January 07, 2018

Among the Galax




Galax in bloom




I’m entranced by the smell of boiled cabbage!
     or a mean old skunk, maybe,
     or some moldy old boots.
I’m standing thick in the Galax,
     blooming now in June,
     rain so plentiful the white noise of the branch
     fills my ears and carries me away.
I’m entranced among the Galax,
     enchanted really, as this thick abundance
     of shiny round greenness sings to me,
     standing here, wet, wet.
Yes!   It’s a rainforest, wet and cool,
     lichen and moss growing up the tree trunks,
     ferns growing from stones,
     magic, magic everywhere.
Who lives in that twig house atop the standing stone?
Who giggles at me from over my shoulder, entranced like me?
It’s June!  and the Galax is flowering,
     proud white candlesticks among the rounds of green,
     here in Gaia’s garden, so perfect, so huge,
     the rhododendron buds sticky and bright pink,
     opening to white,
     the leaves so pale green and new.
I’m entranced among the Galax, and it’s June,
     a wet one, a rightful rainy one,
     and the moss is green upon the stone.
White Indian Pipes, ancient as time,
     arise like magic among the Galax, hidden and shy.
Be still!  Receive what She has for you,
     all this, the wetness, the ancient ones,
     the skunky smells, the whispers.
You are in Sacred Time now.  Don’t go too fast.
She is here for you, in the Galax.
She is more than you or I will ever know.

Annelinde Metzner
Greybeard Mountain, NC
June 16, 2012


Twig house






Rhododendron bloom



Gnome tree




Indian Pipes


There is a great story about Indian Pipes told by Mary Chiltosky in the book, Cherokee Plants...
"Before selfishness came into the world-that was a long time ago- the Cherokee people were happy sharing the hunting and fishing places with their neighbors. All this changed when Selfishness came into the world and man began to quarrel. The Cherokee quarreled with tribes on the east. Finally the chiefs of several tribes met in council to try to settle the dispute. They smoked the pipe and continued to quarrel for seven days and seven nights. This displeased the Great Spirit because people are not supposed to smoke the pipe until they make peace. As he looked upon the old men with heads bowed, he decided to do something to remind people to smoke the pipe only at the time they make peace."
"The Great Spirit turned the old men into greyish flowers we now call "Indian Pipes" and he made them grow where friends and relatives have quarreled. He made the smoke hang over these mountains until all the people all over the world learn to live together in peace."













December 08, 2017

The Forgiveness of Snow







Three days of deep snow.
A pillowy meringue has met each branch,
has had a dance with the meadow grass,
has floated into each niche, soft and hard,
until today in the final sun
all is brilliant, brilliant.
Walking, there’s an insulated hush
so in the cove, each argument, each compliment,
each complaint and daily praise
is gone now, as if never been.
A forgiveness in this, the starting anew.
Each white pillow says, “I’m forgetting the car crash,”
“I’m forgetting the toppling of trees,”
I’m forgetting the soldier’s fire, 

and the theft of a village’s water.”
Each six-faceted flake encapsulated
something of those horrors,
something of the looming offensiveness of this life.
“I contain all your sadness,” calls the brilliant snow,
“and don’t I make a pearl?”
Over there by my fence-post is some mother’s wailing grief.
Over there in the white-trimmed fir tree
is the diesel exhaust of a thousand semi trucks.
This morning in the quiet, quiet,
I know what forgiveness is.

Annelinde Metzner         

February 13, 2006
Phoenix Cove















December 05, 2017

The Time of the Yellow Flowers




Coreopsis


It is the time of the yellow flowers,
coreopsis, jewelweed, Saint John’s wort,
all that yellow praising the Mother
and She feeds us, She feeds us.
I am revived, revitalized
by the milk of Her full breast.
Milkweed, almost to the bursting point,
leaves promises in the air for the swallowtails,
while the cardinal chirps and chirps.
The strong and bitter Yarrow cleanses me.
What is in the yellow that fills me so full?
Wherever I look,
the many stamens of Saint John’s flower
fill me with joy.



Annelinde Metzner

Hawkscry
August 25, 2017




St. John's Wort




Black-eyed Susans





Goldenrod
















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"