3
Nov

Nancy's Thoughts: Poems as Rituals and Connections with Nature

From the preface to Shaman's Circle, her sixth book of poetry, 1996:

 

"Most of us non-Indians are out of touch with the magic of the seasons, the subtle rhythms of the earth, and the daily blessings of the natural world. We hardly notice birds building nests, green leaves budding, or the way a river swells with life in spring. We are too busy to care. But care we must, for we are inextricably tied to nature, and to one another. We have to rediscover ritual and, in so doing, rediscover ourselves. We need to strengthen our bonds with nature, every day of the year. Few of us greet the rising sun or bid it farewell at sunset; not many of us howl at the moon, nor do we sing to rainclouds, growing corn, or the death spirit. We have drifted away from our roots, and melancholy prevails. Now we must reestablish contact with our sacred center and invent rituals that have personal meaning.

These poems are a ritual in themselves. They're meant to be read in private, preferably under a tree or beside a stream. They're meant to trigger a desire to get up and dance. Or to sing. Or to write a poem of your own as you enter the shaman's sacred circle, where anything can happen."

27
Mar

Nancy Wood Poems in Unitarian Hymnal

Four of Nancy's poems are in the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition (1993):

28
Feb

Blue Lake of Life from Which Flows Everything Good - February 2017

 

From Hollering Sun, 1972, by Nancy Wood

 

Blue lake of life from which flows everything good.

We rejoice with the spirits beneath your waters.

The lake and the earth and the sky

Are all around us.

The voices of many gods

Are all within us.

We are now as one with rock and tree

As one with eagle and crow

As one with deer and coyote

As one with all things

That have been placed here by the Great Spirit.

The sun that shines upon us

The wind that wipes our faces clean of fear

The stars that guide us on this journey

To our blue lake of life

We rejoice with you.

In beauty it is begun.

In beauty it is begun.

In peace it is finished.

In peace it shall never end.

18
Dec

Earth Teach Me Stillness - December 2016

From War Cry on a Prayer Feather, 1979, by Nancy Wood

 

Earth teach me stillness

As the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering

As old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility

As blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth teach me caring

As the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage

As the tree which stands all alone.

Earth teach me limitation

As the ant who crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom

As the eagle who soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation

As the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration

As the seed which rises in spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself

As melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness

As dry fields weep with rain.

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.

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