Will Bingen’s Newly Crafted Guitar

Our grandson, Will Bingen, just finished making his own guitar, and here it is:

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He is a brilliant guitarist and singer who has opened for bands like Kansas with his group.

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Lightning Bugs

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

We, as children,
celebrated the arrival of fireflies,
calling them lightning bugs.

We danced with them
in the meadows,
collected them in glass jars.

Some of us
took their thoraces,
rubbing them on the backs
of our T-shirts,
letters glowing in the dark.

We didn’t know their light
was sacred–
that this gift brightened

our backwoods swamp,
lighthouses called to mind
in our walled-off childhood.

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Knotted Swing

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

I remember
when we went into
the high haymow,
way to the farthest corner
of the barn,
to swing out across
the drop-off edge,
holding the knotted rope
between our legs.
You would say,
“Jump off now.”
“Jump off.”

And when we climbed
the tallest maple tree
in our yard,
and we were at the top,
you would say,
“Jump down now.”
“Jump down.”

I knew somehow
that you were
not right in your mind,
but I did not care
because I loved you
anyway.

Now, when I think
about our rope swinging,
I have placed a large pool of water
underneath the knotted swing—
as big as Lake Michigan,
a cushion—
so when I swing out across the barn
I have something
just in case I fall.

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Cover for In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams

All Things That Matter Press (ATTMP) has just sent me the cover for In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams, my new novel about the black fisherman community that settled on Washington Island off Door County before passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. ATTMP is shooting for an early August release. After better than sixteen drafts, I’m ready!
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Doorway at Chaco Canyon, a poem about the photograph by Kevin Davis

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Summer solstice
was the day you chose
to photograph the open doors.
Only then was the light
brightest at the last door.

Ancient doors aligned
to summer’s celestial calendar—
when the sun hangs
lowest on the longest day,
when the light is brightest
at the last door,

showing us the path
to enlightenment—
all we will ever want
in the world.

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Doorway at Chaco Canyon, In Memory of Kevin Michael Davis

Doorways at Chaco Canyon

Kevin Michael Davis, our son, has been gone for nine years.  He took this photo while visiting us while we lived in Continental Divide, NM.  We wish we could walk through these doors and see him for at least one more time.

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Ethel Mortenson Davis Book Named Among Outstanding Poetry Collections for 2018

The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) gives out yearly awards for outstanding books published each year. This year Ethel Mortenson Davis’s book, Under the Tail of the Milky Way Galaxy has just been recognized as one of seven outstanding books of poetry by Wisconsin poets.

The announcement by the WLA is below:

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