September 12, 2017

In Dell's Backyard




Live oak with Spanish moss

                              

In Dell’s backyard the live oak grows horizontally,
a highway for air plants and owls,
over beds of fern, lettuce, elkhorn and hibiscus.
In Dell’s backyard each growing thing
is proud, calm, and whole in its place,
well-fed with compost.
Oregano, sour orange, broccoli, peas,
the most enticing scent of lemon blossoms
filling the air.
The kind neighbor, big-hearted,
comes to say that he remembers
planting that oak as a little boy,
bringing it back from the woods.
As if his big-hearted love were contagious,
the wide oak spreads its branches,
Grandmother of all the beings there,
sheltering every one of us with Her love.

Annelinde Metzner

March 13, 2011
Maitland, Florida


  After surviving Hurricane Irma this week, the first thing Dell asked for was this poem.  The beautiful,"horizontal" live oak in her back yard had survived.  A home for so many creatures!   Giving thanks for all of us who have survived and live to love our precious Earth another day.



Oak at Meher Baba center






Grandmother tree at Ifetayo's house









September 01, 2017

Sycamore





Jewelweed-  the drop of dew is the jewel.


Delicious! the astringent scent
     of wet leaves, wet humus
     on the forest trail
     in this rainy, dark and brooding August weather.
It is late summer, and our Mother
     warns, “Change is coming!”
So good to delight in change.
The virgin’s bower, sweet-scented,
     arrives late to the party, thinking it’s Spring.
Jewelweed, orange and yellow,
     offers her healing profusely, ready to pop.
One leaf of a sycamore releases
     and drops oh-so-slowly,
     its big boat of a leaf
     zigzags slowly over here, over there,
     unhurried in its long fall,
     casually meeting its destiny,
     alighting in the rushing creek below,
     a true boat at last.




Annelinde Metzner

August 29, 2017




Sycamore leaf




Virgin's bower








June 30, 2017

The four deer





Bells at Hawkscry


Napping in the sun at Hawkscry,
    one of those scrumptious naps, turned on my side,
    hip pressed against the Earth,
    once in a while opening one eye
    to the wonder before me in the sun,
    -dogwood, poplar, oak, all new, all Spring!
I fall back into a timeless snooze.
At once I become aware of a rustling behind me,
    a busy-ness.  Someone is passing here!
Slowly I turn myself over, and behind the shed,
    easy, careful, stately,
    four deer step, wide-eyed, unafraid of me.
I turn, eyes wide too, to soak in this wonder.
Four deer!  in the woods, where none had been.
Three step along slowly, regarding me gently,
    and I them, as they move slowly up the mountain.
One of them, suddenly strange, leaps up and gallops ahead,
    snorting, loud, a warning:
    “She is human. Beware!  They can hurt!  They can hurt!”
And, despite all the noise, the frantic ruckus, the fleeing one,
    the three does stay, regarding me, at peace, sisters.
Just me here, lover of Gaia, full of awe.
Heedless of the panicked one, they step, graceful,
dancing with me, with our eyes,
a Sabbath of respect.





Annelinde Metzner

June 2012




My writing cabin




Hawkscry apples





Hawkscry sky








May 12, 2017

The sky in May







I know there are stars,
     galaxies, worlds,
     nebula, planets and moons,
but in this sky, this green, green day,
     there is only wonder.
Only the unknown in this all-embracing blue,
     impenetrable.
Gazing at Her blueness, I hear Her tales,
     Her ancient wisdom, Her deep knowledge,
     but in a language I do not know.
I am a child at Grandmother’s knee.
Here is the air, filling us with breath,
     everywhere, like the water we swim in,
and yet in the sky of May,
     even as we feel Her
     in the tender winds upon our skin,
there is a magic, an enchantment,
     oh! that our very home, the air,
     is so beyond our ken.

Annelinde Metzner
Hawkscry
May 24, 2014





















April 29, 2017

Sun in the gorge




Wake Robin trillium


The sun comes up in Hickory Nut Gorge
slant-wise, long-reaching,
on this Spring morning.
Each leaf lights up in Her own way,
all colors of yellow, butterscotch, chartreuse,
palest green to brown.
We are awakening!
Our Mother the Sun, Saule,
peeps over the lake from the East,
Her smile radiant,
Her blonde hair glistening and sparkling all around.
The tree branch glistens white.
And now the river, white caps lit up,
rushing, roaring, energy unceasing,
an lit white in Her roiling froth
as the Rocky Broad tumbles, rushes, roars
over boulders, twists and turns.
Rain clouds part with great drama.
The Sun!  It’s morning!
Petals fall in the gentle breeze.
I breathe.
Begin again anew.


Annelinde Metzner
Hickory Nut Gorge
April 20, 2015



Hickory Nut Falls in Spring




Lakey Mountain horses




Wake Robins








March 10, 2017

Frozen Lake









The lake is frozen over!
Embedded in her surface,
branches and fallen sticks,
heads-up like ancient monsters.
Walking, walking,
I exclaim over the green softness
of the laurel leaves in the icy cold.
What a world!
I raise my head and call
to the wood thrush,
to her deep song, canto hondo,
which she carries with her across the world.
“Come back!  Come back! 
I await your beauty!”
I bend to the ground,
entreating the first purple of Spring,
the many petaled Dwarf Iris,
little ancient one of the forest,
embedded on the lake’s bank.
I await you!  Sleep until you’re ready,
‘til the new buds burst forth from the dogwoods,
‘til the bear cubs tumble wide-eyed from their den,
‘til Spring warms and thaws our hearts again.

Annelinde Metzner
Hidden Lake
January 26, 2013


It's March of 2017, almost Spring, but snow is expected this weekend.  The hints of Spring are all around.
































January 28, 2017

I save the world by loving Her







I save the world by loving Her.
April in Sandy Mush, the new green apple leaves,
so soft, each flutters a different way 

at the slightest breeze;
the butterfly, fresh out of the cocoon,
careening downhill, already a crackerjack
at navigating with her iridescent wings;
the blackberry blossoms, full of themselves,
wide open to the hungry and meticulous bees.
The air is filled with buzzing things, 

delirious with the sun’s warmth.
Even a cloud floating high 

seems to smile with delight.
It is true, I know, 

someone crouches somewhere in a room,
cut off from the world,
fervently praying that the next gunshot, 

the knock at the door,
does not come his way.
I know somewhere, 

a mother walks miles for a jug of water
diverted from her village to sluice the mines.
I know the world will end, or so they say.
But Gaia exhorts me, 

“Look at me!  Take notice!
For you I have perched these roses on their stems,
for you I bring the striped grasshopper 

to set beside you,
and the wild turkey walks, stately, 

through the woods.
Are you listening yet?   

For you, four wide-eyed deer
come to gaze at your body while you sleep.”
I cannot ignore her, I cannot turn away.
It is my job to love Her, and She is vast,
and long, and wide, and huge;
I save the world by loving Her, 

and in this way, She saves me.

Annelinde Metzner 

Hawkscry  
April 13, 2012















































January 02, 2017

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.






























October 15, 2016

Autumn Fullness





Gathering Catskill apples


Such abundant richness!
Apples ripening, apples of Avalon,
every grain at its fullest,
amaranth, oats and wheat.
Milkweed pods, ready for Monarchs,
about to burst open and float away.
Goldenrod flowers bend on their stalks.
Blackberries, raspberries for the bear’s delight.
There is no coolness yet, no frost,
but still, we are storing away,
all living beings, storing away,
aware at some level of the icy cold to come.
Autumn! Why have I not seen your fullness,
your round abundance, your gifts?
Seed after seed on the underside of ferns.
Burrs clinging to our clothes.
Dragonflies dip and soar across the field,
bees and hummingbirds gorging.
Oh, round fullness of Autumn!
My mouth opens:  feed me.


Annelinde Metzner
September 1, 2015
























August 19, 2016

Voices of Gaia III











Gray Wolf

I have a silver-furred clan.
Grandmas and nephews
and cousins twice removed.
We keep each other in line
and we survive
here in the cold reaches of Canada
down to Minnesota.
We raise pups and talk,
howl and roam,
and when I twitch my eyebrow
at what I hear you say,
why, my heart is reverberating
in a wild dance with your soul.


Annelinde Metzner
June 1992 "Voices of Gaia"














Key Deer   
                                                       
I am a solitary being
even among my own kind.
I step with caution from the mangroves
and the hardwood hammocks,
expecting the open meadow,
finding instead the fast machines on asphalt
who run us down so heedlessly.
I step carefully and alone
through silver palms and mulberry
observing without comment
the passage of time.


Annelinde Metzner
June 1992 "Voices of Gaia"














 

August 04, 2016

Voices of Gaia II





Prairie smoke


Prairie Smoke      

Flower of the grasslands
unfurling pink plumes
in dry, inch-thin soil.
Geum triflorum.
The wind blows gently through my sweet feathers.
Shamaness, mistress of illusion, shape shifter.
I grow in soil but cast a spell of mist,
drift like smoke.
Now you see me, now you don’t.
I’m never where you expect me to be.
I may grow into your consciousness when you least expect it,
misty flower of the grasslands.


Annelinde Metzner
"Voices of Gaia"  1992




Field of prairie smoke






Karner Blue butterfly

Butterfly   
                                                                 
On the Midwest prairie
the bright-spotted Regal Fritillary
dines on a banquet of violets.
Wild lupines feed the Karner Blue
next to a runway at the Saratoga Airport.
Bay Area elfins will lay eggs
only when the sun is bright and the air calm,
succulent sedum nearby.
Yes, we are regal, the Butterfly Queens.
We richly deserve your admiration.
We are finicky and difficult.
We require a wild garden paradise.
You may keep your dull sameness
and live without us.


Annelinde Metzner
"Voices of Gaia"  1992






Regal Fritillary

Here are two more from my collection of poems in the voices of endangered species, called "Voice of Gaia" of 1992.















July 31, 2016

Voices of Gaia





Wood Thrush

Wood Thrush

I weigh the same as three pennies
and I navigate by the stars
in my nighttime migration
from Cape May to Mexico.
I need six million square miles to breed
and to winter.
I need DC and Baltimore to be my deep forest
that I might call to your heart
from where I perch beyond your sight
as you venture out to the edge of the dark.
Listen to my soul’s call,  and love me,
that I may be near you when your hungry heart
yearns to drink in my song.




Florida Panther

Florida Panther

I won’t show you my face.
Dawn and dusk, cool nights,
I slip out and observe my succulent prey,
and I may be watching you!
I stretch out cool under saw palmetto
letting Florida sun bake and buzz and bleach,
but I move like lightening when evening falls,
and in the peripheral shadows of your dreams
I’m stalking you, too. 





Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

Through acres of ocean space
I chant and sing and rage,
call and declare.
I remember my songs over months and years.
I remember and change and improvise
and evolve my songs
like Miles Davis in the night.
I am the archivist of the ocean,
and, man, I comment on you.
I’m sure you don’t know this,
but decades from now we will sing your tale.
Where I can’t breathe my ocean,
where my babies die,
I record it all and remember what you do.




Redwood tree

Redwood

We are older than you could ever imagine.
Sequoias, tallest living beings in the world,
wide and massive as a house.
One thousand insect species reside in our branches,
accustomed to the altitude
and evolving on their own.
I’ve watched the world move and change
for over two thousand years,
seen glories and follies at human hands,
seen birth and death and growth and decay,
and you want to drive your damn car
through my trunk!


Annelinde Metzner
July, 1992 from "Voices of Gaia"


Reviewing my poetry of the past thirty years, I came across a collection called "Voices of Gaia," in which I speak in the voices of a dozen endangered species from the plant and animal world.  While I was directing the choral group Womansong, we enlisted our friends and families to help present a powerful performance beginning with these poems, and adding dance, improvised music and spoken word.
      I will post more of these poems over the next few weeks.