The earth is all that lasts – October 2017

Nancy Wood poem poster 14 - The earth is all that lasts

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

The earth is all that lasts.

The earth is what I speak to when

I do not understand my life

Nor why I am not heard.

The earth answers me with the same song

That it sang for my fathers when

Their tears covered up the sun.

The earth sings a song of gladness.

The earth sings a song of praise.

The earth rises up and laughs at me

Each time that I forget

How spring begins with winter

And death begins with birth.

You shall ask – August 2017

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 3: You shall ask
Poem poster includes Nancy Wood’s photograph of Fort Union Ranch, NM, circa 1980.

 

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

You shall ask

What good are dead leaves

And I will tell you

They nourish the sore earth.

You shall ask

What reason is there for winter

And I will tell you

To bring about new leaves.

You shall ask

Why are the leaves so green

And I will tell you

Because they are rich with life.

You shall ask

Why must summer end

And I will tell you

So that the leaves can die.

 

Earth teach me stillness – December 2016

From War Cry on a Prayer Feather, 1979, by Nancy Wood

 

Earth teach me stillness

As the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering

As old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility

As blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth teach me caring

As the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage

As the tree which stands all alone.

Earth teach me limitation

As the ant who crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom

As the eagle who soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation

As the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration

As the seed which rises in spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself

As melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness

As dry fields weep with rain.

Eternal Song – October 2016

Nancy Wood poem poster 15: Eternal Song

 

From Wild Love, 1996, by Nancy Wood (unpublished)

 

Our love is what the universe
is all about.  The quickening
of fire.  The triumph over dust.
The eagerness of dawn.  The circles
that seem endless because
we cannot see their origins.

Oh, pure love, dangerous as combat,
with its obligation to survive,
what planet chose this?  What stars
dropped down to light my dead fire,
and in the flame created mystery?

Do you see perfection in the sky,
and do you know that our new love
is merely one eternal song?

All of my life is a dance – August 2016

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

All of my life is a dance.
When I was young and feeling the earth
My steps were quick and easy.
The beat of the earth was so loud
That my drum was silent beside it.
All of my life rolled out from my feet
Like my land which had no end as far as I could see.
The rhythm of my life was pure and free.
As I grew older my feet kept dancing so hard
That I wore a spot in the earth
At the same time I made a hole in the sky.
I danced to the sun and the rain
And the moon lifted me up
So that I could dance to the stars.
My head touched the clouds sometimes
And my feet danced deep in the earth
So that I became the music I danced to everywhere.
It was the music of life.
Now my steps are slow and hard
And my body fails my spirit.
Yet my dance is still within me and
My song is the air I breathe.
My song insists that I keep dancing forever.
My song insists that I keep rhythm
With all of the earth and the sky.
My song insists that I will never die.