The Fire of Women – December 2022

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

We are the eternal, we who have borne the pain and
grown old with only half our song being heard,
bodies aching from desire never satisfied
from mere mating with a man. We meet adversity
head-on, desiring recognition of our natural ways. We accept 
the confused words of men who are strangers to our souls.

Our pulse throbs with messages from grandmothers
fooled by dreams, like us. In our bones is bred
the patience of women who stayed with men
who did not love them, and the ache of women who died 
of heartbreak. Women learn from the anguish
that precedes calm, remembering how a child 
bursts headlong from the womb,
and with its very first breath
begs to hear our song.

Daughters of the Earth – October 2022

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

Daughters of the Earth, your path is strewn with stones
sharp enough to sever determination from your bones.
Nothing is as it should be anymore. Our hearts
are on the ground. Our inheritance is shattered.

Daughters of the Earth, your spirit is in danger
of suffocation. Old ideas will crush it. Indifference
will rob your house of meaning. Men are deaf
to your songs, but you must sing them anyway.

Daughters of the Earth, wisdom will save you
from being swallowed by conformity. Do not grieve
for the world of your ancestors,
but create a new horizon from the gifts
they left on the pathways of your mind.

Why the Earth Spat Fire – August 2022

When the Earth calmed down

from the long agony

of her waterless birth,

She spat Fire, and certain possibilities emerged.

The bones of animals,

the fins of unborn fish, and

the blood of scavenger birds

Were waiting for shadows to become durable

and for dust to recognize gravity.

 

From the ash of Earth’s spent energy

cooling moss crept forward.

Seas of salt ate up shorelines, and

rock defined the essential boundaries

Of ancestry. Fire devoured

land to make it habitable.

All along the shores and deserts

and mountaintops, everything

developed eyes and hearts

until Fire was finally satisfied.

The Breath of Fire – February 2022

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

 

The sacred mountains call to me when life becomes

too hard to bear

and all that stands between me and despair is

a little waterfall. With each mile I climb,

my sadness melts away

and I feel my old self returning.

The sacred mountains cure my anger

and replenish my will to resist

those who would diminish me.

 

In wildness, I am made whole by beauty.

In wildness, I am humbled by majesty.

In wildness, I am content to find

eternity in a buttercup

and courage in a drop of rain.

How the Universe Doubled – November 2021

FromĀ 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.