The Shortest Day/The Longest Day – June 2022

From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

December 21

O sun, the father of us all, maker of ripe flowers, creator

of fat corn, return this day to our part of the shrinking sky.

Your journey to the south is now complete and we pray to you

to remember the drear, dark days of winter caught between

Your strong fingers struggling to release the earth from sleep. In this

long gasp of icy silence, all creatures find renewal, a pale hope

That spring will not forget to come this year, nor will birds forget to lay eggs

heavy with the yolk of generation.

 

June 21

Now the earth lies panting in the rich blood of summer, and you are content,

O sun, father of full orchards and the restlessness of elk. We observe

Your deep shadows and hear the laughter of leaves green with continuity,

but we are not deceived by the smoothness of our ripe landscape.

Even the longest day contains the seeds of winter and on the wind we hear

the song that icicles sing to stay awake. The longest day is merely

A pause between the places where our lives are lived, and in its fullness

we dance for the right of bumblebees to gather distant honey.

Earth Woman – April 2021

From Hollering Sun, 1972, by Nancy Wood

 

Earth woman with hands

That shape the bread of time.

Earth woman with

Pumpkin-seed earrings and

Bracelets of wild plum.

Your house is made of summer.

Your children are the crops

Of all good seasons

Growing strong

In the house of earth woman

Who weaves the thread of life.

When the hand of winter gives up its grip on the sun – March 2021

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

When the hand of winter gives up its grip on the sun

And the river’s hard ice becomes the tongue to spring

I must go into the earth itself

To know the source from which I came.

Where there is a history of leaves

I lie face down upon the land.

I smell the rich wet earth

Trembling to allow the birth

Of what is innocent and green.

My fingers touch the yielding earth

Knowing that it contains

All previous births and deaths.

I listen to a cry of whispers

Concerning the awakening earth

In possession of itself.

With a branch between my teeth

I feel the growth of trees

Flowing with life born of ancient death.

I cover myself with earth

So that I may know while still alive

How sweet is the season of my time.

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.

I remember you when – October 2019

FromĀ Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

I remember you when

The tame rose sleeps

Between the jaws of winter.

I remember you when

The humming insects mother

The newborn leaves of spring.

I remember you when

The argument of frogs becomes

The laughing song of summer.

I remember you when

I hear my corn begin to grow

And beauty crowds my life.