Tag Archives: Ray Stearn

Concrete Covid by Ray Stearn, a concrete poem

                                               It started a

                                             while back, like

                                            a joke, a rumour a

                                             nuisance, Covid 19, or

                                             Coronavirus, “It’ll be over

                                             in a couple of weeks, it’s like a

                                               cold, a sneeze, a sniffle, that’s all?”

                                           how wrong we all were with that sure

                                           analogy. Thousands losing holidays and so

                                             many thousands losing work, thousands forced

                                              to stay at home. So many      thousands dead! Then

                                             the thought, how would       it be if it were me, so

                                              carelessly caught                               it. No taste,

                                              no smell, a dry, dry, dry        cough, a living

                                                hell. Self – isolating, in          my two – up,

                                              two down, on the darker side of town.

                                              The night, the ambulance, the sirens,

                                              confusion, delusion, the ward, the

                                                bed, the things to say to loved

                                                  ones left unsaid. The oxygen,

                                                the tent, the time, in limbo

                                                spent. Hours just being,

                                              not seeing, no sense,

                                           feeling body fail

                                          useless lungs

                                            filling with


© Ray Stearn 8th September 2020

Autumn by Ray Stearn

This piece also came from TCWG first online workshop, hosted by me, Ray Stearn, Chair of TCWG. The covid lockdown has meant that we look for other ways to meet and Zoom provided the opportunity here. This came from a ten minute exercise in  a very short 40 minute workshop




In Spring there is life.

Summer this year

Was never under starter’s orders,

Damp, miserable wind and rain.

The trees were green

But rarely seen.

Colours of flowers helped

But Summer was a washout.


I love Autumn,

Season of mists and yellow fruitfulness,

Season of mellow crowdless cricket

My wicket

Fell first ball.


I gaze out

From my window

Wondering where the year has gone,

Where it will go.


A brown dog gives a bark

Leaves its mark

No skylark.


We wait for the last season of the year

For in Winter there is death


© Ray Stearn 3rd September 2020

The Futtock Rumbler by Ray Stearn, Isolation, The Lighter Side

The Futtock Rumbler

(To the tune of The Wild Rover)


I’ve been rumbling me futtocks for many a year

In the Dockyard down Chatham with me best rumbling gear

I’ve windlassed me pinions ‘til me rowlocks came loose

Then I packed up me tools to go home on the bus


And it’s row, row, clever

Row, row clever for shore

For a bold futtock rumbler

Awaits by the door


I went to a yacht chandlers I used to frequent

For me castellated nuts were battered and bent

I asked them for credit, they answered me “Nay…

Rumbling of futtocks I get twice a day.”


And it’s row, row, clever

Row, row clever for shore

For a bold futtock rumbler

Awaits by the door


Deep down in me ditty bag were sovereigns bright

The yacht chandlers eyes they lit up with delight

She said ”I have shackles and marlin spikes tight

And I never did mean what I said Monday night.”


And it’s row, row, clever

Row, row clever for shore

For a bold futtock rumbler

Awaits by the door


To the old Dockyard Matey I’ll confess, though it’s hard

Rumbling me futtocks in Chatham Dockyard

And if he forgives me as oft times before

I’ll rumble me futtocks outside your front door


And it’s row, row, clever

Row, row clever for shore

For a bold futtock rumbler

Awaits by your door (x2)


© Ray Stearn 28 May 2020



The Colour of Isolation, Ray Stearn, Isolation

The Colour Of Isolation


A comb-over of bananas sit in the fruit bowl in the kitchen,

Green yellow with a promise of ripening.

Echoing the early yellow that was crocus on the daily walk,

Companions to white and purple cousins that all gave way

To yellow daffodils, that in turn deferred their time to dandelions, then

Pink drifting snow from cherry blossom adorning the park paths

So children can play at weddings.

Bluebells came, thinly in our local park.

Supported by countless shades of green,

Green, to hint at new life.

So many greens, so many lives.


Windows adorned with rainbows,

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain

Rendesivir Options You Grant Blindly In Vain?


The black screen of the laptop

When it brightens to life

Brings contact with family and friends,

Vital links taken for granted

Just a few short weeks back.

Brothers, sisters,

Choirs, choruses,


Attempts at poetry.

The pleasure of a shared pun,

Or a short comment,

“I’m in the pink, no red alert here.”


A rare brattle of rain on the Thursday window

Could trigger the blue of depression

The grey of despair, but

The rattle of pots and pans,

Prompt at 8.00 pm gives a focus

For a moment.


For it is all moments, this time,

This place, this space

Where we exist,

All our thoughts coloured

By Corona Virus

And a comb-over of bananas in the fruit bowl in the kitchen.


© Ray Stearn 2nd May 2020