A Gentler Age

A Gentler Age


I was smoking my pipe outside as usual

A young observant man said that I reminded

him of a gentler age

Not many smoke pipes these days for fear 

of criticism

I acknowledged his remark and nodded

A gentler age I thought, at a time when 

young men in the trenches smoked pipes

almost to a man

Gleaned from black and white documentaries

of the Somme and Verdun

The gentler age was covered in the mud 

of battle

Where rats ate the entrails of the dead

and probably their tobacco too

Now we live in an age not so gentle

where skimmed milk, jogging and 

green vegetables will keep us alive

for ever

Perhaps my smoking habit draws attention

but not to a gentler age

For I am no sage

not an example to the present age

but a reminder of bitter warfare which

claimed millions of lives 

where a pipe and an ounce of tobacco

gave pleasure to those who knew nothing 

of leisure



◄ The Nanny State

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keith jeffries

Sun 6th Dec 2020 13:51

Abdul, thank you for reading and liking this poem

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keith jeffries

Sun 6th Dec 2020 09:27

Adam, thank you for your like of this poem

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keith jeffries

Sun 6th Dec 2020 09:26

My thanks to Kevin and MC for you comments and to Paul, Vautaw, JD., and Aviva for your likes.
MC., what lies in the nation's attics would reveal all manner of things. A few years ago I helped a friend clear out his attic during which we came across a gas mask, a newspaper celebrating the Coronation and an army greatcoat. No signs of tobacco pouches I'm afraid.
Kevin, my father smoked a pipe, cigarettes and cigars. In the fireplace there was a pipe rack which held half a dozen pipes. As children we grew up in an acrid blue haze.

Thank you all again

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kJ Walker

Sun 6th Dec 2020 09:03

I love the smell of pipe tobacco.
And because it has become such a rarity nowadays, it is bound to bring back nostalgic memories whenever anyone gets a whiff.
To me I'd think of my grandad, banging out the residue onto the hearth, before refilling to start again.
A gentler age maybe.
I would never have (until now) thought of those brave lads in WW1.
I hope that their pipes gave them a moment's resbite from the carnage

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 5th Dec 2020 23:37

I wonder how many seldom opened draws in old desks and chests
have mouldering old tobacco pouches with remnants of a long-gone
past clinging to the lining, and a metal pipe cleaner slowly gathering rust close by in dark confinement.

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