( Lines inspired by Caliban, a character from The Tempest by William Shakespeare )

Orphaned on an island, isolation utter, exiled from other shores,
mother banished here for witchery.
Not beast, not man, what am I?
Riddle that I am, I rooted for the answer.
Regret I failed to dig that deep.
Solitary life I led, then the magician came,
left here with his daughter, Miranda, she like summer flowers.
Prospero put me in my place, measured by his regard,
taught me to move my mouth with words
instead of grunts and squeals like wood hogs,
ruled me not with might but magic,
summoned a tempest on the sea
to wreck a ship, such is his power.
Knows he cannot civilise me, only command me as his servant,
a slave to bring him sticks and logs to burn with red and orange fire.
Separated from the magic of my mother,
I brood on the darkness in my brain.
I know, for I have had long to ponder, I am like no other.
Not beast, not man, what then is Caliban?
Sycorax the witch, my mother, left this life to leave me here.
I lived on fish, berries. A freak can only repel.
Would not mind to live as a crab, hard shell on my back,
sharp claws to pinch and grab, quick to swim, dig,
hide in rock pools on the coast, loud with wave fall.
I look up at the moon, like me, alone,
unless, free of cloud, stars spread and shine.
Envy crabs on the shore, have families, like fish do,
like gulls that swoop in the coves, shriek on the rocks.
I woke to the slime and salty smell of seaweed.
My mother’s spells conjured me but them I cannot speak.
Free of laws men made, no axe could cleave cold chains that bind me here.

2 thoughts on “Caliban”

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