Tom Davis & Ethel Mortenson Davis
Ethel Mortenson Davis was born in Wisconsin where her parents were dairy farmers in Marathon County. Her years on the farm instilled a deep sense of the earth and the various forms of life. Her interest in poetry and art started in high school. She studied fine art at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and has had two books of poetry published, I Sleep Between the Moons of New Mexico and White Ermine Across Her Shoulders. Her poems have been published in magazines and small literary journals. Her pastels have been featured in a number of small galleries.
Thomas Davis has had a distinguished career as a President and Chief Academic Officer of four tribal colleges and the Provost of Navajo Technical University in New Mexico. He is the author of Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit (State University of New York Press), chapters in books published by Nebraska University Press and the Smithsonian, and has had poetry, fiction, and essays published in anthologies, books, magazines, and literary journals. He has given poetry readings, primarily at colleges and universities, in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and several U.S. states and edited The Zuni Mountain Poets Anthology and three small literary magazines.
Auschwitz, E Poland
January 27, 1945
never felt so warm —
when the strong arms
of the Red Army
the skeleton-like people
and set them
on blankets in the snow.
The evil snake
had reached down
deep into their bodies
and tried to snatch
their very souls,
but the soldiers
like sick dogs
in their arms
and set them
into the sunshine.
Libertacja was like
of a thousand swings
up into the air —
a day when poetry
began to be written.
-- Ethel Mortenson Davis
original published in Gallup Journey
The Raven’s Croak
A Spenserian Sonnet
Hunched down beside a woodpile, ebony,
In shadows from the cedars overhead,
The raven blinked black eyes, its dishabille
Of feathers rustling, stirring up a dread
So dark it seemed as if it called up from the dead
White wisps of spirits buried in the snow.
The raven hopped on top the woodpile, head
Cocked, moving like a dancer in a show,
A shadows’ shadow pantomiming woe.
Dawn’s darkness deepened as the raven leaped
Into the sky and hovered as the glow
Of blood-light saturated earth and seeped
Into the raven’s eyes, it’s dance undone
Until its beak croaked out the blazing sun.
-- Tom Davis
originally published in Ariel