Strengthen the Things That Remain – August 2015

 

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

 

Rainbows still live in the sky and green grass

is growing everywhere. Clouds have familiar shapes

and sunsets have not changed color in a long time. Thunder

still follows lightning and spring comes after winter’s misery.

 

A tree is still a tree and a rock is still a rock. A warbler

sings its familiar song and coyotes howl

in disconcerting harmony. Grasshoppers still hop

 

to their own music,

bees still buzz with excitement, and squirrels

still jump like acrobats. Mountains still contain mystery

and oceans surge with eternity. Bears still sleep in winter

 

and eagles fly higher than other birds. Snakes have an affinity

for the ground, while fish

are content in water. Patterns persist,

life goes on, whatever rises will converge.

 

Do what you will, but strengthen the things that remain.

Old Woman – October 2014

 

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

Old Woman,

It is you.

It was you even when

I did not see you except

In the eyes of my spirit.

Old Woman,

With you I saw

The dead log giving life

And the mid-winter stream

Rippling up for spring and

The mountains a long way off

Telling us of beginnings.

Old Woman,

With you I knew

The peace of high places

And the meaning of a flower

Curled up against the wind

Or leaning toward the sun.

Old Woman,

In small things always

There was you as if

All nature contained your thoughts and so

I learned from rocks and rainbows

Tall trees and butterflies.

Old Woman,

There was you in the eagle

Flying free and lonely

And in the eyes of a deer

I saw once in an untamed place.

Old Woman,

There is you in all good things

That awaken me and say

My life was richer, fuller

Because you lived with me.

 

Full Circle – June 2014

 

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 18: Full Circle

 

Full Circle, from We Became as Mountains, 2008, by Nancy Wood

 

Some say the world is dying,
but I don’t believe them.
There is always something good to see.

 

My ancestors would not have given up.
I, in my modern house, cannot give up either.
To give up is to die.

 

My voice goes on
and I fight like a warrior for
creatures who cannot speak.
The voices of turtles and falcons are within me,
and I must put myself in Brother Bear’s skin.

 

The end is the beginning. The full circle
of my life is nothing more
than one footstep going on.

Hold on to what is good – February 2014

 

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 1: Hold on to what is good

 

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.