August 13, 2014

The Tulip-Tree Flower

The marvelous flowering tree!
     the Tulip Poplar,
     liriodendron tulipifera,
     tall denizen of the forest,
     wide shiny leaves so full,
     riotous with movement and green,
and here on each branch, a tulip flower!
Imagine!  A flower orange and green,
     three sepals separate from it all,
     and the flower tropical with lushness,
     orange base a watercolor
     whirling into the bright green corolla.
This is the tulip-tree flower,
     magnificent being,
     and adding to the wonder,
     in late Spring,
     She casts Herself off in a flourish
     to land in perfect beauty at my feet.

Annelinde Metzner
May 24, 2014


July 31, 2014

The Story

The daisies bid me tell their story.
Clean as sun among mallow, at pond's edge,
all beauty, Oshun's delight. 

A thousand forget-me-nots glory in Her, 
say "forget Her not,
     the Goddess of Beauty,
     beauty of all things."
And the impoverished exile, trudging roads,
counting children, hauling possessions, 

no home but her own two feet:
     Does she forget?
The bombing victim, glassy eyes staring from under beams:
     Does she forget?
Victim of annihilation, limbs fused at odd angles:
     Does she forget?
The slow pleasure of the eye for blue-white flowers,
the sailing swallow, the hummer's buzz,
Your worship, Lady Oshun, for whom all beauty is:
your worship is careful, time-consuming, slow.
You were born in a wide expanse of time, 

elegant jeweled Girl.
The exile by the roadside remembers
and weeps trails of tears for You.
In the minutes before death, the bombing victim remembers
and dreams long sweet-smelling dreams of You.
At her deathbed, the Hiroshima victim 

rides a chariot bedecked with roses,
floating in Your muscled arms, Aphrodite-Oshun,
to the blue-flowered lovers’ bower, from beyond memory.
And the daisies bid me tell their story,
powerful as they gleam by the hundreds,
basking in sun and bending in rain:
     that in these green beings is far more power
     than any steel bomb in the sky;
     that in the green gleam of everyday grass
     the power of life begins and thrives
     through millennia; through exile, torture, coup.
Though the government of countries 

change ten thousand times,
     the forget-me-not still crowds her blue joy
     into the puddled corners of Earth.
Time in plenitude to widely love Her,
     deep and sweet as the tongues of lovers.
Forget-Her-Not,  green beings of Earth.
Love Her beauty.
Love Her.

    Annelinde Metzner

    July 11, 1995
    Catskill Farm

Oshun, Orisha of rivers and fresh water

June 27, 2014



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

Nantahala Forest
October 29, 1995

Now in June with the rhododendrons blooming anew, I thought of this poem and Holle, the Northern European winter Goddess for whom Holland is named.  I composed a song for Holle for my songbook, "Lady of Ten Thousand Names."  It sounds like snow falling!

Holle makes it snow

May 25, 2014


Mountain Laurel


Midsummer sun on raspberry,
the spiced 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
July 10, 1995



April 19, 2014

As Spring unfolds

Wake Robin, blood red Trillium

As Spring unfolds    

As Spring unfolds, thousands
     of newest buds light up like flames
     upon each dogwood branch, each twig.
Thousands!  All lit from within,
     chlorophyll newly opened like a babe’s emerging crown,
     lighting up green on the tips of each twig.
In the woods, the newest Solomon’s Seal
     curls open, leaf by leaf,
     near the unfurling spiral of the fiddle-head fern.
As if to say, “I’m flowing once more,”
     the bloodroot, each leaf a different shape,
     sprouts white despite its sanguine roots.
The Trillium is back!  aware, proud of Herself
     and sure in Her threeness.
Birds in pairs sing all the day,
     impressing one another,
     bedding down in their newly assembled nests.
The Mayapple spreads wide its umbrella,
     dozens and dozens on the forest floor,
     waiting for us, waiting
     for our joy to join their ecstasy.

Annelinde Metzner
Black Mountain
April 17, 2014

April 10, 2014

Florida Masquerade

What a disguise She has!
Cars honk, interstates criss-cross,
golf courses manicure each square inch of land.
Shopping malls and theme parks, parking lots,
What a big charade!
But turn away just once,
just once turn away from the clamor
toward the quiet lanes.
Look up!  A bald eagle settles in
high in the branches of the live oak over your head.
A gopher turtle clambers on its bony legs
right across the road.
The alligator floats, seeming so gentle,
back and forth, back and forth across the lake.
The ineffable scent of orange blossom fills the air,
suspending all one’s notions of what is and what should be.
The ibis, straight as an arrow,
flies to her nest with a fish in her beak.
Good going!  You have seen beneath Her disguise,
Our Florida, our flowered land,
our fountain of ever-renewing youth,
our paradise.

Annelinde Metzner
Gainesville, Florida
March 30, 2014

March 13, 2014


Forsythia in March

It’s March, unpredictable March.
Still bundled in our woolens,
the temperature plummets to freezing.
But today, here beside the bold creek,
the earth is burgeoning, bursting,
redolent with the rich smell of humus.
Dear Mother, our Gaia,
what will You give us this time, this year?
The earth seems to be expanding,
a yeast bread under my feet,
pregnant with possibility,
full of the unknown.
Anything can come of this!
Inhale deeply, and wait,
for She has much hidden in Her store.

Annelinde Metzner

March 15, 2013

Quince in March

Rhododendron, Nature's thermometers, beginning to open

February 12, 2014

The Canada Geese Return

Even though the world is harsh,
violence on the rise,
the rich hoarding, the poor suffering,
the children forgotten or worse,
the villages dormant,
the neighbors unconnected by smile or kindness,
still, the Canada geese land on the lake,
bending their long necks down close to the Earth,
their beautiful necks black as a moonless night.
Still, the Canada geese come to our lake,
just a stop on their way,
the whole brilliant Earth in their travel path,
a vision deep within their bones that carries them here,
a shared vision requiring nothing,
deeply at one with each other in all their bones.
“Land here, eat all you can,
be ready for the next great snow and cold.
Traveling, traveling, on and on,
‘til we can nest once more.”
Though the world is unraveling,
the majestic geese have landed,
with the elegant curve of their black necks
bending to our Earth, here by the side of our lake,
here, here, here.

Annelinde Metzner
Lake Tomahawk

February 12, 2014

Read about Canada Geese at National Geographic and see the goslings!!

January 03, 2014

The Eaters of Death

Bushy Beard lichen, usnea strigosa

Scarcely a day’s rain 

and the white mushroom emerges jubilant
above the crackle of dry leaves,
opening wide to the light.
On the broken branch, the “dead” branch,
the lovely jade of Bushy Beard lichen, usnea strigosa,
grows riotous, joyful for this moment,
green flowers alien and graceful, exquisitely turned.
The dying tree hosts lichen of all colors,
shapes and textures rivaling Picasso or Matisse.
This is Death in the forest!  What ecstacy!
This is one end of life’s continuum,
one tip of the see-saw, wheeee! 
“We gobble up Death, it’s our specialty,
it’s where we love to live.
Give us Death and let us create,
regenerate, revive, renew!
We’re eaters of Death, alive once more,
and eager, eager for YOU!”

Annelinde Metzner
December 29, 2013
Meher Baba Center

Read about the 20,000 edible forms of the lichen usnea.