Connections - November 2015

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood


I am all things, connected to all time and all places.

I am the undernourished bones of aged men.

I am the new blood of unborn babies.

I am a virgin searching for a lover.

I am a seed, waiting to become corn. I am ancient Fire,

cleansing the ravaged Earth. I am Ice, begging for

replenishment. I am all things, connected to

all animals and birds. See me running with buffalo?

See me soaring with eagles? What they are, I am.

Where they go, I have been before.

When they die, a part of me dies also.

When they are born, my life begins anew.

Out of stone-cold earth, I have become a flame.



My Horse Took Me down the Life-Giving Road - October 2015

From Hollering Sun, 1972, by Nancy Wood


My horse took me down the life-giving road

Drawing his breath as he went

His breath of strong spirit

His breath of power to plow and to pull.

But now he is old

And his breath is of feathers and corn.

I add to his breath

The breath of my own

And pray to his old age of riches.



Nancy Wood Literary Trust News

We recently found a wonderful 2013 interview with Karen Lotz, president and publisher of Candlewick Press, about her work with Nancy Wood on her book, Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen.

The University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research's Nancy Wood Photograph Collection has now scanned more than 400 of Nancy's images of rural Colorado, New Mexico, the Utes, and Taos pueblo. Browse or search this visual essay of the Southwest of the 1970s and 1980s.

Carolyn McSherry, a PhD student in American studies at UNM, gave a research talk in 2012 about Nancy's life and work after McSherry spent months processing Nancy's archive at UNM and interviewed Nancy. McSherry's talk explores the issues of recording vanishing ways of life and an Anglo writing poetry from the Native American perspective.

Nancy's poetry continues to be popular worldwide. Merkmal Ltd. signed a new agreement in 2014 to continue publishing the Japanese edition of Many Winters. Many thanks to our agent in Japan, Tuttle-Mori Agency.



Commitment - September 2015


From Shaman's Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood


Before we met, you and I were halves unjoined except

in the wide rivers of our minds. We were each other's

Distant shore, the opposite wings of birds, the other half

of a shell that keeps the clam from falling out.

We did not know each other then, did not know our determination

to keep alive the cry of one riverbank to the other.

We were apart, yet connected in our ignorance of each other,

like two apples sharing a common tree. Remember?


I knew you existed long before you understood my desire

to join my loneliness to yours. Our paths

Collided long enough for our indecision to be swallowed up

by the greater needs of love. When you came to me,

The sun surged toward the earth and the moon escaped from darkness

to bless the union of two spirits so alike that your

Pain became my discomfort. In the hour when I stood naked,

You were there to play the drum of life for us.


Beloved partner, keeper of my heart's odd secrets, clothed

in summer blossoms so the icy hand of winter

Never touches us, I thank your patience. Our joining

is like a tree to earth, a cloud to sky, and even more:

We are the reason the world can laugh on its battlefields

and rise from the ashes of its selfishness to hear me say,

In this time, this place, this way, I loved you best of all.


Strengthen the Things That Remain - August 2015


From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood


Rainbows still live in the sky and green grass

is growing everywhere. Clouds have familiar shapes

and sunsets have not changed color in a long time. Thunder

still follows lightning and spring comes after winter's misery.


A tree is still a tree and a rock is still a rock. A warbler

sings its familiar song and coyotes howl

in disconcerting harmony. Grasshoppers still hop


to their own music,

bees still buzz with excitement, and squirrels

still jump like acrobats. Mountains still contain mystery

and oceans surge with eternity. Bears still sleep in winter


and eagles fly higher than other birds. Snakes have an affinity

for the ground, while fish

are content in water. Patterns persist,

life goes on, whatever rises will converge.


Do what you will, but strengthen the things that remain.

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