Edmund Prestwich

Thera: Before the Eruption

Spring returned on wings of sky-dancing swallows.
Through the blue hot summer, and half of autumn,
swift as flying arrows they’d loop and flicker,
eagerly shrieking.

Buds pushed out of earth and uncurled from branches.
Leaves and petals, feeding on light, breathed fragrance.
Seaways opened, first for the swift-oared galleys,
racing with dolphins,

then for tradeships, loaded with foreign produce,
seeking strong sweet wines and medicinal saffron,
honey, sundried fruit from last season’s orchards,
fish in abundance.

Year by year the worshipping sun’s caresses
heated earth’s wide womb and the teeming ocean.
Blessings poured unstinted. Why should such favour
ever have ending?

Edmund Prestwich lives in Manchester. He spent his first fifteen years in South Africa, finished his schooling in Reading, and read English at Cambridge and Oxford. He spent his working life teaching English at the Manchester Grammar School. His poems have appeared in a wide range of magazines and he reviews poetry for several. He’s published a collection of short poems with Rockingham Press and a slim volume mainly consisting of one long narrative poem with Hearing Eye.