Edmund Prestwich

In the Jardin des Plantes

That was the day
for our pilgrimage to the Louvre.
We’d walk the great stone corridors
to Titian’s Fête Champêtre – again
stand yearning at those harmonies
of weeds and grass, carved stone and rustic trees,
two quiet men unconsciously made one
with spirit-women naked and unseen,
trees leaning in to listen, soundless
melodies of lute and flute
and falling water full of light.

Beaten by ticket queues, escaping
down boulevards of petrol fumes,
we gave ourselves to the flowers,
flowering grass and trees. People passed
round lawns and poppy beds in bright still light
like drifting fish. Not far from our feet
a glossy raven strutted
lifting talons over the grass
mirroring grass in the gleam of his eye.
A thread of gossamer wavered, glinting
under a bending blade and far above
seagulls floated, spreading wings like oars
on living, radiant blue.

Edmund Prestwich has published two collections, Through the Window with the Rockingham Press and Their Mountain Mother with Hearing Eye. He has published poems in a wide range of magazines and reviews for several. Since retiring as a teacher he has been a tutor for the Poetry School in Manchester.