Friday, December 28, 2012

Coming Back Christmas

Christmas at Phoenix Cove

One must leave one’s mountains
one must descend early in the day
through ice and snow, fog banks,
ripped up trees and branches helter-skelter,
one must leave one’s silent warm cabin on Christmas
and descend through the trees
down the long grade in fog, way down.
One must leave one’s silent cabin full of fire, full of sadness,
silent, remembering,
on Christmas one must come to family,
come down through the trees while smoke curls up through the woods,
come down to help old Tante by her stove,
down to a place with children, with messes,
with pots and pans helter-skelter  in Tante’s kitchen,
where there will be singing and jigs playing,
“Ihr Kinderlein kommet” and the Crist-kindl,
chocolates in tree branches and sooty fingers,
the old stove that pops and moans,
family groaning around the table,
with resentments, accomplishments, aches and pains,
medicines and red wine and forgotten addresses,
all of us elbow-to-elbow, hunters and hairdressers,
poets and plumbers,
day-to-day survivors making do.
One must come in a hurry on Christmas,
come gladly to the loud rooms of one’s family,
full of judgments and kind advice,
full of wariness and unspoken joys.
One must remember to leave one’s quiet warm cabin full of sadness
and come down each Christmas, be pulled magnetic
to let one’s heart warm again unbidden,
with no plan, just you, and nothing else.

Annelinde Metzner
December 25, 2005
Phoenix Cove 

Star the Cat in the snow

Friday, December 21, 2012

Joyous Yule!

Praises to the return of the Sun!
Now on this Solstice day,
Suspended, awaiting the Earth's glad turn,
No farther will we stray.

Praises to the warm, dark Earth!
Our mother, our nourishing home.
Safe She keeps us, and well indeed
Wherever we may roam.

Praises to the singing of songs!
Beloved signs of life.
We gather together in joy and love,
And release all strain and strife.

Annelinde Metzner
December 21, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012


Ada plays her recycled violin

“We don’t throw away people either.”
A town built on a landfill,
the people of Cateura, Paraguay spend their lives each day
sorting out the last usable bits in the trash.
The water, the air, all are poisoned with waste and runoff.
Here, Szaran and Favio taught the children music.
On a cello made of an oil can,
Bebi, age 19, smilingly offers the ineffable beauty
of the Bach cello suites.
“When I hear the violin, I get butterflies,
says Ada, age 13.
“I don’t know how to explain it.”
Drying out old flour sacks,
and following the garbage trucks,
the people make a few pennies to survive.
“You can’t have a violin here.  
It would cost more than your house.”
And now, an orchestra of children,
the children of the landfill town,
an orchestra of instruments reclaimed from the trash.
“My life would be meaningless without music,”
says a girl, as delicate as the strains she picks out on the strings.
How this world is cruel, unkind, unjust,
and full of miracles!
“We don’t throw people away either.”

Annelinde Metzner
December 14, 2012

Watch some of the Cateura children in the Landfillharmonic here

Bebi plays the cello made from an oil can

A girl from Cateura plays her violin

Friday, December 7, 2012

Love Cannot Be Silenced

Sister Kathy Sherman, composer

The sisters were stunned, angry and confused.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious,
a voice for most of the nuns,
had spoken its beliefs-  health care for all,
concern for the poor in their care.
The Vatican fathers condemned the nuns
for their “radical feminist themes.”
For focusing too much on poverty!
On economic injustice!
Who is the Christian here, who practices the Way?
Whose feet are out on the streets,
side by side with the poor?
Two days after the condemnation,
Sister Sherman felt a song coming,
on the wings of the spirit dove.
“Love Cannot Be Silenced,”
she heard, and wrote it down.
“It never has, it never will.”
She sang for her sisters at supper,
and they felt the spirit dove too.
The people emerged on the streets of Iowa and Illinois,
everywhere the sisters had reached their hands in love.
Thanking them, defending them, the hands and feet of Christ:
Rise up, sisters, rise up!
“God Bless the Sisters,”
Holy fire in their eyes!

Annelinde Metzner

December 7, 2012

Click here to listen to Sister Sherman's song, "Love Cannot Be Silenced," and to see protests from all over the US.

Read more about Sister Sherman and the LCWR here.