The Love Spell


For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. Check the Village Stories page for links previous pieces in this series posted in July/August 2014, July/August 2015

The Love Spell

near the edge of the Whistling Woods

lived an ugly old woman

she had two daughters

Cashmere and Coral

the prettiest girls in our school

it was fun for the choir boys to maltreat them

following them home humming loudly

or whispering the words

to whatever song

we were learning in choir practice

their mother was very old

too old for fish scales one of the boys said

we thought she was some sort of witch

and would would rush off

before she could enchant us

into falling in love with her daughters


one summer a package

came to our house by mistake

it was meant for the witch

our street names were very similar

we lived on Maple Lane

she lived on Willow Laneway

I was given the task of taking

the package to her house

with it in the particle carrier

of my fire engine red CCM flyer

rode there as slow as I could

humming and whispering

to keep up my courage

a thunder storm began as I got there

she bade me come inside

the house was neat as pin

up close she wasn’t as old as I had thought

I told her we all thought

she was a witch and she laughed

‘you can’t hide the truth – right my boy’


I gave her the package

she tried to give me money

which I refused

cookies – which I refused

finally she offered me a love spell

guaranteed to bind the love

of whomever I wanted to me


all I had to do

was steal butter from my mother

then get the object of my affection

to steal some butter from their mother

then spread the butter

on the backs of one another knees

before making love

I was to tell no one about this spell

not even the one I wanted to love me

they had to do it willingly

without question


I have never used this spell

the last man who let me undress him

whom I wanted to bind to me forever

had no mother

she had died years ago

I did steal some butter from my mother

while she wasted away with consumption

I keep it safe in my freezer

for the time

when I doubt what my heart can do

13jul01The Love Spell is one of the more ‘traditional’ mythologic pieces in this series. I play on fairy tale witch myth heavily. The tormenting girls was something done innocently enough when I was a boy – singing & joking to get their attention was considered playful fun – today, of course, children who engage in such play are labeled & criminalized.13jul02The rumour that some old lady was a witch runs through so many childhood recollections & facing her for some reason – broken window – is nearly a cliche. The ‘old’ lady often proved be in her early 40’s as well, so agism starts young.

What was in the package? A plot ploy 🙂 If I do a major rewrite of this piece I’d mention the contents as well give some of the hymn lyrics those mean boys whispered to the sisters. I always wanted a fire engine red bike – the one I had was more burgundy than red.13jul03Was she really a witch? Even her confession is suspect. The refusals of first offered rewards are also a fairly tale trope as our hero forces the witch to give him what he really wants – power – the love spell. I had lots of fun creating this absurd spell. In myth the stealing of something as part of the spell is standard – a lock of hair usually – then it gets even crazier as I give it my own spin. I picked butter because it was so mundane. 13jul04

The piece becomes one of longing – the need for a love spell is a kind of longing itself. My hero clearly believes in the power of that spell – in the way we all fear that our ability to love may not prove to be enough power to bring us the love we want.soon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

August 12: Justify My Love:


September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrbike

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