Thursday, January 30, 2014

Incredible Edible Todmorden

Garden in Todmorden, UK

“The industrial revolution came... and went.”
Thus begins the story of Todmorden, England, the little town that could.
Food grows free for the picking, everywhere,
at the police station, the fire house, the schools.
Yum, yum!  Fresh and free, festivals and street fairs,
recipes traded from around the world.
All grown here or right nearby.
“Everyone’s got to eat,” they say, and so they do!
“The time to act is now.”
Creating a world truly nourishing, for their children,
for us all.
Food production begins in the garden of every school,
vegetables, chickens and fruit trees.
“The joy of connecting people is fabulous.”
Training the young people to grow food and market it,
small sustainable jobs where despair and depression had been.
In every nook and cranny, an apple tree.
“Go ahead, take some, it’s free!”
Poultry raising, bee keeping, dairy.
“You just have to give a damn about tomorrow.”
Dear little Todmorden, voting for life with all your being,
keep those three plates spinning in the air!

Annelinde Metzner
November 4, 2012

The foundation of the philosophy of Incredible Edible Todmorden, England, is to keep these three plates in the air: community, education, and business.

Click here to keep up with the ever-growing doings in Todmorden, England, the little town that could.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Forgiveness of Snow

The Forgiveness of Snow   

Three days of deep snow.
A pillowy meringue has met each branch,
has danced with the meadow grass,
has floated into each niche, soft and hard,
until today in the final sun
all is brilliant, brilliant.
Walking, there’s an insulated hush
so in the cove, each argument, each compliment,
each complaint and daily praise
is gone now, as if never been.
A forgiveness in this, the starting anew.
Each white pillow says, 

“I’m forgetting the car crash,”
“I’m forgetting the toppling of trees,”
"I’m forgetting the soldier’s fire, 

and the theft of a village’s water.”
Each six-faceted flake encapsulates
something of those horrors,
something of the looming offensiveness of this life.
“I contain your great grief,” calls the brilliant snow,
“and don’t I make a pearl?”
Over there by my fence-post is some mother’s wailing grief.
Over there in the white-trimmed fir tree
is the diesel exhaust of a thousand semi trucks.
This morning in the quiet, quiet,
I know what forgiveness is.

Annelinde Metzner 

Phoenix Cove       
February 13, 2006

Friday, January 17, 2014

Saule, Saule

Saule, Saule, pretty Mother,
Shine on me with all your might!
Come and shine in through my window.
Warm me with your Winter light.

Saule, Saule, lovely Daughter,
Touch my bed and curtains white.
Wake me with your joyful singing.
Brighten my heart through the long, cold night.

Annelinde Metzner
January 17, 2014

      Saule (Sow-lay) is the Latvian/Lithuanian Goddess of the Sun.   I welcome Her warmth in January when we need Her so much!   Learn more about Saule.
     An ancient Goddess of the Sun!   Marija Gimbutas spoke about her:  Because Lithuanian is the oldest extant Indo-European language, it is thought that the Baltic mythologies hold clues to the original beliefs of the people.  But scholarly convention has it that the Indo-Europeans worshiped a sky father embodied in the sun.  Whence, then, this powerful sun mother? Marija Gimbutas, herself Lithuanian, believed Saule to be an Old European Goddess of that woman-honoring culture that preceded the Indo-European invasions.

19th-Century image of Saule

Watch some of the ancient traditions followed in the contemporary Latvian celebration of Ligo at the Summer Solstice.  Bonfires, hair wreaths, bunches of ferns and oak leaves, songs, dances and fun!  Songs for Saule, called Daina, are loving and intimate, as if sung to one's own Mom.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Our Jewell

Sally Jewell, 51st US Secretary of the Interior

Sally Jewell, our Jewel, 51st Secretary of the Interior,
climber of mountains, kayaker, CEO, mother of two,
(“if anyone can do it, Sally can”)
is giving us back our CCC.

Creating work for our young people, women and men,
planting trees, repairing trails, hacking away invasive plants,
good work for our unemployed, work with great meaning.
Connection with the land that feeds the soul.
Thank you, Sally Jewell!
Already securing a million bucks for the corps,
she has her eye fixed on twenty.
“I was scared of animals.  Now I’m an animal freak,”
says Keisha Alvarenga, feeding a raptor with a gloved hand.
Clear vision!  Let’s hear it for clear vision!
Sally Jewell, our Jewel, don’t stop, move clean and true
to this great goal, our Conservation Corps
for the twenty-first century, our youth back at work,
our veterans back at work,
a hundred thousand jobs!
for our Mother, our Earth, our home.

Annelinde Metzner
Black Mountain, North Carolina

Read this interview of Sally and Keisha from NPR, January 9, 2014.

Click for pictures of the 21st Century CCC in New Jersey.

Sally Jewell climbing Mt. Rainier with five women at sunrise

With the founders of

Learn about GirlTrek.  Take a walk.  Join a movement!

Sally Jewell in her kayak

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Eaters of Death

Bushy beard lichen, usnea strigosa

The Eaters of Death     

Scarcely a day’s rain 

and the white mushroom emerges jubilant
above the crackle of dry leaves,
opening wide to the light.
On the broken branch, the “dead” branch,
the lovely jade of Bushy Beard lichen, usnea strigosa,
grows riotous, joyful for this moment,
green flowers alien and graceful, exquisitely turned.
The dying tree hosts lichen of all colors,
shapes and textures rivaling Picasso or Matisse.
This is Death in the forest!  What ecstacy!
This is one end of life’s continuum,
one tip of the see-saw, wheeee! 
“We gobble up Death, it’s our specialty,
it’s where we love to live.
Give us Death and let us create,
regenerate, revive, renew!
We’re eaters of Death, alive once more,
and eager, eager for YOU!”

Annelinde Metzner
December 29, 2013
Meher Baba Center

Read about the 20,000 edible forms of the lichen usnea.