Poem of the Week – Heather by Blake Morrison

Shingle StreetAs holiday season happens upon us, this poem from Blake’s new collection of poems, Shingle Street amused me. Does it bring back memories for anyone else?


The heather threaded through the radiator grille

was proof we’d been to the Highlands,

and the canvas on the roof-rack that we’d camped.


What else can I say? That it rained all week,

That the windbreak blew over on the shingle,

That the saucepan on the Primus failed to boil.


Home seemed as far away as Africa.

The yellow pills I took to stop me feeling carsick

were the first thing I threw up.


Grey lochs. Black glens. The sepia troutbeck

where the horsefly stung me. Ferns too tall

To see over and mist too thick to see through.


In the photos I seem to be enjoying myself.

So it’s strange how I remember hating it

And even stranger how I long to have it back.