Sycamore Lace

Lacy Sycamore Leaf

Crazy-quilt Sycamore tree,
One leaf, no longer perfect.
Yet the leaf shines with green,
Making oxygen for me,
And sweet sugar sap,
Flowing slowly into the tree.
The leaf scars show a beetle’s feast,
But those same imperfections
Are where the light shines through.

Note: I am often reminded of my own imperfections, my scars and my secret sins. I accept these things about myself as I accept them in the ones I love. I wrote once before about finding beauty in scars, a post called Beauty in the Broken Places. Today, Line and I were talking about imperfection and perfection being like two sides of a spinning coin, always rotating between the two.

Fae Flash Fiction: Banga


Banga was looking for a place to hide. The Boggle, Fandang, had surprised him and his baby sister splashing in Trickle Brook. His sister, Ruby, had hid in the lee of a granite boulder. Banga darted below the waves in his fish shape, drawing the Boggle away from his sister, and the much bigger Boggle almost caught him in his fingers, which were like a tangled net.

Banga flipped up onto shore, and then changed in a flash to his elven shape. He ran as fast as he could toward the trees. The Boggle’s hairy feet thumped behind him, accompanied by the bing bang whack of his thick Boggle stick. A nearby sycamore looked young, but maybe old enough to be a bit hollow. Fandang was close behind him, and Banga could smell his hot, sour breath. The sycamore’s camouflage bark might confuse Fandang’s bad Boggle eyesight. Banga swarmed up it.


Sure enough, Banga found a hollow, in the crook of the thickest branch. No leaves had broken from their buds yet to provide cover. He hid in the dark nook, holding his breath. He heard Fandang stomping around in last fall’s leaves. Boggles like to catch Dolphinis, but Banga was practiced at getting away. Dolphinis were the smallest of the Merfolk and the only ones to live in freshwater. Like their larger cousins, the Sea Merfolk, they could grant wished. Boggles always had plenty of wishes, many of which would cause Dophinis no end of trouble granting.

He held his sweet breath, afraid the scent would lead the Boggle straight to him, until Fandang’s last bing bang whack of his Boggle stick faded into the distance. Then Banga zipped back to his baby sister, Ruby, the youngest Dolphini of Trickle Brook, where she was pretending to be a tigerfish, leaping out of the water and eating mosquitoes. They would both be safe another day.

brook in early spring

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham


Goodbye Hope: a Monody Haībun

Last night in my email, was another writer’s bane, the let-you-down-gently words that sink in like thorns. I didn’t have high hopes, how can one in my place?  I have time for writing, time for dreams, time for children-rearing, but no time for marketing.

Another so kind rejection in the mail.
How can I go on when to go on is to fail?
It’s nicely worded, not harsh at all,
And yet, it’s kind words hurt like an icy fall.
Why do I need for my words to be heard?
Why not chirp quietly on a branch like a bird?
Oh, hope, so fragile, so easily flown away,
Will you come back soon, stay for another day?

Why do any of us write? We have words inside us, needing to come out. It’s that simple. When my boys hit age three, they had to run. They ran and ran, circling me like dolphins around a boat, chirping and loving, laughing and falling. They ran because they had to, and I did not stop them. I tried to keep them safe.

Can I parent myself, the young writer? How would I do that? I know I need to write, and so I will. I will let myself write, and as I send my words into the world, I will try to keep myself safe.

Not everyone has to like what I wrote. I write for my own reasons, and I share magic and joy where I can. Even if only one person is touched, has a better day, feels the magic, then that’s enough. My work is enough. My words are enough. I will keep sending my words into the world.

As for my kind rejecter, I will smile, and I will remember that that person’s day is too long, too busy, too full to take on my words. That’s okay. She has a busy life, too, and only so many hours in it.

sycamore grows in summer
its roots leave words in the soil
the leaves read the shining sun


Note: A Monody is a lament, a dirge or an elegy for someone or something departed. A Haibun is prose, culminating in poetry, with its heart beating in the natural world. This was partly inspired by a series of recent rejections, by the weekly poetry prompt by painttheworldwithwords to write a monody and by the weekly Haībun Thinking prompt, with a freestyling example by Al.