Category Archives: Thomas Davis

Poetry’s One Language: Taliesin in New Mexico

by Thomas Davis

Taliesin walked a sparse wood.
Pink and white stones sheered into cliffs.
This was not the wild seacoast where clerics and bards warred,
declaiming words of power,
but a land as dry as Job’s tongue:
“Where shall wisdom be found?”

The bard had stood on a black rock jutting into sea-fury.
He had called mists and forest spirits,
swarming to gestures and words like ghostly raiments,
then walked through a shimmering gate into sweltering skies.
Standing below a tall, red cliff, he sent his spirit
across a dry land and walked,
feeling poetry falter in the great silence.

On a sandstone table he stopped and stared at hairy black spiders.
A thousand scuttled across the red stone in frenzy.
He could not understand spider’s movement’s language.
He could not feel poetry’s spirit ebb and flow
where no coracle boats or sailing ships plied waves.

He studied a turquoise juniper tree’s green flame
and tried to feel how such small trees could walk,
but they seemed rooted in fields of pink and white stone.

Taliesin trudged with his staff through a long day.
Sun blazed; a horned moon, waxing, rose.
The bard’s heart shuddered.

How was he to escape a land where poetry was tenuous?
Where no selkie dived beneath waves into seaweed forests?

He listened: Women’s voices elegant and wild with frenzy –
Men speaking words as strange as the landscape.

A red wolf howled beneath stars and horned moon.
A cold wind blew.
Pinyon, pine, and juniper branches danced and sang.

The bard smiled and raised arms out of his brown robe.
He spoke poetry’s one language to night sky, trees, and wind.

A black rock jutted into a foaming, wind-driven sea.

Note: The is a rewrite of a poem posted a long time ago.

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The Weirding Storm is Published!

The Weirding Storm, A Dragon Epic has been published by Bennison Books. It is now available at amazon.com.

The U.S. Amazon address is:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/099900770X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495812510&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Weirding+Storm

The address for Bennison Books, a UK publisher, is:  https://bennisonbooks.com.

I am hoping that anyone who purchases the book from Amazon, either U.S. or U.K. Amazon, will also review the book.  That helps publicize it in the amazon universe.

I am really excited about this publication.  Bennison Books publishes some of my favorite poets and to be part of their stable with one of the best books I have ever written gives me an euphoric feeling.  I hope some of you will be willing to be transported to another world where dragons and humans still co-exist along with witches, warriors, and battles, to paraphrase Terence Winch, one of the U.S.’s greatest poets.

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In the Time of the Black Snake

by Thomas Davis
an irrelgular sonnet

The buffalo come stomping, snorting, blowing.
The blizzard howls like old men throwing fits
Of rage against the way their bones are creaking
Into another year, arthritis stirring
Up aches so harsh their anger steals their wits.

Snow crusts on dark hides, slows their stamping, singing
Until the universe becomes a song
Protesting how long drills drill into earth,
Into the heart of who the peoples long
To be inside the spirit of their birth,
Inside the breaths that make them who they are,
A being on the earth made from the star-
Stuff spun into the dance against the snake,
The warriors singing as they stomp and shake.

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Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit, the story of the Menominee Tribe’s Sustainable Forest, is Back in Paperback

Sustaining

My book, Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit, published by State University of New York (SUNY) Press, is still in print. I was afraid SUNY was going to let it go out of print, but they have printed new paperbacks, which they had sold out of a long time ago. The price is pretty high, but I’m excited by this development. It’s always good to not go out of print.

Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit tells the wonderful story of the Menominee Indian Tribe and how they have sustained their 230,000 acre forest in ways that have enhanced, rather than degraded, the environment in the face of development pressures. Through a careful look at Menominee history, politics, institutions, economy, culture, spirituality, science, and technology, I tried to provide insight into how this case study of sustainable environmental development can offer a rough road map for other communities to follow.

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Beyond the Fire of Stars

by Thomas Davis

 Words crawl, or dance, or hurl into the air,
And as their meanings symphony
A universe born from complexity
Derived from how we humans try to bear
The waves of minutes marching unaware
Toward an ocean that no one can see,
Life crawls and dances, hurls its vibrancy
Past any time of hope or bleak despair.

As thin as paper deep with crawling words,
We dance and hurl ourselves into our world
As life swirls time into the thoughts we are
And consciousness, like sparkling hummingbirds,
Discerns, then speaks of times and meanings curled
Into eternities beyond the fires of stars.

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Nature’s Implacable Force

by Thomas Davis

In North Dakota’s winter frost drives deep
Into the ground, soils compacted tight
Until, in spring, the ground heaves, water seeps
Into the soils, and land begins to write
The story of another spring, the slow,
Implacable force nature heaves and cracks
Into the manmade things, the bravado
Of buildings, pipelines, streets, steel railroad tracks.

Inside an empty field an apple tree
Has grown into the crumbling of a farm.
It stands where once a lively family
Built walls to keep them safe and free from harm.

This pipeline will not ever fail, they say.
It won’t leak. Not a minute. Not a day.

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An Elder’s Prayer

by Thomas Davis

They frack the earth. Drills fly into the soil
And whirl through rock, a stream of chemicals
Shot down into the shale, the oracles
Of business, profit, subjugation, oil
Enraptured by technology, the coil
Inside the engine driving humankind,
The writ of progress, greed, force sealed and signed.
The oilmen say, we need the fracked-up oil.

An elder walks into the winter cold
And kneels beside a frozen lake and lifts
His arms toward dark clouds, his spirit bold
Enough to recognize creation’s gifts.

“The radiance of water, soil, and sky,”
He sang. “Is in a baby’s first-breath cry.”

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