Holding On – November 2022

From Wild Love, 1996, by Nancy Wood (unpublished)


The tree bent, but did not beak.  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

would overcome

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From Wild Love, 1996, by Nancy Wood (unpublished)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