Ethel has published yet another new book Here We Breathe In Sky and Out Sky. It should be available shortly on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
You can purchase it today at http://www.lulu.com/shop/ethel-mortenson-davis/here-we-breathe-in-sky-and-out-sky/paperback/product-23134037.html. Reviews of the book are also appreciated. On the back cover the book is described in this way:
This is Ethel Mortenson Davis’s fourth book of poetry. The poems in this book are intense, filled with the magic light of New Mexico, imagistic in the same sense that H.D.’s and Ezra Pound’s early poetry was imagistic, spiritual, and transcendent. The visual nature of the poems relates to Davis’s skill as an artist trained at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. This nature also brings alive the high desert, mountain, and cliff country in which the poetry was written. The people that appear in the poems are multi-cultural, Navajo, Zuni Pueblo, and Anglos, that are living lives made complex by the long, sometimes difficult, history of New Mexico. There is a magic sense of New Mexican light in this book, and always a sense of here we breathe in sky and out sky.
I hope some of you will consider purchase a paperback copy.
by Thomas Davis
As old men sink into their silence, words
Become entangled in the memories
And moments that are like a flock of birds
So dense in time and space they start to freeze
The meanings that an old man means to say,
Or be, or clarify to those who’d listen
As if he still had thoughts that might convey
Some sense beyond the silence of his person.
Inside the living room I watch his eyes.
I feel inside myself and try to hear
The silence as its heaviness denies
Old age’s bucketful of pains and fear —
And as I watch I know the old men in their silence,
Their frozen faces and their look of patience.
A drawing by Ethel Mortenson Davis for the cover of Thomas Davis’s novel for young adults, Salt Bear, which is published by Four Windows Press at our home in Continental Divide, New Mexico
Ethel’s new book, White Ermine Across Her Shoulders is available now at Barnes and Noble and other online retailers:
White Ermine Across Her Shoulders has all the elements expected by
readers of Ethel Mortenson Davis’s poetry. The lines are highly imagistic
and intense. Descriptions of the earth’s beauty are intermingled with
comments, sometimes caustic, about the human experience. Often a
music rises that is both emotional and filled with language and insights
that remain in the memory long after the book has been put down. This,
Davis’s second volume, speaks eloquently about Kevin Michael Davis, her
son who died of cancer in 2010 in Poughkeepsie, NY, and touches on other
family relationships, making some of the poems more personal than those
she has published before. These poems are balanced with an understanding
of the universe and all of its creatures that encompasses both delight and
wisdom. What makes this collection appealing is an intellectual depth that
resonates, in the way of Emily Dickenson, with the imagistic and emotional
core that has always been a hallmark of Davis’s poetry.
My new novel, Salt Bear, has just been published on Amazon’s Kindle ebook site. This is an experiment since I really have no idea how to market my own work. I also need to clean up the html a little, but am working at it. I was disappointed in the quality of the salt bear cover that Ethel designed and could use some help to figure out why the drawing is not crystal clear.
Salt Bear tells story of a young salt bear (a mythical creature of the American West) who goes on an epic journey of self discovery with his best friends, Buddy, a jackalope (another mythical creature), and Old Rombo, a cactus buck.
Salt Bear’s themes, like those of fantasies such as the Harry Potter series, Richard Adams’ Watership Down, Brian Jacque’s Redwall series, and Lemony Snicket’s unfortunate events, are powerful. Self discovery, the power of healing, the miracle of tolerance, the meaning of courage and fear, and love’s grace are interwoven into scenes of journeying, battle, death, justice, and nature’s cycles. The adventure plays out in the wilderness of pinion, juniper, ponderosa pine, and aspen forests that range from the National Colorado Monument in western Colorado to the Gooseneck formations in Utah.
Salt Bear is a fantasy novel belonging to the tradition of children and juvenile novels created by works like Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in The Willows, recent novels by David Clement-Davies (Fire Bringer and The Sight), or the Rescuer series by Margery Sharp.
What I have tried to do in the novel is to take mythological creatures from Western lore and then turn them into a uniquely Western mythos. Hopefully the novel works and those who read it enjoy it.
“…you have been yourself at the edge of the Deep Canyon and have come back unharmed” An Elder of the San Juan Pueblo. 1959. V. Laski. Seeking Life.
“I was invisible” An Asiatic Eskimo. 1980. D. Cloutier. Spirit Spirit, Shaman Songs.
In the snowy canyons
you came to me
as an eagle
(in almost audible sounds)
“the key to the secret
of healing. . .”
For my wounds
had gone beyond wounds
and had festered
into deep holes
in my sides,
and gangrene had set in,
but, in a whisper,
you came and said,
“you have the keys within you.
You are the stars
in the starry night.
You are the source
at the mouth of rivers.
You have the medicine
already in your bones.”
And my wounds became
as faint as the sound
as pale as the ringed moon.
And the healer
came to me
in the face of the wolf.
and nodded to me
with her deep intelligence,
and her eyes told me,
“your spirit is strength.
Your force is as great
for your goodness prevails
over the dark;
has brought you out
of the deep canyon.”
And again the healer
came to me.
This time as a bear,
a joyous white bear
with great white paws,
and she told me,
“you were invisible,
but now I see you.
You have gone
to the edge of the great canyon
but have come back
“And now your laughter
as mountainous as thunder,
and your tears
will be the tears of glory!”
I tell you.
I have put my ear
to the great Earth
and have felt your presence.
Both Ethel, my wife of 43 years,and I are poets, but the compression of words into beauty is a trademark that makes Ethel’s work unique and beautiful. The book can be found on any online bookseller’s list, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon, or ordered through your favorite bookstore.