From Wild Love, 1996, by Nancy Wood (unpublished) The tree bent, but did not break. The river swelled, but did not flood. Fires raged, and in the seas, the great fish died. All was desolation and ash. Yet the earth survived with the patience necessary for survival and her wounds healed, slowly, for she was meant to continue, against all odds. Women tend to notice such persistence. My worn-out path with you is dangerous, and I have fallen often, bruised and angry, certain that I should go on my way alone. As the river needs a rock, so do I need you. As the tree depends on sunlight, so do I depend on you. That is why I am holding on, even when I think of letting go.
Letting Go – April 2022
From Wild Love, 1996, by Nancy Wood (published only in Japanese)
In my middle-aged weariness I lived with the ache
of memory. My days were flushed with shadows
of desire which sent me on paths where I had gone before,
certain each new love would be the last.
Who was I, then? A woman who yearned for happiness,
the kind that other people have? A woman with
a shrinking horizon that imprisoned me within
the walls of indecision? I worked as women work,
fearlessly and uncomplaining, knowing
I would survive. Then love came along
through the blindness of my fear and touched my heart
with music I’d never heard before. I am too old
for silliness, but I am silly now, too old for love, but love
insists on being recognized. Letting go of loneliness
is easier than holding on to fear. In my twilight years
I gather moonbeams, knowing they are real.
How the Universe Doubled – November 2021
From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood
The doubling of the Universe took place when people
were sleeping, except for a few old women
who remembered how passion was created
to save the world from boredom. In dresses
made of spiderwebs, those old women
Sang a love song, heard from star to star and tree to tree,
even from fish to fish and blossom to bee.
Those who were in tune with one another
responded, and those who were not
slept their lives away. As the old women
Watched, the heat of love expanded, on and on, with colors
so bright they singed the edge of indifference
in one night. The Universe doubled
with the passion of those old women,
who believed the power of their feminine selves
the doubtful hearts of men.
Wild Love – October 2021
From Wild Love, 1996, by Nancy Wood (unpublished)
When people look at us they see
an ordinary couple edging past their prime,
not beautiful, but slack with having hoarded time.
You with your look of contentment and me
with the eyes of a woman permanently in love
are construed as complacency by most. We are called
respectable, dependable, unremarkable. And so we live
beneath a cloak of mild deception, laughing to ourselves.
No one knows that behind closed doors
you and I become young again through the magic
of desire and in our bed we make wild love
until we greet the sun. Wild love is a secret love,
the kind that ordinary couples must preserve
to keep the outside world from coming in.
The Fire of Life – March 2020
From Wild Love, 1996 (unpublished), by Nancy Wood
Without love the world would not last, nor would flowers bloom nor
the sun have a reason to burst between the thighs of night.
The fire of life burns on battlefields
and in the misery of souls struggling for food. It smolders
even when darkness devours consideration and hatred ravages
the innocence of children.
Love means yes and love means why not
and love means the fire of life,
burning brightly long after the universe ends.