Guest Poem by Edmund Prestwich

Edmund Prestwich grew up in South Africa but has spent his adult life in England, where he taught at the Manchester Grammar School till his retirement. He enjoys reading, writing and watching things grow, especially his four lively grandchildren. This poem is from Acumen 109.

The Ground of our Music

Now the warm moist air is alive with voices.
Frogs are singing. Soft introspective crooning
makes the mild night throb with erotic feeling.
Somewhere above them

owls are calling, female to male; haunting
breeze-blown signals float between houses. Once,
a fox’s gasping cry sets our neighbour’s spaniel
barking in frenzy.

Slugs emerge. Though silent to human hearing,
tongues of teeth are tearing the Elephant’s Ear.
Frogs will follow, gulping them down alive, and
creeping through shadows.

Under all these songs there are fainter murmurs:
earthworm bodies whisper, sliding through earth, and
microbes, feeding plants, are the ground of our music,
soundless as starlight