Poem 1: by Deborah Raikes May

Written by: Tony Davey, Stroud Chamber of Trade and Commerce | Posted 11 September 2020 8:50

Poem 1: by Deborah Raikes May

In case you are wondering what we are doing running poetry on a business news website, it is this - to make life more interesting (we hope).

When we launched The Raikes Journal we had a call from a lady who said she was honoured that we had chosen her family's name - and she explained why.

We learned two other things. Firstly, that the Raikes women are almost completely written out of history (one of them wrote copy under her brothers name for the newspaper he owned and was a published author in her own right, but under a man's name).

And secondly, we learned the caller telling us all this was the great, great, great, great grandaughter of Robert Raikes, later learning that she wrote too. We asked her if we could see her poems - we read them, and asked her to let us publish them.

She did not give this one a title. But it was written back in deepest lockdown about the city in which her relatives were once the unmissable men about town - and the city in which she still works today.

Poem 1.

Dust motes hover over sun bronzed water
No boat movement from this distant wall
Bordered by closed up coffee shops
Hoardings hold details;
Things that didn't happen
When our plague came.
Tired old dockings
Been there, seen already
Nature creeping back and
Repossessing what it lent
You thought we owned it?
That's a silly, common thought!
We hadn't bought it:
It was borrowed.
And now all our credits spent.
Don't look at this as loss..no..
Look at it as gain.
Chance to wash the canvas clean
Of bumbling mistakes
Chance to start again.
And overhead the mournful, mewling Gloucester gulls
Sing chorus
To those who walked these city walls
In Centuries before us.

By Deborah Raikes May

Read more: On the eve of launching The Raikes Journal, we get a call.... from Mrs Raikes