Four Windows Press

Four Windows is a cave in the El Malpais National Monument lava tube area in New Mexico.  When Ethel and I began trying to find a name for a small publishing company we were starting that hand published books we have written, we settled on Four Windows Press.  Our son, Kevin Davis, known as Alazanto on the web, had passed away in Poughkeepsie, New York a few months before we decided to print books, and one of the most memorable hiking trips, in a lifetime of hiking trips, was to Four Windows Cave.

The El Malpais can be difficult to hike in, but is extraordinarily beautiful.  Dark lava flows, cinder cones, pressure, ridges, natural bridges, and depressions and lava tube caves riddle the area.   Elk, deer, rabbits, and mule deer wander invisible trails through lava, banana yucca, rabbit-brush, goldenaster, juniper, New Mexico olive, pinion, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and mountain spray.  If you ever have the opportunity to wander through El Malpais, you will never forget it.  Ethel and I hope that Four Windows Press, with the memories it brings us of our son smiling and laughing on a blazingly hot day, is as unique and unforgettable.

All content on this site retains Copyright © by Thomas and/or Ethel Mortenson Davis for the year in which it was published. Content can be used if permission is requested as long as it contains the author’s name and provides a link back to

58 responses to “Four Windows Press

  1. Moving and fascinating – well done

    • Losing a son is heartbreaking but only by doing something positive can we learn to live with it. i am so sorry about your loss. After we lost one of our sons i wrote my first book and from there set up my own small publishing company. Good things can grow from tragedy.

  2. El Malpais, good shot, holds one to it…

  3. I’m so sorry for the loss of your very gifted son–it’s a wonderful marvel of the current age that we can at least still share in his art. And somehow the founding of your press following that loss is confirmation of the powerful continuity of art in the family and in the world. A lovely thing indeed. I’m glad to ‘meet’ you here, friends.

  4. I’m very sorry to hear about your son but the post is a very moving tribute to him.

  5. “…downward to darkness
    on extended wings.”

    Who says death has the last word? RT

  6. I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award, check details out on my page and enjoy sharing the award with other bloggers. Your blog is a beautiful dedication to your son, Kevin, and his art of loving life. Thank you!

  7. You have created beauty in the diversity of your blog, it is full of treasures. Thank you for spending so much time on mine today.

  8. Story

    Sorry to read about about the loss of your talented son. This is a beautiful tribute to him, and a blog that is indeed full of treasures. Thank-you for sharing.

  9. What a beautiful site you have. I am so happy to have found it – I will visit often, and thank you for visiting my blog yesterday.

  10. I feel the heartbreak for your son that cries out in your poems. My sons are young adults.. I live for them and cannot imagine the pain of losing either of them. Poetry must help… that and love. Take care! I am a man who believes in a good and just God… and I will pray for you and your family.
    Steven Federle

  11. I googled Azalanto after reading this page, and was left supremely astounded by his art. What sheer creativity, what ceaseless passion!

    Words, and this is the irony, at the end of it all are meaningless. Nothing I can say will ever come close to equating your loss, and your infinite strength in living a legacy.

    I thank you for liking my post. I wouldn’t have come to know your story otherwise.

    I wouldn’t have learnt this small bit of life!

  12. I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your son, but your story is very touching and such a memorable tribute to him. Thank you, also, for visiting my site and for “liking” “Moments in Time and Adolescence.” I hope you’ll visit again and I look forward to reading your poems, as well. Your photo is beautiful, too. Thanks again~

  13. thank you, again, for your visit to my photo/writing blog. i really appreciate your thoughtful words. i’m sorry to read about your and Ethel’s loss – my deepest condolences. i started adding a bit of writing to each of my posts on a daily basis after a loss, starting on February 18, 2010. time really flies, but some things stay the same.

  14. You two live in an amazing area – sounds terrific and opposite to here. I’d love to visit some time. And I’m so very, very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine. I have a 16-year-old son. Much love, Sandra.

  15. I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and liking my recent post ‘The Lavenders’.

    Coming here and reading this page has been enlightening and moving. I will soon return when I can dedicate the time I am sure your poetry, photography and other postings deserve.

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your son. I know that all you do in his memory will keep his wonderful spirit alive.

  16. dan

    My condolences regarding the loss of your son. Your blog and publishing keep his influence alive. Through your tribute he will continue to touch others. Thanks for your beautiful and moving post.

  17. Citizen of Sky

    Thank you for sharing such rich, vivid and moving experiences with us on this blog and thanks for visiting my own and leaving such encouraging words. My condolences for your loss, but also my appreciation for introducing the art of such an inspiring person as your son.

  18. Scriptor Obscura

    You have won a Kreativ Blogger Award! Stop by and check it out here:

  19. I agreed with Scriptor Obscura and nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award. Congratulations!

  20. Your site; the works/words of your family; the beauty; the talent your son, a sun, who has passed too soon, but has blessed us all with his vision. This blog, your press, may you continue to thrive and spread his spirit that lives on in art. Shanti ~

  21. I visited Alazanto’s website today, and got all weepy and “filled up inside”. Just wanted to let you know I think of you daily, prayerfully–not sure why I feel so connected to you, but it can’t be a bad thing…

  22. I’m so sorry to hear of your sad loss. Losing a son is hearfbreaking but only by positive action can we learn to live with it. We too lost a son and afterwards i wrote my first book in his memory. From there I set up my own small publishing company so good can grow from tragedy. Bless you.

  23. Sometimes sad reasons are beautiful tributes… like your Four Windows Press. 🙂 Wishing you both all the best and the strength to overcome hard times with love and togetherness…
    Warm Regards,

  24. Dear Thomas and Ethel,
    My son Ken was also a graphic artist and a poet. He was studying animation when he died in 1999. I have been looking at your son Kevin’s site on the internet, he was a truly gifted young man. Thank you for sharing a little of your journey.

  25. I am new follower and pleased to have a cozy place to see photos and read poetry.

  26. Hello and thank you for your kind comments on my blog. May I firstly say who sad I was read that you have lost your son. May you find reminders of happy times with him where ever you may look. I would also like to wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

  27. Jueseppi B.

    I love this blog, and with your permission, I would like to add fourwindowspress to The’s blog roll.

  28. Keeping your son’s memory alive through your press is a living tribute as well as a memorial.

  29. Caddo Veil

    Hi Ethel and Thomas! I saw that you recently read my poem “For St Theresa”–and Thomas, you said it made you smile. I’ve wanted to point you toward that one for what is probably now the obvious reason–my much loved cousin, Theresa, lost her only son Ricky to leukemia just before his 17th birthday. It blesses and comforts her, each time I call to tell her that someone else has read the poem and been touched by it. Parents who’ve lost a child at an age when they should be starting out on quite a different journey, share an unenviable bond. I have told her about you, and Kevin–she sends her love to you. It can’t fill the forever-void–but perhaps love (even from strangers) is the only balm. As always, you have my love too. Sincerely, Caddo

  30. Hi Ethel and Thomas. I’ve nominated you for the Reader Appreciation Award ( with thanks for your visits to my blog and the thoughtful and lyrical comments you leave. Thank you for all you share!

  31. Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my poetry, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it!

  32. Thanks to both of you for your comments on my poems. Very helpful, and greatly appreciated!

  33. I have nominated you and Ethel for the Genuine Blogger Award. Details are on my latest post.


  34. Michael Anthony Adams, Jr.

    Such a moving story and such a beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing your story and your work with us.

  35. Thomas, beautiful site you have, with a story that breaks the heart, as my mentor Jude Janett would say, breaking open not down. The healing power of art. This is an example. How it heals us as a whole, all of us who you share it with.

    Lovely. And your sonnets are really wondrously wrought … I’m a sonnet-head, too …


  36. As you will see from a click to you are included in my list of “recommended sites”. You are invited to accept any of the Awards offered here which you are not currently in receipt of. Should you have them all already I can only add to that fact by saying how much I enjoy your writings and honour their author.

    – Ben

  37. Anna Mark

    Hello Thomas, I am writing to you here on your “About Four Windows Press” page regarding your last comment to me about publishing and such. My email is: if you’d like you can respond to me there. I think if I were to get a little book published by hand I’d probably approach someone in Toronto, Canada close to where I live who would be able to do it. I’d love to compile some of my poems into a book, but I’m not sure if starting my own little industry is the right choice right now, though it is something to consider — my husband, Phil, is an artist and we have a studio already attached to the house. We do have the space for such an enterprise…thank you for the gigabooks link. It sounds like quite a fine and exacting art, indeed. Here is a link to my husband, Phil’s, web page:

    Yes, I do need help with punctuation from time to time. I’m glad you can see beyond those stumblings in my poems to the spirit of the message or the meaning. That is good. I have the summers off as I am a full time teacher during the year. If you and Ethel are willing, I would be very grateful to have you both edit a small volume. You’d have to let me know what a small volume means and what the costs are, of course. In my ultimate “dreamy” world, where I dream big, I imagine that I could visit you out there, stay at a B&B, hike in the caves (which I love doing here in Ontario, Canada), see the desert, drink some wine and edit some poems. This may be too bold. Sending a package in the mail is fine, too. These are just musing, so do with them as you see best, all things considered.

    Your messaged ended with a little “pep” talk about insecurity. I’m afraid this part of my being will never be outlived. It is just who I am. Each time I publish something on WordPress, part of me crumbles inside…this is me ; ) I am not just a poet that is still growing, but a person, too.

    I will check out which also sounds like a good link to follow. Because I find it hard to manage life while working full time, I don’t take on a lot of “extra” things during the year. This will have to wait until June 29th when the year is done and I crash and I get to have the mornings again with my girls!


  38. Anna Mark

    Hello Thomas, I just spent about 10 or 15 minutes composing a response here to your last comment on my blog regarding publishing and such. It was more personal and had more of my own voice in it, but when I tried to publish it, I found that I was not logged in…and the post has not appeared. So, this reply is more business like. I am offering you my email: to reply to this if you’d prefer. Publishing by hand sounds wonderful. I do have a studio attached to the house and space for such an enterprise, but I’m not sure if it’s the right option for me right now. My husband, Phil Irish, is an artist. is his web page. I’d like to express my interest in having you edit a small volume of poems. That would be wonderful. Perhaps we can correspond more about what this would entail, pricing and defining what “small volume” means. It would be silly of me to pass up such an opportunity, if you are truly willing and interested. I’d be honoured to work with you both as editors. Thank you for the gigabooks link, the Zuni Mountain Poets to check out and the link. I shall go now…I do hope you don’t get two posts from me here! Cheerio,

  39. You figure among the six folk who “comment” most regularly on “Ben Naga”. Here’s a small thank you for taking the time to write to me

    For any of you who like to take part in the exchanging of Awards, check out the post “Chits For Chatting” (

    For those who don’t, simply allow yourself to experience a momentary warm glow in the knowledge that your efforts in writing so many
    interesting comments were much appreciated.

  40. You figure among the six folk who “comment” most regularly on “Ben Naga”. Here’s a small thank you for taking the time to write to me

    For any of you who like to take part in the exchanging of Awards, check out the post “Chits For Chatting”

    For those who don’t, simply allow yourself to experience a momentary warm glow in the knowledge that your efforts in writing so many
    interesting comments were much appreciated.

  41. You figure among the six folk who “comment” most regularly on “Ben Naga”. Here’s a small thank you for taking the time to write to me there.

    For any of you who like to take part in the exchanging of Awards, check out the post “Chits For Chatting” (

    For those who don’t, simply allow yourself to experience a momentary warm glow in the knowledge that your efforts in writing so many interesting comments were much appreciated.

  42. So sorry for the loss of your son. It is a pain like no other and a sorrow that will never go away. God’s blessing to you. Glad to have found your site.

  43. Thomas, I would love you and Ethel to have a copy of the poetry book I have just produced. It is currently at the printers so won’t be ready for a week or two but I am gathering addresses of my ” special” friends on here who have all given me so much encouragement with my new venture into the world of poetry, so you may all have a copy each. I would never have dared to do it without all of you behind me. 🙂 if you would like to send me your address I will forward a copy to you. 🙂

    Christine x

  44. Scriptor Obscura

    For you:

    Thomas, sometimes you just appreciate someone so much that you never know how to respond or what to say, and you just hope that that person knows how much and how highly you value and appreciate them, their constant presence, their blog, their thoughtful and considered comments, their continuous support, but nothing can ever say it adequately, and…well, I am a silent type, and I have a hard time expressing how I feel and typing comments, and actually to tell you the truth I just prefer to see what people think, and to not respond, and I don’t even know what to say anymore. So here, Thomas, this is for you:

    Click the link to see.

    I am honored to know you. So, so grateful for all your support. I don’t have the words. You accept me just as I am, you support me even though I don’t respond to your comments.. I wish you could know just how much I appreciate you, and how much I am grateful. You have touched me and impacted me more than you know. I don’t think I will ever measure up to your view of me. I don’t know what to say.

    Your friend,

    Scriptor Obscura

  45. Hi Thomas and Ethel,
    Just to let you know I have finally posted your book! Unfortunately I haven’t signed it as my hand simply refuses to write anymore.
    I also haven’t put a card or note in with any of the books because a recent infection has floored me and I haven’t the energy to type several cards but wanted to get them out before Xmas. Anyway it’s the book itself that matters and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed putting it together




  46. Scriptor Obscura

    Happy New Year to you. May you have a blessed new year filled with much peace and lots of joy. Your friend, Scriptor Obscura.

  47. I’m not sure why but this website is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  48. Scriptor Obscura

    Just wanted to let you know that the above comment is spam and you should immediately mark it as spam and delete it. It makes me so angry to see spammers getting through and trashing this wonderful space. Just wanted to alert you to this. FYI.

  49. I love to hear the genesis of people’s passions and this one did not disappoint. Great “about” page here. I will be following to keep track of what you folks are up to. If you get the time, please check out my blog as well.
    God bless!

  50. I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him
    as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You are wonderful!

  51. Rick Elder


    You were very good to me many years ago. I just read this information on your Four Windows Press site. I remember your son when your were once in Brimley and came to the house with him for dinner. My condolences.

    Rick Elder, Brimley/Escanaba, MI

  52. Pingback: “Ocatillo” by Thomas Davis | Becoming is Superior to Being

  53. Pingback: The Gift of Friendship—-Wednesday, March 7, 2018 | Life on a Colorado Farm

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