Category Archives: Thomas Davis

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.

8 Comments

Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Essays, Thomas Davis

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.

15 Comments

Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

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.

7 Comments

Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

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.”

2 Comments

Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis, Uncategorized

Shiva’s Dancing

by Thomas Davis

Ben Naga published a short poem on his blog, https://bennaga.wordpress.com:

SHIVA’S DANCING

Inhale thyme, the spice of life
Dance the music of rhythm
A tapestry woven through
Time and space in harmony

I responded with free verse:

And inside Orion, where gas the size of planets spit
out of a black hole’s enormous yaw,
and where incubators blaze suns out of what seems light,
but is really reactors coalescing into the splitting of nuclei,

Shiva went walking.

As he walked he felt, rather than saw, the forces of destruction
annihilating into the forces of creation,
and the foment caused by his walking and his thoughts
inside a place generating the growth of a galaxy
let him sit on the side of a mountain in the Himalayas
as a snow leopard and two spotted cubs
leapt from a ledge of old ice
toward a cliff face where mountain goats danced with dark hooves away
into clouds descended from heaven.

Ben Naga responded to that by saying, I like the poem. So full of powerful imagery. Should I challenge you to tame this outpouring into a sonnet?

I responded:

Shiva’s Dancing

Gas from a black hole’s yaw hurled massively
To deep, deep space. In Orion suns blazed
Out from the incubator galaxy,
New stars a coalescing plasma raised
From clouds of light as Shiva walked
In nothingness and felt unraveling
Annihilate into creation as he stalked
Through dances of light’s christening.

Upon a Himalayan mountaintop
He sat. Snow leopards, muscling with grace,
Leapt from a ledge of ice, the yawing drop
Below them sheer, a cliff’s dark, rocky face.

Two mountain goats danced, dark with hooves, away
Into a cloudy heaven’s roiled ballet.

One thing links to another, then causes a reaction that has, somehow, the definition of creativity inside it.

3 Comments

Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

Publications by Ethel Mortenson and Thomas Davis

Both Ethel and Thomas have had recent publications.  Ethel’s poem, “Love Songs,” one of the best poems she has written that has not found its way to publication until now, has just been published by Bramble, the new literary magazine of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP), at http://www.wfop.org/love-songs.  Bramble (http://www.wfop.org/bramble-lit-magis a new effort by WFOP, and this is its first issue.  The poems in the first issue are well worth reading.

Tom has just had a sonnet published in Ariel Anthology 2016, Inward and Outward, “Of Those Who Could End the World — So There Osama bin Laden, ISIS, and the Archbishop of Treves!”  This is the third year his sonnets have been published in Ariel, which is arguably the best anthology published in Wisconsin.  This year’s anthology also contains two black and white drawings by Ethel, “Electric Horse” and “Night Sounds.”  Ariel can be ordered online at https://www.amazon.com/Ariel-Anthology-2016-Inward-Outward.

Tom also had two children’s poems published in an anthology by Brick Street Poetry, Inc., Words & Other Wild Things.  The poems were “Milk Maid” and “The Fisherman.”  The anthology can be ordered online at https://www.amazon.com/Words-Other-Things-Street-Poetry.

3 Comments

Filed under Art by Ethel Mortenson Davis, Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis