Gnome Grown


Sprig Gnome tends his woodland garden. Thistle shears help him prune raspberry canes. He mulches fungus shingles atop his den, waters moss, and collects dinner. Before his basket is full, a shadow darkens the glade. He ducks and dodges but all goes awry. Ida Owl grasps him in her talons, and she lowers her yellow eye.

“I’m done for!” Sprig howls. “Save me!” Will anyone hear him?

“Sprig, save it! I need your help.” Ida Owl grouches. “A splinter in my claw is driving me mad!”

“I see it.” Sprig extracts it with a yank of his thistle shears.

Ida hops side to side, flexing and gyrating. “Oh, what a relief. I must thank you properly. Hop on.”

Is she serious? Can he trust her? Sprig stows his basket. He climbs up her feathers like a ladder.

“That tickles!” Ida giggles. Then she flaps powerful wings. Sprig’s stomach bottoms out as they rise. Winds swirl and flow until Sprig worries that he’s seen his last night. He holds tight. They bank and loop. They hoot and holler. The air smells of crushed apples. He reaches toward stars as if they were snowflakes.

An owl and a gnome make the least-likely of friendships. News travels the meadow like a brush fire. A gnome is riding an owl! Unheard of! Unthinkable! Sequester Squirrel follows, swinging tree limb to ivy vine. Dentbottom Rabbit has to see it with his own rheumy eyes, and his great-granddaughter holds his arm. Dinwald Stag-King brings his large tribe to gape.

When Sprig lands, he feels as if the earth has stopped orbiting the sun. The air is too still. He waves good-bye to Ida, and follows fireflies into his den. His feet find each lump in the maple leaf carpet. His thistledown bed is squashed and untidy. He snips, clips and mixes until his forage stew bubbles and sings. The air fills with the scent of braising brined beetles. But he misses the scent of crushed apples and owl feathers.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: We’ve been enjoying a lovely thaw like spring is visiting February. It makes me wish I could fly. I hope your dreams take you on fun flights of fancy tonight. Warmly, Brenda

Playful Spring Etheree


Playful, hungry,
Hopping, chattering,
Finding bird feeder seed,
Darting to her Red Roof Inn.
Squirrels chase along high wires,
Chittering, chattering, fat from greed.
Thin bird chides them, twittering, fluttering.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: This poem is an etheree, for another or an explanation of the form, click here.

Pear Tree HaĪbun


I have planted hundreds of vegetables, herbs, flowers, bulbs and shrubs in my years of gardening, but very few trees. Last year, I planted one tree for each of my three children in our yard where we could watch them grow. We tended them carefully, watering them during the long, hot months. This spring, our young pear tree was covered in white blooms, like a bride on her wedding day. All those white blooms dropped away in days, covering the ground like a veil, before they blew away on the wind, and became part of the earth again.

white blossoms drifting

petals falling to the earth

nourishing our soil

The heart-shaped leaves budded and turned emerald green soon after. Our tree produced oxygen and shade all summer long, and it grew a few inches in height and width every month of the summer. Today, I could see that several hard frosts had taken their toll. The leaves had turned a rainbow of colors: yellow, orange, red, purple with darker spots of indigo. A closer view revealed small brown fruit only as big as my fingernail. Even the squirrels have not harvested these vestigial pear, although the squirrels were pleased to eat our jack o’lanterns.

Halloween is past

squirrels have nibbled their repast

pumpkins are tasty

We would rather eat pumpkin than those tiny, rudimentary pear treats, too. Only a faery could love those tiny vestigial pears. I hope the fae harvest them, and serve them at a harvest dance, perhaps taking the leaves to make splendid gowns. I like to imagine them squeezing the pear juice into an acorn cup and drinking the nectar under the twinkling stars while the pipers play a reel.

faeries dance and smile

starlight washing cares away

sipping pear nectar

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Prepared for the weekly ligo haibun challenge, the prompt this week being faery, which I could not resist! 🙂

Hail to Autumn, Summers Gone.

Here’s a great homage to autumn, full of wonderful details and a joyful spirit. I hope you like it as much as I did! Have a great week! Brenda


And gently as the sun goes down

The smoke from bonfires all around.

The hedgehog and the squirrel gone to ground

Grandpa shows the lad the acorns and pine combs he has found.

Twirls of mist at morn and dusk chill the bones

Lights on for breakfast and for tea  in cozy looking homes.

The leaves swirl and dance, children curled up by the fire their noses in tombs.

Fairies dancing in the fire glad they are not outside, it’s getting chilly for the garden gnomes.

The grass is sodden and the  flowers in the garden droop and bend

Fathers and sons bonfires build and another summer is at an end .

All Souls and Halloween are in view lots of spooky things to do for Vlad and his friends.

Frosts and fog sweep and unfurl through the streets across the fields , down to the river and around the…

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Jewel and the Moon Princess

Lightning on a Dark Night

One dark, stormy night, Jewel and her mother, Esperanza, played Mexican Train dominoes while the rain lashed the kitchen windows. The wind bent the trees sideways, and all the birds and squirrels were in hiding. The lights flickered and went out. Jewel could no longer see the walls of the kitchen, and the lightning briefly lit the kitchen.

“I can’t find any matches,” Esperanza said. “I know we have a lantern here somewhere.” Another flash of lightning lit the dark cupboard her mother was searching. She heard the whirring of her mother cranking a lantern before a boom of thunder made her cover her ears.

“I’m scared.” Jewel whispered in the dark. Somehow talking about fears in the dark seemed natural. Her mother lit the lantern and gave her a big hug. Her mother laughed deep from her belly, just in the way that always made Jewel smile.

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The Oak Princess


Cassandra looked out her window at the early morning sunshine dappled by her favorite oak tree. Before school, she asked permission from her dad and then ran outside quickly. She looked up at the face in the oak tree. The bark formed eyes, a smiling mouth, and curly hair. She smiled back at her friend in the tree. Some of the leaves were turning orange, and waved in the breeze like thousands of hands.

Yesterday, the rain fell in torrents, and the wind had blown down branches. Acorns had fallen like hail. She had gathered up the acorns to save them from car tires. Except for three, they were all gone from her basket, taken by the neighbors – squirrels and chipmunks. These last three she buried with her shovel in the grassy berm. A beautiful mother oak should be surrounded by her children; Cassandra felt strongly about certain things. When she finished, she waved at the face in the tree, and returned inside. She washed her hands carefully, and got ready for school. Another place to shine.

The next morning, she ran outside again to check on her acorns. As she skipped past her basket, waving at the face in the tree, she noticed something glint at the bottom. She stopped and picked up a golden ring.

“Where did this come from?” Cassandra wondered aloud.

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Donal Outwits the King


Deep in the forest, someone was sleeping. Covered in leaves and moss, with a windbreak lashed snuggly in the bracken, he was dreaming of a king, a curse and a drumming in the dark.

In another part of the forest, a young boy was disguised as a fox. He heard the pounding of hooves behind him. He ducked under a tree root, but was soon surrounded by baying dogs. The horses approached, and their riders were holding bows and arrows. Their velvet cloaks were lined with fur, and one wore a silver crown. Donal stood up fast, and threw off his fox hood before an arrow could be nocked. His costume had a real fox tail dragging on the ground, and it must have drawn in the dogs.

“You’re no fox!” laughed the King with the silver crown. “Who are you to be on my land? Trespassers are made into slaves here.” The King’s face turned dark.

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