Europa

Europa is a long poem about both the history of Europe, and a manned spaceflight to Jupiter’s sixth moon. It was published as an illustrated booklet by Sam’s Dot Publishing in 2004 and is available to buy online here.

                         from Europa (Section II)

Europa has never seemed so far,
so long ago. Our journey
might go on and on forever.

I console the part of me unrecovered
from the poisoning of Socrates –
am I the only one who remembers?

The virgin ocean under the ice
awaits our probes. We will be
the first to live and die

here: three more Europeans
sacrificed to science,
without even a goat-song

to mark our passing.
Three more hapless explorers,
three scientists, and yes – three men.

In my time I consulted the great library,
saw the lighthouse, walked the streets
of Alexander’s cultured world,

but these days I live simply
in a barrel. The man himself is long dead,
his image far too faint to block our sunshine.

History flickers in the switches.
This cradle does not rock me;
I cannot sleep but I can dream.

 

Poem © Gavin Salisbury 2003

Cover art © 7ARS 2004

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