December 07, 2012

Her Winter Face

She wears Her Winter face.
Cold, cold, cold and clear,
layer upon layer of skeletal trees
lead us up to Her summit.
This is a Bone Forest now,
the land of the Dead.
The air an oceanic indigo blue,
deep beyond knowing.
It is quiet, all quiet,
the people home by their quiet hearths.
She is powerful now, today,
showing Her Winter face.
The clear lapis sky and the unstirring air
offer no resistance to Her divine emittances.
She is in Her element, the Earth,
Her arms extended above Her,
giving, giving us of Her power.
My Grandmother, undisturbed,
goes about Her business, Her divine charge,
replenishing the Earth with Her energy.
Still, She smiles at me.  “Welcome, daughter,
dancing one, my beloved, poet and friend.
Take my warm love into your heart.”
I sit beside my Grandmother, basking in the sun,
grounded in Her giving,
at one with all my Earth.

Annelinde Metzner
Grandfather Mountain
November 9, 2012

November 07, 2012

November dusk

Dusk in early November,
the woods already dark,
the branches black against glow of sky,
stillness all around.
The forsythia holds forth its brilliant leaves,
bright yellow as its blossoms in Spring.
My pumpkin is half-eaten,
a squirrel’s banquet in the garden.
A few plants hold out: the nasturtium, the beet.
All is suspended.
The world holds Her breath, pensive, unmoving,
graceful in Her holding-on,
a leaf here, a vine there.
I breathe deeply, relishing the new cold,
the waking-up of my skin.
The dove titters as she flies,
oblivious of the cold,
like the mallard pairs on the lake.
My ancestors all around me
hold forth their warm spirit hands,
reminding me to love, to live this life each day,
this ever-changing gift, our life on Earth.

Annelinde Metzner
November 4, 2012

October 15, 2012

Rules for Sacred Space


1.     It can be anywhere.
2.     It might have a road through it.
3.     You must find it for yourself.
4.     You must spend time there.
5.     The more time you spend, the more you will:
                 see,  hear,  feel,  smell,  taste.
6.     You must be still!
7.     You must be quiet.
8.     Do not have ego.
9.     It is good to be:  old, female, plain-faced, unfashionable. These help to make you invisible.
10.  Stay until you see, hear, feel, smell, taste something new
                 and amazing.
11.  Stay longer than you planned.
12.  This sacred space is now yours.
13.  Give great thanks.

Annelinde Metzner
Biltmore Estate
April 14, 2000

September 01, 2012

Alone on the Earth at Hawkscry

Hawkscry sky

Alone on the Earth at Hawkscry, all quiet,
     a fullness of beauty, of light.
In sun and shadow on the mountain peaks,
     a circle of love.
Lying here long upon our Mother’s warm skin,
     one feels a sound, deeper than any sound,
     energy reverberating from within Her Heart.
It is late summer,
     when the Earth speaks through singing.
Do you hear Her song?
A soft warm cradle of Her singing,
     this hum of the Great Mother
     we can only feel.
In Her soft warm cradle, in the circle of Her arms,
     She sings for all of us,
     the finned, the furry, the feathered.
She sings, too, for the Stone People, Her most ancient ones,
     the peaks and valleys and rivers where Her waters run,
     Her oceans and Her air.
Can you hear Her song, so huge, so wild,
     so deep within, yet immanent in all things?
That song is for us, for you and me,
     here where we lay close to Her on the Earth,
     and where e’er we walk,
     each step springing from Her deepest heart.

Annelinde Metzner
Hawkscry, August 25, 2012

Here is William Stanhope's blog about Hawkscry.

Hawkscry door

Hawkscry shrine

August 06, 2012

Black Dome, This Slowness

Black Mountain range with 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

July 07, 2012

America is a Moon Child

America is a Moon Child.
Born on the fourth of July,
She is a Motherer, did you know that?
Her true nature.
America prepares a home for us,
     rich and sweet with ferns,
     honeysuckle and spice,
     a soft green moss for us to sleep upon.
America is our Mother, born at the sign of the Moon,
     happiest when She holds us tenderly in Her arms,
     happiest when our sleep is deep,
     grounded in relationship.
America is our Mother, responsive to the Moon,
     tidal in Her pulling, water-bound,
     merciful and tender with all Her beings,
     Her infinitely varied brood.
America is Our mother, and we Her children,
     beloved every one, in Her beautiful web
     interwoven and connected beyond our knowing,
     Her family.

On the fourth of July, the full moon
     shines in my window to bathe me as I sleep,
     curled up and at peace in Her arms.

Annelinde Metzner
Black Mountain, North Carolina
July 4, 2012

June 16, 2012

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

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."

May 02, 2012

This newness

How soft are the new green leaves of spring?
I gently pull my palm along the tenderest
pale bright new sprouts, new as a baby.
I brush the stamens of the azalea, and my thumb
feels nothing, they are too tender for me to sense.
“Whenever you see the birds, you have not actually seen them.”
Can I really absorb this newness, my Mother’s own birth?
Can I know this now, in this body,
with these five senses, so crude and dull?
What is it that knows?
Like an astronomer gazing at the sky,
I try, I sense as best I can,
reaching, imagining, breathing with Her.

Annelinde Metzner
Meher Baba Center, South Carolina
April 13, 2011

April 06, 2012

The Mulberry Tree

Mulberry tree

A walking meditation, I step downward
to the edge of the sea wall.
Silent as the marsh grass and the pluff mud,
all sound is absorbed but the “tweee” and “caw”
of the waterbirds.

Here is how I step:
        Give thanks for the egret.   Give thanks for me.
        Give thanks for the pelican.  Give thanks for me.
        Give thanks for the crow.    Give thanks for me.

Gazing out to the Beaufort River,
not really a river but a ceaseless pulsation of water,
forward and back, ebb and flow,
I sink my roots deep as the oaks by the shore.
Homeward I turn, and almost in the door,
above me, mulberries!
Ripe and black as the night,
they offer themselves to my fingers and mouth,
turning them purple with delight.
Goddess, how you surprise me!
How I kiss you with each step,
‘til you tap me on my shoulder,
opening me, purple, indigo, black as night
with my burst-open welcoming of You.

Annelinde Metzner
Beaufort, South Carolina
March 30, 2012

Beaufort River

Sea wall

March 02, 2012

Red Oleander

A salamander pale green as the new leaves of May
opens its orange lung-sac, brilliant, to the sun.
Three times at every pause!
In the breeze, red Oleander bends on her long stems, celebrating.
I am drawn down a quiet lane by the scent of jasmine,
filling my heart, a path toward joy.
The dear Earth wafts up into me
like the warm smell of fresh-baked bread,
filling my womb with Her love.
With my feet in the sand,
I pull Her love further up into me,  to power all my days.
Mother holds me as tenderly as the mourning dove
in her palmetto-basket nest, giving, giving,
we Her babies, Her vast dream,
we Her future and all Her now.
The black fin of a dolphin arises from the sea, ancient as days,
loving Her, riding into the fathomless tomorrow.

Annelinde Metzner
Folly Beach
June 1, 2010

February 02, 2012

Walk Out

Walk out in the morning in June and sock! You’re pea-deep in fog!    
It’s in your hair, in your nose, misted over eyeglasses and windows.
It’s Yemaya!  She’s in the mountains for a vacation!
She floats herself in on a long vaporous veil,
curls into each holler and gap,
presses her nose to the windows of log cabins
just like a Yankee tourist.
About seven A.M., her sparring partner,  Ol’ Sol,
calls her back up the gap, a diaphanous wave,
spirals and tendons waving bye-bye
to the mules and skunks and buttermilk biscuits.
The sun is better for this exchange.
Through her numinous veil he is pale peach and yellow,
rays burning in counterpoint through her curve and turn.
On her way back up the hollow,
a spotlight, a dappling, a shadow, a blessing,
a touch of her world-gift, Water, with the alchemy of Fire,
moving on up like Dixieland some days, or floating like Giselle.
Bye-bye, Mama Yemaya!
Another tender caress
for us much-loved beings of Earth.

Annelinde Metzner
June 16, 1994

Listen to a reading of "Walk Out" by Annelinde:

January 04, 2012

New Year's Gathering

       “come, come, whoever you are,
        wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.”   
                      (Jelaluddin Rumi,1207-1273, transl. by Coleman Barks)

We come New Year’s day, to Sandy Mush,
that Shangri-la, quiet always, but quieter still, this January day,
the rapeseed fields lying fallow, waiting for Spring’s yellow,
the old dogs and the old farmers beside their wood stoves.

       “Ours is no caravan of despair.”

And it isn’t!   Many old friends, one behind the other,
to get there for sharing warm food and warm regards,
to share births, deaths, all the new, all the new.
The caravan shifts on the leaf-layered road,
and one tire goes ‘way out over the abyss.
“Stop the car!” and everyone hops out.
What to do?  But a neighbor has a "come-along."
This has gone on before, so many times before,
at the end of a long dirt road, where we are our own future,
it’s only us, and what we can do,
stuck on the road in winter.
Twenty arms and hands, a dozen brains
ponder and work, trying this and that,
pulling here and tugging there,
until, voila!  the van is free with its big load,
a wheelchair and four eager passengers.
We’re free!

          “Come yet again, come!” 
Arriving up at the top of the road,
laden with food and one more good story,
we eat, hug, regale and gather around the flames, 
lighting candles for the world,
for our futures and all peoples’,
for making it one more day in this body.
Out to the woods to dance beneath the grey, bare trees,
for Allah, for God, for the Goddess,
and to remember, 
as grey winter clouds lumber gloriously across the sky,
we are all here together in this.
We are all one.

Annelinde Metzner       January 4, 2012

Listen to a reading of "New Year's Gathering" by Annelinde:

Come-along to the rescue!

Another poem read at the gathering:

"As I was thinking of you three squirrels came
by and all rubbed their tails against me,
which reaffirmed my notion of things, being:
that everyone is really on the right track
even if a wheel now and then gets stuck, or even
runs over someone else."

   (from A Year with Hafiz: Daily Contemplations; Daniel Ladinsky, c. 2010, used by permission)

Hawkscry sky, January 1, 2012
You can read more about Hawkscry here.