Centenary At Tower Bridge

August 18, 2014 3:45pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 24 Comments


The cermic poppies at Tower Bridge, London.“Blood swept lands and seas of red”

Tommy’s dead, he is no more,

The Telegram delivered to the door.

Left with fading memories to store

Of lifeless friends, limp on the floor

In a heap of bloody, pointless gore.

Inhumanity of reckless law;

Push the enemy back some more!

‘Til the reddest rivers bleed and pour,

With the hearts of those in this Great War.


2014-08-15 12.02.36

Ceramic Poppy River At Tower Bridge


888, 746 ceramic poppies.  One for every British and Commonwealth soldier who died in World War One.

Ceramic Poppies at tower Bridge

Since writing this post, The Forces have added my verse to their online poetry site.


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I wish Kipling were alive to read that poem, Jules. I think he would have approved. He might even have written a second verse with some cockney lingo.

I didn’t know about that poppy river – the Bloody Tower is surely the best place for it.

“IF” only he was…he would probably say, “You absent minded beggar!” But thank you, Mr. Gorilla Bananas. 🙂

Yes isn’t it. You should take a gander, it’s rather impressive.

Delicate red flower petals easily broken and lost, as were the lives of those stepping up to volunteer their breaths.

That’s very moving, Goatman…

Volunteer their breaths – what a powerful line.

The numbers can’t compute. The damage done to the families and loved ones can’t be measured or metered.

I agree with G. Bananas – Kipling would have approved of your verse.

No, such a thing can never be measured, Larry. I’ve recently been listening to a woman on the radio who has been looking at the women left behind who became known as Aunties because they never married due to the shortage of men available thereafter. It’s very sad.

Well that’s lovely of you to agree 🙂

Very sobering.

Innit. Makes you stop moaning about your own life…..for a bit. 🙂

That’s a really lovely poem but, boy howdy, I sure wish I could have seen that exhibit. Those big, environmental installations are right up my alley. Delicious.

Thanks. Exile.

Well come on over! It’s only a short 6 hour trip and it’s going to be here all year, I think.

“Only” six hours? Is that all? I wish. It might just as well require a rip in the time/space continuum. And call me Mark, for cryin’ out loud. It’s been long enough.

Yes! From JFK to Heathrow it’s ALWAYS six hours – there’s a good tail wind. So, a couple of films, bit of a snooze and you’re there!

Thanks Mark (honoUred)

Well done Jules. I love the lines about the telegram. Beautiful. Great photos too.

Thank you, Tracy. A lovely compliment from such a fabulous poet 🙂

vital verse, Juli. pointless gore, that especially struck me.

i miss poetry ever since i made the switch.

oh, the red of those poppies is so rich and evocative. red poppies are my favorite flowers……..after forget-me-nots *)

Thank you, sweet Phoenix.

I love poppies. Wild flowers are the best. Poppies for remembering and forget-me-nots for your greatest love *)

Great poem! World War I is possibly the saddest war of the entire 20th century. It didn’t need to happen at all. And it could easily have been avoided. And yet in every nation people cheered when it began, expecting it to be exciting. The entire world changed after that war, and not for the better.

Thanks Steve

I agree, it was a stupid war but then aren’t most of them.

Wow. What a beautiful memorial. There were so many lives lost in the early 1900’s, and so many important battles fought and won. Sometimes I think we’ve forgotten the victories of that day and age.

Isn’t it gorgeous? It is so very dramatic and moving in real life and a great reminder to us all.

That second picture is amazing. It really gets the whole blood pouring thing across.

Yes, it is expertly done. 🙂

That’s impressive, Jules. One for every soldier…

Impressive and very sobering. I think it’s a great thing to do though, keeps us in check; keeps us remembering.

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