Hold on to what is good

We posted the Poem of the Month for nine years and have ended the series. Here is Nancy's most famous poem.

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood


Hold on to what is good
even if it is
a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe
even if it is
a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do
even if it is
a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when
it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when
I have gone away from you.

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.