Open Door Haibun

When one door closes, another opens;
but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door
that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

Alexander Graham Bell


I’m attending a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference in a few days. I’ve written three children’s books, and SCBWI is an invaluable resource for improving craft and making connections.

molding words like clay
making characters breathe,

When I say I’m writing books, the first question anyone asks me is have I been published. Yes, I’ve been published in the past and recently in on-line zines and on my blog, but their questions really mean has any publishing company paid money to publish my work. Not yet. I’m looking for an agent. Most editors want agented submissions. Agents have become the first gatekeepers. To get through that gate is my immediate goal.

hands on the gate
splintery wood is rough
words can smooth

I wrote “Author” for the first time as my occupation recently. I learned the poet Emily Dickinson was rejected for publication during her lifetime. She was never published until after her death. Was she an author? I would say yes. If she was an author during her life, then I am, too.

To quote Maya Angelou: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” I am already successful because I love writing novels.

This is a new career for me, and publication will take time. I’m on the path, I have passed through the first door — I believe in myself. Next, I hope to pass through the gate.

words soar like birds
song echoes over lake water
feathers fall, they float

Path in woods

I know many bloggers are on the path with me, and I want to thank all of you for your feedback and your support. My shoulder surgery is a few days after the conference. This may be my last post for a while, as I won’t be able to lift my laptop until my arm is useful again. I will miss all of you in the meantime. Keep writing! XOXO, Brenda

Copyright 2015 Brenda Davis Harsham


Adventure: A Sunlit Path

Sunlit Path

The way was crisscrossed with roots and rocky.
Bellissa, the wood nymph, carefully tread
The sunlit path of shadow and dappled light.

Her ears were full of the music playing:
The symphony of green rustling leaves and
The decrescendo of the cicadas.

A crescendo of a dog’s barking by the shore
Caught her attention, and she hid in the silver birch.
The excited pup romped, shaking off an avalanche of drips.

She climbed toward a peak, leaving the shore behind,
The wind grew stiffer and the trees bent.
Ahead lay possibility, wonder and magic.

Always moving toward the next place,
Where imagination filled in the wood with secrets,
Caves, trolls, dragons, gnomes, friends and foe.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Redwood Giants

Path in Redwood forest

Peace in the redwood forest primeval,
Cell connectivity is lost: thought without interruption.
Wandering beside ancient giants,
Glen temperatures were low and cool.

I gaze up to the sky, invisible under the canopy.
The tops of trees are lost in a bright, green blur.
My children and I hunt for gnome homes.
Dark places keep their secrets, as we stay on the paths.

Yet magic is in the very air, all things seem possible.
From the green twilight, we spy a glade,
Emerald grass shining with the first sunlight seen.
Surely the fae dance there, shimmering between worlds.


Distances are deceptive in the photograph: the tiny bit of blue is a tall man, nearly swallowed by a distant curve in the path.

The oldest tree in Muir Woods is 1500 years old, born the year 514: it’s parent would have been capable of being born 3000 B.C., a distance in time to us unfathomable, yet only one generation apart in the forest primeval. Perhaps the spirits of the ancients still watch from beyond this world.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Rose Petal Path


Another might have taken the path less traveled,
I walked the path strewn with rose petals.
Perhaps the roses faded, and the petals blew away,
But each step crushed the scent into my fiber.
That day has made all the difference to my life.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

References: The path referenced in the first line is from a famous poem I will reprint here, courtesy of The Poetry Foundation, with my own yellow wood.

Note: The poem is dedicated to my hubby, a fine man in every way. I’m also posting it in honor of my hubby’s friend who is marrying tomorrow.

Golden Woodland Path, autumn, fall, tree

The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Golden Path Etheree

Golden Woodland Path

Citrine dream.
Windy swirling,
Gold honey blizzard,
Swirls of a fairy’s cloak.
Restless spirits soar higher
With each dancing leaf falling down
To the shifting, shadowy hemline.
Surfeit of beauty looking at fall’s gown.

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: This poem is an Etheree, starting with one syllable on the first line and increasing to ten, one syllable per line.