5
Nov

When Trouble Comes to Me - November 2014

 

 

Nancy wrote this poem around 1971, after her second marriage had crumbled and she was a single mother with four children and a writer's income.

 

When Trouble Comes to Me, from Hollering Sun, 1972, by Nancy Wood

 

When trouble comes to me

I have to go and dance.

I dance until the dust receives my trouble.

The dust takes my trouble to the mountain.

The mountain grows with the dust of trouble.

The place for my trouble to be.

5
Nov

Old Woman - October 2014

 

Dave, Nancy's boyfriend from her later years, says she visits him as a presence or spirit. He keeps this poem near as words of those times past and present.

 

Old Woman, from Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

Old Woman,

It is you.

It was you even when

I did not see you except

In the eyes of my spirit.

Old Woman,

With you I saw

The dead log giving life

And the mid-winter stream

Rippling up for spring and

The mountains a long way off

Telling us of beginnings.

Old Woman,

With you I knew

The peace of high places

And the meaning of a flower

Curled up against the wind

Or leaning toward the sun.

Old Woman,

In small things always

There was you as if

All nature contained your thoughts and so

I learned from rocks and rainbows

Tall trees and butterflies.

Old Woman,

There was you in the eagle

Flying free and lonely

And in the eyes of a deer

I saw once in an untamed place.

Old Woman,

There is you in all good things

That awaken me and say

My life was richer, fuller

Because you lived with me.

 

13
Sep

Gathering Sunbeams - September 2014

 

Nancy's best friend, John Eastham, passed away this month. Some of his last words were, "I have had such a wonderful life." John was a sunbeam for all who knew him.

 

Gathering Sunbeams, from Dancing Moons, Delacorte Press, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

The way to gather sunbeams is carefully, making sure

they do not break or become

mere shadows of your uncertainty.

 

The way to gather sunbeams is hopefully, bending

to catch the light between your fingers

before storm clouds devour opportunity.

 

The way to gather sunbeams is crazily, putting

them in your pocket if you catch any,

laughing at their feeling of mobility.

 

The way to gather sunbeams is joyfully, keeping

step with the dance they do across the earth,

drawing you into their world of fragility.

 

30
Aug

Migration - August 2014

 

Two of Nancy's grandchildren enter college this month as freshmen. This poem is for Ryan and Charles.

 

Migration, from Dancing Moons, Delacorte Press, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

Going from this place to another place

requires surrender of your old ways,

the honoring of sacred wisdom and not

anticipation of the journey only. The soul's

Migration between the old place and the new means

that you must recognize your path

to an unknown destination, risking all

with the chance of gaining nothing. You are merely

The connection between growth and suffocation,

the link that joins possibility to pain,

and thus you become the keeper of your own flame.

Going from this place to another place is like

the bird in winter who remembers

the beauty of her springtime nest

just to keep herself from freezing.

 

18
Jul

I am a Woman - July 2014

 

Nancy's daughter, Kate Lynch, chose this poem.

 

I am a Woman, from Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

I am a woman.
I hold up half of the sky.
I am a woman.
I nourish half of the earth.
I am a woman.
The rainbow touches my shoulders.
The universe encircles my eyes.