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An Obscure World

An Obscure World


I was born into an obscure world bereft of colour,

places which were indistinct lacking any brilliance.

Everywhere I looked I saw a fusion of shades,

blacks, greys, browns were all that existed.

It was a time immediately after the Second World War,

a time of economic restraint and severe austerity.

People moved about in drab garb which suited their surroundings,

men in fawn or black double breasted coats and trilby hats.

Women in suits or coats with square shoulder padded jackets

with hats which had wide brims that covered half of the face.

Buildings in desparate need of a lick of paint were brown,

or blackened by the stone impregnated with smoke or war time fires.

Even my school uniform was comprised of a black blazer a black cap,

with grey flannel pants, black shoes and a grey shirt.

My mothers best outfit was a light grey suit, seldom worn,

with my father clad in a double breasted suit of navy blue.

We lived as if we were covered by a grey blanket,

from which not even the sun seemed to penetrate.

Nothing was modern or attractive as films were in black and white,

grey cobbled roads were soon covered with black asphalt.

The war had drained us of beauty and imagination,

as if we knew nothing different and had to make do.

Time passed by and the dreary post war images gave way to,

a splash of colour with new fashions and coloured films.

All about us was transformed within a few years,

to a world bright and filled with optimism.



◄ A Tropical Downpour

An Arid land ►


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keith jeffries

Thu 30th May 2024 12:11

Thank you to all who 'liked' and made comments on this poem.
Thank you for your interest,

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Martin Elder

Wed 29th May 2024 16:29

I caught the tail end of this lack of colour in the late fifties and the early sixties. I think you have painted an excellent picture that I can well remember . Even the taxi cabs were pretty well all black except for the odd rogue one which was white. I also remember my father coming home from work with his heavy beige raincoat sodden and dripping.
Thanks for this Keith

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 29th May 2024 15:52

Post-WW2 Britain reflected the parlous financial state of the
country, which had basically bankrupted itself in the pursuit of
a war that obtained wider freedom, but was faced with having
to repay money borrowed from friends who would have gone
under had Nazi Germany and its Japanese allies prevailed.
Irony in the form of a long-term debt only recently paid off.
I have my own memories of ration books and living frugally for
years after that war ended. But it was what we, the emerging
generation of youth, knew and accepted as we got busy
making the country a better brighter place, inspired by the example of those who had fought and died for us.

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Reggie's Ghost

Mon 27th May 2024 17:23

A contemporary piece, highly descriptive without the need for the straitjacket of rhyme, rhythm or structure.

Rose Casserley

Mon 27th May 2024 16:01

Great read Keith-" impregnated with smoke ! brings to mind D.H. Lawrences's line " the sulphorous north " yes Keith I really enjoyed reading this wonderful poem 👍

Rose 💋

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Manish Singh Rajput

Mon 27th May 2024 15:38

A poem with great details and imagery. Surely the frames now don't exhibit what actually was, and only the people who've lived through the Second World War know the actual horrors of it.
Thank you for this, Keith.

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