Sunday, September 30, 2012

Full Moon Over Rye, New York

Boom!  at four AM,
     truck tires slam over the ribs of the ramp
     to the interstate,
     crashing, crashing in their endless push
     to get somewhere.
Bars on the windows of my hotel room,
     as if some thief, agile as a spider,
     would climb up the walls
     to the third floor balcony.
Even in the dark of night,
     all is movement, life at full tilt
     in Rye, New York.
And yet, this night,
     as I creep out in the late-September cold,
     the Moon, white as a billiard ball,
     shines bright, disappearing through a curtain of clouds.
"My Moon is here!" cries the four-year-old.
     And She is!
As if this were some mountain hollow,
     the stars peep through, 'way above the glare of lights.
"You're home," says the Moon,
     pulling at me still, in Rye, New York.

Annelinde Metzner
Rye, New York
September 30, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In September

In September the forest, green as ever,
is like a lover crooking her finger one last time.
She sways, she is still soft and green,
her Earth is still warm...
And somewhere unseen, on the other side,      

is the gray gargoyle Winter, the stone gollum, with a funny grin,
skipping rocks on the water, biding her time.

She comes up to me in the morning and
brushes a bony finger against my chin,
saying “feel this- remember me?”
The hairs stand up on my chin, and
I gasp at her unstoppable impertinence.
I shake her off and turn away, pretending she’s not there.
Up on the hillside, the maples and birch
sway, supple, green as ever,
singing their sweet seductive siren song of Summer.
Behind a slab of granite, Winter
points her bony stone finger
and laughs.

Annelinde Metzner

September 6, 2009


Friday, September 14, 2012

Grossmutter Comes Flying

Nana around 1923

A wind that could tear off shingles
whips over the ridge all night,
leaving a sky clean and blue as an Alpine lake.
The last few leaves cling low to the maple trees,
the newly bare tree tops scraping the sky.
The sound of an ax chopping wood comes up the hollow.
My uncle’s spirit is chopping wood, a chore that’s never done.
The ancient and everyday repetitions of labor-
splitting firewood, canning fruit, patching clothes, knitting hats-
the ancestors nudge us, saying “listen to the wind!”,
reminding us to keep moving, prepare for winter.
No tender admonitions here!

Grossmutter comes flying over the trees in a vision,
braving vast expanses of the sea,
four children, one just a baby, wrapped in her skirts,
my father pushing out from her embrace
to gaze beyond the ship’s deck to the New World.
“Fly!”, she says to me. “What holds you back?
None of us know what that first step will bring.
It is your Grossmutter in the spirit world
and I tell you-
the world changes shape with every step you take.
Just go!”

A russet maple leaf
lets go, and spins out of sight.
Nana appears.
She has thrown off her rose-colored apron and put down her wooden spoon.
She is twenty-five, pin curled and all brand new, eyes opened wide.
“Granddaughter, yes, go!  With each step, the world rearranges itself before you,
a Rubik’s Cube, a house of mirrors.
Take that step!  As we live and breathe,
other souls live and breathe too,
and arrange their lives to respond to you.
Step into the dance! The music you call,
and the next, and the next under your gaze will fall.”

At this she spit-polishes her new red shoes,
steps on board the trolley car,
smiles wide at the driver,
and spins off into the skies.

Annelinde Metzner
Wildacres Retreat
October 28, 2009 

Listen to Annelinde reading "Grossmutter Comes Flying" during our concert, "Lady of Ten Thousand Names" on August 18. 2012.  (CDs and DVDs of the concert are at the BUY tab.)


Metzner family shortly after emigration to America

Friday, September 7, 2012

Coming Out from Under

Barack Obama at 2012 Democratic National Convention

for Barack and Michelle Obama

The people are coming out from under the pall of abuse.
Bad leaders, the worst, have us dizzy, tired,
unused to independent thought.
When our leaders are bad, we say “Is it me?
Am I dull and stupid, intolerant and unaware?”
The people have watched their tender firstborns
sent to war,  year after year,
to satisfy the unquenchable thirst for blood
of one bent solely on blind revenge.
We were not permitted to watch our sons and daughters
return home dead.
Maimed or incoherent, we housed them as best we could,
in the face of pure denial all around,
as their memories of senseless cruelty abroad
invaded their dreams.
The people, American people,
had to watch as their country
engaged in torture behind closed doors,
in a rule of no-law, where, like beaten children,
we all viscerally feared for ourselves.
The people have watched as loopholes emerged
in affairs of money,
banks developed the “liars’ loan”,
where you and I will lose our houses,
our jobs and all we have
just to let the government-sanctioned fat cats
keep their wealth and all their entitlements.
Like children who have seen all this,
like beaten women with nowhere to go,
we stumble now, still, unaware of the light,
as if light itself were too harsh to bear,
while deep, deep within, our souls know it’s time to sing.

Annelinde Metzner     
April 14, 2009

Michelle Obama at the DNC 2012

The First Family

Thank You's at the 2012 DNC

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mass Hypnosis

Hurricane Isaac storm surge 2012

“They had dead bodies in the water, and dogs swimming by. 
 The water was up to my chin”.    New Orleans, August 2005

And here we are, American people,
dreaming ourselves along in a media-induced haze
where all of us are wealthy, dress snappily, style our hair.
Doesn’t all America speak like a Valley girl, like, like, like?

“They was women and children, little bitty babies on that bridge.  
 I went for water and it took me seven hours.   
When I got back my wife and five kids was gone.”

Do you know people so poor they never look you in the eye,
as if you were some apparition, too wealthy, to glib to be seen?
Does it take a giant storm, a spinning whirlwind of natural fury
to tear off the facades, to leave exposed our men and women,
our everyday people in their great numbers
who would have gone on voiceless, waiting, waiting,
until you and I could, at last, see ourselves there?

Annelinde Metzner
Hurricane Katrina
September 12, 2005

Hurricane Isaac flood 2012

Little girl at Red Cross shelter, 2012

Man overwhelmed, Hurrican Isaac, 2012