Tag Archives: house

In the Dark Universe of Fire

a photograph by Sonja Bingen

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 7.43.39 PM

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Filed under Art, Photography

Carver of Birds

He sank into the raven’s eyes.
Their surface sheen reflected snow
Back at the whiteness of the skies.
A concave warp of vertigo

Unshrouded mice in tunnels cached
From clawing eyes that beaked black wings
Above the scurrying that snatched
Blood past the raven’s ravenings.

Inside his heart black feathers stirred
Into his hands, his human life.
A crucible croaked from the bird,
Its blood inside his blood a knife

That tunneled black rimmed raven eyes
Into a cedar block that pulsed with wings
And raucous swells of clawing cries
That made the forest’s stillness sing.

He shrugged his spirit from the bird
And left it listening to snow.
He walked through darkness, undeterred
By failing light, the silver glow

Of moonlight through the limbs of trees.
Outside the house he stopped and stared
At birds he’d carved into the eaves.
In rooms, on fence posts wings were flared

As birdsong choired cacophony
Into the silence of the night.
The house moved, spirit-fantasy
Of birds eternally in flight.

Note: This poet is a companion to “Encounter with a Gray Morph Owl.” The idea came from an essay by Norbert Blei in “Door Way, the People in the Landscape.”


Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis

The Birds of Heaven

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

There are many times
when our houses
fall down around us,
when no part is left

Then we must pick
the best of the old stones
to build new rooms.

But we must also take
the new maple,
just sawn,
white like the sands
along the Great Lakes,
and build something shining.

We must make brand new gables,
whose attic windows
are left open for birds
to fly through,
the birds of heaven—

and the Barn Owl
who finds shelter
for her life.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry


by Ethel Mortenson Davis

I can’t remember when
the old man’s house became unliving,
when the closed-off rooms became closed-off
from life and put on the shelf,
unusable like the clock in the attic,
the meaning all but gone.

Like the grandchildren’s forgotten names–
who once were through his loins,
now faded memories–
where once the sea breezes of June
and August swept down the hills
and through the house where
the shell of a man sits,
a seashell washed up on the shoreline.

Life has long gone out,
and the smell of the air is overpowering,
and I turn away
because it is the smell of death.

The fresh sea breezes
blow down hills
sweet with the wild rose.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry


by Ethel Mortenson Davis

I’ve been looking
for someone
to take our hand,
but no one does.

Louise Erdrich says
that in grief you must
take your own hand.

So we must
take our own
and step between the paleness
that camps all around:
In the trees,
in the sunlight,
and in the house.

We must take
our own.

from White Ermine Across Her Shoulders, Ethel Mortenson Davis, Copyright © 2011, available at bn.com.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry