Spellbook Haībun

IMG_9784“And then there are the times when the wolves are silent and the moon is howling.”

— George Carlin

Autumn leaves tapped the small windows. Elspeth blew the dust off the book. She knelt amidst generations of clutter and debris in the Martin family attic. She was looking for a costume, because Halloween was that night. On the leather book cover was burnt a full moon surrounded by a five-sided symbol. As the dust settled on old crocheted blankets and old-fashioned high chairs, she opened the book at random.

hidden in the trunk

voice rusty with disuse

still with much to say

“Scarab powder, dash of scaly rot, and ground bat bones sprinkled on seven squashed wolf spiders. Stir widdershins under a howling moon with a finger of oak. Stroke quarter over the main mast and quarter on the crow’s nest. Every particle that remains, seal in wax and burn until gone in the hold. Soon will come to you a strong headwind, fair weather and enemy bane. Beware shoal and reef, but raise proudly your flag, for safe port you will make, wise cargo making your fortune.”

seek the howling moon

sailing toward future fortune

magic within you

Fate had brought her to her ancestor’s spellbook, and fate denied becomes foe. Elspeth decided to be a witch for Halloween. She had no immediate need for a sailing spell, but perhaps it could be adapted for her car.  Elspeth embraced the book, and put it back under the crocheted afghans in Grandma Demeter’s favored avocado and pumpkin colors. Grandma Demeter had always seemed to have a charmed life. Now Elspeth knew why.

hold close heritage

its magic will come to you

when fate brings you home

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Prepared from the weekly Līgo Haībun challenge. Please visit them if you want to see some great writing!

Caught by a Witch, What’s a Poor Mouse to do? Make Spine Poetry!


Super Zen Mouse,

Short, shy fellow,

Stranger in wildwood pond —

A summer spell —

Witch of blackbird pond, blue

Wolf feet, who

Force-swallowed a flea!

Inside Outside

Too Perfect Curse.

Click on the picture to see the spines larger and find the words (or letters) on the spines. Do you have poems laying around the house? You could go on a poetry treasure hunt like we did!

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Thanks for the idea Aussie Bookworm! Happy Friday and thanks for reading!


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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