Papa Poppy

Red Poppy


Shining brightly, for all to see,
Father flower, right there nightly,
Strong and steadfast, ready to enfold,
With love, his children he beholds.

Happy Father’s Day to my hubby, father of my three children, my own father and my father-in-law. And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, on the good days and the bad. Parenting can be a bumpy road, but this is for the dads who keep going, day after day, making bad days better and good days great. We all need our fathers as much as our mothers. Blessings, Brenda

Nature’s Joy for Moms


Plugged into pretty pink,
Powered on, pumped and plumped,
Pleased to hear parties planned.


Just jazzed by joy,
Jumping for color,
Jogging my memory.


Many other happy springs:
Mingled colors and aromas,
Mother’s Day memories.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: This post is dedicated to all moms, full-time, part-time, for-all-time moms. Moms near, moms far, moms always in the heart, whatever the name: Mom, Mum, Mam, Mama, Mommy, Step-Mom, Ma, Mamasita, Mother. Please let me know other names for Moms, and I will add them here. Much love to all Moms!!

Happy Mother’s Day to these special moms:

Sue Ann, Fairport, New York (Get Well Soon and come home from the hospital, too!!)
Jessie, Palm Springs, California
Jo Anne, Los Angeles, California
Mary, Bedford, Massachusetts
Cathryn, Burlington, Massachusetts
Julie, Billerica, Massachusetts
Jennie, Billerica, Massachusetts
Mickey, Syracuse, New York
Susan, Fairport, New York
Ellen, Newton, Massachusetts
Donna, Machias, Maine
Elizabeth, or Betty, Matias, New York (and Happy Early Birthday, too!!)

Happy Easter!

Purple Crocuses in Bloom

May the flowers be blooming
No thorny troubles looming
No loved ones glooming
Joy and love finding room in
Bird song and kitten crooning

Magnolia Blooms


Ears hear only colorful sound
Where imagination is found
Tight bindings are unbound
Old deadwood is downed
Magnolias bloom all round

Fairy on a Hare with Crow

Returning geese take wing
Making ever-young hearts sing
Spring music makes hips swing
Spinning lovers into a highland fling
In an enchanted fairy ring

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Spirit Roams Haiku


nature fights fences
water breaks stone, mountains fall
free spirits roam

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Inspired by the Carpe Diem Haiku Kai #441, ghost-written by Managua Gunn,
in honor of International Romany Day, April 8, a holiday of which I was previously unaware.
Follow the link if you want to hear more about the Roma or the holiday.

Summer has arrived in New England!


April Fools! We had hail, sleet and rain yesterday: what the weather professionals call a “wintry mix.” I prefer my wintery mix to include a fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate, a foot rub and my dinner delivered by the culinarily gifted. I wonder if that will ever happen. At least the pizza place delivers. 🙂


Here are some brave early flowers, just poking up their heads and drinking some rain. The oak trees have started dropping leaves, and new green leaves are sure to be along any day. Warmth and sunlight are predicted, but who knows if the weather professions are just joking or serious.

Have a fun First!

Warmly, Brenda

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: For any not familiar with the U.S.A. April First tradition, I will explain. The goal is to get someone to believe something diabolical, and wait for them to interject: “What!?!” Then you yell “April Fool’s!!” And laugh a lot while they groan.

A Fairy Tale Year!!


Somehow, without my noticing, I have reached my one year blogoversary. WordPress let me know, and I was actually surprised. I’ve hardly noticed the year passing, I love the WordPress community and publishing. I even find myself thinking about attending BlogHer, although the likelihood is low, given my three kids need my time.

I started blogging without much clue, just putting stories up to make it easier to get copies to requesting beta-readers. Over the last year, I have been welcomed by other bloggers, who have become friends, you know who you are! To take a snapshot of progress, friendly fairy tales has 1379 followers and 36,293 hits since June from 103 countries. I have published nearly 50 fairy tales and over 110 poems. That averages about one story and two poems a week. I have had such fun sharing and hearing back from readers of all ages. I counted up all the likes laboriously some day after I passed 10,000 total and not since. No idea how many like I have now, as WordPress is keeping that knowledge pretty tight these days, but I know I have 8,123 comments. Holy Mackerel! Thanks WordPress, for all the information you do give, it’s more than I can process most days.

I have also collected well over a hundred awards, and I have even more thanks to share for these: Continue reading

Vacation Dreaming Haibun

Used with kind permission of Arthur Browne via Haibun Thinking

Used with kind permission of Arthur Browne via Haibun Thinking

When I know a vacation is coming, I build castles in the sky of what amazing adventures are coming. Being a perfectionist, I imagine how it could be perfect, and work toward making it so, and worry about all the things that could go wrong.

My daughter was puking up her guts, going through copious bedding as the waves came, and then seemed to abate, and then returned, all through a very long night. The next day, Friday, was the last day of school before vacation week, and my older son tossed his cookies at school (yes, another vomiting euphemism).

Meanwhile, my laptop’s hard drive’s ever increasing crashing turned out to be its death throes. All weekend, I rotated the laundry and worked toward getting a new hard drive, integration of a new operating system and retrieval of all my work.

Still, I found time to continue dreaming of palm trees, blue skies, warm breezes and perfect, lazy vacation days. A snowstorm came through, dumping six inches. My kids were puking, the snow was falling, and my laptop was in the shop. And yes, I continued to aspire to the perfect vacation, especially while shoveling or driving to the apple store.

hope does not tire
dreams never leave
vacation, will come

Miraculously, vacation did arrive, a few days late. Saturday: endless snow, struggling with data retrieval, fighting off my own fever, preparing lots of invalid food. Sunday: on the phone with apple support for hours, successfully retrieved my data despite the backup partially failing, then ran a new backup for 12 hours. Monday: packing frantically, departing for the airport, long pacing at Newark Airport waiting for our connecting flight, getting in very late, exhausted kids and parents.

Here it is Tuesday, and we have lounged by the pool, seen lizards on palm trees, and drank champagne (ok, not the kids). We managed to get here in time for the best weather all week.

dreams blossom
green fronds unfold in sun
paradise found

Palm Tree Orlando Florida

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Inspired by the Haibun Thinking prompt and the photograph above by Arthur Browne.

Happy Thanksgivukkah Haībun

Turkey with Yarmulke for Thanksgivukah

Turkey with Yarmulke

The leaves have fallen, and New England has weathered its first winter storm, with howling winds and temperatures 20 below freezing. We are all preparing to celebrate the gateway to winter, thankful for shelter, food and good company. This year our Thanksgiving feast will have an added spice, a warming blanket of older meaning.

Whatever you celebrate this November 28, Jews across the United States will be celebrating Thanksgivukkah with culinary imagination and joyful lighting of candles to celebrate the festival of lights.

festival of lights
pumpkin bisque, apple latkes
rarely converging

Some rabbinical sources have calculated the next convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will not be for 70,000 years!! Even our trees may not survive that long. But, according to the New York Times, “the last time the two holidays overlapped was in 1918, when Jews lit one menorah candle on Thanksgiving night, and it won’t happen again until Nov. 27, 2070.” Others chime in with other dates!

Mathematicians disagree with both the religious sources and the New York Times, and they assert this particular convergence has never happened before (except maybe once in 1888 before they made Thanksgiving the 4th Thursday of November) and may never happen again, and that’s because Hanukkah is a day earlier than the New York Times article provides, given that the first day will be celebrated the night before Thanksgiving. That means Hanukkah starts before Thanksgiving! Whew!

once in a lifetime
celebrate the convergence
remember the past

This fairy tale writer doesn’t know who to believe, the rabbis, the New York Times or the mathematicians. Whether you believe it will happen again in 57 years or maybe never, why not light some candles, roast some turkey with challah stuffing, fry up some potato pancakes, and celebrate a rarer occurrence than a comet sighting or a lunar eclipse.

I may not live long enough to see the next round of Yarmulke-wearing Turkeys (especially if it never happens again), but if I do, what a fairy tale that would be. We should all be so lucky!

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Turkey Day, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Thanksgivukkah! Each year after this, as the leaves flame up and fall, crisped and brown, I will remember this special gateway to winter, the first Thanksgiving of my blogging days.

A few recipe ideas for a creative Thanksgiving and Hanukkah feast:

Turkey with Pomegranate and Walnuts
Pumpkin and Saffron Soup
Cheddar cheese mashed potatoes
Apple Latkes

cooking for hours
table groans with fall delights
eaten in minutes

Warmly, Brenda

Note: a haībun is prose followed by a poem, often a haiku. Sometimes haiku or other poems are also used as transitions between paragraphs. Usually I write from a prompt, and I always enjoy that, but this week I wanted to celebrate outside the prompt. I may go back and write another haībun for the prompt, if I can squeeze out the time.

Happy International Children’s Book Day!

Age is just a page number

I didn’t know this was a thing until today, but apparently lovers of kids’ fiction get their own day to celebrate. It also marks the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author of fairy tales galore (think Thumbelina, Ugly Duckling, Princess and the Pea, Little Mermaid, and more). Full disclosure – I don’t think I’ve actually read any of his stories firsthand. But it’s the mark of a great story teller that I’m familiar with so many of his tales nonetheless. Maybe with all this revisiting of childhood books I’ll be inspired to check out some new titles as well, like the original Little Mermaid. But from what I’ve heard it’s much more depressing than the Disney version…

View original post