Friday, October 31, 2014

Grandmother in October

Grandmother and Her clouds

I come to see Her, my Grandmother Mountain,
a pilgrim at Her feet, making homage throughout the year.
Today, in Her Autumn dress, 

maples already red-orange-yellow,
little touches of color everywhere 

among the dark firs and pines,
I come to see Her, and I breathe deep.
Still, still now, She is the pure ground, as calm as the eons,
even now as greed and domination rage in the world of men.
She lifts me. I’m Her toy.
She is so delighted to see me.
I giggle to be with Her, I’m a much-loved child.
Motorcycles roar by, boys holler at their games.
I gaze at my Grandmother, and She smiles,
loving us through the millennia,
sighing and inviting, a twinkle in Her eye.

Annelinde Metzner

October 5, 2014

Grandmother in October

Autumn from my back porch

Autumn from my front porch

Friday, October 17, 2014

Malala's Birthday Speech

Malala Yousafzai at the UN Youth Assembly

Malala’s Birthday Speech

“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 has enraptured the world.

“Weakness, fear and hopelessness died.
Strength, fervor and courage were born.”

The room breaks out in emotion-filled applause.
Imbued with ahimsa, forgiveness and non-violence,
her strength uplifts us all.

Annelinde Metzner

July 18, 2013

Friday, October 10, 2014

Three girls

Hawkscry clouds

In the back field above the apple orchard,
fern-scented, the pasture low-cut,
ancient boulders humming distantly at the edges,
we three girls, sixteen, giggled on our backs,
under the cloud-strewn summer sky.
They left us alone.  Who cared?
That blessed juncture when children are free,
past the need for guardians, but still not grown,
they could care less where we were, what we thought,
high on this mountaintop in early June.
We were carving ourselves a place, three girls.
The world held no leads,
“woman” meant not too much,
not a wide space, anyway,
and choices seemed so irrevocable,
not too far into our future.
But they left us alone, blessedly,
with the bulbous clouds changing shape each minute,
never remaining long with, say, an apron and a skillet,
but becoming, say, a witches broom, a magic mirror,
a scarlet dragon, or nets of silver and gold...
On a blanket in the high field,
we formulated no words,
but hourly worshipped the Queen of Change,
our future, and Hers, and maybe all women’s:
metamorphosing, shape-shifting, adjusting, changing,
altering ever so slightly and poof! a new vision,
carrying this blessing like a textbook in the sky,
the soft fern-scented lessons of nature’s giving.

Annelinde Metzner
July 16, 1995
Catskill farm

I'm posting this in honor of myself as a girl, for my Sisters of that long-ago time, and for all the world's precious young women in honor of October 11th, the "Day of the Girl."

Balsam clouds

Grandmother clouds

Grandmother clouds

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Autumn Samba

The bite of fresh compost,
sharp leaf mold in the wind.
Goodbye to the galax,
farewell to the creeper,
“Adios” to the chokecherry vines.
It’s the majestic farewell,
the queen’s farewell.
It’s delicious, it’s numinous, it’s forever!
This is the goodbye of no tears but the rain’s.
Goodbye as relaxed as Guernseys in the alfalfa,
as relaxed as three women in a hot tub.
It’s goodbye, never more be seen,
and it smells like Paris perfume.
It lifts the feet. It’s Fred Astaire.
It’s a lilting “adieux.” It’s bagpipes.
It’s all the cousins waving.
Orange, red, a fandango,
it’s forever, it’s the end,
and if you twirl and spin your way down,
you’ve got the idea.

Annelinde Metzner         September 2001

Listen to Annelinde reading "Autumn Samba:" 

The poem "Autumn Samba" appeared in the Autumn 2011 issue of Goddess Pages edited by Geraldine Charles. 

Autumn leaves at our feet