The Solace of Wild Places – September 2016

From Wild Love, 1996, by Nancy Wood (unpublished)


In these mountains I am made whole again
by birds and rocks and trees which speak to me
of their own difficulty in surviving storms.  The earth reaffirms
my brief connection to her holy body and in this wild place
I find a lasting grace, unheeded in the daily shove of life.
The sun kneads my back with reassurance and the stream
sings of simplicity overlooked in my struggle to be brave.
Deep in these mountains solitude soothes my rage,
and I know that no one notices my importance,
not even me.

The Circle – March 2016


Nancy Wood poem poster 19: The Circle


From Spirit Walker, 1993, by Nancy Wood


All is a circle within me.

I am ten thousand winters old.

I am as young as a newborn flower.

I am a buffalo in its grave.

I am a tree in bloom.

All is a circle within me.

I have seen the world through an eagle’s eyes.

I have seen it from a gopher’s hole.

I have seen the world on fire

And the sky without a moon.

All is a circle within me.

I have gone into the earth and out again.

I have gone to the edge of the sky.

Now all is at peace within me.

Now all has a place to come home.


Old Man Winter – February 2016

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood


Old Man Winter blew in on a cloud from the north

And lay down on the mountaintops

Covering them with snow.

His fingers reached down to the valleys below

Stealing the leaves from the trees.

His hands closed around the water

Gripping it with ice.

His breath roared out from his lips

Stopping all streams at their source.

The feet of Old Man Winter walked upon the earth

Freezing all the grass.

When he was through

Old Man Winter curled up and went to sleep

Drawing into himself

All beasts

All land

All men.


All as it was in this place timeless – January 2016

From Hollering Sun, 1972, by Nancy Wood


All as it was in this place timeless.

All as it was between the human soul and the earth

For there is no difference between

The life of a man and the life

Of all growing things.

Who is to say if a man

Shall not be a tree instead?

We pray to all of nature and do it no harm.

These are our brothers

All men and all animals and all trees.

Some part of ourselves

Is in earth and sky and everywhere.

It shall continue

As long as nature follows its own purpose.

It shall continue

As long as we know what we are doing here.


The voice that beautifies the land – December 2015

From Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood


The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the insistent call of the dove in spring,

or the movement of rock on the mesa top,

In answer to a rising cloud of butterflies.


The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the squeak of corn growing high in summer,

or the soft kiss of water touching sand

Along the riverbank, where locusts demand to be heard.


The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the whisper of dry leaves dancing in the fall,

or the cry of geese in arrowhead formation,

Saying farewell to the rivers that fed them.


The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the murmur of snowflakes in winter,

or the creak of old trees rising to catch them

As the raven announces the shadow of spring.


The Voice That Beautifies the Land

is the chorus of clouds bumping into one another,

or the crack of ice crying out for sun

as the turtle sings of a new season in the mud.