Category Archives: Ethel Mortenson Davis

Wood Duck

a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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Solstice 2

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

It is the darkest
of all days so far
this year.
I’m sure it will
never be light again,
never with bright sunshine
and hidden breezes.

But tomorrow
will show up,
and the light
will gain over the dark,
and you will be running
down spring’s path,
clinging to my arm.

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Trees

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Trees cover most of the northern half of Wisconsin.
Two hundred years ago
Wisconsin was a thick forest,
a network of interrelated lives
that spoke to each other
through their inner capillaries.

Trees have brains.
When an enemy
comes into the forest,
they communicate to
the rest of the trees
and put out a chemical
to fight the pest.

When trees are dying,
they gather all their nutrients,
like carbon, potassium and water,
and send them along
their inner pathways
to their children and grandchildren.

They are living creatures
with intelligence —
more compassionate
than many of us.

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Thanksgiving

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

As children
we don’t forgive
our parents.

As parents
we forgive
our children,

opening up
one of the back rooms,
sweeping up
the dust,

making room
again for you.

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New Mask

a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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Creativity

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

to: Standing Feather

When we become
the most fragmented,
the most broken,
or so we think,
we step
onto the track,
the furrow
that is the circle
of the universe.

It is a river
that pulls us along,
connecting us
to something greater
than ourselves,
to the great spiral,
to the circle dance of the honey bee.

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Red LikeYoung Girls’ Cheeks

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Rosy-red crab apples lay
on the ground in front of us
as we walked in the chilled air
near a forested lake.

Fifty years ago
the same red crab apples
were picked up
by a college student
as she strung them
on a string around her neck.

She knew this was a beginning
of the path she would follow,
a path centering herself to the earth.

This also was a period of darkness
where a string of blackness
would catch her in a trap.

But there were people
like the shepherd mother
of the small dorm where she stayed
who taught her
there were good and trustworthy people:

apples that lay at our feet,
red like young girls’ cheeks
in the chilled fall air.

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