Saturday, December 21, 2013

Solstice Water

Solstice Water   
“Forever, forever,” her message,
clearwater spring on Winter’s first day.
Not much light on December twenty-first.
Just the cold, cold quiet of Earth herself,
the illusion of faraway distant Sun,
a long, slow creep back to warmth.
Like a cave, a burrow, is the Winter solstice.
The water almost a paradox,
the bright gurgle like warm brown toes in summer.
This water bears ice,
a layered armor for crawfish and trout,
a dare for the shoes of mittened children.
But the singing call of the spring is not summer’s giggle,
as though only ice makes clear her deeper meaning.
“Forever, forever,” gives she her power,
her presence, her patience, her sustenance, her steadfastness,
right next to cold death, like a mittened hand,
ready for us all.

Annelinde Metzner

December 24, 2001

Friday, December 13, 2013

Coming Back Christmas

Coming Back Christmas                                       

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

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.


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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Alone on the Earth at Hawkscry

Bird bath at Hawkscry

Alone on the Earth at Hawkscry 

Alone on the Earth at Hawkscry, all quiet,
     a fullness of beauty, of light.
In sun and shadow on the mountain peaks,
     a circle of love.
Lying here long upon our Mother’s warm skin,
     one feels a sound, deeper than any sound,
     energy reverberating from within Her Heart.
It is late summer,
     when the Earth speaks through singing.
Do you hear Her song?
A soft warm cradle of Her singing,
     this hum of the Great Mother
     we can only feel.
In Her soft warm cradle, in the circle of Her arms,
     She sings for all of us,
     the finned, the furry, the feathered.
She sings, too, for the Stone People, Her most ancient ones,
     the peaks and valleys and rivers where Her waters run,
     Her oceans and Her air.
Can you hear Her song, so huge, so wild,
     so deep within, yet immanent in all things?
That song is for us, for you and me,
     here where we lay close to Her on the Earth,
     and where e’er we walk,
     each step springing from Her deepest heart.

Annelinde Metzner

August 25, 2012

On Saturday, November 16th, I will read this poem at "Tell a Woman," where I will perform many of my poems along with my guest, poet Susa Silvermarie, and Sahara Peace Choir, who will sing songs from my compositions for the Goddess, "Lady of Ten Thousand Names."

      We are celebrating the launch of We'Moon Datebook 2014, in which Susa and I have poems.
  500 Montreat Road, Black Mountain, 7 PM- admission $10.

    Many thanks to Jane and Will Stanhope who gave me encouragement to write at their beautiful retreat, Hawkscry.

Writer's cabin at Hawkscry

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Her Winter face

Her Winter face

She wears Her Winter face.
Cold, cold, cold and clear,
layer upon layer of skeletal trees
lead us up to Her summit.
This is a Bone Forest now,
the land of the Dead.
The air an oceanic indigo blue,
deep beyond knowing.
It is quiet, all quiet,
the people home by their quiet hearths.
She is powerful now, today,
showing Her Winter face.
The clear lapis sky and the unstirring air
offer no resistance to Her divine emittances.
She is in Her element, the Earth,
Her arms extended above Her,
giving, giving us of Her power.
My Grandmother, undisturbed,
goes about Her business, Her divine charge,
replenishing the Earth with Her energy.
Still, She smiles at me.  “Welcome, daughter,
dancing one, my beloved, poet and friend.
Take my warm love into your heart.”
I sit beside my Grandmother, basking in the sun,
grounded in Her giving,
at one with all my Earth.

Annelinde Metzner
November 9, 2012

Thursday, October 31, 2013

For Layne

For Layne     

Taka, taka Doom, taka Doom!
The woman of ancient times throws her head back,
transported by her drum.
Doom taka Doom!
“Rhythm shapes matter,” the scientists say.
Priestesses already knew!
Cybele holds her drum and smiles.
Play, Layne, Play!
Create the world anew each day!
The drummer women of old
never relinquished their power
to the conquering barbaric hoards,
power amassed as millennia of music.
Play on, Layne, play on!
Doom taka Doom, taka Doom!
Watch us now, and leave us, Layne,
with this one great legacy,
the ritual rhythm of the drum.
As the Goddesses of old revive and renew,
so do you, so do you!

Annelinde Metzner

October 31, 2013

Layne Redmond (1952 to 2013) was a great teacher of the frame drum, and author of “When the Drummers Were Women, A Spiritual History of Rhythm.”   She passed through the veil this week in Asheville, North Carolina.

Layne Redmond with her tambourine

Layne with frame drum

Friday, October 25, 2013

The End of the Year

The End of the Year                                         

It is coming on evening in late October.
Quickly, quickly the sky darkens, the sun sets.
A fresh layer of pine straw pungently awakens the senses.
The unweaving, the ending, the beautiful death.
October gives us with her beauty
     a soft, kind letting-go, a cradling.
Evening, birds grow softer and softer,
     insects shortening their calls for one final song.
I too am held in Her arms, waiting;
allowing, releasing, loving life ever more acutely
     at this, the end of the year.

Annelinde Metzner
October 21, 2012

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Tell a Woman

Tell a woman

Tell a woman that, deep inside,
deep in her heart, where no one can see,
she holds the flame that lights the world.
Tell a woman that no one can ever extinguish that flame.
Not anyone, be he bigger than her, stronger than her, faster than her,
angrier than her, drunker than her, more convinced he is right.
This flame is our secret, all women’s. We are born with it.
With this flame, within our hearts, we work two jobs while raising three kids.
And we give them piano lessons.
With this flame, we cross oceans
so our children can grow up strong without stigma.
With this flame, we nurse our elders, and our young ones too,
often at the same time, keeping an eye on bill payments,
scrounging for food and rent.
Tell a woman she has a huge bright flame ready to flare up in her heart,
and she’s not alone. We all have one,
we who walk tall, and we who are under the thumb,
we who speak here now, and we who have been silenced,
we all share this flame, it’s an eternal flame,
it’s hot, and it’s brilliant, and it never goes away.
Tell a woman, this is our birthright, this is who we are,
we, the women, the people of the womb,
who carry the world, who yearn for love and honor,
who, somewhere deep inside, will never be denied, will never give in.
Tell a woman, this is who we are, all of us aflame, all of us women,
all of us carrying that precious fire
that guides our days, that reminds us of what this life really means,
that shows us its light and tells us how to move,
how to be, how to turn, how to love each day.
Tell a woman, she has a pure flame deep in her heart
that can never be extinguished, that cannot be pushed under,
that can never be broken, that does not bleed away,
that cannot be raped or beaten down,
that can only rise higher, that flares up within us,
and with each step brightens, and lights our way,
brighter and brighter, as we see our flames
more clearly, more loudly, more assuredly, more proudly,
all of us gazing at that brand new day,
not much longer now, just on the horizon,
when we look at a woman and know,
with her light, she leads the way.

Annelinde Metzner
February 14, 2013

On November 16, 2013, I will be giving a reading of my poetry along with my partner, the fabulous poet Susa Silvermarie, at the UUCSV in Black Mountain, NC at 7 PM.  The occasion is the launch of the datebook We'Moon 2014, in which we both have poems.   The title of the evening is "Tell a Woman" after the poem above which I wrote for One Billion Rising Asheville on February 14, 2013.  The evening will also feature a number of my Goddess songs from my songbook, "Lady of Ten Thousand Names," performed by Sahara Peace Choir.

One Billion Rising in India

One Billion Rising in Indonesia

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Prize for Malala

Malala Yousafzai from her book, "I Am Malala"

A Prize for Malala                                    

“In the name of God, the most beneficent, the most merciful...”

          Malala Yousafzai in her birthday address to the UN Youth Assembly, July 9, 2013

A pink lacy shawl frames her dark hair and determined face.   She is sixteen!

Confident and convivial, she commands the podium in front of the world’s leaders.

Sixteen!   Malala has survived a gunshot at close range,

on her schoolbus in Pakistan,

a target of the Taliban for speaking her strong mind.

She has survived!

“Respected elders, and my dear brothers and sisters,  Salaam Aleichem.”

She fingers her delicate shawl, bequeathed from Benazir Bhutto,

one woman to another, a gift of strength from across time and beyond the veil.

“This time, we women will do it for ourselves.

Thank you to God, for whom we are all equal!

I speak so that those without voice can be heard.”

Her mother wipes away tears.

Men in suits stare, making space in their consciousness for Malala,

for this empowered young woman who speaks truth and fears no one.

“I want education for your children as well.”

        Malala’s message to the Taliban who shot her (interview with Jon Stewart)

Be ready, you big mean old world.

Malala is sixteen, and she is ready for you.

The prize goes to Malala for clarity, for courage,

for shimmering through the flood of lies

with the clear power of truth.

Annelinde Metzner

Listen to and watch the entire interview with Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, given on October 10, 2013.  

Read more about Malala and the Malala Fund for education.

Candles for Malala in Pakistan

Pakistani girl with photo of Malala

Friday, October 4, 2013

The red braids

The red braids     

“I got mad and cut them off!” says my Tante,
          of her long, red braids, when she was twelve.
“I wanted a bob.”
I beg them of her,
          the two wrapped in paper in a drawer.
I catch my breath as she unfolds them,
          for the girl is there, in the hair.
A deep earthy russet splashed with gold.
Impetuous, full of laughter, scary with power,
          she laughs at me from across the decades.
Had her sister braided them that day?  They are uneven,
          one tight and small, the other open and loose,
          done on a day, 1924, when there was too much to do,
          too big a world
          to bother with these golden treasures
          that hung carelessly forgotten down her back, 

          color of amber,
          as though her brilliance, her thought shone
          through their luster.
“I always feel sixteen,” says my Tante,
and she is there then, and here today.

Annelinde Metzner

August 5, 2004

      I have written much about my aunt Elsie, who with great wisdom and foresight, introduced me to poetry at a very young age.  And here she is today, having turned one hundred years old on September 25, 2013!  Her memory is vivid and she is still totally involved in life.
     Born in Germany and immigrating to the US in 1923, she to this day has a large repertoire of poems and songs in English and German which she recites from memory.
     Thank you for all you have given us, dear Tante Elsie!

Elsie at her 100th Birthday

Listen to Annelinde reading "The red braids" from my CD and DVD, "The Abundance of Mary," available by clicking at the top of this page on the "BUY" tab.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Creek cairns


I come to the woods today
to thank Her for Her changes,
for Her chlorophyll, green, green, green,
still with us even now that Summer is past.
I look up into the treetops, and still!
the sun comes through, green, green,
She not willing to let go yet of summer’s bounty.

A tree fallen recently in the bubbling creek
creates a wondrous cavity where the creek speaks,
deep, dark bass notes, grounding me
within the rush of white water.
I move along, and notice now,
the creek has arisen so high,
new roots are exposed, my path more narrow,
the water carrying away old silt and mud
that had endured there long and long.

I glance up then, and “Oh!”
escapes my mouth, beyond my will,
for there upon the ancient boulder,
the creek singing all around,
some being has come to build cairns. Sixteen!
The newness! The heart-singing surprise!
I welcome the change- Change, come!
I’m ready.

Annelinde Metzner
Elizabeth’s Path
September 26, 2013

Cairns have been built everywhere in the world as markers for pilgrims, or to say, "be aware!"  Read more here.

Experience some of the artistry of nature works by Andy Goldsworthy of Scotland.


Friday, September 20, 2013

This Most Huge Yes

Elsie in her hat

This Most Huge Yes

I must have been four years old, out for an armload of wildflowers
-daisies, mallow flowers, phlox.
Elsie and I sat on a rock  to rest in the shade of the gnarled apple tree.
“Oh World, I cannot hold thee close enough!” cried Elsie, my Tante,
and on and on, poems by memory,
astounding my young ears with the bigness, the width of life beyond my ken.
Dickenson, Heine, Goethe, Millay,
-all fair game to Elsie’s keen mind and deep delight.
What is the world? She answered for me,
just a hint of what was to come, what could be, beyond the now.
I gazed at her above me,
and walked home with her, my arms full of flowers,
my little hand in hers.
And now, many years have passed.
My Tante is ninety-seven, but still, poems sprout from her lips,
and she, with her searching mind, evokes them from me as well.
“Prithee, let no bird call!”
We happen into a field, wild with flowers,
daisies, phlox, a wild quilt of color.
Thrice we return, picking armloads of wildflowers,
holding, holding, ever loving this life, unwilling to let go.
This divine charge we accepted so long ago
just to love this, just to live this,
eyes wide as daisy petals, enveloped in earthly scents,
knee-deep in colors,
just this most huge Yes.

Annelinde Metzner

May 2011

I have been so blessed to be influenced by my aunt, Elsie Horton, for most of my life.   She first introduced me to poetry while on our walks in nature, when I was very young.  On September 25, 2013, Tante Elsie will celebrate her one hundredth birthday.   She is still having a powerful influence on all those who know her.

     The poem, "This Most Huge Yes," is the title of my latest chapbook of 25 poems, which can be purchased with Paypal by clicking the "Buy" tab at the top of this page.

Elsie reciting poetry by my parent's grave, at age 99.  Photo by Susa Silvermarie.

Elsie cooking at home

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Canada Geese  
I ride through my little town, early,
the new-morn sun peeping at me between the houses,
the breathless joy of a new day.
A new day!    And what’s this?
A car slows and stops on the hill up ahead.
Canada Geese!
They have returned from their wild wanderings
to our little lake, right here,
on their way far, far to the south.
The Canada Geese, proud, distinguished,
grey, white and black in their formal attire,
move slowly across the street.
ever dignified, never rushed,
on their own time
going ‘round the world.
We wait, astounded, 

on this new day,
in my little town, 

as the flock of Canada Geese,
the beauty of this world, 

quacking and wobbling,
crosses our path.
The other driver and I pass each other slowly,
bowing, smiling inwardly,
giving thanks.

Annelinde Metzner
Black Mountain
September 9, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Fukushima nuclear plant burning after tsunami and earthquake in 2011


I clutch at my eyes when I think of you, nuke.
I remember your soft hum and icy aura
and I always think “We’ve gone too far....”

I cannot grasp it.
How can it be
that you could one day melt at your core
and somehow could melt down the core of me
and my baby one day could arrive
with no legs or no eyes....

Will there be schoolchildren one day,
in a thousand years, maybe?
They will visit our monument.
“Here we guard the plutonium.”

Before now, they left to us
Stonehenge and harpsichords,
aqueducts, bibles,
but we are leaving an unspeakable poison,
almost eternal,
a ceaseless worry visited on all yet-to-be-born.

I clutch at my eyes when I think of you, nuke.
My heart twists in pain.
Shamefully, inwardly, I beg,
“oh my sweet Earth,
my Mother,
I’m sorry,
so sorry.”

Annelinde Metzner

December 1980

Nomura family, near Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. (Eric Rechsteiner)

READ MORE about the current conditions in Japan after the Fukushima meltdown.

It is almost two years since the colossal earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan that killed 20,000 people and caused the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. The Nomuras' home city of Koriyama, an inland commercial hub with 337,000 people and shimmering views of nearby mountains, was spared the tsunami's monstrous waves. But it could not escape the clouds of radioactive particles that spread widely, following multiple explosions at the Daiichi plant. The total amount of radiation released into the air was (depending on who funded the estimate) between 18 and 40% of the quantity released during Chernobyl in 1986 – and over an area of Japan with a population density 10 times greater. In the aftermath, radiation levels in Koriyama spiked at 30 to 40 times higher than legal limits, contaminating the city with caesium and other long-life radionuclides for decades to come.                           

                                  Guardian/Observer, February 23, 2013