Sonnet Sunday 5: The Spell

Way back when I worked at a dry cleaners, I remember a coworker telling a story of going to the bathroom at a bar, where a modern witch blew glitter on her and said she had cast a spell. This inspired me to write a sonnet…

…which, over a decade later, makes no sense, even to me. Here’s the original:

A little scattering of fairy-dust.
Unwilling, innocent, and unaware—
Defenseless from the heartless strength of lust—
The snare now set, the castor’s voice like air.
The fairy godmothers who live today
Buy tricks from catalogues and candy-stores;
Wave skeptic wands to drive their foes away;
Give trinkets, turning princesses to whores.
No wizard summons Mephostophilis,
Yet still the daemons dance, imbuing power.
With whispered, tender Sevens, they appease
The brightest heart for ev’ry dark’ning hour.
No mortal powers wills so full of holes;
No requiem is played for puppet souls.

“With tender, whispered Sevens, they appease”? What the heck is a Seven? (The inside joke of “Seven!” came much later.) “No requiem is played for puppet souls”? I mean, I sort of get the last line, but within context of the poem it makes no sense.

Which is to say that sometimes in my sonnet writing, I got carried away by the words and lost track of the meaning.

That being said, I still like the concept. Hence this cleaned-up version. Caveat: it makes stronger claims than I necessarily intend—but then, isn’t part of the point of poetry to be provocative?

The Spell


A little scattering of fairy-dust.
The snare now set, the caster’s voice like air—
The victim of the spell, confused, nonplussed,
Unwilling, innocent, and unaware,
Thus fled the scene: decided she deserved
A cleanse from an encounter so bizarre:
Breathed in essential oils to calm her nerves
And sipped homemade Kombucha from a jar.
The fairy godmothers who live today
Promise perfection on their Pinterest boards;
Write mommy blogs to wave their guilt away;
Call self-fulfillment “overdue rewards.”
No wizard summons Mephistopheles,
Yet still the ancient Spirit is appeased.