I wish the quiet heart – March 2022

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

 

I wish the quiet heart.

Forced to choose a separate world

I crawl in order to stand alone.

I wish the quiet heart.

An exile from my borrowed land

I search for a place to call home.

I wish the quiet heart.

I wish the quiet land.

All around me quiet.

All around me peaceful.

All around me lasting.

All around me home.

Things that remember themselves – January 2022

From Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

Things that remember themselves

are not forgotten, but rise on wings

of experience and paint our minds

with the visions of our ancestors.

 

Things that remember themselves are pictures

without form and words without a tongue.

They give meaning to what we thought

we had forgotten in our youth.

 

Things that remember themselves give light

to the uncertain paths we used to take,

bringing beauty to the house

of our ripening old age.

 

I give to you this life – December 2021

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

 

I give to you this life

which is not the only life I have.

I am the forest living and dying.

I am the melancholy of falling leaves.

I am eternity in green.

I am water flowing strongly

Not in the lifetime of one man only

But down the rocks of generation

Across old deserts of humiliation

I run in anticipation toward the sea.

I give to you this life

which is the outer garment only.

I have clothed myself in riches

Sewn by hands in praise of home.

I am made of pollen and wings and bone.

I am wind reflected in moonlight.

I am ice crying out for food.

I am fire embedded in stone.

I am fields released by sun.

I give to you this life

claimed by what I do not own.

 

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.