“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.)

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Return to the Grandmothers and 2 Other Poems by Annelinde Metzner

 This past summer, my family and I lovingly carried my brother’s ashes to a favorite spot of his, in the woods at our grandparents’ Catskill farm.  My mind was on the simple, beautiful ritual, each of us stating memories and scattering some of the ashes around the tree, and singing a few songs. It had slipped my mind that this tree grew at the entrance of the very meadow where, at age 11, I felt urgently compelled to create a ritual for myself, just at puberty, where I connected with the Grandmothers of the four directions. No one had taught me this, and I am still in wonder at what we carry with us, undoubtedly from prior lives. I feel that this poem was my self initiating myself into the world of the Goddess, and preparing for my own future.

In this poem, the Grandmothers are speaking to me, with a bit of disdain and fond teasing.

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The Appalachian Cailleach Speaks by Annelinde Metzner   

The Cailleach is a Celtic Ancestor-Goddess, a Divine Hag, a Crone who controls the winter winds in the far reaches of remote places. Living in the still-wild mountains of Western North Carolina, I’ve found it is easy to conjure up the Cailleach rising up through a rhododendron “hell.” She certainly took my breath away, and captured my consciousness, when I wrote this poem in 1995. Some years later, Lisa Sturz of the Red Herring Puppets created for me the eight-foot tall, wearable Grandmother puppet you see here. She has appeared in a number of my theater productions to the Goddess, while the poem was being dramatically read, with improvised music on the psaltery. Grandmother is happy to be coming out of my basement once more, for the Samhain service at our Unitarian church here in Black Mountain.

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Woman of the Isle of Women by Annelinde Metzner

Gratitude to the FAR community for welcoming my poems as of April of this year.   Various earlier poems have been my way of introducing myself.

     My work as a poet and composer has been centered around welcoming the reemergence of the Goddess in all Her forms.  So this time I’ve submitted two poems referring to two of the many Goddesses who have influenced my life so profoundly.

Ix Chel is a Mayan Goddess of childbirth, midwifery, medicine and the moon. She has been especially honored and featured in artwork and sculpture on the Isle of Women (Isla Mujeres) in Mexico. She appeared to me in Her aspect as a young woman, the Jaguar Woman. In my mind’s eye, I associated Ix Chel with my beautiful son Peter who passed away in 2004, imagining them living joyously together in the Otherworld. Thanks to Deb Pollard for showing all aspects of the Moon above our heads as we sleep.

My second poem was born on a trip through the just-blooming peach orchards of South Carolina. A vision came to me of the Peach Maidens reaching out over millennia to the young priestesses of ancient Crete, dancing in celebration of each other’s beauty. And also sharing of their truth-telling and hard-earned wisdom. 

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Three Poems by Annelinde Metzner

  To spend time in nature and deeply connect with Her is to allow enough time for Her surprising wisdom and dreamlike insights to open up for me.  I call this “Plein Air Poetry.”  It’s a joy to wait in nature and see who connects with me on any given day.

     These poems come with the gratitude of very early Spring when Her first shoots and flowers, such as the weeping cherry which birds have planted all over my yard, begin to appear like mysterious veils over winter’s greyness.

Deb Pollard Greening

Greening              April 6, 2022

Suddenly I awaken, early April,
and a diaphanous green veil
has draped over the weeping cherries,
the first to bloom with delicate, drooping grace.

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The Egg by Annelinde Metzner

Art by Deb Pollard Materials: Watercolor, markers, and vintage pearl button on paper.

In 1989 I was 37 years old. My body’s sacred work, centered around eggs, hormones and fertility, strongly governed my everyday existence.  I’m sure that influence is strong for all women of that age, mothers or not, body conscious or not.   I was directing a large women’s choir in Asheville, Womansong, composing and arranging for the women’s voices, as well as leading ritual-like rehearsals in a seated circle on the floor (pretty sure I can’t do that any more!) where I would often read my latest poems.

     Now I know that the egg of our own existence was carried in our mother’s wombs while in our grandmother’s bodies. I can see how my imagination in 1989 would go further and further afield, to women’s relations with all the egg-bearers, flora and fauna, of our amazing Earth. Quite a family we are!

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The Darkness by Annelinde Metzner

Collage by Deb Pollard

As a composer and poet, I’m interested in cultural perceptions and assumptions that influence beliefs.  In monotheistic religions as well in some types of more recent spiritual thought, the assumption has been to equate Darkness with evil and Light with good. “Love and light!” we hear often, or maybe “I’m surrounding you in light.”  But this assumption feeds a form of prejudice that infuses all of society. The mind hears “darkness” and associates it negatively with Earth, female, skin color, dirt.

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