27
Mar

What the Trees Said When They Fell - March 2017

From Shaman's Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

The forest was an ancient tangle, so dense that whispers

could not be heard between the leaves, so tall

That birds became caught in branches and never reached

the sunlight, but spent their lives in the twilight

Layer where moss hung like ropes and the mist of ages

clung thickly to the air. Trees grew like sentinels

To history, older than animals, birds, or fish ever dreamed

of becoming when they were young and believed

 

That life would last forever. Those trees knew forever meant

long centuries of observation of weather, birds,

And animals, also ferns and moss, the sliding nature of

rocks embedded in mud and the temperament of snails.

Those trees grew up knowing all about one another, side by

side in a moss-green light, comforted by wind trying

To get between them and by rain falling in vertical shafts

anxious to penetrate their dry roots.

 

Those trees were necessary for balance, harmony, and beauty

in the world. All the animals and birds knew their importance

And spent their days and nights honoring their existence. Then brazen

people came and looked at the trees with calculating eyes.

They built roads and trails, then they cut them down, those ancient,

peaceful ones.

 

The trees fell gracefully, according to their nature,

one by one, with moans heard by birds and snails,

While in the river fish hid in dark pools. As the trees fell

they said: We bore witness to our time and

Each of you shall bear witness to a different time. Then,

where each tree fell, a child of destruction sprang up.

27
Mar

Nancy Wood Poems in Unitarian Hymnal

Four of Nancy's poems are in the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition (1993):

28
Feb

Blue Lake of Life from Which Flows Everything Good - February 2017

 

From Hollering Sun, 1972, by Nancy Wood

 

Blue lake of life from which flows everything good.

We rejoice with the spirits beneath your waters.

The lake and the earth and the sky

Are all around us.

The voices of many gods

Are all within us.

We are now as one with rock and tree

As one with eagle and crow

As one with deer and coyote

As one with all things

That have been placed here by the Great Spirit.

The sun that shines upon us

The wind that wipes our faces clean of fear

The stars that guide us on this journey

To our blue lake of life

We rejoice with you.

In beauty it is begun.

In beauty it is begun.

In peace it is finished.

In peace it shall never end.

31
Jan

I Am Two Pieces of a Whole Split - January 2017

 

From War Cry on a Prayer Feather, 1979, by Nancy Wood

 

I am two pieces of a whole split

For the sake of convenience into

What is perceived as obsolete and

What is proposed as advantage.

I am divided between a world I never knew

Yet believe to be a fruitful existence

And a world I know through experience is

A world which endangers the species.

I am caught between a sensible decision

And the vagueness of affirmation.

What affirmation amidst decay?

What possibility lies within

Impersonal reports of catastrophes

Internal reports of committees set up

For the conversion of natural law

Into a formula for easy dominion?

I am the convergence of illusion and delusion

Holding me to a thin line of stamina

While I become content with less

While growing less content with more.

 

18
Dec

Earth Teach Me Stillness - December 2016

From War Cry on a Prayer Feather, 1979, by Nancy Wood

 

Earth teach me stillness

As the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering

As old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility

As blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth teach me caring

As the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage

As the tree which stands all alone.

Earth teach me limitation

As the ant who crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom

As the eagle who soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation

As the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration

As the seed which rises in spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself

As melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness

As dry fields weep with rain.

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