ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the April 3, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart. It also fills the "sweet" square in my 1-31-18 "You Are" card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] daisiesrockalot.

Warning: This poem includes some controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It has references to domestic violence, and the implied use of magic to kill people. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.


"The Sugar Witch"


Everyone knows
that children go to
the Sugar Witch for
little wishes and spells
to do well in school.

They're cast in lollipops
or made of cotton candy,
and the magic only lasts
for a day, but it makes
the little ones smile.

When the girls grow up,
then they go back to
the Sugar Witch for
wedding cake toppers
made of blown sugar.

Then they want wishes
for a happy home and
healthy babies, that will last
for years. They get sculptures
of a kissing couple, and smile.

What most people don't know
is that the Sugar Witch also makes
secret talismans made of spun sugar,
then dipped in water to melt the frame
so that only the magic remains.

Invisible, all but intangible,
these are the artifacts she gives
to the young women with black eyes
and heavy hearts who secretly wish that
their husbands would never come home.

Most people think that art is always sweet,
that love is always kind, and everyone lives
happily ever after, but the Sugar Witch knows
that some art is bitter, some love is brutal, and
magic can use the one to solve the other.
 

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-28 01:34 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Sounds like the Sugar Witch is a relative of the witch from Hansel and Gretal... [and I mean the original, not the hack job that the brothers Grimm made of it.]

original

Date: 2018-04-28 02:05 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Do you have any links to the non-Grimm version?

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-28 02:25 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Nice!

I do have one caveat: "some love is brutal" is really not true. Yes, it's what abusers tell themselves and their victims; it's what a lot of popular romance fiction tells women; but it's not true. Abuse is not love. OTOH, poetic license. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2018-05-01 05:50 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
Well, "some love is brutal" can mean "through love, a person might be willing to be ruthless, to protect the beloved".

I think you're hearing "some love is brutal *to* the beloved" and your feelings in that respect are spot-on, in my opinion. There may be times when love needs to be hard - "you've come home drunk three nights in a row now; the first time I cleaned you up and hauled you into bed. The second, I cleaned you up and put a pillow under your head. Third time, I put a towel under you to protect the carpet." But love is never brutal toward the beloved.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-28 03:48 am (UTC)
corvi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] corvi
I really love the mechanism of making a spun sugar charm and then removing the sugar to leave only the magic. What a cool idea.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-28 05:17 am (UTC)
acelightning: shiny purple plate with cartoon flatware (eats03)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
I've got as much skill with food magick as I do with technomagick. I am oathbound not to use any form of magick without the explicit permission of anyone it will effect... but if I should choose to help an abused woman, I could give her something that would make her feel empowered enough to get out of the abusive situation, without violating my oaths.

I really love your Sugar Witch!

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2018-04-28 05:43 am (UTC)
acelightning: banknotes of many nations (money)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
There are some things my oaths forbid me to charge for, and there are some things that the magick just doesn't like to be paid for.

Funny thing, though...

Date: 2018-05-01 05:55 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
...a lot of shamanic traditions demand payment, not so much for the sustenance of the shaman, but to show that "I give you value; you must show you value my work to continue to receive it."

i.e., people don't always value what's free... and for things that are a journey, people must consciously choose the path.

Re: Funny thing, though...

Date: 2018-05-01 06:07 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
Yes. My first shamanic teacher also brought up an issue that was *huge* for me.

"Some people think that they want to be a shaman because there's a *place* for the shaman in the village. Some of them forget that the shaman's place is at the *edge* of the village. Because no one goes to see the shaman because everything is happy - they see the shaman when things are bad, and they've by golly tried to fix them, and they couldn't."

Still, that's a good point: the shaman should be paid in the goods of the society to show that, yes, even though s/he's the weirdo, s/he's nevertheless a real, working part of the society... maybe not in the center, and maybe perpetually at the edge - but still there, and still part.

Re: Funny thing, though...

Date: 2018-05-01 06:06 am (UTC)
acelightning: magick wand leaves a trail of silvery stars (magick)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
I absolutely may not ask for, or accept the offer of, any kind of payment for working magick - but I can charge for things like Tarot or Rune readings. Most of the time, though, I just do the reading because I know the person needs it, although once in a while barter is involved; I once did a morning reading for a co-worker every morning of the three months we worked together, and on the last morning he (spontaneously) gave me a detailed, hand-drawn horoscope. Basically, I just do what feels right -)

Re: Funny thing, though...

Date: 2018-05-01 06:13 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
Sure, and I sure don't suggest things are or should be different for other folks! But if the spirits give me a message, or help me to do work for a person, that's usually only the map, not the journey. And people who value the map are more likely to follow it.

I've never charged *money* for shamanic work. But I've asked for favors (and sometimes... well, rarely... well, never - received them). I sometimes think of Terry Pratchett's witches as a sort-of guideline. Caring for people, making the rounds, and standing up when everyone else is sitting down or walking away, is in line with my teachings.

Heh. I just suck at it, so to speak..

Re: Funny thing, though...

Date: 2018-05-01 06:22 am (UTC)
acelightning: magick wand leaves a trail of silvery stars (magick)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
Most of the time, if people know I'm a Witch, they'll ask me for things I'm not allowed to do for them. They want me to make a specific person fall in love with them, or to send healing to someone I don't know (and who therefore cannot consent), or to cause nasty things to happen to someone they don't like. They're always terribly miffed when I explain why I can't do them.

Messages for people are a whole lot more flexible. Most of the time I'll gladly answer a person's request for any kind of reading I know how to do. And once in a very great while, Someone will decide to speak with my voice, or type with my fingers, or otherwise use the skills of my mind and/or body to deliver a message to someone.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-29 02:20 am (UTC)
freshbakedlady: photo of a toddler holding an orange tabby cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] freshbakedlady
I really like the imagery in this. Usually food magic is described in earthy ways, bread and fruit, solid. This was so glittery and ethereal, even in its darkness. A nice change.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-29 09:56 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
I LOVE this.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-04-30 05:04 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
I like this one a lot. Sugar charms dipped in water!

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