Tanja Cilia: Casting a Spell

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Casting a Spell

By Tanja Cilia

Horns of a goat and hooves of ram;

tuffs of lore, since time began.

Birdsfoot trefoil, nose of dog

Dybbuk’s trap in quicksand hog.

Lesser spearwort, cotton grass,

Murky waters, smooth as glass.

Wetlands, grasslands, Everglades…

Therein lie the roads to Hades

Anise hyssop, bergamot;

Throw them in the boiling pot…

Canine fur and ogre ears; 

Damned embodiment of fears… 

Biting stonecrop, sedge and reed;

Potion’s done and jinx decreed…

“Oh, do shut up! You’ve been at it all morning. There will be hell to pay if ma comes and that devil-may-care attitude of yours means the chores aren’t done.”

“An idle brain is the devil’s workshop, so I exercise it by composing rhymes; idle hands are the devil’s playthings, so I scribble down said rhymes before I forget them — and it gives my fingers something to do.”

“You’re full of the devil, and both of us know that the devil can cite Scripture for his own purpose. Put that pen down and remember that God sends meat and the devil sends cooks.”

“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know; rhyming and writing come easy to me… I hate having to play the devil’s advocate. I’m caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, and the devil is in the details.”

“Needs must when the devil drives — and the devil is not as black as he is painted. He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon, so prepare yourself, and let’s go meet them. We need all the help we can get.”

“It’s a waste of time, I tell you; the interviews will wreak hell with my agenda. They must not happen.”

“I say let’s go. We have the devil’s own job taking off all that hideous wallpaper; we need all the help we can get, and devil take the hindmost.”

Phone rings…

Hello? We are not coming for the refurbishment job. We woke up with oral irritation, pain and swelling of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing. The doctor says we must have come in contact with the devil’s Ivy… not that I remember…


“Speak of the devil, and he is sure to appear; not this time, though.”

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Please visit Tanja’s blog at https://paperjacketblog.wordpress.com/

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