Friday, September 26, 2014

Sacred Swim

Lula swims the French Broad

Here on the banks of our own river,
here in the divine Blue Ridge,  the French Broad,
here where we gathered to worship Her, Oshun,
Mother of the River,
here in our town, and here too
in Nigeria, Osogbo, sacred to Her,
we gathered by the river, to sing, to drum,
to dance our love for Her, for each other,
for the beauty of the day, for the golden honey,
for the rippling waters of our river, and Hers,
we came to be Hers, to live our lives with Her,
at our own river, the French Broad, and for all the rivers,
for the Oshun river, for the Mekong,
for the Mississippi and the Yangtze,
we came to sing, to pray, to call out to Oshun,
and yes!  to swim,  lover of the river,
immersing in Her, feeling Her currents,
as so many of us watched and swam along,
together as one, one with the swimmer,
and Oshun, Her ripples, Her currents,
Her smooth stones, Her coolness and warmth,
one with the birds and the leaves falling,
the offerings we cast upon the water,
one with she who swam all the way,
all the way and back again,
with us, with all of us, loving Her,
loving our Lady, swimming with Her,
swimming for the love of Her.

Annelinde Metzner
Blessings on the River
August 26, 2011

Above is a photo of Lula Moon, who was inspired to swim across our French Broad River, during our celebration of the sacred day of Oshun, Ifa (Nigerian) Goddess of the River.

      Oshun is a Yoruba orisha who reigns over love, intimacy, beauty, wealth and diplomacy.
For the second year, inspired by priestess Yeye Siju Osunyemi, along with the Wild Bodema Drummers and the Mother Grove Temple of the Goddess, my choir, Sahara Peace Choir, has helped celebrate Oshun and all rivers, and supported the Oshun Grove, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Osogbo, Nigeria, where the people celebrate Oshun on the same day.  

For more information on the Ifa religion, follow this link to "Soul Seeds" by Rev. Anthony David, a UU minister in Atlanta, Georgia:  Soul Seeds

Yeye Osunyemi and others in prayer by the river

By the River                       

I returned to the riverside park,
the day quiet,  a few dry leaves blowing,
the river glassy, more like a lake really.
The lovely park which is all river, all Her,
Her power and majesty manifest,
just some grass and a sidewalk
plus Her, the River, magnificent.
There in the quiet by the tree of seven stems,
not a shred remained, but the memory of all this,
Oshun holding us gladly, still gazing and singing on the shore.
The voices chiming forth Her name,
the drummers and the drums,
the priestess bowing right to the ground,
the dancers, the smiling families,
the babies held high,
the worshippers offering their golden honey
for Her, for Her they moved to the river’s shore,
for Her they poured out their golden love,
their needs, their pain.
For Her someone doffed her clothes
and swam to the other side!
We gathered there by the river,
in the name of love and no more war.
We called out loud to Oshun,
for joy, for water, for our lives,
and She sings there still, calling back to us,
remembering our names.

Annelinde Metzner
Blessings on the River, Woodfin Riverside Park
September 15, 2010 


Friday, September 19, 2014

What She Is

We live in small spaces, working, eating, sleeping.
Do we know what She is, really?
How, in Arizona, She explodes up from the ground
into mile-high red rock, the Cathedral, the Hands,
or She implodes far down into Her own belly,
displaying Her inner self without secrets,
silent, awesome, vast, powerful, infinite?
Or how She riles Her cold Pacific, 
daily washing the Western shore,
turquoise and lapis, 
boulders thrown like pebbles hither and yon,
sea weed and sea lions rejoicing,
whales diving and blowing air as they pass year by year?
North, how She sets forth giant trees,
so wide and tall that each is a world,
each a life for a thousand species, 
Her silence immense and eternal?
And how Her blood, Water, 
crashes over rocks through Colorado,
worshiped by the Hopi, drop by drop,
measured enough to grow corn on the dry mesa
or wild enough to scrub the arroyos clean again?
Do we see how wide She is, how vastly new?
Do we gain that joy She intended for us,
privileged as we are to be Her guests?

Annelinde Metzner
Cross-country road trip
August, 2003 

Listen to Nels Arnold reading "What She Is" at a performance of "In the Mother Grove" in 2009:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The sun comes slowly

It’s morning in the forest,
the sun coming in slowly, ray by ray,
bright yellow, burning through mist over the treetops.
I bathe in the new rays, lit up yellow,
each leaf and blade slowly warming, warming.
As Saule’s generous light sinks deeper,
deeper into my bones,
I want to move, write this poem, start my day.
How simple are the needs of this world!
Stoneflies pop up from the ground,
a bumble bee floats to the next blossom.
I float too, in this rich, fresh air,
wanting to breathe deep, to get it all,
to be saturated with this sweet coolness,
cleansing my being.
How simple, how easy are the needs of this world!
The rays of the sun, the generous Saule,
the ever-rushing freshwater creek.
Saule gives of Her abundant light.
I move my hands to this page.
This is all we need, every one.

Annelinde Metzner
Rattler Ford

August 15, 2014