by Ethel Mortenson Davis
The trees whisper.
He will not lay us low
with the blade,
or render us invisible
with the axe —
So we will light his way
music to titillate
his broken heart.
We will get the white bear
to lay salmon at our feet,
with the red fish.
he is kin to us
as he climbs
the rocky cliffs
and looks out
across the valley,
like human beings
by Thomas Davis
An Italian, or Petrarchan, Sonnet
He searched a year to find the cedar tree,
Determined that he’d find a lofty lord
That towered dark and gleaming like a sword
Thrust upward with a shaggy filigree
Of branches singing winds into a sea
Of sky where hawks and eagles soared
And wings stitched sky to land, a linking poured
Into the heartbeat of his fantasy.
He dreamed the tree into the song he sang,
Then fingered ancient rosewood cello strings
Into the filigree of cedar wind
That bowed as cries of distant eagles rang
Into the sky and wove tree, song, and wings
Into a music that will never end.
a pastel by Ethel Mortenson Davis
photograph by Sonja Bingen
a love poem to Ethel by Thomas Davis
In the stone fields
The roots of the pinyon
Interweave with stone.
In the barest silence
Song is worn like a cloak
Of the brightest colors.
May my lips be as a brook
Bubbling forth songs
In praise of my love.
May my heart be as a pinyon,
Drawing forth music
From the barest stones.
Originally published in The New Quiver, University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, copyright 1972.