Mushroom Abloom

Mushroom abloom

Misty morning rain —
Abloom go fairy umbrellas.
Sprites huddle and hide —
Only a toe might show.
Mushrooms glisten.
Gilded droplets
form slowly,
roll to the center —
a pool of fairy nectar.
Deer step warily,
brown eyes dewy, and
nibble mushrooms.
Sprites tickle their chins
and spin widdershins.
So again it begins.
Hide and seek with the fawn
till Mama Doe gives a yawn,
and the rain is gone.
So are the mushrooms.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Covered Bridge


River rambles and curves,
shallow then deep,
rocky or smooth,
changeable as the weather.
Under the bridge are dark places,
deep pools with hidden depths.
The biggest fish hide there.
Aquatic plants sway
in the current, roots unseen.
The burbling water
covers whispers made, but
sounds echo above,
in the dim covered bridge,
where magic dwells.
Gossamer webs hold fast
lingering traces of lovers past.
Children, clapping hands
and believing in fairies,
once danced here.
Their shadows remain
sweetening the breezes.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Red Covered Bridge

Note: These photographs were taken in New Hampshire in the White Mountains.

Fairy Tent City


A sudden squall thunders.
Tent City springs up.
Way-sprites huddle –
wayfaring fae kin
dislike staying home.
They travel light:
just dancing feet,
a bit of music
and nature’s magic.
When rain pounds,
they hold fast
to one slippery slope and
conical roofs rise,
followed soon by tunes.
Fiddles sigh and drums thrum.
A lilting song climbs the scale –
a spirited counterpoint
to the pattering rain.
Birds hide under leaves
and bob their heads.
Chipmunks curl up
in their beds.
If only the music
would never stop.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Spring Magic

 And above all, watch with glittering eyes
the whole world around you because the greatest secrets
are always hidden in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

— Roald Dahl (Minpins, 1991)

Robin Egg Shell

Spring will come
With black mud, bees
And crocuses beneath trees.
Baby robins will scatter shells.
Fairies will chant vernal spells.
Birds will sing madrigals at dawn
To wood violets blooming on the lawn.
Foxglove’s speckled trumpets will play
With snowdrops and magnolias in May.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Foxglove in Sunshine


Ours shall be the gypsy winding
Of the path with violets blue, 
Ours at last the wizard finding
Of the land where dreams come true.

— Lucy Maud Montgomery (from Spring Song)

Note: My poem, Spring Magic is a concrete poem, taking the shape of a drooping tulip or possibly a lily of the valley bell as suggested by Matt Forrest Ersenwine. Thanks, Matt! Happy Spring! This post is an ode to Spring in honor of the Vernal Equinox which is at 6:45 p.m. here on March 20, 2015. And a happy coincidence, also in honor of Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core who shared a wonderful original poem for World Folk Tales and Fables Week. I hope you have time to visit her. The photographs were all taken last spring — this year the ground is covered by a knee-deep sea of receding white ice.

Poetry Friday with kids

Silver Birch Grove

Shadows from silver birch in fall

Prince Silver crunched golden birch leaves on his way to the Gather.

In olden days, the sacred site had been a fairy mound, in the midst of an ancient oak and pine forest. The Sidhe elders held gatherings before a magic granite obelisk beneath the mound. Then humans cut away swaths of trees and leveled land for house sites. Houses turned backs to the site, and the magic stone hid behind glamours.

Ley lines remained, conduits of magic power, stretching from the new world to the old and to other secret places. At their intersection, none could deceive, either by telling lies or misleading by silence. Prophecy foretold that one day, the ley lines would call to one born to control the power, a Ley Channeler.

Humans became uncomfortable too close to the site. Dark clouds foretold storms or cold winds raised goose pimples. Humans fled the strange weather, they remembered urgent business elsewhere or felt frightened without knowing why, hurrying home. In time, the land healed from the human tumult, and a grove of silver birch sprang up where the fairy mound had been. A brook tinkled musically, separating the grove from the backyard of a blue house.

The Sidhe court approached at twilight for the Grand Gather. They protected themselves by glamour and spells. They were hushed, but a frisson of excitement underlay their slow movements.

Queen Calla Drythorn cast a circle, allowing the others to let slip their glamours. To the fae, the circle looked like a wall of fairy lights, separating them, meant to deceive human eyes and ears. Into the circle, Queen Calla brought her only son, Prince Silver. All the children of the court were tested in their sixteenth year. Each year, the young fae had failed to grasp the powers.

The circle was invisible to humans. Except for Rowan. She was drawn toward the starry lights, twinkling among the amber leaves. She felt the call of a power she did not understand.

She walked toward the circle, unnoticed by all but Prince Silver, who gasped. “Mother!”

“Do you feel the power?” Queen Calla was excited, and her gaze sharpened on him.

“No, Mother,” Prince Silver noticed how disappointed his mother looked. All the other courtiers also heaved sighs of disappointment. “But a human is watching us!”

Queen Calla raised her hand, turning swiftly toward Rowan with amazement….

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Gossamer Milkweed Etheree

Milkweed pods

Look like
Green gators,
Snapping at air,
Hungry mouths open,
Toothy grin spilling silk:
Brownies harvest, spin and weave
Gossamer Fairy Court dresses.
Milkweed’s a Monarch butterfly house:
Holds eggs and feeds baby caterpillars.


Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: This poem is an etheree, a form that starts with one syllable on the first line and increases to 10, one syllable per line.

Journey of the Rainbow Leaf

Maple leaf in fall

Citrine, amber, sage, russet, claret,
Green of tree and brown of earth:
Every autumn shade gleams
Between its yellow veins.
Tiny fairies ride wind swells on it:
A magic carpet to buzz bushes and skim ponds.
Three baby hedgehogs with shivering quills
Hide beneath it, from a cold rain.
Then it’s sewn into a cape for the Harvest Queen,
She of the forest and glen,
It swirls like an autumn rainbow.
Its folds flash between dancing courtiers,
As all the fairies make merry.
Soon the bitter winds will blow.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham