Category Archives: Ethel Mortenson Davis

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

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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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The Slowing

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

There comes a time,
when there is a slowing,
when the snow is too heavy
and too deep,

when I cannot put
the black harness
on the back of my little horse,
so I must walk it back
to the tack-room
through thigh-high drifts,

and that is when I catch
a glimpse of her
through the open barn door.
She is munching a mound of hay
from last summer’s days,
and it is the sound of happiness.

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Bramble, the literary magazine

Ethel and I guest edited the latest issue of Bramble, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets publication. Ethel’s art is on the cover. We want to thank by Christine Kubasta and Tori Welhouse for their help. This was a great experience, and we hope lots of people will look and see what fantastic poets Wisconsin has! If you want copies you can order them from amazon now, or you can read the entire issue online!

https://www.wfop.org/bramble-lit-mag

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Whipped Cream

after 11 inches of new snow

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

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Unusual Landscape

a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis
Unusual Landscape

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