Time takes me on its wing – September 2018

From Hollering Sun, 1972, by Nancy Wood

 

Time takes me on its wing

and I travel to the sun

And am consumed by fire.

Time takes me on its wing

and I travel to the river

And am drowned in water.

Time takes me on its wing

And I travel into the earth

And am a mountain not yet risen.

Each place that I go

Others have gone before me.

That is why

The sun dances

The wind weeps

The river leaps

And the earth sings.

Neither the sun nor the wind

The river nor the earth

Did these things

Before man was placed in the world

To believe it.

The Peculiar Grace of Men – August 2018

From Wild Love, 1996, by Nancy Wood (unpublished)

 

He never dances, except with me, in

a swirl of love and half-remembered music

that pours from his lips as he turns me

toward him like a bird. His is not a dancer’s body,

but that of a man accustomed to living life

in the raw. He is clumsy on his feet and cannot

keep rhythm to the simplest tune. The peculiar grace

of men in love saves them from awkwardness,

especially when women don’t notice

the way such creatures

trample on their feet.

Many winters I have lived – July 2018

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

Many winters I have lived

Ever since the beginning of time

When the first snow fell

Covering the tired earth

Which played with endless summer.

Many winters I held the water captive

On the tops of many mountains

Still warm from the earth’s beginning

When the moon and the sun gave birth

To one full circle of beauty.

Many winters I blew the stars around

So that the place where each star fell

Was where a river grew

Taking as its course to the sea

The path of the winter sun.

Many winters the trees slept with me

And the animals walked on my breast

Just as the birds drew near

Seeking warmth from my fire

Which took the sting from the night.

Many winters I have been

Companion to the lonely moon

Chasing after the raging sun

Which listened to our song of thanks

Before releasing earth from winter.

Many winters I have lived

Ever since the beginning of time

When out of the melting snow

Came the first frail flower which said

I am the spirit of spring.

Of Mountains and Women – June 2018

From Spirit Walker, 1993, by Nancy Wood

 

The hearts of mountains

and the hearts of women

Are both the same. They beat to

an old rhythm, an old song.

 

Mountains and women

are made from the sinew of the rock.

Mountains and women

are home to the spirits of the earth.

Mountains and women

are created with beauty all around.

Mountains and women

embrace the mystery of life.

 

Mountains give patience to women.

Women give fullness to mountains.

Celebrate each mountain, each woman.

Sing songs to mountains and to women.

Dance for them in your dreams.

 

The spirit of mountains and of women

Will give courage to our children

Long after we are gone.

Knowing the Earth – May 2018

From Spirit Walker, 1993, by Nancy Wood

 

To know the Earth on a first-name basis

You must know the meaning of river stones first.

Find a place that calls to you and there

Lie face down in the grass until you feel

Each plant alive with the mystery of beginnings.

Move in a circle until you discover an insect

Crawling with knowledge in its heart.

Examine a newborn leaf and find a map of a universe

So vast that only Eagles understand.

Observe the journey of an ant and imitate its path

Of persistence in a world of bigger things.

Borrow a cloud and drift high above the Earth,

Looking down at the smallness of your life.

The journey begins on a path made of your old mistakes.

The journey continues when you call the Earth by name.