You shall ask – August 2017

 

Nancy Wood poem poster 3: You shall ask
Poem poster includes Nancy Wood’s photograph of Fort Union Ranch, NM, circa 1980.

 

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

You shall ask

What good are dead leaves

And I will tell you

They nourish the sore earth.

You shall ask

What reason is there for winter

And I will tell you

To bring about new leaves.

You shall ask

Why are the leaves so green

And I will tell you

Because they are rich with life.

You shall ask

Why must summer end

And I will tell you

So that the leaves can die.

 

Night Fire – November 2016

From Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

The cold of winter makes a fire in my heart and fills my ears

with the music of the meadowlark. Here in my house, made

of the memory of summer and the desire for green grass,

I know that loneliness will never kill me.

Here in a room filled with sorrow for all the world in pain,

I know that fear can never blind me from seeing

eagles rising from the ashes of my fire.

 Asleep in a bed covered with longing for spring,

I know that anger never soothed my heart nor

silence solved the problems of my world.

In my dreams I see a perfect little flower, and then I know

that love will heal most anything,

my loneliness included.

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.

 

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.