November 30, 2015

I Have Sworn to Protect Her

"Healing" giclee by Autumn Skye Morrison

I have sworn to protect Her!           
Miracle blue-green jewel of all the worlds,
ancient blue mountains, vast golden deserts,
hummingbirds in the jewelweed,
black bear in the raspberries.
I speak for Her!
I howl for Her!        
I howl, “Beware!”
to you who remove Her sacred mountaintops
torturing her body to get at Her coal.
I howl, “Beware!”
to you who go deep within her mineral layers,
scraping away at her core
for your own gain.
But no one gains by this.  She feeds us all.
I have sworn to protect Her,           
this day that She needs us,
when even Her vast blue-green oceans, 

teeming with life,
are tainted with blood, 

the black oil of power and greed.
This is the day, this is the hour.
She, long-silent, awaits our voice.
The signs of Her anger are everywhere:
desert, flood, tornado, wildfire, 

earthquake, typhoon, tsunami.
I howl for Her!             
I love my Earth as my own body!
I have sworn to protect Her!

Annelinde Metzner
July 31, 2011

As I turn the page to "December 2015" in my We'Moon wall calendar, I come upon an excerpt from my poem above, with fabulous art by Autumn Skye Morrison.  You can see her wonderful giclee, "Healing," as well as other art pieces at her website here. 

     I send out my poem once more as a prayer, to add to so many others, for divine wisdom to come through and among the many world leaders courageously meeting this week in Paris for the World Climate Summit of 2015.  May we all protect our Earth, our beloved Home!!   May we love Her more and more each day!!

Delaware River, Margaretville, New York

Sacred mound, Blowing Rock, North Carolina

September 19, 2015

September light


The light in September!
As if She were a lover,
tender fingers on the lover’s soft cheek,
as if for one last time,
as if tomorrow were goodbye,
the Sun floods the leaves bountifully
with September light.
Still green, the leaves turn to Her, adoring,
knowing this day will never come again.
September, the last hummingbirds drink and drink
for their impossibly long flight.
So quiet! but all is changing,
transforming, metamorphosing,
intimations of new colors to come.
September light is a radiance,
a golden honey, still warm in the hive,
pleading, admonishing, 
“Turn your faces to me!”
knowing soon we will drop

to the ground.

Annelinde Metzner

September 19, 2015

July 17, 2015

Loving July

Blue and black butterfly, photo by Chuck Wilkins

I’m just here to love July!
It’s summer, and the in-your-face red, white and blue
has faded now, mellowed here
to the pink of mimosa, the cream of Queen Anne,
the lavender-blue of cornflower.
Wispy and bending in the breeze,
the colors blend delicately,
the flag of some other world,
my world.
I’m just here to love July!
The days are long, languid.
It’s so silly to be in a hurry!
The heat comes in clouds, wet and heavy.
Rose of Sharon blooms, in Her purple, color of thyme,
color of my fingers after blackberries,
flower of Magdalene, Her feast day nearing.
And butterflies! Hovering over the blooms,
blue and black, limenitis arthemis-
they teach us how to float and taste.
The mockingbird improvises all night,
courting his beloved with music.
How can I resist?
The breezes lift each branch slowly in the heat.
Their coolness soothes my skin.
I’m just here to love July.

Annelinde Metzner
Little Pine

Many thanks to my dear friend Betsy Murray for giving me her country cabin in Madison County to rest and write.

June 15, 2015

The world opened

Mountain Laurel blooming

I was five when,
riding a country road in the family Ford,
I exclaimed with surprise and delight
and Dad stopped the car.
The laurel was blooming!
Throwing the car door open,
my parents solicitous of me,
I climbed a bank as close as I could
and gazed within the blossom.
The ten-sided blooms,
deep pink turning to white as they opened,
drew me into their world.
As the petals widened,
releasing their power to the wind
and the pollinators,
the one bloom made, not a world,
but a universe.
My five-year-old self
gazed into this tiny mandala
of white touched with magenta.
I rejoiced in Her being,
the laurel somehow freeing me,
calling to me, “Remember!
Here in my petaled calyx
is the beauty for which you were born!”
Mom and Dad called me back to the car,
and we went on our way,
forever changed.

Annelinde Metzner
May 23, 2015

May 17, 2015

Saint Francis at Hawkscry

St. Francis at Hawkscry

Falling in the mud!  Oh, no!
The St. Francis statue,
for thirty years at the neighbor’s house,
suffered severe neglect,
and a preponderance of falling over.
William, faithful and kind,
lifted Francis out of the mud.
Now Francis sits regally on his pedestal,
surveying this green domain,
prayer flags over his shoulder.
Gentle Francis, they say,
who learned to love all beings,
walked with a bird on his shoulder, and sang.
Teacher of kindness, of course you attract
more kindness from this alert neighbor.
Francis, this is a peaceful place. Welcome!
Cast your sweet grace
for miles around.

Annelinde Metzner
May 15, 2015

 Many thanks to my dear friends Jane and William Stanhope for letting me write at their beautiful sanctuary called Hawkscry in Sandy Mush Valley.

Hawkscry cabin

Hawkscry shrine

Angel bird bath

Hawkscry sky

April 13, 2015

Bundled Up with Grandmother

I’m all bundled up and sitting at Grandmother’s feet!
It’s February!  What good fortune!
Under a red wool blanket,
I exult and absorb Her pure, boundless energy.
I’m here!  I’m here!
Beside the sacred mound, so close to Brigid’s day.
What is this scent so sweet?
Oh grasses, oh pines!
I feel that we are stirring,
Life!  you of endless renewal,
Life!  with me here, dear Sun on my pen,
Life!  coming up through my feet.
Dear Son, nearby, his ashes on the Sacred Mound,
a Pagan too, like his mama.
In the ethers, he gives me a big “thumbs up!”
just for being here.
A big “thumbs up” from my son just for being here this day,
February, all bundled up, red wool to my ankles and chin,
Saule at my back, Gaia radiating through my feet,
the scent of May, the scent of becoming.
It’s Life! L'chaim, it’s the world, fresh,
I’m here, thumbs up, I’m here, bundled up,
I’m smiling, I’m here,
I’m here.

Annelinde Metzner
Sacred Mound

February 8, 2015

My name for a vast ecosystem in North Carolina, a tall mountain of almost six thousand feet, is "Grandmother Mountain."   Although officially called "Grandfather," Her energy is very powerful and feminine for me.
      I visit there and in the nearby area often, as a pilgrimage, and to be near the place I left my son's ashes.  I've learned to feel the abundant energy generated by these natural vortices, and I go there to recharge.

Grandmother Mountain in the distance

My son, Peter Metzner

January 16, 2015

Winter Moon

Trees bare at the edge of the ridge,
scraggly, December, full of secrets.
Cold Moon rises, barely there among branches.
She shocks me!
“Come out of your house!,” She challenges me.
“Breathe my bare cold.
Clean and direct I’ll fill your lungs.
Come out of your comfortable house.
I want you now!”
With that slap from the big Cold Moon
I’m made to remember.
The white pull of Her glow tugs hard
at some treasure I’ve been hiding.
Gazing into the white-glazed night forest
I pause for the Moon to paint me, too,
with cool Winter’s light.
For Her, I am what I am, nothing more.
The days go and go and go,
bright and noisy as ever,
but within me, as in dreams,
She demands my attention,
tripping me up,
no matter how well I hide.

Annelinde Metzner
December 21, 1995

My home in Phoenix Cove where this poem was written

January 02, 2015

Clouds across Ocracoke

Swiftly, darkly moving,
nothing impeding,
clouds move dramatically over Ocracoke,
beautiful spit of an island
‘way out here, twenty four miles out to sea.
These clouds move, they move darkly,
grey and white,
powerful and overwhelming over the little village.
The clapboard houses and flooded streets
are quiet, quiet
as the clouds move as they will.
I feel our farawayness, our immersion,
I feel the clouds moving over the vast sea,
over Ocracoke, over me,
we a village of beings unnoticed
by the clouds,
darkly, swiftly moving.

Annelinde Metzner

November 28, 2014

Ocracoke is the most southern of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, reachable only by ferry.

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