28
Feb

Old Man Winter - February 2016

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

Old Man Winter blew in on a cloud from the north

And lay down on the mountaintops

Covering them with snow.

His fingers reached down to the valleys below

Stealing the leaves from the trees.

His hands closed around the water

Gripping it with ice.

His breath roared out from his lips

Stopping all streams at their source.

The feet of Old Man Winter walked upon the earth

Freezing all the grass.

When he was through

Old Man Winter curled up and went to sleep

Drawing into himself

All beasts

All land

All men.

 

1
Jan

Reaching Back from Here - January 2015

 

This seems a good poem for the end of one year and the start of the next.

 

Reaching Back from Here, from Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

Reaching back from here

All that I remember of my life

Are the great round rocks and not

The unimportant stones.

I know that I experienced pain and yet

The scars have healed so that

I am like the tree covering itself

With new growth every year.

I know that I walked in sadness and yet

All that I remember now

Is the soothing autumn light.

I know that there was much to make my life unhappy

If I had stopped to notice how

The world sings a broken song.

But I preferred to dwell within

A universe of fields and streams

Which echoed the wholeness of my song.

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.

 

18
Jul

I am a Woman - July 2014

 

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 6: I am a woman

Poem broadsheet includes a Nancy Wood photograph of Violet Smith, coal mine owner, Hesperus, CO, circa 1978.

 

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.

7
Apr

What Can I Tell You of Life? - April 2014

 

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 8: What can I tell you of life?

Poem broadsheet includes Nancy Wood photograph of fiddlemaker Ben Gillaspie, Dinosaur, CO, circa 1978.

 

What can I tell you of life? from Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

What can I tell you of life?
It comes hard-earned and beautiful.
It comes disguised and tricked.
It comes with laughter too.
What can I tell you of life?
Nothing.
My version of it is my own.
It does not belong to you.
Like trees, we have our common roots.
But our growth is very different.

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