Enough

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

This last,
fading light
is enough
to carry us
across the field,
across the world,
 
enough
to lift us
from ourselves,
our mitered lives
in this small changeling
of a disappearing evening.

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A Frog and A Pelican

Two photographs by Sonja Bingen

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Places We Recognize

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

When we are
desperate
and can’t recognize
the world,
we climb
into words,
grasp letters,
covet paragraphs
to find
smallness.
 
When we are
desperate
we go to this
small garden
to gather ourselves
in the act of
cleaning away dying plants —
to repeat our worth —
in places we recognize,
like the wounded fox
that crawls 
into the small culvert.

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The Reaching

a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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Four Windows Press Publishes Door County Poets Collective Anthology

The Door County Poets Collective has released its newest book, Halfway to the North Pole! A unique poetry anthology, it’s available at Sturgeon Bay’s bookstores and through either Write On Door County or fourwindowspress1.com. It is published by Four Windows Press, the small publishing company Ethel and I own.

There are a lot of Door County’s most important poets represented in the book as well as other poets that have been loyal visitors over the years. Estella Lauter, the instigator of the Collective, in her “Preface” describes the theme of the anthology: “We hope these poems, while providing some anchors in parts of the County you know, will introduce you to places, people, and issues you haven’t noticed and might want to know better on your own: places like Mud Lake, Three Springs, Bjorklunden, Mojo Rosa’s; people like Increase Claflin or Norbert Blei; efforts to bring back the Monarch Butterflies, preserve the night sky, cut or treat infected ash trees, keep the Boreal forest. Door County is not only a beautiful place where culture and nature support each other; it is also a complex community of people and other creatures who come together to care for the land and water that sustain our lives in all seasons. Halfway between the hottest and coldest places on earth, we like to think we have the best of both.”

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New Logo for a new website

Ethel and I have put up a new website for the small publishing effort, Four Windows Press, we keep developing. Our granddaughter, Phoebe Wood, has come up with a logo for the website, which is located at http://www.fourwindowspress1.com. Ethel likes the logo as a work of art!

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One More Time

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

A baby wren
came to sit
in the burning bush
to show me
she has grown
into a strong bird.
With graceful gratitude
she came to show me
light in my dark world —
 
just as a matched pair of horses
pulled John Lewis
across the Edmund Pettus Bridge,
so he can be a light
in our black world
just one more time.

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Home

a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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The Framing

In Memoriam Kevin Michael Davis

Doors at Chaco Canyon photograph by Kevin Davis (2/16/1982 – 7/21/2010)

The Framing” a poem by Richard Brenneman

This is the anniversary of our son’s death in Poughkeepsie, New York from cancer ten years ago. This is always a sad day for Ethel, I, and our daughters, Sonja Bingen and Mary Wood, every year. This blog was started in honor of Kevin, who was a wonderful web designer, photographer, artist, and poet. This year we are publishing one of Kevin’s most iconic photographs, a doorway found at the Chaco Canyon ruins in New Mexico, and Richard Brenneman’s wonderful poem about the photograph, remembering someone who was deeply, deeply loved.

THE FRAMING

by Richard Brenneman

Ekaphrastic poem celebrating the Kevin Davis photograph,  “Doors at Chaco Canyon”  

 I
 
Picture this --
seen through the lens of a camera;
eye sighting perfectly this line of sight, 
image remaining after.
The photographer has entered into
this, his picture.
 
A framing frames the ancient remains,
frame within frame like stone ghosts
from the living to the not living.
 
II
 
During the day, the doors,
like sideways viewed Chinese boxes, point the way
to the sky, or a blank wall
where the lords of death
(or alternatively, the lords of life)
are lodged beyond, whether
in kiva, hogan, teepee,
pyramid -- the mountain of gods.
 
III
 
At night invisible,
you can barely see the framed gates.
Above, the moonlight,
a few stars shine bright:
Polaris, Sirius, Aldebaran.
The gods of old-time
have come for you --
you who framed this image.
Time into framing,
gate, window, doorway --
starlight seeps out
light from unseen life
in sunrise or twilight,
you who sighted this
in your view finder.
 
IV
 
If we look at this image askew,
we can almost see you as shadow,
invisible among
the dust motes, the whirling dervishes
slipping through the frame of time,
the ancient gateways
to join the lords of life, of death
to ascend timeless, bodiless
to the stars,
to become framed
as infinite starshine.

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Flicker

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

At dawn
a loud crash
sounded against the house.
A flicker lay struggling
on the ground,
his life ending.
 
A beautiful bird
with speckled chest,
yellow tail,
and red feathers
on his head
looked as though
his spine was broken.
 
I put him in a quiet
part of the garden.
His weak cries were fearful.
 
Later that day,
when I checked,
he seemed closer to death.
 
The next morning
when I went to collect him,
he was gone.
 
I want to think
he got up and flew
up to the top of my tree,
but probably a cat or fox
found him on their trek
across the country.

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