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

Holle







Holle

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

Rebirth




Mountain Laurel








Rebirth

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





Rhododendron






Buttercups












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

Humus




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

Cairns








Cairns         

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





Ferns






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
Hawkscry
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





Fiddleheads




Mayapple