On the island
there is one of every creature
from under the other sun
and no two trees are leaved the same.
You recognise some of prehistory:
Triceratops, for instance,
though the colours on her flanks
are louder than life.
And there are other kinds of human.
You get thirsty but never hungry:
impala stands relaxed by waking lion
viper slides idly in the path of mouse.
Every time you look
there is something new to see
because evolution is still
happening somewhere else.
When you walk to the shore
and set foot in the sea
you dry your toes on the other side
in an instant. The same dolphins
greet the sky every morning
no great distance from the beach.
The bats, birds, pterosaurs fly
in circles or don’t bother.
You hope there will come a day
when the gene pool is judged
to be full
and the island sinks
under the weight
of root, torso, leaf and leg,
that consciousness may be sufferedto drown.
Gavin Salisbury's publications include the poetry booklets Gravity's End, Europa, The Mouths That Remain and Virtual Landmarks, and Foreign Parts, a chapbook collection of short stories. More recently he has published his first full-length collection of stories, The Far Sense, and a young-adult science-fiction novel, Conduit. More information on Gavin’s writing, art and music can be found at http://gavin-salisbury.com.