Category Archives: Ethel Mortenson Davis

The Seer

a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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To the Innocent

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

To Troy Davis

I hope you are
in a place
where there is justice,
 
where there is love
unconditionally,
the end
 
where young men
no longer are lynched
by ropes,
or the machinations of killers,
 
where there is light
and not the suffocating,
ethered mud,
 
a place where you will
rise above humanness.
 
I hope you are in a place
called Justice,
a place that will never be named
Georgia.
 

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George Floyd

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

We saw how bad
the killing is
in this country.
 
But the many more
we did not see —
children, women, and men
in far away, hidden places,
unknown towns,
and mud-filled swamps.
 
No one recorded
their cries for help.
Their blood
has filled our land —
up to the withers of our horses,
touching the white wings
of angels.

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Unfurrowing

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The unfurrowing
of new leaves
is like a carefully
synchronized orchestra
with each musician
in exact harmony.
 
But we do not stand
and applaud.
 
Only Oriole gets up
and sings his splendid song,
dressed in brightly colored
vestments.

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All That Is Left

The primeval forest at the Toft Point Preserve

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Underneath
undisturbed giant trees,
beneath the soil,
the mycelial web—
a fungi galaxy of life,
connects all the trees
together,
one species next
to the other for a reason—
a dependency for life.

Lichens drape
the forest floor,
even over the fallen trees,
covering them
with a green blanket.

Tree trunks grown
for four or five hundred years
climb into the clouds.
My heart seems to grow
at least as tall.

A bird’s song
I do not recognize,
plants I cannot identify.

The air thick with oxygen
and the icy breath
of a thousand Wisconsin winters
gathers around our ankles
as we stand in a primeval forest
on a small finger of land—

all that is left.

Note: Based on the scientific discoveries described by Peter Wholleben in The Hidden Life of Trees.

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You

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

You came to tell me
this morning
that he was gone,

but last night
when the dread came
and overwhelmed me,
I knew.

You see, love
transcends space and time.

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The Rite of Spring

photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis

IMG_0535

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Galaxies

a pastel by Ethel Mortenson DavisIMG_0530

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Poetry Hall Chinese American Poetry

Ethel Mortenson Davis has two poems in the new issue of Poetry Hall, an English/Chinese journal that is available in the United States and and China. A Chinese scholar translated Ethel’s poems, and they appear in English and Chinese. You can order the journal at amazon. It’s really inexpensive. The title of Ethel’s poems are “The Room” and “Snow Goose.” “Snow Goose” was written when we joined Francha Barnard in Egg Harbor at the library for a session on writing Ekphrastic poetry!Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 8.14.29 AM.png

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Seed

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

A Vision

Out of the fire,
with the splitting
of the cone,
a seed emerges.
Thunderstorms
bring it to the soil.
A new tree begins
it’s rapture.

Out of the fire
we have found
new pathways,
a new vision.
We bring the least of us
along in our wagons.
There are no slaves or rich men.

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