Old Woman – October 2014

 

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.

 

Gathering Sunbeams – September 2014

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 21: Gathering Sunbeams
Poem broadsheet includes Nancy Wood’s photograph of Taos Mountain, NM, circa 1985.

 

Gathering Sunbeams, from Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

The way to gather sunbeams is carefully, making sure

they do not break or become

mere shadows of your uncertainty.

 

The way to gather sunbeams is hopefully, bending

to catch the light between your fingers

before storm clouds devour opportunity.

 

The way to gather sunbeams is crazily, putting

them in your pocket if you catch any,

laughing at their feeling of mobility.

 

The way to gather sunbeams is joyfully, keeping

step with the dance they do across the earth,

drawing you into their world of fragility.

 

Migration – August 2014

 

Migration, from Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

Going from this place to another place

requires surrender of your old ways,

the honoring of sacred wisdom and not

anticipation of the journey only. The soul’s

Migration between the old place and the new means

that you must recognize your path

to an unknown destination, risking all

with the chance of gaining nothing. You are merely

The connection between growth and suffocation,

the link that joins possibility to pain,

and thus you become the keeper of your own flame.

Going from this place to another place is like

the bird in winter who remembers

the beauty of her springtime nest

just to keep herself from freezing.

 

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.

 

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.

Full Circle – June 2014

 

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 18: Full Circle

 

Full Circle, from We Became as Mountains, 2008, by Nancy Wood

 

Some say the world is dying,
but I don’t believe them.
There is always something good to see.

 

My ancestors would not have given up.
I, in my modern house, cannot give up either.
To give up is to die.

 

My voice goes on
and I fight like a warrior for
creatures who cannot speak.
The voices of turtles and falcons are within me,
and I must put myself in Brother Bear’s skin.

 

The end is the beginning. The full circle
of my life is nothing more
than one footstep going on.