Lucky Dip: Let The Storm Wash The Plates

In memory of the great Scottish poet, Edwin Morgan, who died on the 17 August 2010. He was Scots Makar and Glasgow Poet Laureate. His poems made up a considerable proportion of my Secondary School education and his images of Glasgow past and present in particular formed part of my understanding of the identity of the city where I grew up. Yet his work was far more extensive, covering world issues, inter-galactic travel and transcribing the song of the infamous Loch Ness Monster.

This piece was listed as one of the fifty greatest modern love poems and it is the one I immediately thought must be included in such a list. It is light and sweet, like the strawberries, but rich in colour, taste, texture and passion. The last line, so flippant, yet so memorable, seems to say it all.

Strawberries

STRAWBERRIES

There were never strawberries
like the ones we had
that sultry afternoon
sitting on the step
of the open french window
facing each other
your knees held in mine
the blue plates in our laps
the strawberries glistening
in the hot sunlight
we dipped them in sugar
looking at each other
not hurrying the feast
for one to come
the empty plates
laid on the stone together
with the two forks crossed
and I bent towards you
sweet in that air
in my arms
abandoned like a child
from your eager mouth
the taste of strawberries
in my memory

lean back again

let me love you

let the sun beat
on our forgetfulness
one hour of all
the heat intense
and summer lightning
on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates

Read more of Edwin Morgan’s poems at The Scottish Poetry Library Website and on Edwin Morgan.com.

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