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.








July 08, 2016

In Love with the Rooted Earth





Small rainbow, Black Mountain


When people see rain, 
it’s “get the umbrella,”
“cancel the game,”  “close the window,”
“my new hairdo!”
When rain comes to the wild grasses
they lay back like expectant lovers,
Gopis awaiting Krishna,
and it’s just the sky changing.
Just the gray massed clouds 

becoming dragons and mermaids,
fragrant with the next field over,
jolly with surfeit of love.
And the Gopi grass hears one, two,
three splats on the head of the drum,
and then party!  It’s Krishna, gaining momentum,
entering like the mayor in the small-town parade,
rolling in rain like the ship had come in,
drunk,  timeless,  out-of-grass-body
and in love with the rooted Earth.




Annelinde Metzner

July 9, 1992




Marsh rain




Blue Ridge Mountain rain











June 25, 2016

Raining





Looking Glass Mountain in the rain



‘Way down in the valley below,
     the rush of Little Pine Creek
     is full of mystery, portent.
She is warning us, analyzing what we do,
     a wise woman full of the lessons of history,
     if we will only listen.

Nearby in the tree tops,
     the rain is a sheet of sound, pointillistic,
     as each leaf receives a drop.
In the woods in the rain, I am rewarded,
     gratified, satisfied,
     hearing Mother’s great bountiful “enough for all.”

Here on the screened-in porch in the rain,
     the taps on the tin roof go deep,
     settling into my soul.
The soft gentle beats are the Goddess’ finger patterns
     moving down my spine, reminding me
     of the heart-stirring journey that began all this.

The black crow glides across the white sky,
     crying, “raining, it’s raining.”

Annelinde Metzner
May 29,2016
Little Pine



Catskills rain



Betsy's Little Pine cabin










 

May 28, 2016

through the green





Buttercups

Delicate, the new willow leaves twist and turn
     before me in the wind.
From somewhere, the five notes of a wind chime
     carry to my other ear a gift,
     going deep, so I must tilt my head
     to completely receive their vibration.
From the underside, the leaves glow brilliant.
Chlorophyll, green fireworks within each leaf,
     explodes with gratitude for the Sun.
The brave new garden plants,
     each claiming their patch of dirt,
     show their best posture, row upon row,
     standing tall and delicious.
I soak up this silence almost desperately,
     pulling in the sweet, sweet air,
     the purity of the breeze cleansing me completely,
     replacing my tired staleness with life and space.




Annelinde Metzner
May 6, 2016