Summer Stopping: A poem by Ellie-May Stevens

29 January 2021
Ellie May Stevens

Ellie-May Stevens sent us in a poem about traditional Romany and Traveller stopping places. She said, "I was inspired by the recent new laws cracking down on unauthorised Traveller camps. This poem is partly written in English Romany, another part of Romany culture which is fast disappearing, but that can be changed."


Ellie-May Stevens


Summer Stopping

 Same van, same vardo

Home and home, each Midsummer

Every summer, every road

Same tan, same puv

Same parni edge

Same highways hedge


A gentle breeze, a warm breeze

Stirs the washing, stirs the memories

Hung by gentle hands, haunting gentle souls

Gentle folkie, gentle life

A hard and gentle life

A proud and gentle people


Ellie-May Stevens


A radio plays, a juckel barks

Chavvis play, birds sing

Play all summers day, sing all summers night

Innocent play, melodious song

The play has ended

The song is silenced


Sutti under stars, guided by stars

Bright brilliant stars, match a fiery spirit

A clear night, a warm night

Dik akai, a camp fire

A warm welcome 

Some rokker


Ellie-May Stevens


But where are the old tans?

The old puv? The old parni side?

Long gone


Buried under brick and mortar

No van, no vardo

No gri, no puv

No stars, no home

No warm welcome

No place to stop


All photos Ⓒ courtesy of Ellie-May Stevens and her family 2021.