(Photo by Ariel Poster: Women tend trees with the Green Belt Movement in Kenya)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Love for the world

Balinese dancer

I watch the dancer, one arm framing her face,
one hip drawing upward in the belly’s rhythm.
The dance of mature women, Raqs Sharqi,
born of the sensuous music of the Middle East.
Her hips pull us into infinity,
an inward-outward shout of beauty and desire.

In Cameroon, babies learn music
while strapped to Mama’s back.
Coming of age, boys leap high,
beaming with the village’s newfound respect.

In Bali, the gamelan orchestra cues the dancer
with clangs and thumps,
the bodies telling stories of monsters and gods,
each movement of eyes, and fingers, and feet
a perfectly timed posture of sacred geometry.

Oh humans, oh, humans, can’t you love all this?
Can’t you love the way we’ve created the world,
each culture born of each unique place,
and each of us expressing in our own way?
Doesn’t this beauty tear at your heart,
that everywhere we draw up our Earth’s strength
through our feet, through our hands,
and we thank Her with leaps and turns,
ecstatic to be stretching our bounds?

Oh people of our Earth, can’t you love all this?
The exquisite mudras of Bharat Natyam,
nuances of the courtship of Radha and Krishna, her love?
The kibbutz youth, leaping to dumbek and flute,
‘til joy bursts like fireworks from the chest?

Oh humans, oh infinite diversity,
aren’t you breathtaken, aren’t you amazed?
don’t you treasure each other, for the vastness
of what, together, we are?

Annelinde Metzner
Black Mountain

August 23, 2014

Boys practice drumming in Cameroon

Dancers on an Israeli kibbutz

Raqs Farqi, belly dancer

Bharat Natyam dancer of India playing Krishna's flute

Friday, September 2, 2016

I Am With You

No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me.
                            -The Stanford Rape Victim

Brava, brave one, hurt one, raped one.
Voice this loudly, with all the power you can summon!
Brava, brave young woman of Palo Alto,
“Stanford Rape Victim” the only name we know.
But you speak, you voice this loudly!
Your deposition twelve pages, single-spaced,
letting us know, letting the world know,
letting the court know
what he did to you, what they all did to you.

“You don’t know me, 

      but you’ve been inside me,
            and that’s why we’re here today.”

Raped behind a dumpster after a party, unconscious,
pine needles and dirt rubbed into your body.
Painstakingly you described the ordeal.

At the hospital- 

       “a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs...”
the immediate aftermath-  

        “I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep...”
the aftereffects-  

       “I didn’t want my body anymore.  I was terrified of it.”
the news media-  

        “By the way, he’s really good at swimming.”
Brava, brave one, voicing this for us all!
Your profound work, your deposition
is out on the table for us all,
for young men and for young women,
now at last out in the open, the vividness of your truth.

After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions
      designed to attack me, to say, 

            “see, her facts don’t line up.”
You gave this back to the world, saying “chew on this!”
and we have. We hear you!
The world will never be the same,
never again to doubt your truth and your pain.
The world has changed.  There is no turning back.

I can’t sleep alone at night without a light on.
  I have nightmares of being touched 

       when I cannot wake up.
Brava, strong one, give it voice! 
Spare the world nothing of your truth!

And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you.
      On nights when you feel alone, I am with you.

I bow in thanks, a thousand thanks, to you, victim-no-more.
For the sake of girls, the next ones and the next,
you gave of your all, you gave us your truth,
the screaming depths of your pain.

(All quotes in italics are taken from the deposition of the Stanford Rape Victim,  reported in Buzzfeed, June 3, 2016 by Katie Baker.)

Annelinde Metzner

July 2016

Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker  (click here)

A former Stanford swimmer who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman was sentenced to six months in jail because a longer sentence would have “a severe impact on him,” according to a judge. At his sentencing Thursday, his victim read him a letter describing the “severe impact” the assault had on her.

On Thursday, Turner’s victim addressed him directly, detailing the severe impact his actions had on her — from the night she learned she had been assaulted by a stranger while unconscious, to the grueling trial during which Turner’s attorneys argued that she had eagerly consented.
The woman, now 23, told BuzzFeed News she was disappointed with the “gentle” sentence and angry that Turner still denied sexually assaulting her.
“Even if the sentence is light, hopefully this will wake people up,” she said. “I want the judge to know that he ignited a tiny fire. If anything, this is a reason for all of us to speak even louder.”

Friday, July 22, 2016

Thank you, Hillary

Hillary Clinton from CNN

A deep relaxation, an exhalation, a gratefulness,
knowing you have been there to represent us,
you, a woman, the mother of a woman,
the daughter of a woman, one of us.
Hillary, you inspire us, with your bravery, your clarity,
your firmness, your discernment on the world’s stage.
High up in the echelons, you represent us.  Thank you.
Traveling, traveling, in ease and in strain,
you spoke of Malala and Inez, all our brave women,
at one with our great community, this world.
Hillary, without fear, you went feet first
to the most dangerous places in the world.
Yes, we share your pain, our pain,
we born with a womb, our badge of courage,
our births that say the way will be rough,
the climb uphill all our lives.
We born with a womb, and from a womb,
our daughters, our mothers and ourselves,
know from birth that we must be strong,
we must know our minds and love our bodies,
we must speak for ourselves when our Hillaries are gone,
remembering her and teaching ourselves,
going on, for their sake, for Malala and Wangari,
for all the women who show the way,
to live strong and free, to move as we choose,
to be what we are, to be.

Annelinde Metzner
December 7, 2012

I wrote this poem of deep thanks to Hillary Clinton in December of 2012, after listening to her speech on Human Rights at Dublin City University in Ireland which you can listen to here.

Hillary Clinton from ABC

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christiana saves the world

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of UNFCCC

“What if we don’t succeed?”  is asked of Christiana Figueres,
months before the climate summit.
Tears well up in her blue and hazel eyes.
“Ask the islands. Ask Bangla Desh.”
Here is the woman charged with saving the world.
Chairing the world climate summit, fearlessly taking on
almost two hundred world leaders-
with her emotions intact, with her tears and her laughter,
her deep hearty laugh always at the ready.
And she succeeds!
O Christiana, with your well-trained sense of respect,
wanting no supremacy of one culture over another,
not needing to make anyone take the blame,
the anthropologist ‘til the end.
With her staff of five hundred, the Secretariat,
she rips off her formal jacket 

to dance.
Fending off global collapse with international agreement. 
Nothing is impossible!
Christiana travels the world, pulling, pulling,
pulling us all together.  We are inextricably linked,
“consciously uncoupling” our growth from our emissions.
“This is your moment,” Christiana tells the ministers.
The agreement is emerging, a new child,
a new kind of child of the world’s making!
Christiana, how we hold you up in praise.
Christiana, go ahead and cry your tears!
Those big, healthy tears for us, for our world,
that yes, you have helped so much to save.

Annelinde Metzner
December 14, 2015 


        This week, we've had the glorious news that the climate change summit in Paris has come to an agreement accepted by almost 200 countries!   In this poem, I give thanks to the woman who pushed, pulled, persuaded and corralled all these disparate peoples so that we may all survive.
     For an excellent article about Christiana Figueres, see Elizabeth Kolbert, "The Weight of the World," in the New Yorker, August 24, 2015.

UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon and Christiana Figueres.  It's time!!

Be proud, Christiana!


Monday, 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

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The shaman visits

Ancient woman shaman from Manchuria

I lie in my bed, feet-to-the-head,
window wide open to the May breeze and birdsong.
The shaman has come to heal me!
Three candles on all sides,
the sharp aroma of Palo Santo incense piercing the air.
She shows me the magical items
in her sacred prayer bundle.
Stones, animal figurines, the jaguar and the snake,
a tiny drop of blood.
“Which stone speaks to you?” she asks me.
I choose the one with inscriptions, layers and depth.
“Let the stone absorb all your pain.”  I do.
The shaman moves around me, singing prayers,
shaking the carved Amazonian rattle.
The sharp, high sound cleanses the air all around.
I close my eyes and am at peace.
Slowly she moves up the center of my body,
testing me with the pendulum.  Hardly any motion.
She passes over my body with her hands,
her warm belly pressed against my side.
I release my fears into the Mother, into Pacha Mama,
into millennia of healing women,
the warmth of Her body held close to mine,
succor and comfort and clarity.
This healing is simple, a fact of human life,
the legacy of our bodies.
Slowly she moves her hands from my head to my feet,
intuitively pulling out this and that,
blockages and negativity and fear.
Once more, the high-pitched hiss of the shaker.
Again the pendulum, and, lo and behold!
Each chakra has movement,
a gigantic “Yes!”,  the glow of life.
“Tonight this will all begin to move,” she says,
“the path of healing.”
She comes to my side to pray to Pacha Mama once more.
“Now She will mulch you” she says softly.
With her two strong hands under my body,
I feel like an offering to Her, to our Mother,
and I’m good with that!
It’s Mother’s Day, and I am here,
my life is this gift, and this Shaman’s hands,
supporting me, offering me in this ancient way.
I’m suspended in the Mother’s hands
and I give thanks.

Annelinde Metzner

May 10, 2015

On Mother's Day of this year, I was gifted with a wonderful healing by the Ecuadorian shaman, Sylvia Ponce.  Right in my own home as she was visiting!   It was a truly healing, supportive and loving experience as described here.  See photo below of Sylvia and my dear friend Consuelo Nino.

Sylvia and Consuelo

Tuvan shaman

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Felicia Florendo, Eastern Band Cherokee, dances at a pow-wow

Evening, and the thick drone of cicadas blankets our sleep,
punctuated by twitter of titmouse and woodpecker’s call.
This is Snowbird, the redolent Appalachian home
of the ancient Cherokee, four thousand years here,
Kituah, and home still to this Eastern band,
escaped from forced relocation, the Trail of Tears, 

and hidden away.
This air, this mystery,
mountains so old, each stone a book,
and this Cherokee spirit everywhere,
matriarchal home of the clans:
The Deer, the Wolf, the Bird,
Wild Potato, Red Paint, Blue Paint, the Twister.
Here still, the native speakers, knowers of the old ways,
medicine keepers.
Who danced here, who dances still,
who finds the bloodroot and the sassafras,
a plant for every illness, as was told?
The tears of the Ancestors nourish each step.
This fresh creek, cold as January on this August day,
places me in that ancient era
when bird and bug and bear and I were one.
Cherokee!  I give thanks
that your spirit suffuses this place still,
your love, your surefooted knowing,
your oneness with this mountainous Motherland,
our home, thank you!  Our home.

Annelinde Metzner
Santeetlah Creek

Snowbird Cherokee

Snowbird is different from other Cherokee communities, and the absence of tourism is only one way in which Snowbird is different. Most studies of the Eastern Band have focused upon the traditionalist Big Cove community of the Qualla Boundary. Yet, Snowbird has a higher percentage of both fullbloods and Cherokee-language speakers than Big Cove or any other Eastern Cherokee community. Snowbird also has a high percentage of native craftsmen and some Indian doctors with a knowledge of medicinal plant. The reservation lands are scattered into individual tracts of land along Snowbird, Little Snowbird, and Buffalo creeks, not consolidated into a huge land mass like the Qualla Boundary.

The Snowbird Cherokee Indian population of Graham County, about 380 people in 1980, has ancient origins, as does the rest of the Eastern Cherokee population. The Cherokees have probably been native to the southern Appalachians for at least four thousand years.* By the beginning of the historic period, the Cherokees numbered more than 20 thousand them one of the largest Indian nations in North America north of Mexico. They lived on land or held hunting territory in modern states: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, the Carolinas, and the Virginias. The mountain and hill country offered varied resources for subsistence, and the Cherokees, through cultivation of corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, and other crops, as well as gathering, fishing, and hunting, achieved a highly successful generalized adaptation.

In an aboriginal Cherokee town, sweathouses, gardens, and rectangular, gabled, wattle-and-daub homes clustered around a square ground. On the west side of the square ground stood a council house, legendarily seven-sided, on a small temple mound. If the town were on the fringes of the Cherokee territory, it was probably surrounded by a stockade as protection from enemy warriors. The household was the basic unit of Cherokee social organization. As was typical of southeastern Indians, residence was matrilocal; thus a newly married couple lived with the wife's family. Legendarily there had always been seven matrilineal clans: the Deer, Wolf, Bird, Wild Potato, Red Paint, Blue Plant, and Long Hair or Twister. From the individual's perspective, 4 of the clans were most important: one's own (which was also one's mother's and maternal grandmother's), one's father's (which was also one's paternal grandmother's), and each of one's grandfathers'. While many people today on the main reservation are not aware of their clan affiliation, most Snowbird Cherokees are.

Cherokee religious and ceremonial life centered around seven festivals, many of them reflecting the interest in the annual cycle of farming. One of these festivals, the Green Corn Ceremony, persisted into the early twentieth century. Seven was a magic number to the Cherokees as evidenced by their seven ceremonies, seven clans, seven-sided council houses, and the seven sacred directions (north, south, east, west, up, down, and here).             Anthrocivitas post by Starbuck, 12-02-2010

Santeetlah Creek

Thursday, 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

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ix Chel in my Window

Ix Chel, Mayan Goddess by Katherine Skaggs

Goddess of the Moon!  Ix Chel,

translucent and ever-changing weaver woman,
creator, destroyer, healer,
Lady Rainbow,
sleek jaguar of stealth and grace,
how you awaken me each morning!
Long before the sun’s rise, now in early Spring,
you are there, Ix Chel, in my window,
sparkling bright mystery upon my sleepy eyelids.
I pull the blankets up to my eyes, and give gratitude,
oh most lovely Woman of the Isle of Women!
Before the day begins, you awaken me tenderly,
fresh from dreams, half asleep.
“Remember me!  I pass here each night,
I touch your forehead with my luminous beauty,
I bless you, I reach for you,
I am Ix Chel, your sister,
gracing you once more
with my lightest spark of transformation
and truth.  I only ask
that you receive me gladly.”

Annelinde Metzner
March 21, 2014

Read about Ix Chel's role in healing among the Maya at the wonderful website of Dr. Rosita Arvigo.  Mayan women in ancient times were required to make a pilgrimage in honor of Ix Chel to Cozumel, her sacred island, twice in a lifetime, at first menarche and at menopause.  Healing arts and midwifery were taught there.  The Spanish referred to the island as "that infamous place of idolatry."

Ix Chel by Susan Seddon Boulet

Ix Chel from the Dresden Codex

Ix Chel at Isla Mujeres

Mayan women praising Ix Chel (photo by Michael and Jennifer Lewis)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Our Jewell

Sally Jewell, 51st US Secretary of the Interior

Sally Jewell, our Jewel, 51st Secretary of the Interior,
climber of mountains, kayaker, CEO, mother of two,
(“if anyone can do it, Sally can”)
is giving us back our CCC.

Creating work for our young people, women and men,
planting trees, repairing trails, hacking away invasive plants,
good work for our unemployed, work with great meaning.
Connection with the land that feeds the soul.
Thank you, Sally Jewell!
Already securing a million bucks for the corps,
she has her eye fixed on twenty.
“I was scared of animals.  Now I’m an animal freak,”
says Keisha Alvarenga, feeding a raptor with a gloved hand.
Clear vision!  Let’s hear it for clear vision!
Sally Jewell, our Jewel, don’t stop, move clean and true
to this great goal, our Conservation Corps
for the twenty-first century, our youth back at work,
our veterans back at work,
a hundred thousand jobs!
for our Mother, our Earth, our home.

Annelinde Metzner
Black Mountain, North Carolina

Read this interview of Sally and Keisha from NPR, January 9, 2014.

Click for pictures of the 21st Century CCC in New Jersey.

Sally Jewell climbing Mt. Rainier with five women at sunrise

With the founders of

Learn about GirlTrek.  Take a walk.  Join a movement!

Sally Jewell in her kayak

Thursday, October 31, 2013

For Layne

Layne Redmond with her tambourine

For Layne  

Taka, taka Doom, taka Doom!
The woman of ancient times throws her head back,
transported by her drum.
Doom taka Doom!
“Rhythm shapes matter,” the scientists say.
Priestesses already knew!
Cybele holds her drum and smiles.
Play, Layne, Play!
Create the world anew each day!
The drummer women of old
never relinquished their power
to the conquering barbaric hoards,
power amassed as millennia of music.
Play on, Layne, play on!
Doom taka Doom, taka Doom!
Watch us now, and leave us, Layne,
with this one great legacy,
the ritual rhythm of the drum.
As the Goddesses of old revive and renew,
so do you, so do you!

Annelinde Metzner

October 31, 2013

Layne Redmond (1952 to 2013) was a great teacher of the frame drum, and author of “When the Drummers Were Women, A Spiritual History of Rhythm.”   She passed through the veil this week in Asheville, North Carolina.

Layne with frame drum

Friday, August 30, 2013

The purple decree

Ruth and Naomi

The purple decree
“Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die — there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” 

(Ruth to Naomi, The Book of Ruth 1:16-17)
Long years my cousin followed her church,
a true Christian, simple and clear.
Love one another.  Care for the poor.
Heap not up treasures upon this Earth.
Never one to be silent, she posed her good question:
“I am not black, but I marched for civil rights.
I am not a soldier, but I marched to bring them home.

I'm just an old white-haired woman.
Who am I to say that any human love is wrong?”
My cousin asked her questions in Sunday school.
She was asked to refrain.
Then came the purple decree.
In each parishioner’s mailbox, the purple paper
stating homosexuality is a sin.
My cousin gazed unblinking, 

steadfast, as her spiritual home,
her bedrock of belief and support,
fell away from her true center, her Self.
“I quit my church on Friday,” she messaged to me.
“This is NOT MY GOD!”
Now my cousin’s days are lavished
on the church of God’s nature,
days spent with the water, the trees,

the quiet of her thoughts and prayers,
in the places where Love lives. 

“Whither thou goest I shall go.” 
(Ruth declaring her love for Naomi, The Book of Ruth 1:16-17) 

Annelinde Metzner

August 30, 2013

The above quote from the Old Testament is from the Book of Ruth, the story of two women, Ruth and Naomi, and their undying love for each other.  In the passage, "Ruth clung to Naomi," (chapter 1 verse 14,) the Hebrew word for "clung to" is the same as the verb describing the feelings of Adam for Eve.   Many couples married in Christian churches have used the above verses, Ruth's declaration of love for Naomi, in their wedding ceremonies.


Naomi and Ruth

Naomi and Ruth

My cousin Mardy

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Malala's Birthday Speech

Malala Yousafzai at the UN Youth Assembly

Malala’s Birthday Speech

“In the name of God, the most beneficent, the most merciful...”
          Malala Yousafzai in her birthday address to the UN Youth Assembly, July 9, 2013

A pink lacy shawl frames her dark hair and determined face.   She is sixteen!
Confident and convivial, she commands the podium in front of the world’s leaders.
Sixteen!   Malala has survived a gunshot at close range,
on her schoolbus in Pakistan,
a target of the Taliban for speaking her strong mind.
She has survived!

“Respected elders, and my dear brothers and sisters,  Salaam Aleichem.”

She fingers her delicate shawl, bequeathed from Benazir Bhutto,
one woman to another, a gift of strength

from across time and beyond the veil.
“This time, we women will do it for ourselves.
Thank you to God, for whom we are all equal!
I speak so that those without voice can be heard.”

Her mother wipes away tears.
Men in suits stare, making space in their consciousness for Malala,
for this empowered young woman who has enraptured the world.

“Weakness, fear and hopelessness died.
Strength, fervor and courage were born.”

The room breaks out in emotion-filled applause.
Imbued with ahimsa, forgiveness and non-violence,
her strength uplifts us all.

Annelinde Metzner

July 18, 2013