Gnome Grown

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Sprig Gnome tends his woodland garden. Thistle shears help him prune raspberry canes. He mulches fungus shingles atop his den, waters moss, and collects dinner. Before his basket is full, a shadow darkens the glade. He ducks and dodges but all goes awry. Ida Owl grasps him in her talons, and she lowers her yellow eye.

“I’m done for!” Sprig howls. “Save me!” Will anyone hear him?

“Sprig, save it! I need your help.” Ida Owl grouches. “A splinter in my claw is driving me mad!”

“I see it.” Sprig extracts it with a yank of his thistle shears.

Ida hops side to side, flexing and gyrating. “Oh, what a relief. I must thank you properly. Hop on.”

Is she serious? Can he trust her? Sprig stows his basket. He climbs up her feathers like a ladder.

“That tickles!” Ida giggles. Then she flaps powerful wings. Sprig’s stomach bottoms out as they rise. Winds swirl and flow until Sprig worries that he’s seen his last night. He holds tight. They bank and loop. They hoot and holler. The air smells of crushed apples. He reaches toward stars as if they were snowflakes.

An owl and a gnome make the least-likely of friendships. News travels the meadow like a brush fire. A gnome is riding an owl! Unheard of! Unthinkable! Sequester Squirrel follows, swinging tree limb to ivy vine. Dentbottom Rabbit has to see it with his own rheumy eyes, and his great-granddaughter holds his arm. Dinwald Stag-King brings his large tribe to gape.

When Sprig lands, he feels as if the earth has stopped orbiting the sun. The air is too still. He waves good-bye to Ida, and follows fireflies into his den. His feet find each lump in the maple leaf carpet. His thistledown bed is squashed and untidy. He snips, clips and mixes until his forage stew bubbles and sings. The air fills with the scent of braising brined beetles. But he misses the scent of crushed apples and owl feathers.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: We’ve been enjoying a lovely thaw like spring is visiting February. It makes me wish I could fly. I hope your dreams take you on fun flights of fancy tonight. Warmly, Brenda

The Moon and the Pooka

Zelda knew the shore was forbidden to her. She clomped through sand in her big brother’s boots. He’d be mad if he knew she’d borrowed them. She wanted to catch a wild pony. Her brother had a pony, and she didn’t. The pony dodged her, black withers gleaming. He kicked up his heels in the surf. She chased him, but he was too quick. She fell as he fled, tossing his head, mane flying.

Zelda somersaulted, and a current carried her to the deep. She sank past brain coral and seaweed. She struggled with the heavy boots that dragged her down toward spiky sea urchin. Light lay above her like a glass table, as if she’d hit her head on it and never breathe air again. She finally kicked off a boot, and stopped sinking. Her fingers bled from pulling at the remaining laces, pinking the water.

Her lungs ached, and part of her wanted to breathe so badly she was tempted to take water into her lungs. She blew out bubbles, and her panic rose with them. Then the moon swam past her, slow and solemn. He didn’t glance her way, but the second boot slipped free. She rose with the bubbles toward that window of light.

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Her head broke free, and she gulped air. She was far from shore. She swam until her arms felt like stone. Her legs were icy, and her teeth chattered. The pony returned to the shore, distant and dark as if fashioned of night sky. The surf flecked his mane with stars. He plunged into the sea.

Zelda weakened. A wave crashed over her, and she slipped under the glass table. The light receded. Then the smooth glass broke into shards of sky and ocean. The pony’s legs kicked above her. With her last strength, she reached for his streaming tail and held tight. When her feet touched sand, she stumbled behind the pony’s back to shore. She dropped to her knees and coughed up sea water.

“Foolish girl!” The pony spoke in a high, mocking voice. Its golden eyes rolled, glinting red at the edges. “Don’t chase the pooka, or you will find your way to the spirit world.”

Tears streamed from Zelda’s eyes, stinging with salt. Sighting a pooka was rare and dangerous. She wondered why he had saved her as she watched him race away. His hooves left no prints in the sand. She remembered the moon, swimming in the deep. And she realized she had lost her brother’s boots.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: A pooka is a fae spirit of Irish mythology. Often it takes the shape of a dog, a bird, or a horse, and it can be dangerous or a portent of doom.

Stone Turtle

Vermont Pond with loosestrife

Bear stopped for raspberries at Kent Pond.
Turtle basked nearby.
“You look delicious,” Bear sniffed. “Yum!”
His claws swept out.
Turtle disappeared, and his shell bounced.
It rolled like a stone.
Bear knew that stones hurt his teeth.
He lumbered away.
Turtle poked out his head, grinning.
“Works every time.”

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Wordle # 5 – The Albatross – Fairy Tale

Georgia has created a delightful, colorful fairy tale that keeps you guessing until the end. I hope you enjoy it!! My kids are on school vacation week this week, so my internet time will be greatly reduced, but I’ll catch up next week. 🙂 Warmly, Brenda

Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

wordle61 The musk scented smell of blood reeked from the willows near my favorite swimming pond, down near the eastern woods.  The smell was so in discordance with the beauty of the place, full of shade, and flowers.   I often imagined that a coven of water nymphs lived there. Now, the sweet cloying smell of a wounded animal  knotted my stomach and closed my throat .

Gagging I searched through the thickets and found a mound of old mouldering tangerine skins.  These were kind of disgusting, but didn’t explain that particular odor.  Then a strange sight met my eyes!  An albatross lay wounded, dying with an arrow in its wing.  I couldn’t have been more surprised had I met up with a Polaris missile in my backyard, this pool was so far from where any albatross should be.

It’s eyes seemed to be two mendicants begging for surcease from…

View original post 236 more words

New Queen Quinzaine

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Today we crowned the Fae Queen.
Did you hear her sing
Like a lark?

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: Inspired by Paint the World with Words Poetry Prompt, the Quinzaine, which is a form of three-lined, unrhymed poetry, taking the form of a statement with a question in one or two parts, with a syllable count, 7/5/3.

Sample Quinzaines:

Life holds new adventures
Will I fear it
or will I grab it?

Flower pictures please me so;
Is it the colors
Or the bees?

References:
http://voices.yahoo.com/can-write-quinzaine-poem-681541.html?cat=38
http://ettcweb.lr.k12.nj.us/forms/quinzaine.htm
http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/quinzaine.html
http://popularpoetryforms.blogspot.com/2013/12/quinzaine.html

Fae Flash Fiction: Banga

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Banga was looking for a place to hide. The Boggle, Fandang, had surprised him and his baby sister splashing in Trickle Brook. His sister, Ruby, had hid in the lee of a granite boulder. Banga darted below the waves in his fish shape, drawing the Boggle away from his sister, and the much bigger Boggle almost caught him in his fingers, which were like a tangled net.

Banga flipped up onto shore, and then changed in a flash to his elven shape. He ran as fast as he could toward the trees. The Boggle’s hairy feet thumped behind him, accompanied by the bing bang whack of his thick Boggle stick. A nearby sycamore looked young, but maybe old enough to be a bit hollow. Fandang was close behind him, and Banga could smell his hot, sour breath. The sycamore’s camouflage bark might confuse Fandang’s bad Boggle eyesight. Banga swarmed up it.

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Sure enough, Banga found a hollow, in the crook of the thickest branch. No leaves had broken from their buds yet to provide cover. He hid in the dark nook, holding his breath. He heard Fandang stomping around in last fall’s leaves. Boggles like to catch Dolphinis, but Banga was practiced at getting away. Dolphinis were the smallest of the Merfolk and the only ones to live in freshwater. Like their larger cousins, the Sea Merfolk, they could grant wished. Boggles always had plenty of wishes, many of which would cause Dophinis no end of trouble granting.

He held his sweet breath, afraid the scent would lead the Boggle straight to him, until Fandang’s last bing bang whack of his Boggle stick faded into the distance. Then Banga zipped back to his baby sister, Ruby, the youngest Dolphini of Trickle Brook, where she was pretending to be a tigerfish, leaping out of the water and eating mosquitoes. They would both be safe another day.

brook in early spring

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

References: http://www.nycgovparks.org/news/daily-plant?id=19242

The Red String

By Anja at Oh Pithy Me

By Anja at Oh Pithy Me

As Megan wove sprigs of lilac into Bella’s black hair and then pinned her veil in place, she asked: “Bella, remember the witch and the red string?”

Bella was hooking pearls into her ears, but she stopped for a moment as memory overtook her. Megan and she had been friends their whole lives. One spring day, Megan’s mom had bribed Megan’s big brother, Stefan, to take the girls to the ice cream parlor. They passed the witch’s house on the way.

Peeling paint and rotted gutters had festooned the ancient Victorian behind the low juniper hedge, and all the neighborhood children believed a witch lived there. The three had stopped and looked up, Megan with a delicious shiver. Crows flew out of a nest by the chimney, cawing loudly.

“I dare you to go ring the bell,” Megan liked baiting her older brother, Stefan, to do things that got him in trouble.

Continue reading

Dancing Memento

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My young daughter’s first ballet class,
Awash in swirly pink,
Young girls,
Hair tidied in a looking glass,
Stopping for a quick drink,
spins, twirls.

Fingers together in ballet,
with correct attitude,
Balance.
Raising her arms in grand plié
A graceful interlude,
Warm glance.

My heart was sore to see her there
Leaving me to learn dance,
Wide grin
In place, twinkling eyes full of cheer,
And with a graceful stance,
leap, spin.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Inspired by the Paint the World with Words poetry prompt, which was to write a Memento, a style with 6-line stanzas, composed of patterned counts of 8/6/4/8/6/4 syllables and with a/b/c/a/b/c rhyming.

Fae Flash Fiction: Silka

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Silka dreamed of spring, her inner eye seeing sunny days burgeoning with flowers. She could not quite bring them into focus. She donned her favorite dress, her flower jewels, and picked up her fairy dust. Bravely, she zipped outside.

Spring had not arrived. After the dim fairy bower, her eyes watered in the sunlight. After she rubbed them, she saw thousands of snow crystals glinting like jewels in a dusting of fresh powder. She admired tunnels dug into deep snow banks.

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She shivered. The cold made her feel tired. She saw messages from the universe.

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Ice heart

“Even in winter, if you look for them, you find messages of love,” she smiled to herself. She waved goodbye to the cold, another week of dreaming and dozing sounded ideal. She retreated into her fairy bower, where flowers thrived in the warmth of her magic. She settled onto her bed of rose petals, ate a honey and nectar bon bon and settled down to await spring, closing her violet eyes.

Click for Free Coloring Page of Silka the Fairy

Click for Free Coloring Page of Silka the Fairy

Copyright Brenda Davis Harsham

The Dragon and the Phoenix

Yangshao never knew what woke him from his thousand year sleep under the frozen taiga. His muscular, golden legs and long limber back snapped and creaked. His lungs filled with crisp, clean air, as he emerged from deep under the ice. Brilliant lights at the far horizon drew his sharp dragon eyes south. The night sky filled with swirling reds, yellows and oranges, and these colors reminded him of his best friend, Xin-Yin, the Phoenix. Brilliant blue star shapes expanded, filling the sky as the other colors faded.

Yangshao’s back rippled side to side like a snake as he flew up and over the larch and birch forest, his vertebrae cracking like saplings in an ice storm. His golden claws clenched and released, easing their stiffness, then reached up to itch between his horns. His whiskers trembled in the cold wind, and he started to feel alive, his senses filling with the forest fragrance. He brushed the tips of snow-laden spruce trees for the joy the showering powder gave him. He felt his magic renewed from his long years of slumber.

His senses expanded over the lands searching for Xin-Yin. Where was she? Continue reading

Red Mushroom Mansion

Used Courtesy of Postaldeliveries

Used Courtesy of Postaldeliveries

Maybelle had often admired the red mushrooms mansions, where she imagined only the very luckiest of fae could live. She liked to imagine the quiet with only a few neighbors. She had been living in a fungus highrise since she was born, surrounded by constant noise and banter.

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Sylphanya, her sprite-mother, was hardly ever home and wanted different things than Maybelle. Her mother cared only for painting autumn leaves whereas Maybelle was drawn to water blossoms. Her mother seemed to like having a hundred neighbors, singing out happy hellos to everyone.

Maybelle knew the other fae-children thought she was a bit odd. Her near-neighbor Jamus called her a loner that morning because she hardly ever joined him and his sister, Dolpha, for nectar in the berry bar.

Maybelle was sad all day, not even the rainbow tints of a new lotus bloom cheered her. Maybelle decided to find her mother. Continue reading

Star Fairy Fibonacci Poem

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Quick!

Hide!

Deep down,

All alone.

She fled the falcon,

Taking cover in a canyon

Still she could hear it screaming for her to come out now!

Never would a star fairy fear a peregrine falcon, but she was injured and drained.

She sang to her kin, sparkling in twilight air; soon they entangled the bird in a magic web, destroying his concentration, and saving her.

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: A Fibonacci Poem is one in which each succeeding line is equal in syllable length to the syllable length of the preceding two lines added together, or one, one, two, three, five, eight, thirteen, twenty-one, thirty-four, etc. Usually they are 5 or 6 lines long, but I wanted to see if I could write one 8 lines long.