Binding Spell


A binding spell protects me
from the broken circling words
that fall chanting from the cave
of your mouth like fists
to pummel my repute.

Whispering a vow
while sewing a poppet,
my needle works through
the crook in its neck
where I stop to insert
your words in the space
between its nonexistent ears,
stitching them silent.

Hidden from the sun
your slander stops its drone
beneath Montana’s badlands
bound in a doll’s head,
buried in Makoshika,
a few hundred miles away.

Brenda Warren 2013

Process Notes: A good friend dabbled in witchcraft when we were younger. The word binding sparked a memory of a binding spell she showed me once. As the details were foggy, I did a search and found this recipe for binding. It fed my poem. Personally, I don’t dabble in witchcraft. Casting spells to control others goes against my core belief in self-determination.


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22 thoughts on “Binding Spell

  1. I didn’t notice a single word from the list in the poem. I forgot that there was a list, in fact. Very interesting piece, especially opening. Great work. I really did enjoy the list this week. Thank you.


  2. Witchy words. Strange and curious. This feels very personal and real, you don’t need witchcraft, this is magic in itself. I love it.


  3. Fearsome, frightening in its passion. How we wish for such torment to stop. I suppose the point here is that it is a comfort to solve the problem this way rather that take more direct action that would only compound the situation. For all that it is beautifully written and vivid in its impression.


  4. not much of a witchcraft person myself either, but I do believe that words have an incredible power. I would like to think that there is a way to bind those words that have hurt us, and hide them away.

    but woe to those that find them … and unbind them.
    nice write.


  5. You found the perfect painting for your post; and as always you created a fine poem. I particularly like its out-of-the-ordinariness…made even more meaningful by your share at the end.


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