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.

October 25, 2013

The End of the Year

The End of the Year  

It is coming on evening in late October.
Quickly, quickly the sky darkens, the sun sets.
A fresh layer of pine straw pungently awakens the senses.
The unweaving, the ending, the beautiful death.
October gives us with her beauty
     a soft, kind letting-go, a cradling.
Evening, birds grow softer and softer,
     insects shortening their calls for one final song.
I too am held in Her arms, waiting;
allowing, releasing, loving life ever more acutely
     at this, the end of the year.

Annelinde Metzner
October 21, 2012

September 26, 2013



I come to the woods today
to thank Her for Her changes,
for Her chlorophyll, green, green, green,
still with us even now that Summer is past.
I look up into the treetops, and still!
the sun comes through, green, green,
She not willing to let go yet of summer’s bounty.

A tree fallen recently in the bubbling creek
creates a wondrous cavity where the creek speaks,
deep, dark bass notes, grounding me
within the rush of white water.
I move along, and notice now,
the creek has arisen so high,
new roots are exposed, my path more narrow,
the water carrying away old silt and mud
that had endured there long and long.

I glance up then, and “Oh!”
escapes my mouth, beyond my will,
for there upon the ancient boulder,
the creek singing all around,
some being has come to build cairns. Sixteen!
The newness! The heart-singing surprise!
I welcome the change- Change, come!
I’m ready.

Annelinde Metzner
Elizabeth’s Path
September 26, 2013

August 19, 2013

At the foot of Black Dome

Black Mountain Range including Mt. Mitchell (Black Dome)

At the foot of Black Dome

Here in the woods, on the ridge facing south,
     facing the high mountain, Black Dome,
     highest peak in the East,
     repository of the Earth’s strength
     unending, unbending,
I awake in utter calm.

An unbroken wave of lovingkindness
     emanating from Her, from Black Dome,
soothes my sleep all the night.

An ageless calm,
     enhanced only by the stillness of trees,
     their green age patient and long as limbs,
envelopes me, my breath, my steady heart
responding with perfect care.

I must only receive, free from the dictates
     of daily must-do, open, trusting,
     my guards all down, a smile on my face,
     my body relaxed and at peace,
letting Her be my wisdom teacher,
just for this day.

Annelinde Metzner
Owl’s Nest
August 8, 2013

July 18, 2013



Green shoots through branches, baking in sun.
I grasp green with my lips, my heart.
There’s a vine in here, wanting sun!
Green, tight with veins and stems,
fiery, fluid, reaching.
From my lips, a vine, and with it words.
I remember our kinship. We are one!
My mouth holds vines, brilliant tendrils.
If I’m still long enough, they will shoot out from me!
From my toes, roots, cool earth pulling them along.
From my fingers, tendrils
straining for sun. More brilliance!
A long July day of brilliance, heat,
a green burning, making nutriment,
chlorophyll, melanin, colors reaching,
reaching to paint life in air,
and then singing!
The green and red blood become singing,
the sun’s song, the cool brown earth’s song,
the burning red-green light of creation,
the healing song, green, burning.

Annelinde Metzner
Catskill Farm
July 13, 1995

Stawberry blossoms

Solomon's Seal

June 26, 2013

Bird in the Shrine

Hawkscry shrine

Bird in the Shrine

Up on a pole at Hawkscry is the shrine-
Buddha, Baba, Mother Mary,
feathers, shells and oddments-
and the little bird!
In the quiet, quiet, quiet,
she comes and goes,
guided by her own architecture,
just hidden enough,
just within reach.
Here’s to the Buddha, praise be,
to Jesus and all the family,
and ancient of all, and most worthy of praise,
the little bird, tucked away,
living with simple sacredness.

Annelinde Metzner
June 1, 2013

Birdbath at Hawkscry

May 22, 2013

For all of us

Wake Robin-  Red trillium

For all of us            

From our perch beside the little branch
behind boulders and an ancient root sculpture
in the brilliant new green of May,
we sit and see what there is to see.
Lichen of all colors,
flowery and tenacious,
spiderwort, chickweed (yum!)
and mean old poison ivy,
saying “hi” from the rock face
right behind our heads.
Though we are each sixty,
the boulders laugh out loud
at our foolish youth.
Watching and watching, we wonder
who in the woods is watching us?
Straight and low, a pheasant flies,
annoyed by our disruption.
I gaze and gaze, and suddenly there appears
a yellow trillium, the wood’s own gold,
singing her own song in the moist humus,
for nothing, for no one,
for all of us.

Annelinde Metzner
Little Pine
May 4, 2013

Chickweed in bloom

Garlic mustard



March 29, 2013

The Peace Choir

Sahara Peace Choir

Sing, O heavens, shout, O depths of the earth; 

break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!    Isaiah 44:23

The women come to sing.
In the cold and icy dark, we gather
to rehearse the songs of peace.

       “I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield...”

Putting aside aches and pains, and serious ills,
we come to sing with that wee bit of faith,
that last urge somewhere hidden deep in the heart.

       “Oh, if I could ring like a bell...”

The great Black Dome, the great mountain
hears them coming, the mountain heart leaping.

        "a song of peace, for their land, and for mine...”

until we arrive, there at Black Dome’s feet,
to open our mouths and hearts for Her love,
leaving our homes with all our annoyances,
to sing, to wail, to cry out
for the world we can see, within reach.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who publish peace.  Isaiah 52:7

Annelinde Metzner     

April 10, 2010

While yet again, maniacal leaders call for war across the world's stage, I want to remember all of us who put our minds, bodies and spirits into the call for peace.  
      Sahara Peace Choir has been singing songs of world peace since 2008.   On Saturday, April 6th, 2 PM, we will sing another concert, "Everyone in the World", at Ten Thousand Villages in Montreat, North Carolina, at the foot of the incredible Black Dome, the highest peak in the East.

Black Dome (Mt. Mitchell Range, North Carolina)

March 16, 2013

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. 

Annelinde Metzner
July 1990 from "Voices of Gaia"

"Voices of Gaia" is a series of poems which I devote to endangered species in their own voices.  The Florida Panther has been on the endangered list since 1973.    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has recently released one female into the wild at Picayune Strand State Forest, and will soon release a young male.   The female panther and her brother had been raised at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee since they were 5 months old. The FWC rescued the two as kittens after their mother was found dead.

You can read more about the release of Florida Panthers by following this link: http://www.care2.com/causes/rare-release-of-florida-panther-could-help-save-species.html#ixzz2NhdH8XWb

February 21, 2013

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 01, 2013

Ice Bells

The icy branch

Twenty degrees, the very earth
     crunches and cracks under my boots,
     ice forming everywhere.
The world is bracing, nose-tingling,
     eye-opening, and brand new.
The lovely little creek is water-full,
     singing, singing,
     heedless of the cold,
     ice bells tinkling from each fallen branch.
Winter, and alive, and new again,
Lo!  It all begins again,
     crackling with anticipation.
The first day of the year.

Annelinde Metzner
Montreat, North Carolina
January 1, 2013


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