by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The stealth of migrations
move across the land
under cover of darkness,
moving in hundreds
and then thousands.

You told me
about your car lights
shining in a canyon
one night–
“More elk than
one could imagine,”

moving to the southern places
where canyons lap over canyons,
lands whose vastness is greater
than the mind can comprehend,

unlike the northern deer
that migrate further north
to find giant spruce trees
whose branches touch
the ground to make
a snowless, warm canopy
for the wintering.

You said, “The axe blade
is sharpened, ready
to chop the bone
at the joints.”


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

4 responses to “Migrations

  1. This is beautifully written, Ethel: lovely descriptions of the natural world to stir the romance in the soul, and then: Chop! the axe falls, and you’ve brought in Man the Hunter, and reminded us of how humans down the ages have had to look at nature and use it; and then retrospectively that line about the elk in the car lights takes on an entirely different meaning. Good stuff this!

  2. Fantastic! I love the rustic, easy feel about this, which disguises a very deep knowledge and understanding of history which perhaps only a shaman might know. This one gets better every time I read it! Very inspiring.

  3. So atmospheric: I love the way you weave together the known and observable with the atavistic and mysterious. A beautiful poem – a bright fire on a cold winter’s night.

  4. Lovely poem…it gives me goosebumps. Thank you!

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