“O Mystery” and other poems by Annelinde Metzner

Part of what poetry does is to give us the world around us seen with a clear eye, without judgement or preconceptions.  You are stating just what is, but always with a foot in both worlds, always seeing the mundane in its place in the universal.  In “The Earthen Cloak,” I was blessed with the hospitality of a Quaker friend who guided me through a hidden graveyard deep in the woods, where Friends had chosen to be buried under trees and amid rhododendrons, leaving a legacy of their own love of the Earth.  (It’s legal to be buried “straight into the ground” in North Carolina, without a casket but often with a shroud.)

Almost on the opposite end of the spectrum, my second poem, “Waiting On the Food Truck,” chronicles an afternoon with the joyously colorful food truck of Bounty and Soul, our local nonprofit addressing food insecurity in our region.  I got there early enough to watch the children cavorting excitedly around their trailer park as children will do anywhere.

“O Mystery,” is named after the transformative song by Jeremy Geffen composed for Paul Winter’s “Missa Gaia- Earth Mass.”  This to me is the feeling I get while writing a poem-   observing the everyday, the screech of an owl, the screech of strings, while keeping one foot in this world, and one in the world beyond.

The Earthen Cloak                                August 12, 2022

Each afternoon, the storms come in
first the mysterious rumble from far away,
then the closer crash,
until each day ends in a swirl of thunder, mist and rain.
The Appalachian forest, the rain forest,
loves this daily soaking, Her element.
Mushrooms are abundant,
spiderwebs glisten with raindrop jewels.
I am blessed with a Quaker friend,
guardian of the forest,
who patiently and delightedly walks with me
uphill in the wet leaf mulch,
among the trees,
from grave to grave.
These are the burial sites of the self-determined few,
the ones who find the right bush, the right tree,
taking time to warm to the chose spot
years before they go.
How life continues here,
how it goes on!
A potter’s grave, trimmed with pot-lids of all colors.
A painter’s grave, happy to rest in beauty for all time.
A writer’s grave, poems etched in the marker stone.
I sit at the stone fire circle
as the sunbeams shine through the leaves.
A sacred ground, a blessed place,
made of you and me,
made of all of us.

Waiting on the Food Truck                        10/13/22

It’s a half-day of school,
and the bright-eyed children at the trailer park
are everywhere.
Two girls, almost teens,
spontaneously break into a long game of tag,
laughing, shrieking, dodging, weaving,
uphill and down, between the rickety trailers.
It’s Food Truck day!
The children gather, as the colorful truck
pulls up and opens its doors.
Hand after hand, chattering Spanglish,
they come to help, big kids and small,
grabbing baskets, tomatoes, pimientos, lechuga.
It’s a party! Kids of all ages,
moms carrying babies,
serious young boys carrying chairs, serving lemonade.
We gather around a table eating donated cake,
repeating the new words of English class.
Laughing, helping out, rejoicing,
reveling in our human community,
our commonality.

O Mystery                                                              1/12/23

“Pay attention,” says the sky,
blustery, gusty
patches of grey and then deepest black
just above the ridge.
This world sways in the balance,
tightrope-walking between the dimensions
like thunder in the snow.
It’s the mystery of the screech of a bowed string,
and the screech of the owl.
In the wind, the willows dance,
graceful maidens once more.
A heron in the pines stretches her wings,
then settles down to watch and wait.
The wind’s roar is a symphony
of the otherworld’s percussion,
of strings with no bodies.
O Mystery,
you open up your door like a trolley car
and welcome us in.

BIO: Annelinde Metzner honors the Divine Feminine with her poetry and music. She has composed many praise songs included in her songbook, “Lady of Ten Thousand Names,” and has created and produced concerts for the Goddess including most recently, “Feminine Faces of God.” She directs the choir at the UUCSV in Black Mountain, NC, and founded the women’s choirs Womansong and Sahara Peace Choir in Asheville NC. http://annelindesworld.blogspot.com


3 thoughts on ““O Mystery” and other poems by Annelinde Metzner”

  1. Beautiful, evocative poems! You make me feel as if I am right there experiencing these things with you. It makes me think of the lines by Muriel Rukeyser, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life The world would split open.” And to me it isn’t only the dramatic things that break open the world, but the little, everyday things, such as you write about here, that sometimes have the most profound truth. Thank you for sharing these!


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