Halloween is What?!

Image Courtesy of Unsplash

At first, Kelly can’t believe the news. But when dragons puff angry fire, she knows it’s true. Trick-or-Treating is canceled!

Something must be done.
Monsters need some fun. Continue reading

A Halloween Story


Halloween Party Prep

The littlest Trick wept white, cobwebby tears when Lord Phantomdor chose potion-boiling witches.

Choose me! he thought. Too shy to shout, he stayed still as a pumpkin.

Trick’s cheery smile was not Halloweeny, but he couldn’t frown with a party coming. Nor could he let go of his wish.

Trick smiled despite tears trickling and tangling into a thick, stingy mess while Lord Phantomdor chose ghasties, spook-dashes, rook-chompers and bald-banters, until

Lord Phantomdor’s eyes fell on the scariest –

now looking like a funnel spider lair –

the littlest Trick had turned into the best party decoration of all.

And was chosen.

Copyright 2019 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: This 100-Word Story (not counting the title) was written for Susanna Leonard Hill’s spooky kids lit contest. Feel like crafting one yourself? Or witch-crafting one?

Writing Tip — first figure out what your main character wants and why s/he can’t get it. Then tell his/her story with a beginning, a middle and an end.

Hope you stay safe and don’t eat too much candy today!

Ribbon for #50PreciousWords


Vivian Kirkfield’s 2018 Writing Challenge began in celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2. If you participate, you can potentially win prizes. Click on Vivian’s name to find the challenge. Here’s my story:

Ribbon’s Adventure (50 Words)

Ribbon’s home is a drawer.
Squashed, she imagines adventures:
parties, parades and presents. Continue reading

A Grain of Sand

Boy making a sandcastle on turtle-back

Used by Permission of Artist Sath

Children dig sandcastles,
atop the swimming World Turtle,
until the tide smoothes the canvas.
Worlds change, drift out of time,
afloat currents ever moving
from ancient times, like thoughts,
like words or art, like life itself.
We swim in rainbow-hued oceans with the
World Turtle and sift ideas like sand.
Each sparkling grain holds a child’s song,
a collision of stars, a galaxy of possibility.
The oldest tree was born in prehistory.
Its innermost ring is the world’s oldest writing.
Its roots entwine eternity, holding it fast,
watching us blink in and out like candles.
Although we shed our light briefly,
we are part of the world’s ebb and flow,
and all things that come after
will find our sand, our songs, our stars
still living, infinite and immortal.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: I reference William Blake’s famous quatrain:

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.”
(Auguries of Innocence)

Resa Swork is devoting a month to kids at her site, Graffiti Lux and Murals. Her post, SOM-RIU, inspired this poem. Thanks to urban artist Sath, Aproscom Fundació and the Joan Mesquida Special Education Center, a school for people with intellectual disabilities located in Manacor (Mallorca). They are crowd funding a project to bring Sath from Thailand to teach students how to express themselves in murals and to make their environment a beautiful, living work of art. Elsewhere, Sath’s art frames the streets with vibrant humor and irreverence. The crowd funding project has less than a month remaining and has not quite gotten halfway to its goal of € 5.500.

Update: Sath‘s site is up and running. Apparently server trouble blocked access temporarily. I hope you can visit him.

Poetry Friday Badge

This post is my contribution to Poetry Friday, hosted thanks to Elizabeth Steinglass, a wonderful poet.

For the grammatically conscious in the crowd (or anal – I happen to be anal about grammar), I chose the verb tense spelling for “smoothes” without thinking it over, but then after reading and rereading so many times, it looked wrong. I looked it up, and apparently there’s quite a controversy. I attached the link to the word if grammar disputes are your cup of tea, but the short answer is that that spelling is in ascendency.

Have a magical weekend! Warmly, Brenda

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

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Stained Glass Shamrock

You’ll find no green beer here
Or stories with a jeer here
about shamrock socks
or leprechaun jocks;
The Irish won’t get a smear here.

I pass along this fantastic
idea, not sarcastic,
not as a joke
about wee folk,
But with thought enthusiastic:

Storytelling is an art
that makes the Irish a part
of words unfurled
joining the world
To one growing literary chart.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: The foregoing are my limericks three, to frame my respect for my Irish heritage. The shamrock is a work in progress by my daughter and I. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, here are few treasures by Irish authors:

While mantling on the maiden’s cheek
Young roses kindled into thought.

 ―  Thomas Moore

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core. 

― William Butler Yeats

My body was like a harp and her words and gestures
were like fingers running upon the wires.

 ― James Joyce, Araby

Of the things which nourish the imagination,
humour is one of the most needful,
and it is dangerous to limit or destroy it.

 ―  John Millington Synge

I think of the bog as a feminine goddess-ridden ground,
rather like the territory of Ireland itself.

 ―  Seamus Heaney

Irish Blessing

Three Tree

Snow on three tree

Fairies rocket down the Three Tree,
On zooming toboggans, happy as can be.
Can you see them tumbling and swerving?
Oh to be tiny, magic and free. Yearning.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Poetry Friday Badge

Note: This poem is offered as part of Poetry Friday. Thanks to Elizabeth Steinglass for hosting this week. I am out of town, but I will be back in a few days. I look forward to catching up with all of you when I’m back. Warmly, Brenda

Wild Elvish Missouri Dreams

Photograph used with Permission of Heather's Photography

Grey Hairstreak Butterfly by Heather’s Photography

Delft ended the morning with a thunderous sneeze. The force of his sneeze made him flicker into his Grey Hairstreak Butterfly form. He heard a gasp.

“That wasn’t there a minute ago! Where did that butterfly come from?” A little girl with blonde curls held out a finger. Delft fled.

Just his luck to flicker into his visible form when some big human was looking. Delft flittered and fluttered, his butterfly form much slower than his invisible fairy form. His tiny feet landed on a yellow butterfly bloom. The girl sidled closer, moving slowly, as if he would not notice her. She was as big as a house to him, and he chuckled at her attempt at sneaking.

“Annaleise!” A boy called. The second she looked away, Delft flickered back into fairy form, now invisible to any but a magical or fairy eye. He held a finger to his nose, he felt another sneeze coming.

The boy appeared from behind a huge boulder, panting from running up the hillside. His brown hair was sticking up in all directions, and his shirt was half-tucked.

“I’m here! Oh, where did it go?” Little Annaleise could not see the butterfly anymore, and she was downcast.

“Annaleise, don’t disappear like that! Mom told me to look after you, and how can I do that if I can’t find you?”

“A butterfly came out of thin air, and I followed it.”

“You mean that fairy right there?” The boy pointed right at Delft. Delft’s sneeze escaped with an explosion, and he flickered into a butterfly again.

“There it is again! It disappeared and reappeared! It’s magic!” Annaliese clapped her hands. “Why did you call it a fairy?”

“When it doesn’t look like a butterfly, it looks like a little man with wings, black hair and a red coat. Come on, Annaleise, let’s go home for lunch.” The boy laughed. “The fairy will still be here later. Mom will be worried.” The two children disappeared around the boulder, heading down the long slope.

Delft dove into the grasses, and zigzagged to a huge beech tree. His friend Barnor was atop a Rudbeckia. He blended into the patch of yellow in his Pearl Crescent form, partially covered in golden pollen.

Photograph by Heather's Photography

Pearl Crescent Butterfly by Heather’s Photography

“Even with invisibility and shapeshifting, you still almost got caught!” Barnor snickered. He had seen the girl following Delft, but he hadn’t been close enough to overhear.

“That boy is a mage!” Delft exclaimed.

“No!” Barnor disagreed, flicking into his wood elf shape, his red hair gleaming. He brushed pollen from his mossy coat. “Magic has died out of the human race!”

“He saw me in my fairy form! He told his sister I looked like a little man in a red coat!”

“Oh, no!” Barnor was horrified, gazing at Delft’s red coat. “We will have to tell the Horned King.” The Horned King lived deep in the wild Ozark Mountains.

The last golden rays of the setting sun bathed the Horned King where he towered over the elves, stately in his stag form.

“Something will have to be done about that boy,” the Horned King’s deep voice proclaimed. All the fairies nodded agreement.

“But what?” thought Delft, with another sneeze. The fairies all agreed to move farther from the humans. In his dreams that night, Delft fled from the boy endlessly over green Missouri mountainsides. Something had been started that day, that could not be undone.

Ozark Sunrise by Heather's Photography

Ozark Sunrise by Heather’s Photography


Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: This flash fiction is dedicated to the child in all of us, and to my grandfather, who was a math teacher, a school principal and a collector of butterflies. All three photographs were used with gratitude toward and kind permission of Heather’s Photography.

grandam’s rocking chair

I was remembering my Grandmother’s soft lilac-scented lap, her smooth dusting powder, cat’s rhinestone glasses, thick leather purse with candy bars, and heeled beige shoes a few days ago. This poem by Marlyn of Kintal reminded me again. I love the old-fashioned name Grandam or Grandame. Thanks for this treat, Marlyn. I hope you all like it! Warmly, Brenda


grandam's rocking chair

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Heart of Hearts

Summer is an herbalist and ethnobotanist, and a peace lover of fairies and forests. I hope you enjoy her whimsy here. Warmly, Brenda


Some of us have Hearts inside of us, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand some have Hearts outside of us. I am a peculiar one, I was born with a beautiful large heart inside, and stamped on the outside near my chest area, God stamped me with a second Heart, a Red Heart Birthmark!

Why and wherefore these marvelous, these beautiful happenings? I’ve always pondered.

In my pondering, in Outside Heart so Large, so Big, and so Magnificent, I have been found playing and conversing with the Winged Fairies today. For the Fairies need to rest their busy wings here and there, and clutch a home polished Moonstone to take a sip of pure, cool water.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This allows them the little rest needed before playing and mixing more pollen, kissing the herbs, the plants of Heart Garden.

It is always lovely to give little Winged Beings a place to hide, rest, eat and drink, put…

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