On my island I weave
I study the plants, the animals, the wind, the waves.
They call it magic, I say it’s science
They call me a witch, I say I’m a philosopher.
Leave me to my studies and observations.
On this tiny island, no one can find me.
I almost understand, I’m almost there.
I am a Goddess
There are high expectations.
My reputation is staked upon my knowledge yet
my studies are constantly interrupted
By travelers arriving on my shores
salt stained seafarers,
dessicated from sun and wind,
eyes burning and dull from
staring at endless horizons.
I give them food, wine, shelter
That is the Colchis way.
And once their bellies are full,
their thirst quenched, the rested eyes
refocus on my island, my careful and wild gardens
My sprawling abode
“I could get used to this!” they shout
“I think I’ll stay and make it mine” shamelessly
as if I cannot hear.
“And I’ll tame that bitch.”
They nod meaningfully to each other.
I will not be possessed.
I am the Goddess, Circe
Daughter of Helios the Sun and Oceana of the Sea,
Sister of Aeetes (keeper of the Golden Fleece).
Aunt of the Minotaur.
These hard warriors
With their sweat and foul breath
Their flashing swords and ugly words.
So arrogant in the presence of the Gods.
It’s laughable, really.
Undone, rendered powerless
By this tiny, common weed
steeped in wine.
I could have easily killed them
with my poison
But they insulted me.
So I did what only a Goddess can:
I took away their humanity.
I poisoned these unwelcome guests.
I know herbs. I poisoned them.
Nightshade, of course.
The results were amusing, to say the least
It brought out the true nature of
These beastly men.
The big one that just ate, slept and
Transformed into a bear.
The one who bragged from dawn til dusk: “I showed them Trojans who’s boss!”
became a rooster that crowed mercilessly.
That one, who slipped around quietly, watching,
Sticking his nose where it didn’t belong
– he turned into a snake.
It became an experiment for me to predict their transformations.
Some of them, who spent their time looking at the ocean thinking of home
turned into seabirds and dolphins and slipped away.
The others kept their distance from me and roamed over the island,
Preying upon each other, for that is the way of human nature.
All that remain are a few old toothless lions and wolves.
Guarding the shores from wayward travelers.
At last I am alone again, and now that there is quiet to continue my work,
I find myself staring at the shadows cast from my fire
On the wall, and wonder at the true nature of reality.