Poems by Jaki McCarrick (Ireland). Published in Issue 25.
From the bog at dawn,
plump as your flesh,
white as geishas.
though their fawny gills
you found repulsive.
Then with arms filled
with your unearthings
you’d bring them back:
breakfast, and lunch
of blackened soup
made with milk and cream.
‘But Caliban remains my impervious disgrace.
We did it, Ariel, between us.’
from ‘The Sea and the Mirror’, by W.H. AUDEN
What is our history, our culture, if not the history and culture
of Caliban. The new reading of The Tempest has now become
a common one throughout the colonial world,
ROBERTO FERNANDEZ RATAMAR
It was a working relationship. Neither he nor I could
duck or dive our differences, namely, his theft
of this place, of which he’d the audacity to be frightened.
‘Monster’ he called me once, ‘diabolical’, and yet I loved him.
Winter yowls, violins in the pit of the sea, drove him to drink.
Then he left. India, I think. So I filled the isle with progeny.
Cannily introduced sericulture to emulate his robes.
Honey was jarred, flax planted for our printers’ ink.
I prospered. Walked in darkness drinking it all in,
no maudlin bloke beside me speaking of constellations.
Jaki McCarrick is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. She has published poetry in Poetry Ireland Review, Revival, Boyne Berries, Cathach, Word on the Street, Pedestal Magazine, Stylus (Australia). Her first play, The Mushroom Pickers, won the 2005 Scottish Drama Association's National Playwriting Competition, and premiered at the Southwark Playhouse in London in May 2006 and in New York in February 2009. Her most recent play, Leopoldville, has just been shortlisted for the 2009 Kings Cross Award for New Writing. She was selected for the 2009 Poetry Ireland Introduction series of emerging poets.
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