A little time has elapsed since the unseemly events around the sacking of our beloved Mr Wilkins as first team coach, in that somewhat sudden and brutal fashion. There has been pause to recover and consider, but we are no nearer gaining an understanding of what really happened. We may never know the truth. But that does not mean we cannot mark the departure of a Chelsea great in proper Bardic fashion.
Great poetry arises from the residues of reflective thought filtering down to accumulate through time, deep in the memory. The action of remembering, of recall, moulds and compresses this sediment, which the poet then mines selectively, carefully polishing the condensed ideas to lustrous, shining verse.
Safe to say nothing even remotely like that has occurred here, indeed, my work was once cruelly described by a particularly acerbic critic as “merely fridge magnet versifying, without the benefit of either fridge or magnets”. Well at least it rhymes a lot.
But a Chelsea legend has been ill-used and this cannot go unremarked.
(To Ray “Butch” Wilkins, A Valediction by Dr B. Bayou)
Oh Ray, Ray, what a dreadful day,
When they sent you away.
A mysterious power play?
You had to pay,
Cut to the bone, for faults unknown,
With no evidence shown,
Just a call on the phone,
Gone without moan,
From those above, so little love.
Instead push comes to shove,
Iron fist in the glove,
Cleaved from the “guv”,
Carlo’s flair, your diffident air,
Such a finely tuned pair,
Always standing foursquare,
Stark diff’rence in hair,
Oh why? Why? You hear us all cry,
Looking up to the sky,
Then we heave a long sigh,
So much “our” guy,
Bald, shiny crown, wearing a frown,
Though the talk of the town,
You have not let us down,
You’re not the clown.
Unseemly haste, a maddening waste,
And so poorly replaced,
And your good name debased,
Leaves a bad taste.
Called upon, you took the baton,
Such a bright beacon shone,
But the light is now wan,
Ron, you know! ‘Twas you struck the blow.
Was it just about dough?
Would you sink so low?
The joy goes sour, leaving brute power,
In its ivory tower.
To endure a dark hour,
Storm clouds glower,
What ingrate demanded this fate,
Why couldn’t you all wait?
Did some secrets mutate?
Though Ray, we’d rather you could stay
It seems they’ve had to pay.
For you some small defray,
For us dismay,