Bewitching Garden Party


Beware the garden party
where evil spells are cast
by ladies in flowered sun hats.
You might find yourself nibbling
rock cake with a pinky high,
or find your high heels sunk
into fertile, loamy ground.
But that’s not the worst, oh no!
You might find that birds
dive bomb your bonnet
or squirrels run up your sleeve.
Or wicked teens drive by
and shout “Show some ankle!”
Someone does lift a leg,
but it’s only the spaniel,
watering the hydrangea,
right below your hem.
The weather takes a sultry turn,
and you use your napkin as a fan,
only to remember too late,
the crumbs from the rock cake.
When they splatter the hostess,
just chuckle and blush —
it’s those evil spells,
none are immune.
You’ve done your part
to make the lawn into art –
now it’s time to depart.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: I was inspired to write this summer poem when I researched garden party hats, because my hibiscus blooms make me think of a garden party, resplendent with lavish sun hats. The Duchess of Cambridge is helping make the fascinator popular. I had never heard of a fascinator, how out of touch, I am. I learned that it’s an artful concoction that decorates a woman’s head, designed to fascinate. The word fascinate ultimately comes from the Latin fascinum, “an evil spell.” I immediately imagined what evil spells could be woven at a Garden Party. I hope you like the results. Perhaps you have some disasters to add that have happened to you in real life or imagination.

60 thoughts on “Bewitching Garden Party

    • Thanks, Shelley! What a nice comment! Your focusing down post inspired me and I spent yesterday organizing the snowdrift of random notes on my various stories. I’m ready to start outlining some new projects. What fun! I hope your work is going well, too.


  1. Dear Brenda,
    How wonderful that you are well, and the poetry is flowing!
    While you were away I found a mural that totally made me think of you.
    There are 2 fairies and mushrooms in it.
    May I email you the pics, and if you like them…. perhaps you would be inspired to write a poem?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The way you wrote this I almost could almost sense the idea of wicked tricks and Halloween creeping into the traditional “proper” garden. Just the mischievous tone I caught.
    I loved the fascinating definition and mentioning famous one, the Duchess of Cambridge, who does this. I think our rambling mum had one tilted and pinned on her head, if small ones can also be called such. It was in her “aging” body awareness series 🙂 . . .
    My oldest daughter was hoping to wear the lovely wedding gown I’m my closet, finally paid off earlier this year. She has a sweet spiders Web cap with veil in white which would have had to be Bobby – pinned to her head. It was a pretty effect when 2 years ago she thought Micah’s daddy was marrying her. Best in the end it did not work out, sorry to say. . .
    Beautiful post and hope my digression was not too much? xo
    p.s. per nosey me, I love Colin Firth best, many ways. In “Bridget Jones,” “Poldark” (never saw C.F. in, except actor in PBS new one; but can imagine him) and “Love Actually,” too. 🙂 ♡


    • Colin Firth was in BBC’s Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Erle. It’s the best film version I’ve seen. It’s long, but lovely and true to the book. Poldark was another costume drama, more like the Bronte stories than Austen, but still fun, if you like costume dramas.

      I’m sorry things didn’t work out for your daughter. I imagine she is fascinating even without a fascinator. Having seen pictures of your family. I know they are all beautiful. And your mom would be adorable in one, too.

      Thanks for your comment on my poem. I tried for a naughty tone. Sometimes things just seems to go wrong repeatedly at parties, and I thought I’d bring them all together in one poem. LOL

      Have a great weekend ahead, Robin. Hope you enjoy the crisp Autumn air. XOXO


      • I thoroughly enjoyed all sorts of details inserted in this post, garden party gone awry.
        I appreciate your kind comments about Carrie and her potential marriage. Also, thank you for visualizing fascinators, on my daughter and Mom’s heads! 🙂
        I have seen the older “Pride and Prejudice,” enjoyed its depth that matched Jane Austen’s tone, Brenda. I have seen new “Poldark” and didn’t think you may have meant inserting him into the new shows on PBS.
        Great idea for a remake. I liked the show set in the Norwegian fjords with Kenneth Branaugh. I am thinking hallender, callender but cannot think of the name! He plays a detective with a depressed attitude. (I will come back to leave a p.s. should you ever wish to check it out!) Well, what do you know, I actually thought of it!! Woo hoo! “Wallender.” 🙂
        Now, I see how this would work. In love actually C.F. falls for his housekeeper who doesn’t speak a word of English so there are many humorous thoughts flying between the two. It is racy do not for children bur so many sweet love stories. Liam Neeson with a boy, his stepson in the film, is sweet. This was before his real wife, actress died. The movie has Beatles and zjoni Mitchell music, too. One for the past 10 years or so, my youngest daughter and I watch, cry and laugh with together before Christmas. Keira Knightley and the man who was in “12 Years a Slave,” Chiwetel Ejiofor get married in a winter theme wedding. “All You Need is Love,” is played in a humorous way in their love story. ♡ Enjoy your weekend, Brenda my dear.


        • I love the movie Love Actually, too. I should watch it again. Maybe near Christmas. 😉 You enjoy yours, too. I will look on Netflix for that Wallender you suggested. I haven’t heard of that one. Have you watched Monarch of the Glen. I loved that. XOXO


    • Awesome! How are you, Jama? I hope you had a good summer. I put up a post recently, named Raspberry August, about FOOD, and I was thinking of putting it on Poetry Friday to see if you’d like it. Oh, and I watched all four Netflix discs of Poldark after my surgery. Dang, that was a lot of episodes, but it was fun. I’m afraid I still prefer Colin Firth. Thanks for the pointer to it, though. It was good to have some post-surgery distraction. I’ve missed Poetry Friday. I need to get my act back together. Glad to hear from you. Warmly, Brenda


      • Sigh, Colin will be thrilled to hear you still prefer him over Aidan Turner. Glad you got to watch Poldark anyway. I’m currently trying to read Winston Graham’s Poldark novels — there are 12 of them!

        Please do join us for PF again. I’ll go look for your Raspberry August post. Sounds yummy!

        Hope you’re pretty well recovered from your surgery by now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a very busy garden, and you need to watch your step!! 😀 Adore those pink flowers, so pretty and bright!

    I have heard of a Fascinator before, most frequently worn by ladies at the Ascot races. They are often bizarre and very little of hat at all! But never heard of the origin for fascinate the word will never be the same!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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