When the hand of winter gives up its grip on the sun – March 2021

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

When the hand of winter gives up its grip to the sun

And the river’s hard ice becomes the tongue to spring

I must go into the earth itself

To know the source from which I came.

Where there is a history of leaves

I lie face down upon the land.

I smell the rich wet earth

Trembling to allow the birth

Of what is innocent and green.

My fingers touch the yielding earth

Knowing that it contains

All previous births and deaths.

I listen to a cry of whispers

Concerning the awakening earth

In possession of itself.

With a branch between my teeth

I feel the growth of trees

Flowing with life born of ancient death.

I cover myself with earth

So that I may know while still alive

How sweet is the season of my time.

There are those who hear the voice of wheels – February 2021

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

 

There are those who hear the voice of wheels

And call it music.

And those who hear a symphony

In butterfly wings.

There are those who ride a highway

And call it beauty.

And those who follow the straight line

Of a spider’s silver thread.

There are those who define living

As existence only

And those who cannot live

Except to define existence first.

There are those who run in circles

And those who simply run

And those who find movement

In the greatest stillness.

Go one way or the other.

Fight for wheels or butterfly wings.

Travel on highways or spider threads.

Take up the cause of movement.

Bury stillness with the dead.

Abandon home for the popular place.

Kill the roots by girdling the tree.

Those who know the greatest comfort

Take not the greatest ease.

Those who prosper most

Prosper more with less.

There are no dark times – January 2021

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

There are no dark times.

There are only people with

sawdust in their eyes.

No wonder they look at

the great rolling land and see

only doors and windows.

No wonder they look at

the tall mountains and see

only a way to make them tame.

No wonder they look at

the endless sky and see

only a journey to the moon.

There are no dark times.

There are only moments which

are discolored like

sand which is wet with rain.

There are only moments which

give pain like

the sting of a bumblebee.

There are only moments which

are as cruel as

the death of an eagle by a gun.

There are no dark times.

I know this because

Tomorrow receives the best in time

Or else it would not come.

The earth is all that lasts – December 2020

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

 

The Earth is all that lasts.

We who have been asleep for years

return to plant seeds in abandoned gardens.

We summon the rain and beg for the sun

to release its energy to our care.

 

The Earth is all that lasts.

We who were flattened by our inability

to rise above the wreckage of the past

are eating shadows

in order to stay alive.

 

The Earth is all that lasts.

We who were invisible, except

to those with similar vision,

stand here possessed by our old lives.

We are unwilling to disappear from our origins.

We have replaced shame with serenity,

doubt with desire.

Our skin is bursting with new muscle.

We are one with snowmelt and with Fire.

The Fire of Life – March 2020

From Wild Love, 1996 (unpublished), by Nancy Wood

 

Without love the world would not last, nor would flowers bloom nor

the sun have a reason to burst between the thighs of night.

The fire of life burns on battlefields

and in the misery of souls struggling for food.  It smolders

even when darkness devours consideration and hatred ravages

the innocence of children.

Love means yes and love means why not

and love means the fire of life,

burning brightly long after the universe ends.