Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Magic Pouch

Meinrad Craighead, "Enclosed Garden"

I have released my magic pouch.
Fathom this- the miracle sac nestled in my abdomen
where spirits come to Earth and find their destiny.
This wondrous space that grows exponentially
to accommodate a new human being!
I have released my uterus!
Here I am to honor you, oh alchemical gift,
carrier of the species, deliverer of DNA.
Oh place of pure regeneration!
Miracle tubes where fertilization occurs;
Ovaries, hatchery of the round perfection of femaleness,
oak-split egg basket where my mother and grandmother
held me tenderly too;
cervix, precious tunnel that, entranced,
widens a thousand times for human birth.
Oh wine-sac, imbued with love,
Oh world gift, numinous as the stars,
womb of all creation,
meeting place of divine spirit and blessed flesh,
welcome center for all our souls.
With this release I honor you, magic sac,
locus of intense and sexual feeling,
dark cave I have loved and honored all these years.
Woman’s divine chamber
which we must guard from violation,
our own and our sisters’,
which we pray for and protect
throughout our lives.
Sanctuary and cauldron of mind, spirit and flesh.
In letting you go, I hold you up,
I see you now for what you are.
I prostrate myself before you.
Oh womb who has made of me a shaman,
as all women are!
I have offered my body for the incarnation of souls.
If women deem it right and good
for all of us and for ourselves,
we will usher in a life.
Oh magic sac that made me
a conduit of the divine,
I hold you now in my open palm,
acknowledging your perfection,
astonished as, like a butterfly just emerged from its cocoon,
I open my hand and let you go free.

Annelinde Metzner

October 26, 2015

     I'm reposting my poem "The Magic Pouch" which I wrote two years ago for my uterus.  I had just undergone a hysterectomy and I wanted to honor this miraculous organ which is central to and emblematic of womanhood.  The poem is now part of the We'Moon Datebook for 2018, full of women's writings and art. It's on page 99!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Magdala, Tower

Mary Magdalene by Brother Robert Lentz

Magdala, Tower, Queen of my days,

You are not Spirit, not Ether, not Will ‘o the Wisp.

but flesh and blood, a woman like me,

and my teacher.

I see You in burgundy-red, the Blood-Root flower,

the Wake Robin, deep red trillium of the mountains,

the royally curled and woody flower of the Spicebush.

You are so real.

And when You walk on Earth,

the steps of Your beautiful feet are firm.

Priestess, daughter of Isis,

Well-trained in lore and wise,

how I crave the touch of Your oil upon my face.

MM is here!  Mary Magdalene,

here for Her own millennium,

and the voice You bring has no shame in who You are,

who we all are, Woman, strong, deep,

burgundy-red and sexual.

You walk in the power of the Sacred Night,

here to walk wherever You must,

through Love, through Transformation,

unto Union with the Divine.

With Your powerful arms

and Your dark-red hair glinting like amber,

You guide us all through these darkest of days.

Mary Magdalene, You stand grounded

even as we hang in torment,

with Your strong and womanly Priestess arms

ready to carry us through.

Annelinde Metzner
April 17, 2012 

I'm reposting this poem in honor of Mary Magdalene on Her feast day, July 22, 2017.

Mary Magdalene by El Greco

Mary Magdalene by Carlo Dolci

Medieval Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene by Carravaggio

Mary and Jesus stained glass in Scotland

Sunday, July 16, 2017

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

      I found this poem from 6 years ago to commemorate the passing this week of Lula Moon, the swimmer in the above photo, who swam across the wide river and back in honor of our celebration.

       For the eighth year this year, my choir, Sahara Peace Choir, along with the Wild Bodema Drummers, will celebrate Oshun and all rivers in a concert, "BLESSINGS ON THE RIVER," on Saturday August 19th, 1 to 4 PM, at the Friends Meeting House, 137 Center Avenue in Black Mountain.   This will be a benefit for Bounty and Soul, distributing free healthy food and health and cooking classes to people in the Swannanoa Valley.  
      We will cast popcorn on the Swannanoa River, carrying our wishes of health to the fresh waters of the world. 

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 


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Full Moon on Saint Helena's Island

Branches of the live oak

Utterly silent in the night,
     the long, twisted arm of the live oak
     reaches almost to my window.
I know that, in the day,
     a red-bird builds her nest there
     from bits of Spanish moss,
     chirping at each new piece
     she reclaims from the tangles.
But deep in the night, nothing stirs.
We are far, far from the world.
The sun has set over all the West,
     red and glowing,
     the West with its petty arguments,
     its power plays, its pissy lies,
the West of the patriarchy,
     dying pitifully like the sun.
The West is a vast, big ol’ mistake
     that’s sputtered out like a candle flame.
Silent. Silent.
The big ol’ moon moves imperceptibly.
The tree branches cast fantastic shapes
     across the ground, yellow and grey.
An owl hoots three times.  That’s all.
I gaze out the window,
     listening for the sea.

Annelinde Metzner

April 7, 2017

Marsh on Hunting Island

Grandmother tree at Ifetayo's house

Egret rookery