Friday, February 27, 2015

Red Oleander


A salamander pale green as the new leaves of May
opens its orange lung-sac, brilliant, to the sun.
Three times at every pause!
In the breeze, red Oleander bends on her long stem, celebrating.
I am drawn down a quiet lane by the scent of jasmine
beguiling my heart, a path toward joy.
The dear Earth wafts up into me,
warm as fresh-baked bread,
filling my womb with Her love.
With my feet in the sand,
I pull Her love up into me,  to power my days.
Mother holds me tenderly, the mourning dove
in her palmetto-basket nest, giving, giving,
we Her babies, Her vast dream,
we Her future and Her now.
The black fin of a dolphin arises from the sea, 

ancient as days,
loving Her into the fathomless tomorrow.

Annelinde Metzner
Folly Beach, South Carolina

June 1, 2010


Shrimp bush

Friday, February 20, 2015

Moon Child Moon

On the night of the Moon Child Moon,
a warm February light paints each grateful tree
and settles on the forest floor.
Gazing into the white-glazed night forest,
I must not breathe.
I pause to wait for the silvery Moon Child Moon
to paint me, too,  with loving light.
I’ve nowhere to go.
I wear winter’s soft gown.
I will stop and root into the ground, 
silent as the next long tree,
waiting, wondering, patient.

Annelinde Metzner
February 4, 1996

Friday, February 6, 2015

Blindsiding into Baghdad

Fearful woman of Ukraine-  Getty images

I putter along the highway, in my own world,
and squeak! an eighteen-year-old hotshot with his dad’s Camaro
whips in front of me with an inch to spare.
I dare to pull into the left lane and in an instant
an SUV wide as a freighter, higher than my rooftop,
plants itself at my rear bumper
as though I had trespassed on its private turf.
It’s as if they didn’t know the car’s sides
are solid as Origami puffballs,
mostly plastic, a few thin supports,
just enough frame to get the car off the lot.
You’ve got your wheels, and off you go,
weaving and straining for speed,
thinking of Dale and some boss who cursed you,
never the masses of twisted metal,
the strewn and extruded body parts
you’ve seen lying by the side of the road.

High school recruiters know this.
The tender-faced boys of seventeen, barely shaving yet,
Moms still patting their shrugging shoulders
as they leave home with a bag lunch,
seventeen but already bored,
bored to tears with life as it is, the same girls, the same books,
the same horizon as flat as the future,
the same parents, the same nothing-to-do, forever and forever.
The almost-little boys at the recruiting table,
soft inside as Easter chocolate,
eye the M-16 rifles and the Hum-Vees, seeing the future there,
anywhere but here,
forgetting what they’ve heard of ambushes, booby traps,
amputees waiting hours for treatment,
mustard gas, nerve gas, depleted uranium.
You careen down the highway in your gossamer Camaro
and suddenly the day comes, you’re off the plane,
heat smacks you in the face, dust rolls in,
and a weapon’s on your shoulder, your little piece of power.
Boredom and terror, boredom and terror.
One hundred a week wounded in action,
home again with no health coverage, or no home at all.
You sit for hours playing cards
with guys from some other godforsaken town like yours,
loud rock and hip-hop to remind you of who you were.
Long after the uranium exposure, babies are born
anophthalmic, no eyes at all.
Napalm, another WMD, melts human skin in Fallujah.
But everybody run!  You’re out on the streets,
kicking down doors with one hard boot.
You aim past women with babes in arms,
grandmas and grandpas cowering in corners,
and back outside through terror-lined streets.
Your buddies holler you back, and it’s quiet, a retreat. 

Music plays, supper comes.
You have no idea where you are.
This is not Kansas and your best buddy is gone.
Careening through Baghdad, they fold like Jettas.
No one asked; never a frame for this.
You were heading for what?   

The screaming women?  The blood?  
The mangled babes? The spitting rage?  
The broken and endless days?
The tender flesh, once so shiny, fresh as dew,
blindsides into Baghdad, wishing you knew.

Annelinde Metzner

March 9, 2005

Hearing about the consideration of sending arms to the Ukraine, I remember how it was in 2005 with war escalating in Iraq.  

Ukraine elder

Demonstration by feminist group, Femen in Kiev

The shock and grief of war.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I Choose This Dream

Skilled and highly trained,
     a team of angels heal my heart,
     working, working, hyperattentive,
     for five long hours.
I am asleep.
As consciousness returns,
     slowly, slowly,
     like an ice floe shifting
     in tiny increments from sea to air,
I am dreaming three dreams.

I am a cowgirl!  It is sunny,
     the bright oranges and yellows of Arizona
     highlighting the tall Saguaro,
 and I’m singing with my pals around a fire.
The second dream- where is this?
     My son is here, so many loved ones
     surrounding me, circling, beaming,
     many hands lifting me, light as gossamer,
     in a cradle of support.
And the third dream, subtle but insistent,
     sliding wheels, clicks and bams,
     elbows its way into my cognizance.
Recovery room nurses are moving about,
     focused on my vital signs.

Somewhat bemused, a bit ambivalent,
     I recall an ordeal is over.
My surgery is done.

This is a dream of a well-trained woman
     applying pressure to close my open wound.
This is a dream of a young nurse, father of two,
     tenderly checking on me each hour.
This is a dream of a wide-windowed room
     looking to Mount Pisgah in the golden, fading light.

I choose this dream!
Can you believe it?
I choose this dream of comical bluejays
     turning somersaults ‘round the too-small feeder.
I choose this dream of laughing friends
     bringing soup, fussed-over for hours.
I choose this dream of a soft hand
     holding mine in the darkest night.
I choose this dream of sleep- whose room is this?
     filled with the smiles of the Goddess.

What split-second Someday will take me from here?
I choose this dream today, and give great thanks.

Annelinde Metzner
After atrial fibrillation ablation
February 1, 2015