

Annelinde Metzner
Grandmother Mountain
May 13, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flying is just learning by doing

Flying is just learning by doing.
Three ospreys (then more, then more!)
announce themselves with a raucous caw,
spread their wings wide,
and fly out over the mile-high expanse,
Thunder Hill.
Right over my head they come,
so I face into the sun,
and then the moon, a tiny crescent.
Raaaack!  they cry
to get my attention,
and I see, with the high mountain wind,
the slight shifts of tail feathers,
rudders in the wind,
the bend and curve as they rise higher and higher.
I remember, in those dreams,
you can fly higher and higher,
just go!  You have your wings,
the wind will take you, you can bend-
Flying is just learning by doing,
after the first great thrust into the air.

Annelinde Metzner
May 20, 2009

Friday, May 11, 2012

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 2011

St. Mary's
Star Magnolia
Grandmother in the distance

Friday, May 4, 2012

Yemaya Knocks Me Down

She will bowl you over!
Leave too many salt tears,
and the Voodoo women say
She will pull you in
to join your salt with Hers forever.
But you can cry to Yemaya!
Whate’er your sadness, large or small,
She pounds the shores ever again
in rhythms as old as Earth,
waxing, waning, high tide, low tide,
Sister of the moons, pulling us in as She pulls on our blood,
the other salt sea we carry within.
Whate’er your sadness, She pounds our shores
as though our misery were just another tortilla.
She is huge, and warm, and She smiles very big,
and without knowing, we reach for Her.
The salt sea rises and falls with Her,
She rocks us in Her huge arms, wherever we are,
around the world She rocks us to sleep,
high tide, low tide, dreaming of the moon,
minnows in Her pockets.

Annelinde Metzner
June 24, 1995

Yemaya altar in Cuba

Offerings to Yemaya