The Source

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

I am going deep within myself,
to where gates no longer open,
but instead
walls are crossed upon walls
between the four directions.
Here is where the wolf
cannot penetrate again,
and the lion cannot eat my flesh.

Like some wounded animal
that crawls back to his source,
I am going deep within myself
to find the cool stillness.
I will not come out again
until my skin has thickened.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

25 responses to “The Source

  1. Been there. Thank you Ethel. Love David

  2. Who cannot relate to this poem!

  3. wow, Ethel….I love the way you match the thought and the words….don’t stay away too long…..your writing touches.


  4. This resonates powerfully. The metaphors are visceral.

  5. A walled garden of protection – beautiful.

  6. Caddo Veil

    Oh, our wonderful Ethel–I get so sad and worried, wanting to hug you tight and love everything better. How silly of me, I suppose–I just want you to know how much I care. Everything I read here pushes me to write better.

  7. We all need to retreat to our respective fortresses once in a while.

  8. Julie Catherine

    Ethel, your beautiful words leave a deep sadness within me, and a longing to reach out with more than a simple virtual hug. As the saying goes, “to everything there is a season” … so nurture yourself in your quiet, cool space for a time, and gain strength from the deep connection you have made with your world – and from your friends here who surround you with their own strength of caring. ~ Julie

  9. Ina

    What a great poem, I loved the first line and it just went on being wonderful! 🙂

  10. oonajnick

    I love the slow, deep inner movement

  11. Thomas/Ethel: I consider this a masterpiece! Kudos to you both, for writing and for posting! That still, still place within ourselves is THE PLACE to go when flaming arrows have pierced us. Yes, it IS a cool place–sort of like “walking beside the still waters.” for me.

  12. Only when the world’s distractions fade away can the quietness and peace of the inner place be used and enjoyed. Very well done.

  13. Sonja

    This poem is in one of your books! I love it!

  14. You took my breath away with this one, Ethel. Back to the Source… your words felt like a much needed meditation to that place of quiet, stillness, silence, deep within. Thank you – this is beautiful!

  15. Thank you Ethel, for these wonderful and thought provoking piece of work.

  16. Sometimes it’s necessary for sanity’s sake, Ethel – safe from the wolf and the lion – excellent evocation of palpable threat

  17. Been there, done that.

    The danger is in not wanting to come out again at all!!

    But our skin does thicken and we do need to take the risk.

    Mary Oliver’s poem ‘The Journey’ was brought to mind this morning by something Thomas said on my blog and now again by your poem.
    There will be a message in that 🙂


  18. Another beautiful, powerful, artful poem, Ethel; one with which many can relate…

  19. This reached into my soul…words ever traveling inwardly…perhaps the only ones that matter.

  20. “Like some wounded animal
    that crawls back to his source,
    I am going deep within myself
    to find the cool stillness.
    I will not come out again
    until my skin has thickened.”

    I love this stanza.

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