30
Aug

All of My Life is a Dance - August 2016

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

All of my life is a dance.
When I was young and feeling the earth
My steps were quick and easy.
The beat of the earth was so loud
That my drum was silent beside it.
All of my life rolled out from my feet
Like my land which had no end as far as I could see.
The rhythm of my life was pure and free.
As I grew older my feet kept dancing so hard
That I wore a spot in the earth
At the same time I made a hole in the sky.
I danced to the sun and the rain
And the moon lifted me up
So that I could dance to the stars.
My head touched the clouds sometimes
And my feet danced deep in the earth
So that I became the music I danced to everywhere.
It was the music of life.
Now my steps are slow and hard
And my body fails my spirit.
Yet my dance is still within me and
My song is the air I breathe.
My song insists that I keep dancing forever.
My song insists that I keep rhythm
With all of the earth and the sky.
My song insists that I will never die.

20
Jun

Today is a Very Good Day to Die - June 2016

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 5: Today is a very good day to die

 

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

Today is a very good day to die.

Every living thing is in harmony with me.

Every voice sings a chorus within me.

All beauty has come to rest in my eyes.

All bad thoughts have departed from me.

Today is a very good day to die.

My land is peaceful around me.

My fields have been turned for the last time.

My house is filled with laughter.

My children have come home.

Yes, today is a very good day to die.

12
Aug

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.

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.

 

20
Jun

Full Circle - June 2014

 

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 18: Full Circle

 

Full Circle, from We Became as Mountains, 2008, by Nancy Wood

 

Some say the world is dying,
but I don't believe them.
There is always something good to see.

 

My ancestors would not have given up.
I, in my modern house, cannot give up either.
To give up is to die.

 

My voice goes on
and I fight like a warrior for
creatures who cannot speak.
The voices of turtles and falcons are within me,
and I must put myself in Brother Bear's skin.

 

The end is the beginning. The full circle
of my life is nothing more
than one footstep going on.

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