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.

I would like to be a tree – October 2018

 

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

 

I would like to be a tree

but you would cut me down.

I would like to be a river

but you would build a dam.

I would like to be a bird

but you would poison what I eat.

I would like to be a deer

but you would shoot me for my meat.

I would like to be a fish

but you would catch me in your net.

I would like to be a coyote

but you would want me for my skin.

I would like to be a grizzly bear

but you would kill me because I’m rare.

I would like to be a flower

but you would pick me to take home.

I would like to be what I am.

Is there any hope for that?

I am two pieces of a whole split – January 2017

 

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

 

I am two pieces of a whole split

For the sake of convenience into

What is perceived as obsolete and

What is proposed as advantage.

I am divided between a world I never knew

Yet believe to be a fruitful existence

And a world I know through experience is

A world which endangers the species.

I am caught between a sensible decision

And the vagueness of affirmation.

What affirmation amidst decay?

What possibility lies within

Impersonal reports of catastrophes

Internal reports of committees set up

For the conversion of natural law

Into a formula for easy dominion?

I am the convergence of illusion and delusion

Holding me to a thin line of stamina

While I become content with less

While growing less content with more.

 

Earth teach me stillness – December 2016

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

 

Earth teach me stillness

As the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering

As old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility

As blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth teach me caring

As the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage

As the tree which stands all alone.

Earth teach me limitation

As the ant who crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom

As the eagle who soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation

As the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration

As the seed which rises in spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself

As melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness

As dry fields weep with rain.