Journalism In Verse


Losing Galileo

in Science & Tech by

I like to imagine Galileo,
his heart swinging like
a chandelier, watching

the stones free-fall, this
tiny world growing larger
with each thought. I like to

imagine an outline of a
new idea sending the earth
spinning round the sun,

I like to imagine him
turning a Tuscan night sky
over in his hand, high up

in the leaning tower. I like
to imagine his name as a poem
folded inside itself, Galileo

Galilei – but yet it moves –
400 hundred years on, someone
voted to pack up constellations

of people, unscrew each lightbulb
star, dismantle those tin foiled
friendly ghosts that float above

telling us where we are inside
our flickering darkness. I hate
to imagine how they will wink

in someone else’s back garden,
while we, dull as pebbles, will
lie at the bottom of inky pitch.

Stasis from misunderstanding.
A country in terminal velocity.
Without Galileo, without others

we are only a clouded thought-
experiment that can’t imagine
anything better than this.



Brexit to ‘force work on Galileo sat-nav system out of the UK.’ [BBC]
The Galileo space row shows the mess of Brexit in microcosm [The Guardian]

Olga Dermott-Bond is originally from Northern Ireland and lives in England. A former Warwick Poet Laureate, she has had poetry and flash fiction published in a range of magazines including Rattle Magazine, Magma, Paper Swans Press, Reflex Fiction, Dodging the Rain, Fictive Dream and The Fiction Pool. In 2017, she was commended in the Winchester Poetry Prize and was recently commended in the British Army’s Writing Armistice Competition.

Photograph of the Galileo sat-nav system courtesy of ESA.

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