The earth is all that lasts – December 2020

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

 

The Earth is all that lasts.

We who have been asleep for years

return to plant seeds in abandoned gardens.

We summon the rain and beg for the sun

to release its energy to our care.

 

The Earth is all that lasts.

We who were flattened by our inability

to rise above the wreckage of the past

are eating shadows

in order to stay alive.

 

The Earth is all that lasts.

We who were invisible, except

to those with similar vision,

stand here possessed by our old lives.

We are unwilling to disappear from our origins.

We have replaced shame with serenity,

doubt with desire.

Our skin is bursting with new muscle.

We are one with snowmelt and with Fire.

Joined – December 2019

From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

Our connection to nature is nothing more

than a deep conversation,

like that between two related stones or trees,

an expanding bond of kinship

that sharpens perceptions and catches

sunlight devouring ice on streams,

a refrain of winter’s resistance

To the unconditional surrender of spring.

 

Who knows the meaning behind a conversation

between two partners of the soul,

so perfectly joined that they seem as natural

as veins on leaves? Our connection

to nature is a magical cord that offers solace,

granting us witness to the birth of stars.

Who speaks for animals who cannot talk? – September 2019

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

 

Who speaks for animals who cannot talk?

Who sees for flowers which are blind?

Who guards the river which has but one course?

Who represents the mountain in time?

Who comes here to argue for the life of beavers?

Who will tell of the importance of snails?

Who has seen the mantis shed his skin?

Who believes in butterfly wings?

I am nature’s advocate

Ten million birds

Ten million trees

Ten million animals

Ten million fish

Are mine.

I will fight you in this room

And out of it.

I will dare you to define

Progress

On the face of a dime.

Looking at Mountains – August 2019

From Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

Mountains that are looked at have a particular grace,

some are rounded and gentle, others have a wildness

of spirit, the sharp rock face of invincibility.

Still others beckon with deceptive calm, luring the unwary

with their raw beauty, heads buried in clouds, sunlight

dancing on meadows like sky fingers. The great rock god

Of the mountains sleeps with one eye open to catch eagles

and elk, wind and rainbows, the strong of limb who climb

those peaks because a mountain lives inside them.

 

Mountains that are looked at look back with the pleasure

of old women locked in the gaze of new admirers,

so glad for attention, so wary of strangers. Mountains

That are looked at increase in beauty from so much looking

and live on in memory long after we are gone from them,

remembering the hint of immortality there and the way

We were possessed by rock. Mountains that are looked at

look back with authority and the promise of tomorrow,

which is why some people die for them.

When I feel the world’s harsh breath – June 2019

FromĀ Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

What can I do when I feel the world’s harsh breath and know

That if I stay too long in its path

My path shall be burned up also.

I must go back to the land again

And find the eagle at home with the rock.

I must climb to the mountaintop

And find the spot where the river begins.

I must lie quietly beside the earth

And find the warmth of its heart.

I must turn my vision to the sky

And find the purpose of clouds.

Then trouble seems far away

And the breath which consumes all beauty

Has passed right over me.