Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Run toward your creative life

 





Cabin window at Hawkscry




Run toward your creative life with all your might
even when, and even because, tears stain the very surface,
the fiber of your creative being.

Isn’t this your truest self?
Isn’t this a pristine beach,
more wild than winter, more vast?

Doesn’t the joy breath of your inner life
smell fresher than new-washed cottons hung in the air?

When the long day finally ends,
and I come close to the inner self,
I pull back the veil.

Annelinde Metzner      

June 2006



Lagoon at the Baba Center



Pine cones




Piano at Wildacres




Sand dune at Ocracoke












Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Elsie's Garden

 



Tante Elsie in her gardening hat


Drove up to Elsie’s garden, my head in the radio,
counting measures and checking musical forms.
I raise my eyes just to park and...
Jolted into Eden, an ecstasy of brilliant color, 

like a cold slap. I’m awakened.
These Irises (the eyes?) are a queen’s purple, 

a ransom of gold,
fringed, bearded, double ruffled about their delicate mouths,
waiting lush as Sheba.
Lemon yellow bearded coral, glacier white fringed,
with a calligraphy of magenta.
Rust-red and egg-yolk yellow.
I gain my breath, and big tears, here at Elsie’s garden.
Tante, at ninety-two, fosters this ecstasy of color,
and scent of peony, double, triple, magenta, snow!
Knowing I must go knock and enter at the door,
I breathe deep, remembering, 

remembering the grace of my DNA,
the colors, the purple, saying “This is me,”
coming off the highway.  

“This is also me”, my old Tante in her garden,
pulling a true miracle of flowers from the unsuspecting soil,
back in the dirt where we belong.
This is me. I weep, I love, I remember.

Annelinde Metzner

April 2006

Feeling gratitude for my Tante Elsie, who nurtured so much life in me by living to the fullest herself.


























Monday, November 27, 2023

Grandmother's Bones

 

 


 

"I am showing you the beauty of Winter,"
called my Grandmother, the stark grey shapes
of Her naked trees, each one a poem.
A whiff of compost, a whiff of new-mown hay.
Why do I sense this richness,
as everywhere She withdraws,
holding energy within Her great womb?
Clean white clouds move ever so slowly
in the ceaseless November wind.
The majestic sculptures of the leafless trees
etched perfectly in the bright sun's shadow.
The ceaseless wind rumbles in my ears,
the cold, quiet beauty of brown and grey
begging me to give in. 


Annelinde Metzner

November 9, 2023














Friday, November 3, 2023

Celebration of Death

 


Autumn in the Blue Ridge.
A golden glow emanates
as the leaves slowly release their chlorophyll,
revealing their true selves,
their true colors.
In the soft breeze,
on this ridge-top ruled by wind,
one leaf drops, then another,
carelessly, an afterthought,
absentminded.
But in the full-force wind, it's a party!
It's a riot of release,
a bright-colored snowfall,
each leaf shouting "Whee,
let's become compost!"
In all this brilliance, lit by sun,
rose-red, pumpkin-orange, sun-yellow,
purple of asters,
brown stiff corn drying on the stalks,
my Mother, my Goddess instructs us-
"Look at Me!  Never forget,
my human sons and daughters,
I am the Queen of Death as much as Life!
Each end of life is mine, and each beginning,
the waxing and the waning,
the building up and then the letting go.
Regeneration is my watchword.
You will return!
I give you the beauty of Autumn,
to hold you,
to thrill you and warm you,
until you too pass like a bright leaf
on to the next thing."

Annelinde Metzner

October 27, 2023


 



 

 

 










Thursday, October 26, 2023

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
 

 


 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

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















Thursday, September 14, 2023

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!



 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Gratitude for Water






Water will flow to you, lucky blessed Human
      straight down the mountain, clear, crisp,
      almost white with coldness on a July day.
      You can drink this!
Water will flow for you, fortunate one,
      over rocks worn beautiful with the
      eternal wearing-away,
      the rush and gurgle, the pounding of water
      unending, abundant, all-powerful.
      You can bathe in this!
Water will run through your arteries and veins,
      dear blessed one,
      making all your body sacred, connected,
      healed in itself, and in each other.
      You live because of this!
Here we are, Human, on our blue-green Water Planet,
      spinning through the galaxy, evolving over eons,
      because of Water, Water!
Touch Her to your forehead, your most sacred places,
      blessed one.
Greed must not come near Her!
Never attempt to control Her!
In every blade, in every vein,
 in every rock and stone, we share Her.
Do homage to our most beautiful, singing Mother,
Water!


Annelinde Metzner
Catskill Farm 
August 2011






















Saturday, August 12, 2023

Looking Glass

 



Looking Glass Mountain




The earth’s egg,
she nestles here in her corpus luteum.
Bold and firm, how deep, how deep?
Huge egg, birth place, bursting place,
eminently fertile stone ground of all beginnings.
The earth’s egg,
smooth as silk at the long fall,
an Easter egg frosted with green.
In peace a buzzard glides by on the thermals,
loving Her, all bliss.

Annelinde Metzner    

July 25, 2009



Grandmother looking at the sky



Looking Glass in 2023














Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Spicebush Swallowtail

 






So this is what it’s like to metamorphose:
your heavy self creeping, creeping,
slow and deliberate, day after day,
and then, (why?)
one day, just this day,
you spin a fine web to bind you, to hold you,
to surround you, to darken the sky,
to keep you within, 
silent, unmoving, unknowing.
How you love your chrysalis!
You're snug, suspended, 
not breathing, not quite being.
And then, (why?) one day, just this day,
you desire above all else 
to tear this cocoon asunder,
to rip it to shreds, to see the light,
to breathe, to open one tiny space
until you, Slug, heavy and slow,
have wings now, you are naught but wings!
Wings thinner than air itself, 
and with the slightest stir,
You fly.  You fly.  You fly.

Annelinde Metzner
Mountain Light Sanctuary
July 14, 2012




























Friday, July 14, 2023

Farm Kitchen

 


The farm kitchen in 1992

Cups and cups hang from hooks,
plates of every color and design in the cupboard,
enough for a field full of neighbors some hungry noon.
Rafters and ceiling a greasy black
even now that the big wood stove is gone,
flavored of pancakes and kuchen,
Sunday chickens and potato soup.
A ladle and a dishpan over the sink
where the cold, clear water gleams to the taste.
On the table, flour, salt and sugar flow,
foods that keep and stretch
and fill the belly to last all day.
Mice scurry across the floor
and hop up on the big table
to gawk at the evening game-players,
forgetting themselves momentarily
and then startling to the squeals.
Foot baths on the step, warm and sensual,
makes you feel clean all over!
In the morning, the aroma of coffee,
and a child’s dreamy inheritance
of the never-empty pot,
abundant evermore.


Annelinde Metzner

Catskill Farm
July 13, 1992


  The old farmhouse, circa 1860, in the Catskills is just about gone now due to age and recent vandalism.  But the memories and mysteries I learned there from the deeply shared culture of our immigrant family will remain with me forever.  I give thanks for all I carry with me from this place. As with immigrants in all times and places, we knew that we must love and take care of each other in order to survive.



Farm upstairs bedroom with Mom's old vanity



Detail of barn construction


Farm house wave


Brother and sister, Martha and my dad Rudolph






Enjoying a beer on the front lawn






Sunday, July 2, 2023

Two Poems from Hawkscry

 

 


 Marveling

In the afternoon, a breeze rises,
setting the tops of trees to swaying.
What a joy to spend the whole day marveling!
Slowly, slowly, the summer sun moves across the sky.
Two wood thrushes, two! call to each other through the woods.
I am as slow as the inchworm moving up my arm.
Now the sun slants in from the west,
lighting up the woods in a whole new way.
I absorb the silence like Mother's milk,
marveling and giving thanks all day.

Annelinde Metzner
Hawkscry
June 28, 2023

 

 

End of June

End of June, a day of quiet,
hardly a breeze, stillness in the air.
I am still, too, and nothing stirs,
just a silent opening-out of green,
opening all our arms to the Sun.
The dahlias, a riotous multi-petaled lotus of color,
the milkweed waiting patiently for monarchs,
and far in the woods, at the edge of it all,
the wood thrush.
High, high overhead, an eagle drifts on the thermals.
I, too, am deeply resting,
incubating,
opening my leaves in green joy
for whatever is coming next.

Annelinde Metzner
Hawkscry
June 28, 2023