Lion Alone

Worn Lion statue

winter scarred, care worn
gazing at eternity
lion without pride

remembers school vacation
three playful cubs squabbling

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: Hurray for vacation week! Tomorrow is the Boston marathon. Hope you all have a great week. Be healthy and be safe! Warmly, Brenda

Namibia HaĪbun

Himba Tribal Woman, Namibia, Africa Photo by Dr Agnieszka Wojtecka, Gdansk, Poland

Himba Tribal Woman, Namibia, Africa
Photo by Dr Agnieszka Wojtecka, Gdansk, Poland

I was born in Namibia in the heat of the summer sun, outside a homestead beside the Kunene River, many miles from the Skeleton Coast. Mukuru blessed my beloved Namibia with music, dancing and poetry.

homestead in grasslands

waters flow like gold blessings

river meeting sand

My young mother glistened with the traditional red ochre called otjize, which she made from the Omuzumba shrub in the way her mothers and sisters have done since a time beyond memory. Grandfather, the headman, tended the okuruwo, the sacred fire, feeding it Mopane branches. He had not let the fire die for sixty years. Over the fire, he spoke to his ancestors. Nearby, his daughter sat quietly, her braids shading her face, listening to music ripple like heat waves. His music drew my spirit down, and I sang my song to her, her braids sliding along her neck as she lifted her face to the sky.

red braids, shining face

your magic called me to earth

my song filled your ears

Sitting in stillness beside the Mopane in the meagre shade, she first heard my song. Her face shone with the light of the powerful desert sun. She listened carefully, and with her natural musical talent she quickly learned my song. I returned to my long dreaming, but she continued to sing my song. She called my spirit from the dreaming land back to the earth. The women welcomed me on the day of my birth, singing my song through the long hours of her labor.

first gasp of hot air

I cried from surprise, alone

watery world gone

You nourished my spirit, Mother of my earthly body. When I was sad, my mother sang my song, and my spirit remembered the dream land. I joined my song to the songs of the villagers and those of my sisters and brothers. I learned to tend the cattle among the men, but I thought often of my mother. When a lion came for the cattle, it scared me. I held my fear tight until my mother and the villagers sang my song, and my spirit soared high again. In dry years, the cattle grew thin in the high reaches, but the river sustained us like my mother sustained me. Always the cattle could find grass by the Kunene.

water is precious

waters draw grassland from sand

liquid sky, god’s gift

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Written for the weekly Ligo Haibun challenge (making Fridays more beautiful for us all).

Articles used in writing the story:

Click to access himba_info.pdf

Moonlight’s Revenge

Friendly Fairy Tales is delighted to offer fairy tales by and for kids!!

Here is the first, a terrific tale by K.H., Age 9


Moonlight’s Revenge

“Get out!” shouted King Dusk as he banned shape-shifters from his kingdom. Shapeshifters not only can shift into another form of any size or shape, but they can control the weather as well. King Dusk was frightened of the shapeshifters, and wanted them to be as far away from his new baby daughter as possible.

That day in the Land of the Lights, two children were born on the same second of the same minute of the same hour. The first was named Princess Sunlight, daughter of King Dusk. The other, Prince Moonlight, heir to the throne of the shapeshifters, was orphaned when his mother succumbed to a fever right after he was born.

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