Tag Archives: trees

Winter River

a photograph by Sonja Bingen

Winter River


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Sound of Breathing

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

This morning
the wind through the trees
sounded like air
through giant bellows,

like large lungs
breathing in air
and out air,

Like we felt,
next to our mother
as infants,
a great pair of lungs
that we knew somehow was

the source of life.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry

Where We Walk in Potawatomi Every Morning

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A photograph by Sonja Bingen after her walk with her mother and father in Potawatomi State Park a mile from our house in Sturgeon Bay, the place where Ethel and I walk with our dogs, Juno and Pax, every morning even in January and February.


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by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The trees have always
extended their hands to us,
making deep, cool chambers of cedar,
birch and maple,
where enlightenment is possible.

But we, in turn,
have responded
with a sharp slap
to the side of their face.

The women of Kenya
started a green revolution
across their land:
Women planting trees
in hope of stopping
the encroaching desert.

Trees that created a moist climate,
pulling water to the parched lips of Kenya.

When our great, great, grandchildren
ask us what we have done
to save the trees on our planet,
will we be the generation of enlightenment,
or one with empty hands?


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems


by Ethel Mortenson Davis

In memory of  Donald Sharp and Rumi

Was it the spring stream,
flowing out of the escarpment
tumbling, bubbling over fallen birch trees?

Or was it the large, sloppy snowflakes
falling in the spring morning’s forest,
as trees held their breath,
held their breathing
for the sun to overtake the cold,

that made my wings open and close,

readying me to take flight?


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry

Moon and Night Trees

a photograph by Sonja Bingen, our daughter
moon and trees

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November 2, 2014 · 8:10 am


by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Her reach finds
small openings
in the forest canopy
until the carpet
at the bottom brings
every kind of plant and fern to formation.

These are true families
that enjoy each other’s company–
some living at the top of hills,
other kinds in depressions–
trees that are dependent
on plants around them,
plants that only live by certain trees.

Step lightly.
Speak in whispers,
for there are babies sleeping


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry