Tuesday 4th August 1914

Old Royal Enfield bicycles

propped against the wall,

a gaggle of men

and, in the far distance,

a gable end

and then a house

windows left wide open

in this Cheshire heat


and, have we forgotten,

if we knew at all,

this art devoid

of rhetoric or name? 


For in this humid heat

their necks are sticky

their collars starched and neat. 

Image result for 1914 group of men in the countryside talking bikes





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John Marks

Tue 19th Mar 2019 21:35

Thank you Ray, Jacob and Brian. The date is significant because, as Brian says, it was the start of the horror of a world war which would change Britain forever. Britain in on August 3rd 1914 was still the most optimistic and dominant power in the world, with an empire upon which the sun never set. By 1918, 886,000 British soldiers were dead and millions had to live with grievous injuries. National optimism was, also, dead:

“World War I was the most colossal, murderous, mismanaged butchery that has ever taken place on earth. Any writer who said otherwise lied, So the writers either wrote propaganda, shut up, or fought.”
― Ernest Hemingway

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Brian Maryon

Tue 19th Mar 2019 18:51

Britain declares war on Germany. The young men would all volunteer to be killed in the Flanders quagmire no doubt.

I liked the simplistic form of this John and the feel of the piece.

steven arthur

Tue 19th Mar 2019 18:43

great as always my friend

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Tue 19th Mar 2019 16:01

Hi John. To be honest I don't know the significance of the date, but in my opinion there is a great atmosphere and a veiled message implied in the text which again I'm not clear about. Having said that, I know someone will pick up on it and make me look an ignoramus. Just wanted to say your power as always comes through . Great image of the time!


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