Ode to Photography

present and past.
Frozen moments,
remembered and forgotten.
ordinary and extraordinary.

Photographic power
reveals in light and dark
what my mother looked like as
a young girl,
or my father as
he welcomed me to the world,
or myself
as I smiled between
brother and sister
whose faces are only visible
in black and white now.

Lost faces, missed warmth, people
linger in shades, lines, and shapes,
like hieroglyphics of the past.

Copyright 2020 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: For World Photography Day today, I offer this ode, in gratitude for how concrete my memories are, of times past.

Music in the Trees


I miss shaking a newspaper,
folding it closed, washing
black ink from my fingers,
feeling accomplished before
moving on with my day.

Instead, I hopscotch a crazy-quilt —
CNN. BBC. MSNBC. Fox. Round
and round, site to site and back,
never washing the stain
of sad news from my heart. Continue reading



All the flowers, poems
cards, and teddy bears
left on sidewalks
after someone died
don’t fill
the painful void
where a person
we loved
once lived.
Only progress
toward justice
can ease the pain.
A little.

Copyright 2020 Brenda Davis Harsham Continue reading

A Respite


The Peace Of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry


When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Notes: As our confinement lengthens, and the virus victim numbers climb, we are in a world scarier than fiction. But no matter how off-kilter the world may seem, humans have weathered worse in the past. We all descend from those who survived the 1918 flu, the great depression, world wars, famines, and recessions. We will make it through this, too.