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.

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.

A long time I have lived with you – February 2020

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

A long time I have lived with you

And now we must be going

Separately to be together.

Perhaps I shall be the wind

To blur your smooth waters

So that you do not see your face too much.

Perhaps I shall be the star

To guide your uncertain wings

So that you have direction in the night.

Perhaps I shall be the fire

To separate your thoughts

So that you do not give up.

Perhaps I shall be the rain

To open up the earth

So that your seed may fall.

Perhaps I shall be the snow

To let your blossoms sleep

So that you may bloom in spring.

Perhaps I shall be the stream

To play a song on the rock

So that you are not alone.

Perhaps I shall be a new mountain

So that you always have a home.

I remember you when – October 2019

FromĀ Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

I remember you when

The tame rose sleeps

Between the jaws of winter.

I remember you when

The humming insects mother

The newborn leaves of spring.

I remember you when

The argument of frogs becomes

The laughing song of summer.

I remember you when

I hear my corn begin to grow

And beauty crowds my life.

Looking at Mountains – August 2019

From Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

Mountains that are looked at have a particular grace,

some are rounded and gentle, others have a wildness

of spirit, the sharp rock face of invincibility.

Still others beckon with deceptive calm, luring the unwary

with their raw beauty, heads buried in clouds, sunlight

dancing on meadows like sky fingers. The great rock god

Of the mountains sleeps with one eye open to catch eagles

and elk, wind and rainbows, the strong of limb who climb

those peaks because a mountain lives inside them.

 

Mountains that are looked at look back with the pleasure

of old women locked in the gaze of new admirers,

so glad for attention, so wary of strangers. Mountains

That are looked at increase in beauty from so much looking

and live on in memory long after we are gone from them,

remembering the hint of immortality there and the way

We were possessed by rock. Mountains that are looked at

look back with authority and the promise of tomorrow,

which is why some people die for them.