Monday, September 13, 2021

Sunrise

 

 


From out of the dark, dark night,
the people come with reverence to the sea.
Gazing to the horizon,
all wait in awe,
the sea roaring, the wind in our ears.
Slowly, slowly, the misty, golden rays
shine forth from that certain spot
where She will rise, where each day
life rebegins.
Seagulls line up, quiet,
faces to the sea, waiting.
Slowly, slowly, She appears again,
the merest sliver, and then Her shining self,
painting the cloudline coral-pink,
happy to be here, adored.
The seagulls slowly rise and begin to swirl,
dive, call out, rejoice.
Every day!  Every day!
We adore Her every day, we wait breathlessly for Her.
As She rises, we rise, we spiral,
we whirl into Her day, yes,
another day arises on this Earth.


Annelinde Metzner

November 25, 2010 















Thursday, July 22, 2021

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 walked on Earth,

the steps of Your beautiful feet were 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, 2021.





Mary Magdalene by El Greco





Mary Magdalene by Carlo Dolci




  
Medieval Mary Magdalene





Mary Magdalene by Carravaggio






Mary and Jesus stained glass in Scotland










Saturday, July 17, 2021

Black Dome, This Slowness

 



Black Dome or "Mount Mitchell"


Join the natural world with your quietness and your slowness!
At this blessed pace, the wild raspberry
     can see you sitting nearby,
     slow as apples ripening.
At this blessed tempo,
     birds drift to the tops of trees,
     to gaze off miles and miles through the clouds.
In this sacred slowness,
    the bees take their time to choose
    this blossom, then that,
    then that one, and maybe the next.
This is how slowly the clouds creep,
     white and bulbous,
     all of us present here
     in the same breath,
     slow, inaudible, eternal.
I breathe, I fill my lungs with air.
This is all we have, all of us,
     from now until the end of the world.


Annelinde Metzner
August 6, 2010





"Black Dome" is the Cherokee name of Mount Mitchell, highest point in the East in the Black Mountain Range of the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live.




















Sunday, June 20, 2021

Grandmother Makes the World

 

 

Magnolia

 

This is how my Grandmother makes the World-
    clouds in a sky so clean
    each seems to sing against the blue.
In the new-mown grass, you can smell the new Spring herbs,
    a richness of greenness and healing.
Lift your gaze, and you can see forever,
    jagged shapes and rounded ones.
This is how my Grandmother makes the World!
A veery releases Her spiraling song.
Brand-new the star magnolias,
    their vanilla color rich enough to eat,
    drooping beguilingly from the branches.
This is how my Grandmother makes the World-
    pristine, clean, bountiful,
    energy unending. 

Annelinde Metzner

Grandmother Mountain

May 28,2021




















Friday, June 11, 2021

Song of the Humpback Whale

 



What is in your long song, your ancient song?
In the cold bays, North and South,
your pure tune revives in cavernous water-spaces.
Up here, walking, I hear your song always,
like a neighbor calling, or like children singing.
Your song says, "God is here!
The ocean is filled with light.
Man, the ocean home is well.
Sing for us in the air, Man,
as we do for you below."
Far below the crowd's buzz
is the infrasound, your song.
I need you there below, singing!
Your ancient tune courses with my heart's blood,
and makes more plain
my own dim voice, from an unfathomed ocean.
And I sing with you.
It is what I wanted to hear.
 
Annelinde Metzner 1983
 
In 1983, I wrote this poem and set it to music as part of my song cycle, "Legacy."  My intuition tells me that the whales are the history keepers of the world, and they are aware of all we're doing.  This event happened recently in Victoria, Canada, which reinforces that intuition. 
 
 












Sunday, June 6, 2021

This is that quiet place

 

 


The woods call to me with Her silence.
That one stillest spot,
   all life waiting expectantly,
   brilliant April sunshine,
   wind holding Her breath.
I am drawn to that spot,
   stand rooted to the ground,
   head tilted to the sun.
This is that quiet place
   where sacredness opens up.
I breathe deeply, pulling energy up from the Earth,
   as, "eeh-oh-lay!," the first Wood Thrush
   welcomes me back with Her song. 

 

Annelinde Metzner

April 16, 2021

 


 

 

Wood Thrush

 


 
















Monday, May 24, 2021

Sara La Kali

 



Sara in Her chapel




Sara la Kali                                                     

On May twenty-fourth, your feast day,
Romani people in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
pilgrimage to be with You, 
dark Daughter, Sara la Kali.
Immersed in the mystery of the candle-lit chapel,
the people come and come and come,
men in black leather, long-haired women,
ordinary people moved by Your being.
Mournful, passionate with Your love,
a woman’s voice, low, sings with longing for You.
Sara la Kali, You arose here from the sea,
fresh from the womb of the Goddess and God,
carrier of the sang real, holy blood and grail.
They arrive in a hush to kiss Your cheek.
Layer upon layer they dress You in finery,
promises of blessings to all of us in need.
And then on this day, You come out into the world!
Men in black on fine white horses,
colorful flags held high in Your honor,
wade far out into the raging waters,
awaiting Your passage back to the sea.
Sara!   If we had known of You,
Sara, passion of the two great beings,
Sara, love child, Magdala and Yeshua,
where would we be today, our Kali,
our Kali of Europa, born to us all,
and in the white and rushing waters,
swept away.

Annelinde Metzner
June 14, 2012

Today is the feast day of Saint Sara, beloved by all Gypsies, especially in this place where Mary Magdalene was said to have come ashore after escaping from the Holy Land across the Mediterranean.  Feel how every year, the waters roil up when Sara la Kali is brought to the sea.  I view Sara as the daughter of Jesus and Mary.  Some say there is a long lineage there, the "Sang Real," the Sangraal, or to paraphrase, the Holy Grail.

Experience the Feast day of Saint Sara, May of 2008, here. 

Worshipping Sara by the sea
















Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Pearson's Falls

 

 

Pearson's Falls, Saluda, NC


How did it feel, the discovery,
   before the stone steps carefully laid,
   before the thoughtfully placed and sturdy railings?
How was it that first day, the first human here,
   inching slowly through the thick undergrowth,
   following the sound (everywhere!) of falling waters,
   at long last to arrive and gaze upward,
   one's breath taken away by the height
   of the sheer rock face laced over with
   a wondrous curtain of water?
Time enough to ponder,
   to absorb, to just be,
   like the moth perched here on my writing-page,
   like the toad among the ephemeral woodland plants.
"Let it go!" She teaches me,
   as I sit and gaze.
"You will never know the whole story,
   what brought us to wherever we are now.
Let the relentless power,
   more precise, more intelligent, more patient than you,
   bring justice wherever it's needed."
I put my hands together, giving thanks,
   and sit with the trillium, the bloodroot,
   the wood thrush close by,
   breathing the water's unceasing wisdom.

Annelinde Metzner

Saluda, North Carolina

April 29,2021

 

Colt Creek

Forest ephemerals


 


Cascade on the way



Seeping stone



Mister Toad






Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Nest

 



On her artfully woven nest, the size of a teacup,
     hidden in the labyrinthine branches of an azalea,
     the redbird mama broods her Spring clutch of eggs.
All day she sits so still,
     it took me a week to find
     her red beak among the flowers.
She sits on the nest, unmoving.
What is she seeing, her warm body so focused,
     so perfectly present, a servant of her own DNA?
All around, above and below,
     luminous coral-colored blossoms form her bower.
Blood-orange to almost-white petals,
     the new-green leaves bright with photosynthesis,
     the little redbird nests in a sea of swaying petals,
     her dwelling-space more glowing than the sun.
The bumblebees probe and float blossom to blossom around her,
     sonic guides to other realms,
     transporting us with their deep and all-embracing buzz.
New life will arrive soon beneath her downy belly,
     pecking its way through the shells.
 We all know, here and now,
     this is all that matters. 

Annelinde Metzner

April 28, 2021










Wednesday, April 21, 2021

I Have Sworn to Protect Her

 





"Healing" giclee by Autumn Skye Morrison




I have sworn to protect Her!           
Miracle blue-green jewel of all the worlds,
ancient blue mountains, vast golden deserts,
hummingbirds in the jewelweed,
black bear in the raspberries.
I speak for Her!
I howl for Her!        
I howl, “Beware!”
to you who remove Her sacred mountaintops
torturing her body to get at Her coal.
I howl, “Beware!”
to you who go deep within her mineral layers,
scraping away at her core
for your own gain.
But no one gains by this.  She feeds us all.
I have sworn to protect Her,           
this day that She needs us,
when even Her vast blue-green oceans, teeming with life,
are tainted with blood, the black oil of power and greed.
This is the day, this is the hour.
She, long-silent, awaits our voice.
The signs of Her anger are everywhere:
desert, flood, tornado, wildfire, earthquake, typhoon, tsunami.
I howl for Her!             
I love my Earth as my own body!
I have sworn to protect Her!


Annelinde Metzner
July 31, 2011



     I send out my poem once more as a prayer, to add to so many others, for divine wisdom to come through for all of us.   May we all protect our Earth, our beloved Home!!   May we love Her more and more each day!!




Delaware River, Margaretville, New York
  






Sacred mound, Blowing Rock, North Carolina


















Friday, April 9, 2021

Redbud

 



Redbud flowers and bee, photo by Ruthie Rosauer


I can’t translate this!  I can’t write it!
It’s spring, my eyes dilate with an ongoing delight,
no end, no end!  Ah me!
Still in April bare grey trees remind me 

that this is no dream,
this everyday, this every new day-
The cherry blossoms, first to bloom,
then scattering in breeze, reminding of snow,
and now today, lush and greener by the hour,
intent on producing sweet red fruit.
Every day, every day, no end!
The hummer’s return, a long, long drink,
fitting for one returned from Guatemala!
Welcome, wee warrioress!  Battle on!
And then, ecoutez!  Welcome the wood thrush,
her deep multilayered melody guiding me back.
Welcome thrush!  Welcome me!
I can’t translate this, I can’t write it.
My eyes dilate, hummers buzz, 

and the chickadee not two feet from me,
cocking and cocking the wee head, 

seeming to want my finger for a perch.
A bluebird, shy as Spring’s first new,
and cardinals, and goldfinch!  A riot of color!
I can’t translate this, I can’t write it!
Along the banks of the river, red bud, 

misnamed in her purple gown,
paints filagrees in the forest canopy, 

here there and everywhere,
suspended in a perfect ballet, sucking my breath away.
The new dogwood, still clinging to green,
not yet ready for the full openness of total white.
I can’t translate, I can’t write.
Pale yellows and greens creep tenderly up the mountain,
a turkey buzzard gliding on the thermal winds.
A great peace relaxes me all along my spine,
up to my tippy-top, my eyes dilate, 

for the everyday of this, it won’t go away, 
tomorrow and tomorrow, hooray and hooray,
here’s my world come back again, 

this day, this day, 
this very day.

Annelinde Metzner
April 21, 2005


This poem and the above photo appear in "These Trees," a beautiful labor of love by Ruthie Rosauer, who photographed trees all over the United States. There are sections on bark, seeds, fruit and leaves, as well as the whole body of trees, and poems are scattered throughout.  Her work is available at www.ruthierosephotography.com



Dogwood blossoms



















Saturday, April 3, 2021

The Praise House

 






Praise House on St. Helena's Island, South Carolina



Blessed with a tour of the Gullah homeland,
St. Helena’s Island, where those enslaved
were given each ten acres upon emancipation,
we wander with Robert Middleton, our guide.
He names each place:
“This is Frogmore, this is Scott, this is Land’s End,”
as we pass from one wide-open community to another.
The Gullah people love color,
and the old frame houses, even the trailers,
are painted yellow, pink and blue.
“Everybody here is one family.”
Robert, on his ten acres,
gave a homeplace to each of his children.
“I can holler to ‘em from my front yard.”
Down a long oak-lined road we ride to its end,
where Robert says, “and here’s the Atlantic.”
People come to walk on the stony beach,
and swim when the tide goes out.
“They’d bring the slaves here in a boat,
and just unload ‘em,” he says.
All that grows here is African:
the okra, the tomatoes, the fruit.
When the white owners “skedaddled,” after the war,
land was left to those enslaved,
and freedom, the first in the nation.
At the Penn School, two white women came
to live up on a little dirt road,
and brought reading and writing, forbidden in enslavement,
for children so eager
they’d walk six miles to school in the rain.
“We teach the young people not to sell their land,” 
says Robert,
a legacy of Penn School’s wisdom.
Gazing into the deep, lush woods lining the roads, I ask,
“Did you ever heal with herbs here?”
“Used to,” says Robert, “we had all we needed.
Didn’t need no doctors.
Life-everlasting tea with lemon,
sassafras, pine gum, elderberry and garlic.
My grandma cured a snakebite with frog blood!
Just stuffed it right in there,
and bound it up good.”
The last stop on our tour,
the white clapboard Praise House,
the last one, preserved by the side of the road.
Every community had one.
“We’d go there to solve our problems,” says Robert,
“trouble with the young ‘uns, money disputes, conflicts.
We’d go to the Praise House so as not to call the law.”
I peer in the window of the tiny house,
a pulpit and four wooden pews.
“Robert, was there praise here too?”
“Sunday nights, Tuesdays and Thursdays,” he says,
when it was too far to walk to church.”

Step it, step it, step it down.  Remember me.
Step it, step it, step it down.  Remember me.
(a ring play of the Gullah children.)


Sing, shout, circle and step.
The praise house.

Annelinde Metzner
St. Helena's Island, South Carolina


    I met Robert Middleton at Penn Center on St. Helena's Island, South Carolina.  This is a place rich in history, where a school was created for local Gullah children, which was forbidden during slavery times.  It became a center of the Civil Rights movement and is now devoted to the history and culture of the island.  I am very honored that my chapbook, This Most Huge Yes, including this poem, is being offered at their bookstore. 
      I ended this poem with a song, in italics, which I learned as a music teacher, part of the musical legacy of the Sea Islands.



Robert Middleton, with Sue Ann Metzner



"Here's the Atlantic"




Live oak tree with Spanish moss



Penn Center












Sunday, February 28, 2021

Southside Cemetery

 

 

Gravestones in Southside Cemetery, Kenilworth, Asheville NC

Here is a mottled chunk of rock, set upright.
Here is one a foot tall, miraculously erect
amid the ancient stones and helter-skelter mounds
of this hallowed place.
Who is buried here?
What dark-skinned family climbed the long, lamenting hill
into the woods
protected by Jesus, for just a moment left to themselves?
How did they steal an hour or two
for this hallowed day of farewell to the dead,
finding an unmolested path safe for their black skin?
One can hardly walk today, the ground is so jumbled,
where, one upon another, the generations
were welcomed upward to the holy realms.
Some came with enough for a name on a granite slab,
a date or an epitaph.
And who placed the ragged, natural stones,
proudly standing upright over centuries?
Here are those who came enslaved
and died servants still.
A farmer, a laborer, a maid,
beloved in the hearts of family and friends,
anonymous as these standing stones
in the unmoving world around, so hard, so cold.

Annelinde Metzner
March 2008

(Photos by Patty Levesque)

Click Here to read about the work of China Galland in resurrecting "Love Cemetery" in Texas. 
 
  

Southside Cemetery in Asheville, NC