By The Skin of Our Teeth, a Sonnet of Hope

by Thomas Davis

Sweet Bacchus in a passion ate his heart
As spirits floated through his pounding head.
The wood nymphs cheered, and rogues proclaimed the start
Of celebrations for the grateful dead.

The world went mad, and all the heavens rang
With shouts of drunken gods and mortal fools.
The mad embraced the mad. Chimeras sang
That chaos had replaced all laws and rules.

The stars inside the sky flew at the sun.
The peaceful moon turned red with hidden fires.
The night turned white and then began to run
Like liquid paint into the fires of funeral pyres.

But just before destruction raised its lovely head,
Sweet Bacchus died. Sweet Eros died.  Was dead.


Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis

Patch of Life

a photograph by Alazanto, Kevin Davis, our son

Patch of Life September 28, 2008


Filed under Art, Photography


by Ethel Mortenson Davis
This is the right time
of the year
to be a climber of trees,

trusting only
the youngest
and strongest limbs
with your life,

your cheek resting
on the nook
of a shoulder—

the right time
of the year
for fireball colors.

This is the place
where one can look
back below
to see if mankind
has become a race
of Renaissance men.

Not yet,
the climber says,
not yet.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

Patterns in Potowatomi Forest

a photo essay by Ethel Mortenson Davis


Cedar Fall

Wild Grapes

Wild Grapes


Filed under Art, Essays, Ethel Mortenson Davis, Photography

Planting the Wings of Monarch Butterflies

by Thomas Davis

In Southern Door an aging man, face fixed,
Pulled up beside a country road and walked
Toward a wooden fence where milkweed mixed
With grass and weeds, fall’s fiery colors stalked
Into a forest’s weave of summer green,
The season’s changing edged into the day.

Beside the fence the man bent down, serene,
Intent on picking milkweed pods, a fey
Gleam in his eyes. He got into his car
And drove until he found an empty field,
Stopped, pulled a pod out of a mason jar,
And freed milk fluff into a wind that wheeled
Time through the winter to a glorious spring
That sprung a summer graced with monarch wings.

Note: After reading an editorial by Peter Devlin in the Door County Advocate.


Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis

Geese in a Fall Sky at Sunset

a photograph by Sonja Bingen, our daughter

Geese in a sunset sky

1 Comment

September 30, 2014 · 1:12 pm

Fellow Travelers

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The older Oriental woman
was not nice.
The younger men
that were of European descent
accompanied him.
Actually, they never
left his side.

He thought if he
went far enough away,
they would go away.
But they did not.

Even when he was dying
they frightened him.
That was why he moved
far away—to New York.
Perhaps all his problems
would go away.
But they did not.

He told us this at the last.
He didn’t want to hurt us.

When you were little
The voices in your head
were telling you things.

I made a mental note,
“Something is wrong.”


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry