Ode to Photography

present and past.
Frozen moments,
remembered and forgotten.
ordinary and extraordinary.

Photographic power
reveals in light and dark
what my mother looked like as
a young girl,
or my father as
he welcomed me to the world,
or myself
as I smiled between
brother and sister
whose faces are only visible
in black and white now.

Lost faces, missed warmth, people
linger in shades, lines, and shapes,
like hieroglyphics of the past.

Copyright 2020 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: For World Photography Day today, I offer this ode, in gratitude for how concrete my memories are, of times past.

Ode to Baby Kale

Tiny green fans,
For cooling a sprite,
A nibble for children:
A snack to delight.
First, soaked as seed,
Then planted in soil,
Watered and lit from above,
Sprouted into a tiny coil.
Two oval leaves
Reached for the light,
Edges becoming scalloped
With veins of bright white.
Baby green kale,
Planted between sage,
Chives and thyme,
Becomes an herbal mage,
With the power
Of flavor and health,
Until devoured by rabbits
With predawn stealth.

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: This ode is to my baby kale, photographed prior to devastation by bunnies, insatiable little beasts. They seem to prefer the things I grow from seed to any clover or sweet grass. They never eat my chives.

Purple blooming chives

Ode to a Japanese Beetle

Oval iridescent green body,
Wings of bronze, quiet and still,
Always hungry, tasting nature’s nectar,
Making lace of leaves, living life with a will.

Note: This is a Popillia Japonica or Japanese Beetle. The photo was taken in Dover, MA in the Noanet Woodlands.

Ode to a Snowday


Oh the excitement! A storm is coming,
Weather forecasters are so seldom wrong,
Rumors are flying, and nerves are humming.
Even teachers smile at the hopeful throng.

Internet weather searches are many
The night before a major storm comes through.
A young child’s face shines like a new penny.
Even parents hope, at least one or two.

The first flakes fall unnoticed in the dark,
Stars hidden by clouds, snowflake stars falling,
Lightly, but thickly, on tree, road and park.
Schools are closed only after some stalling.

Parents and kids sleep in past the gray dawn.
Parents sleep longest, quiet kids watch cartoons.
Mom comes down to breakfast with a yawn,
Dad flips pancakes. Kids eat peaches with spoons.

Weather is perfect, just below freezing.
Snow is heavy, wet, perfect for packing.
We play outside all day without sneezing.
Children roll giant snowballs for stacking.


Seedpods make spiky eyes and twigs form arms,
Meanwhile, two boys sling snowballs from sled forts,
Pink-covered smallest makes snow angels farms,
And we sled until we’re soaked to the shorts.


Dry clothes and cocoa with marshmallows untold,
Help finish shoveling, board games to play,
As the plows finally clear our back road.
Oak leaves dangle forlornly with snow’s weight.


Tired children fall into their warm beds.
Coats drip dry by radiators, thumping,
Parents mop up water and shake their heads,
Pray for sunshine before tired slumping.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Inspired by Painttheworldwithwords weekly poetry prompt, and her helpful post defining an ode, with links to, among other great odes, Keats’ Ode to a Grecian Urn, Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind, and Creeley’s America.