Friday, February 21, 2014

Grossmutter Comes Flying

Metzner family, circa 1921: Elsie, Bruno, Alfred, Sophie, Rudolf, Martha (left to right)

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
October 28, 2009

Today I'm once more honoring my Tante Elsie, pictured above with my father Rudolf, uncle Alfred, aunt Martha and my grandparents, Sophie and Bruno, shortly before their arrival in America.  This weekend Elsie is celebrating their arrival date, February 22, 1923, when the family arrived in New York City, reuniting with father Bruno and sister Martha who had come earlier to pave the way. 

My maternal grandmother, Louise Soldano (Nana), who appears in the second half of the poem!

Elsie today in her winter hat, at one hundred years old.

Please leave a comment here below!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Canada Geese Return

Even though the world is harsh,
violence on the rise,
the rich hoarding, the poor suffering,
the children forgotten or worse,
the villages dormant,
the neighbors unconnected by smile or kindness,
still, the Canada geese land on the lake,
bending their long necks down close to the Earth,
their beautiful necks black as a moonless night.
Still, the Canada geese come to our lake,
just a stop on their way,
the whole brilliant Earth in their travel path,
a vision deep within their bones that carries them here,
a shared vision requiring nothing,
deeply at one with each other in all their bones.
“Land here, eat all you can,
be ready for the next great snow and cold.
Traveling, traveling, on and on,
‘til we can nest once more.”
Though the world is unraveling,
the majestic geese have landed,
with the elegant curve of their black necks
bending to our Earth, here by the side of our lake,
here, here, here.

Annelinde Metzner
Lake Tomahawk

February 12, 2014

Read about Canada Geese at National Geographic and see the goslings!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Purify me

Let me be humble in Your presence,
Your mysteries, my precious Goddess.
Let me be humble.
In Your pristine silence, in Your crystalline sacred energy,
let me bow my head and gather stillness,
gather stillness into my heart,
so that oneness, connection is all I feel.
Let me find You everywhere!
Let me walk beside Your golden manifestations,
as if beside a deep pure lake,
surrounded by silent mountains.
O my Mother, take my breath away!
Purify me now, make me ready, open me.
Leave me expectant, my heart on fire,
knowing You and Your divine energy
lay just around every turn.
Lead me to you, oh my beloved Mother,
lead me beside Your still waters.
Let me await, pure enough to see,
to feel You everywhere
as You lie golden before me.

Annelinde Metzner
Folly Beach
June 10, 2013