Holding On – November 2022

From Wild Love, 1996, by Nancy Wood (unpublished)

The tree bent, but did not beak.  The river swelled,
but did not flood.  Fires raged, and in the seas, the
great fish died.  All was desolation and ash.  Yet
the earth survived with the patience
necessary for survival and her wounds healed,
slowly, for she was meant to continue, against
all odds.  Women tend to notice such persistence.

My worn-out path with you is dangerous, and
I have fallen often, bruised and angry, certain
that I should go on my way alone.  As the river needs
a rock, so do I need you.  As the tree depends on
sunlight, so do I depend on you.  That is why
I am holding on, even when I think of letting go.

Daughters of the Earth – October 2022

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

Daughters of the Earth, your path is strewn with stones
sharp enough to sever determination from your bones.
Nothing is as it should be anymore. Our hearts
are on the ground. Our inheritance is shattered.

Daughters of the Earth, your spirit is in danger
of suffocation. Old ideas will crush it. Indifference
will rob your house of meaning. Men are deaf
to your songs, but you must sing them anyway.

Daughters of the Earth, wisdom will save you
from being swallowed by conformity. Do not grieve
for the world of your ancestors,
but create a new horizon from the gifts
they left on the pathways of your mind.

Why the Earth Spat Fire – August 2022

When the Earth calmed down

from the long agony

of her waterless birth,

She spat Fire, and certain possibilities emerged.

The bones of animals,

the fins of unborn fish, and

the blood of scavenger birds

Were waiting for shadows to become durable

and for dust to recognize gravity.


From the ash of Earth’s spent energy

cooling moss crept forward.

Seas of salt ate up shorelines, and

rock defined the essential boundaries

Of ancestry. Fire devoured

land to make it habitable.

All along the shores and deserts

and mountaintops, everything

developed eyes and hearts

until Fire was finally satisfied.

Changing – July 2022

From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood


The life I shared with you was filled with flowers,

but even flowers fade, as do rainbows

and the smiles we used to share. Remember?


Our paths were joined for our chosen time

and together we grew stronger than we

would have grown alone. But now, my love,


I must go beyond this place we shared together,

to a destination still unknown. My heart is

filled with love and sorrow, joy and anticipation.


Our common journey taught us to value one another’s causes,

just as it opened the door to our individual claims. I do not

love you less for deserting our common path, for the memory

of each step is what sustains me as I grope toward higher ground.

Oh, my love, I thank you for never letting go of my hand.