December 18, 2009

I cannot grasp Her power

Beneath us, this support,
quiet as it is, this power
linking directly to my heart, fresh, cool,
down in the layers, the emerald, the sapphire,
holding us all tenderly, warm and strong, our lover,
the power of the mountains is with us, everywhere.
Today, as if posing for a portrait,
she is holding still, so still,
holding each branch forth with her immense grace,
available to us, almost shy.
The mountain, enshrouded today, is retreating in the heavy fog,
head in the clouds, really.
She is seen, and she fades. She is seen, and she fades.
As for me, I’m but a puppet, magnetized,
a whirling skater upon a mirror,
a slave to her power.
Autumn and winter, spring and summer,
pulling the Moon, and being pulled,
she turns so slowly, so beyond our ken,
each minute shift is an avalanche on Denali,
a hurricane in Cuba, a rock slide in Tennessee.
I cannot grasp her power.
Now and then, a turn in the path, a change in the weather,
and I glimpse the mountain’s power, the ageless magnetism,
I feel her pulling my eyelids down at night,
pinching me to leap for joy in the day...
but she is so far beyond me to know,
I am only here to witness, to glimpse and guess,
to be propelled through my life, a leaf on the wind,
at the mercy of Her grace.

Annelinde Metzner October 29, 2009

July 30, 2009

Looking Glass

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.

copyright Annelinde Metzner July 25, 2009

(Photo by Susan Burkot)

June 19, 2009

The Forest Rejoices

Did you know that

the forest is rejoicing in you?

On the forest floor, this June,

Galax is blooming,

tall white candles lining the path

where you walk.

The rain, the plentiful blessed rain

has filled each lake and stream

and draped each stone and hard place

with brilliant green mosses,

each stone a small village of miniature trees,

small hopes.

For you, the air is cold and sweet,

redolent of the ferment of humus,

the lush bed of new life laid before you.

For you, the soft breeze on your tired skin

cleanses you of all your worries,

and overhead, fit for any blushing bride,

mountain laurel in impossible numbers

bloom in your lover’s bower.

Loving you! Loving you!

Loving your being, breathing with you,

exhaling with each of your inhalations.

She welcomes and embraces each cell you offer here.

In the cold recesses of the wild deep cataracts

that pour out your welcome, layer upon layer,

the sun breaks through in rays, brilliant yellow-green.

She pours out her joy, yes,

she crashes into the black pools,

just for the joy of being here,

just for the joy of you.

Annelinde Metzner copyright June 14, 2009

June 13, 2009



The hard wind tearing through the Nantahala Forest

is the big swift hand of Grandmother,

getting crumbs off the table, thoughtlessly,

readying for the next thing, washing clothes or serving soup.

In the hollow, under the cold wind, you are the crumb!

You may like it here, but you’re gone!

Loud and long the fierce winds howl through the deep forest.

She brushes Her hand, and ancient oaks crash, obedient to Her will.

The Rhododendron stands patient through eons and eons,

accustomed to the Grandmother’s whims.

Her brown and mossy stems meet and turn exquisitely,

solid, rooted, yet reaching for air,

a ballet on the brown forest floor.

Her leathery broad leaves are good for all winter,

each whorl of leaves a brilliant, fleeting thought.

They call this Rhododendron Hell:

Hell, Holle, the Holy, the One Who Lives Death.

Plants and animals die here, ecstatic

to feed Her, to become the next thing.

I, too, would die for Her, here at Her feet in the Nantahala Forest.

“Guten abend, guten Nacht,” sings Grandmother, 

tucking me in as I dissolve into nutriment.

Here at Holle’s side, Her perfect whorls elegant,

I’d wash into dirt at the first icy rain, rejoin the family of all being,

sing the green songs of the ages.

Fierce winds tear through here, uprooting oaks.

I sleep at Her feet until whenever She needs me.

Annelinde Metzner  copyright 1998

May 27, 2009

Let It

Let It

Not just once but many times She surrenders,

the Wisteria, lusciously sweet,

royally purple, palest lavender,

clusters like Concord grapes

drooping, sprouting wild everywhere.

Leaves so new and tender-green,

I can’t even feel them to the touch.

Huge, heavy scent,

like a sultry liaison on a hot afternoon,

or like three Grandmas in church,

or like a little girl’s Christmas perfume.

Surrender!  says She,

and again She gives forth so big,

trees and roofs are dwarfed by Her energy.

Let it just fall, fall down,

give up, She shows us!

And why do you hold on so tight?

Fall, let fall!  and as you do,

your beauty, your perfect wholeness

falls open for all to see.


copyright Annelinde Metzner    April 2009

The sheer lace curtain

Icy white curves of pure sunshine

come through the white lace curtain

surprised, as if the Sun

had tumbled into a clothes dryer

full of lace undies.

I can’t fully see the day,

She is so veiled, so disguised

in honeycombs of lace,

lace petals of flowers,

filigrees and tendrils,

flirtatious as flickering flame

even though the glass is frozen.

It’s twenty degrees today, even at the beach,

January. A world white as lace,

and hiding something too, maybe hiding a year,

a whole new year, a brand new number,

the world not quite discernible

beyond the sheer lace curtain,

January delicate and lovely, thin as lace.

The Sun, as bright as He can be,

happily cascading into white roses of lace,

caught in time, in January’s sheer wonderment,

the unknowing, the promise of the future,

beyond somewhere, waiting.

copyright Annelinde Metzner      January 2009

(photo by Anne Laudati)

April 06, 2009

The hidden lake

There are lakes that go down a thousand feet,
and here, leaf mold and mud how deep?
But only the soul knows.
We look across the shiny surface, 
the ripples this way and that,
and the soul measures, dives down,
finds its depths.
I must be a snapping turtle, burrowing deep.
My soul snaps onto my fingertip,
when it hungers, when meaning has gone dry.
My soul rests in the fathomless deep,
hungry, pulling my life this way and that,
seldom satisfied.
I must be a catfish, with my long whiskers
stirring my own ancient soup over and over,
pulling together each scrap of events,
wanting that placidity, that mirror calmness.
Gazing across the reflective surface, I see swimmers!
Dark beings unseen until now.
Happy and dark as ducks, they paddle 
across the surface of my soul.
How have I created these?
What ancient magic of my days came forth
to paddle across my dark waters?

Annelinde Metzner    copyright 2009

February 22, 2009



Midsummer sun on raspberry,
the spicy scent of fern, the color of red clover.
There is no better place, no holier ground than this.
And what is near you? What grows by your door?
How you longed to be here, those nine months in the quiet room,
all suspense and expectancy, a few noises and bumps.
Your first aroma, new to breathe air, was luscious as this:
Raspberry, fern, Mother's blood, her milk, her musky skin.
The vision came and went as you gazed.
Here today, it's new green berries tight as Chinese soldiers,
apple leaves against July's blue,
and darker in the shade, the mysterious abyss.
That first day, Mother's soft face came and went,
and each gaze another joy,
a bit of the immense puzzle you came just to experience.
With hunger and thirst, with tongue and lips,
our loudest "yes!" we sing.
Draw to your heart the new life, the new places of each day!
Draw into your soul the warm flesh of being,
her musky skin, her colors.
She is not going to disappoint you.

Annelinde Metzner   copyright 2006 

In the Fern Woods

In the Fern Woods

I scattered my son's ashes in the fern woods
as raindrops tapped like centipede's feet
on the balcony leaves of maple and oak.
I scattered his ashes near the ancestor oak,
old, gnarled, twisted, huge,
because above all he is a Druid, and there is no name to this place.
You must take the twists and turns,
the new, She will always be new.
This turn of ferny woods will be gone again,
fallen trunks and scattered stones,
anew with plants and creatures,
yesterday's underlayer giving birth to tomorrow.
My son lives here, with Arthur and Morgaine,
listening for Gandalf and the Lady of the Woods, 
and Hecate forever at the crossroads.
One would risk one's mind to have it all,
to have this eternity, this newness, this death,
and he got that from me, as I hoped he would.
Step into the new world with great trust and great love!
Ancestors will guide you, all life will support you,
and the spicy sweet bed of ferns will cradle you on your way.

Annelinde Metzner     copyright August 2004

February 05, 2009


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 the 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   copyright 2001

February 04, 2009

What She Is

What She Is

We live in small spaces, working, eating, sleeping.
Do we know what She is, really?
How, in Arizona, She explodes up from the ground
into mile-high red rock, the Cathedral, the Hands,
or She implodes far down into Her own belly,
displaying Her inner self without secrets,
silent, awesome, vast, powerful, infinite?
Or how She riles Her cold Pacific, daily washing the western shore,
turquoise and lapis, boulders thrown like pebbles hither and yon,
sea weed and sea lions rejoicing,
whales diving and blowing air as they pass year by year?
North, how She sets forth giant trees,
so wide and tall that each is a world,
each a life for a thousand species, Her silence immense and eternal?
And how Her blood, Water, crashes over rocks through Colorado,
worshipped by the Hopi, drop by drop,
measured enough to grow corn on the dry mesa
or wild enough to scrub the arroyos clean again?
Do we see how wide She is, how vastly new?
Do we gain that joy She intended for us,
privileged as we are to be Her guests?

Annelinde Metzner copyright 2003

February 01, 2009

Santeetlah Creek

Santeetlah Creek

In winter, under crowns of curved ice,
you trade liquid for solid in the cold, cold air.
In warm summer, you're the laughing white water,
tickler of toes, leaping home of speckled trout.
Rushing, cleansing, each place a small volcano of water
within shape of stone and rush of air.
Deep cold waters from the quiet Earth,
the source a cavern of crystals akin to this white creek.
Santeetlah, you pour down on us from forever,
white jets long to the finale at Santeetlah Lake.
You are a carrier.  You carry leaves of autumn, gold and blood-red,
pine needles, galax, speckled trout,
fragrant mushrooms, eggs of all kinds,
rhododendron blooms in spring.
Babies of yours lodge here and there, wedged along the shore,
changing your shape as you change theirs.
Cold and white, the rushes sweep the stones below, and me above.
I'm but a stone here beside you.
In my hair is swift spray, smelling of ice water, galax and laurel.
Crawdads and minnows play "hide and seek" between my fingers.
My spine is the long stone of your vitality,
icy fluid whose leaps make me dance.

Annelinde Metzner copyright 2002

Elsie's Garden

Elsie's Garden

Drove up to Elsie's garden, my head in the radio,
counting measures and checking forms.
I raise my eyes just to park and...
Jolted into Eden, an ecstasy of brilliant color, 
as with 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 for me, lush as Sheba.
Lemon yellow bearded coral, glacier white fringed,
all with a calligraphy of magenta.
Rust-red and egg-yolk yellow.
I regain my breath, and big tears, here in Elsie's garden.
Tante, at ninety-two, fosters this ecstasy of color,
and scent of peony, double, triple, magenta and snow.
As I go to knock at the door,
I breathe deep, remembering the grace of my DNA,
the colors, the purple, saying "this is me,"
my old Tante in her garden,
pulling a miracle of flowers from the unsuspecting soil,
this is me, I weep, I love, I remember, I belong.

Annelinde Metzner copyright 2006
(photo by Patty Levesque)

The Sacred Grove

The Sacred Grove

Passing through a phalanx of guardians,
six rednecks in camp chairs drinking beer,
I come upon a tiny glen.

The Goddess lives here!
Among the pines, in their rich soft carpet of silence,
spirit envelopes me.
I sit, and slowly, the wild world
reappears:  the titmouse, the bees.
And there She is!
She offers me all She has.
Her love, Her endless love.
Blueberries grow tall enough to pick with my mouth.
I'm home, in this wild Earth.

Passing through a phalanx of guardians,
six rednecks in camp chairs drinking beer,
I come upon a tiny glen.

Annelinde Metzner copyright 2008
(photo by Patty Levesque)

January 31, 2009

What the Mountain Says

Some days I can tell what the mountain is saying.
Light plays against each leaf, so close
I could hold the mountain here in my hand.
Cloud shadows pass over, giving homage.
The tall mountain ash quivers in the wind,
a girl new to womanhood,
shining light back at the mountain.
The pokeberry spreads gloriously
at the base of the mountain,
mirroring its shape like a cool lake.
The cat and kitten tumble and scurry,
joyous to live by the mountain.
The locust tree holds her long arms perfectly still,
to frame the mountain in beauty.
I feel the mountain only in my heart.
The mind can hear but not know.
The mountain's heart speaks to my heart,
but her meaning is deeper, from the womb.
Perhaps I bleed some of the mountain into the ground.
Perhaps she pulls me into her, 
making me die, making me be born.

Annelinde Metzner copyright 2003

Herrin Cove

Herrin Cove

The spirits are strong here.
"Here, here, here," sings the crow
from three places I can't trace.
In Appalachia water is everything,
and here in Herrin Cove, She is audible.
She runs, she runs, and honoring her,
from bits of earth in rocky crags
grow mosses, ground covers,
full-bearing blueberries and elder.
Far below are a thousand worlds,
where too, a waterfall rushes unseen by men.
Beneath each tree is a unique world, a home to many,
and the cove is spring-off point to bear, wolf and panther.
Lymph she is, this speaking water, underpinning all this green.
Wind comes upmountain, as chill as August can be.
Why don't I just lean back and sleep,
awash in the eternal water,
and dream?

Annelinde Metzner copyright 2003

Broad River

Broad River

Hunkered down at river-level,
whitewater roiling around unseen stones, 
the water roars through my veins.
People fish, and wade, and gaze, cleansing the soul.
"Look, Mom, a dragonfly," on our near shore,
and what a day!    The great blue heron,
a message from other worlds,
carries us with her, upstream, all geometry and colors.
"The water is wide, I cannot get o'er,"
but this is Heron's home, the swifter the better.
Kayakers of all colors spin and turn,
at one with the river's curves and dips,
her surprises new each day, each hour.
Couples stroll on the riverbank, for the river
reminds us of all time.
We are eternity, too, our blood roaring just as loud.
Though I hunker down beside you on a stone, Broad River,
I worship you just the same.

Annelinde Metzner      copyright 2006