Doors at Chaco Canyon photograph by Kevin Davis (2/16/1982 – 7/21/2010)
“The Framing” a poem by Richard Brenneman
This is the anniversary of our son’s death in Poughkeepsie, New York from cancer ten years ago. This is always a sad day for Ethel, I, and our daughters, Sonja Bingen and Mary Wood, every year. This blog was started in honor of Kevin, who was a wonderful web designer, photographer, artist, and poet. This year we are publishing one of Kevin’s most iconic photographs, a doorway found at the Chaco Canyon ruins in New Mexico, and Richard Brenneman’s wonderful poem about the photograph, remembering someone who was deeply, deeply loved.
by Richard Brenneman
Ekaphrastic poem celebrating the Kevin Davis photograph, “Doors at Chaco Canyon”
Picture this --
seen through the lens of a camera;
eye sighting perfectly this line of sight,
image remaining after.
The photographer has entered into
this, his picture.
A framing frames the ancient remains,
frame within frame like stone ghosts
from the living to the not living.
During the day, the doors,
like sideways viewed Chinese boxes, point the way
to the sky, or a blank wall
where the lords of death
(or alternatively, the lords of life)
are lodged beyond, whether
in kiva, hogan, teepee,
pyramid -- the mountain of gods.
At night invisible,
you can barely see the framed gates.
Above, the moonlight,
a few stars shine bright:
Polaris, Sirius, Aldebaran.
The gods of old-time
have come for you --
you who framed this image.
Time into framing,
gate, window, doorway --
starlight seeps out
light from unseen life
in sunrise or twilight,
you who sighted this
in your view finder.
If we look at this image askew,
we can almost see you as shadow,
the dust motes, the whirling dervishes
slipping through the frame of time,
the ancient gateways
to join the lords of life, of death
to ascend timeless, bodiless
to the stars,
to become framed
as infinite starshine.
Kevin Michael Davis, our son, has been gone for nine years. He took this photo while visiting us while we lived in Continental Divide, NM. We wish we could walk through these doors and see him for at least one more time.
Not long before our son, Kevin Davis, Alazanto, died of cancer, he traveled to Paris and did several photographs of the city. This is his photograph of Notre Dame, a memory after today’s fire. A double kind of memory for Ethel and I. He was an extraordinary web designer, photographer, artist, and poet. The burning of Notre Dame creates a hole in the spirit of our humanity.
What Ethel and I remember the most about Leo is a day at the hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York when Kevin was struggling to even move. The nurses at the hospital moved him downstairs in a wheelchair, and Leo, a cat he’d rescued who had hid in his car’s engine on a cold day, was there. Leo curled up next to Kevin as if he knew how ill his young rescuer was, and Kevin’s whole demeanor lost some of its pallor and, for a brief moment in time, the world seemed brighter than it had just a few moments before.