About Men and Geese

A French Sonnet

by Thomas Davis

The child Konrad Lorenz was read a book.
Nils Holgersson hopped on a goose’s back
And flew into a flock of geese whose lack
Of sympathy for greedy boys, that look
Into their selves and quickly see how rooks
And geese and other creatures cannot hack
The glory of a monomaniac,
Was clearly honking, stupid gobbledegook.

Hooked by a story, vexed by lack of wings,
Konrad Lorenz began to think of things
He saw in ducks that waddled in his yard —
Until he seemed to see with goose’s eyes,
A man not just a man, but mage and bard
That flapped mind’s wings into a goose’s skies.

Note: Konrad Lorenze was a Novel Prize winning ethologist who became famous for studying the evolution of behavior in geese.

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Niagra Falls from Canada

a photograph by Sonja Bingen, our daughter

Niagra Falls Sonja

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Fawn

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The rain yields
to the drying wind,
trilliums ceasing,
forget-me-nots thriving,

the dogs loving
the walk in the morning rain.
The afternoon sun
puts the old dog to sleep.

Tomorrow
the flickering light
will lock
the fawn in hiding
in the meadow grasses
in the deep forest.

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Campfire Seen Through the Woods

a photograph by Sonja Bingen, our daughter

Fire at night

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The Composer

by Thomas Davis

An Italian, or Petrarchan, Sonnet

He searched a year to find the cedar tree,
Determined that he’d find a lofty lord
That towered dark and gleaming like a sword
Thrust upward with a shaggy filigree
Of branches singing winds into a sea
Of sky where hawks and eagles soared
And wings stitched sky to land, a linking poured
Into the heartbeat of his fantasy.

He dreamed the tree into the song he sang,
Then fingered ancient rosewood cello strings
Into the filigree of cedar wind
That bowed as cries of distant eagles rang
Into the sky and wove tree, song, and wings
Into a music that will never end.

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Fishing

a photograph by Sonja Bingen

Will and Boulder

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Newport Beach

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

It is the end
of Door Peninsula,
the Newport  Beach  forest,
 
less dense now
from the gale winds
of last September
that toppled dead trees,
crisscrossing their trunks
ahead on our path
amidst living, smaller trees.
 
There are no words
to describe the large
old pines and cedars,
the largest trees
I have ever seen in Wisconsin —
 
not the picked over
forest trees
of two and three cuttings
that mostly remain here.
 
So tall these trees
along Lake Michigan,
dripping morning fog
on top of our heads and faces
from their skyscraper canopy.

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