Take Care

Take Care

Witch: “Careful the tale you tell.
That is the spell.
Children will listen.”
Finale, Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim

Like beanstalks, lies sprout overnight
rising high enough to support giants, as the world withers

a field of moon-daisies grows,
with seeds cast like spells
to reflect light,

the glimmer-truth of stars,
birdsong carried and bee-buzzed

child-seen before
they learn. Careful,
they listen.

A quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word is spell. My head is full of lies and stories. Some of the same . . . I watched the January 6 Committee hearings today—more revelations about the former president’s lies.
We saw Into the Woods at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia on Saturday. Coincidentally. Bernadette Peters sang “Children Will Listen” last night at the Tony Awards in a segment honoring the late Stephen Sondheim.

64 thoughts on “Take Care

  1. This is incredibly poignant and timely, Merril! I especially like; “daisies grows, with seeds cast like spells to reflect light.” Thank you so much for writing to the prompt! ❤️❤️

  2. A great poem to remind us all. Brought to mind the song: “Teach Your Children Well”
    People think its guns causing our problems… I contend it is parents and what they let their children feed on! Violence in violence out…. seems to make sense.

    • Thank you so much, Dwight. Yes, that song fits, too.
      There are parents who are ignorant, careless, or bad, and there are people in power who promote hate–but the easy availability of guns here is definitely an issue. Other countries have bad parents, hate, mental illness, etc., but don’t have the gun violence we have.

  3. I do agree with all. You outdid yourself with this one. It is best use of 44 words I have seen in years, great wordsmithing. The first stanza is killer.

  4. Teach the children well. They do spring up like overnight wonders. Nice one!!!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog today Merril


  5. Love your highlighting of all these negative elements around us, Merril! One gets overwhelmed by them all! What an environment for our young growing up!


  6. A beautifully written truth.
    “Like beanstalks, lies sprout overnight
    rising high enough to support giants, as the world withers
    You wove an essential message with great craft.

  7. Your words also make me think of the song from South Pacific “You’ve Got to Be Taught”. The seeds of lies are like an invasive species choking the truth until it dies. (K)

  8. That last bit is such a reminder of how things are learned, truth and lies and behaviors. It’s tough as a fiction writer, I find the line between truth and lies line blurry. The stars seem fuzzy not sure of anything, but I know my children need that strict sort of understanding to process the world.

  9. LOVE this poem….and as I read it, each thing in your explanation came to mind so I smiled when I read your explanation as that was exactly where I was with your words. 🙂

  10. Children pick up SO MUCH when their parents think they don’t listen. Understand. Lies are poison to children and adults alike. Ahhh, what a poetic reminder this is. And Bernadette Peters – I’ve seen her in person in several shows – she’s beyond talented. A star. Magical.

  11. Your poem is perfect, Merril.
    It’s perfect to me because:
    I enjoy it when I read it.
    I feel a/the deeper meaning.
    I like the prompt.
    I like the quote.
    I’m watching the hearings, too. (Should I cry, or vomit?)

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