An Elder’s Prayer

by Thomas Davis

They frack the earth. Drills fly into the soil
And whirl through rock, a stream of chemicals
Shot down into the shale, the oracles
Of business, profit, subjugation, oil
Enraptured by technology, the coil
Inside the engine driving humankind,
The writ of progress, greed, force sealed and signed.
The oilmen say, we need the fracked-up oil.

An elder walks into the winter cold
And kneels beside a frozen lake and lifts
His arms toward dark clouds, his spirit bold
Enough to recognize creation’s gifts.

“The radiance of water, soil, and sky,”
He sang. “Is in a baby’s first-breath cry.”

Leave a comment

Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis, Uncategorized

In Memoriam, Kevin Davis, Our Son February 16, 1982 – July 23, 2010


a photograph taken by Kevin in Paris

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Gray-White Geese

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Put your arms around me
to keep the desert winds
from blowing through me.

As the snow clouds have gathered
like gray-white geese
gathering on water.

1 Comment

Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry


a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis


1 Comment

Filed under Art, Art by Ethel Mortenson Davis, Ethel Mortenson Davis, Photography

Shiva’s Dancing

by Thomas Davis

Ben Naga published a short poem on his blog,


Inhale thyme, the spice of life
Dance the music of rhythm
A tapestry woven through
Time and space in harmony

I responded with free verse:

And inside Orion, where gas the size of planets spit
out of a black hole’s enormous yaw,
and where incubators blaze suns out of what seems light,
but is really reactors coalescing into the splitting of nuclei,

Shiva went walking.

As he walked he felt, rather than saw, the forces of destruction
annihilating into the forces of creation,
and the foment caused by his walking and his thoughts
inside a place generating the growth of a galaxy
let him sit on the side of a mountain in the Himalayas
as a snow leopard and two spotted cubs
leapt from a ledge of old ice
toward a cliff face where mountain goats danced with dark hooves away
into clouds descended from heaven.

Ben Naga responded to that by saying, I like the poem. So full of powerful imagery. Should I challenge you to tame this outpouring into a sonnet?

I responded:

Shiva’s Dancing

Gas from a black hole’s yaw hurled massively
To deep, deep space. In Orion suns blazed
Out from the incubator galaxy,
New stars a coalescing plasma raised
From clouds of light as Shiva walked
In nothingness and felt unraveling
Annihilate into creation as he stalked
Through dances of light’s christening.

Upon a Himalayan mountaintop
He sat. Snow leopards, muscling with grace,
Leapt from a ledge of ice, the yawing drop
Below them sheer, a cliff’s dark, rocky face.

Two mountain goats danced, dark with hooves, away
Into a cloudy heaven’s roiled ballet.

One thing links to another, then causes a reaction that has, somehow, the definition of creativity inside it.


Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

Red Leaf Dressed With Snow

a photograph by Sonja Bingen, our daughter


1 Comment

Filed under Art, Photography

Publications by Ethel Mortenson and Thomas Davis

Both Ethel and Thomas have had recent publications.  Ethel’s poem, “Love Songs,” one of the best poems she has written that has not found its way to publication until now, has just been published by Bramble, the new literary magazine of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP), at  Bramble ( a new effort by WFOP, and this is its first issue.  The poems in the first issue are well worth reading.

Tom has just had a sonnet published in Ariel Anthology 2016, Inward and Outward, “Of Those Who Could End the World — So There Osama bin Laden, ISIS, and the Archbishop of Treves!”  This is the third year his sonnets have been published in Ariel, which is arguably the best anthology published in Wisconsin.  This year’s anthology also contains two black and white drawings by Ethel, “Electric Horse” and “Night Sounds.”  Ariel can be ordered online at

Tom also had two children’s poems published in an anthology by Brick Street Poetry, Inc., Words & Other Wild Things.  The poems were “Milk Maid” and “The Fisherman.”  The anthology can be ordered online at


Filed under Art by Ethel Mortenson Davis, Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis