The Earth Is All That Lasts - October 2017

Nancy Wood poem poster 14 - The earth is all that lasts

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood


The earth is all that lasts.

The earth is what I speak to when

I do not understand my life

Nor why I am not heard.

The earth answers me with the same song

That it sang for my fathers when

Their tears covered up the sun.

The earth sings a song of gladness.

The earth sings a song of praise.

The earth rises up and laughs at me

Each time that I forget

How spring begins with winter

And death begins with birth.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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