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's daughter, Kate Lynch, chose this poem.

 

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

 

This poem was chosen by John Eastham, a dear old friend of Nancy's. He quotes it often to "friends who get caught up in the tangled web of 'who am I' and 'am I headed in the correct direction.'"

 

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.

17
Feb

Hold on to What is Good - February 2014

This is probably Nancy's most famous poem. Her family read it at her bedside right after she passed away in March 2013.

 

Hold on To What is Good, from Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

Hold on to what is good
even if it is
a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe
even if it is
a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do
even if it is
a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when
it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when
I have gone away from you.

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