Night Fire – November 2016

From Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

The cold of winter makes a fire in my heart and fills my ears

with the music of the meadowlark. Here in my house, made

of the memory of summer and the desire for green grass,

I know that loneliness will never kill me.

Here in a room filled with sorrow for all the world in pain,

I know that fear can never blind me from seeing

eagles rising from the ashes of my fire.

 Asleep in a bed covered with longing for spring,

I know that anger never soothed my heart nor

silence solved the problems of my world.

In my dreams I see a perfect little flower, and then I know

that love will heal most anything,

my loneliness included.

The voice that beautifies the land – December 2015

From Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the insistent call of the dove in spring,

or the movement of rock on the mesa top,

In answer to a rising cloud of butterflies.

 

The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the squeak of corn growing high in summer,

or the soft kiss of water touching sand

Along the riverbank, where locusts demand to be heard.

 

The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the whisper of dry leaves dancing in the fall,

or the cry of geese in arrowhead formation,

Saying farewell to the rivers that fed them.

 

The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the murmur of snowflakes in winter,

or the creak of old trees rising to catch them

As the raven announces the shadow of spring.

 

The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the chorus of clouds bumping into one another,

or the crack of ice crying out for sun

as the turtle sings of a new season in the mud.

 

Why Flowers Smell The Way They Do – April 2015

 

Go bury your nose in a crabapple tree’s blossoms and forget the snows of winter.

 

Why Flowers Smell the Way They Do, from Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

When flowers were first invented, they smelled like mud.

Dust shook out of their petals and no one

wanted to be around them for very long,

the rose especially. It smelled like dead leaves.

 

In those days there were order and grace

and predictability. Except for flowers,

beautiful yet unnoticed, things were what

they were intended to be. Birds were just birds and

 

Trees were just trees. Caterpillars crawled along

and the meadowlark could be counted on to sing

the way he was supposed to. Flowers refused

to smell good because they thought no one loved them.

 

So it was, for a long time. Then one day a beautiful

girl picked a wild rose and put it in her hair,

so boys would admire her as she passed by.

Sniff, sniff, they went, and turned to watch her.

 

One boy said: The smell of that wild rose makes me

want to fall in love. The other boys came closer

and smelled the rose. They all agreed. The flower

smelled sweet and made them fall in love, too.

From that day on, flowers began to smell the way they do now.

Especially the wild rose, worn in a pretty girl’s hair.

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.