Smoke of Cedars

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

We need
to wash our faces
in the cedar smoke,
for the spring
is in drought.

We need to do
all that is right,
all that any god
would surely admire.

There is the green grosbeak.

He has returned
to nest even though
our world is dying.

I will lay water
out for him,
and he, in turn,
will help us forget
our hair is white.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

6 responses to “Smoke of Cedars

  1. I find that the whiter my hair gets the more I come to appreciate what nature has to tell me.

    Loved this


  2. This is a nice comment. Ethel

  3. Hi, Ethel. My apologies for being so long absent. Thomas visited my blog recently and it was so lovely to ‘see’ him there and to read his comments which I have missed. I hope you are both well.

    This poem so eloquently and lyrically expresses the sadness that is in nature at how mankind has treated her, and yet also the perseverance it shows and perhaps some forgiveness, too. But your verse is also directive: we must not forgive ourselves but …
    ‘We need to do
    all that is right’

    How could anyone read the following lines, and not be moved to honor and care for the natural world?
    There is the green grosbeak.

    He has returned
    to nest even though
    our world is dying.’

    I must share this! Diane XO ♥
    PS Life is a little hectic, as I started a new job and am trying to finish another novel. But I promise not to be such a stranger!

  4. Ethel, I must echo what Diane said above. This is a most moving poem, and we must do “all that is right”. I feel the same earth-pangs, the laments of Gaia….

  5. It takes hordes of people, tons of money, months of work, to create such a movie. Yet you manage to conjure the same magic with a few well chosen words.

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