Archived


Keep Calm

and have an ordinary day,

boxed files

with history are waiting to meet us.

Yellowing papers

carefully catalogued

into a silence.


Do Not Disturb

the collection’s sleeping conscience.

Leaders chosen,

most carefully selected,

to win at all costs

and profit.


Keep the home fires burning,

it’s alright it’s a job

maim and destruction

shilling a week, yes, just a bob.


You see,

the most intellectual, honorary gentlemen

have devised

Royal Society chemical recipes to burn out their eyes.


It’s alright it’s a job,

TNT into shells without any protection,

that costs too much mate,

while the men on the front

cost nothing at all,

they’ll only last for four minutes,

in blood, guts and squall,

most terribly inconvenient

a rifle shortage for a huntsman’s ball.


Returning documents to archive,

they have to be weighed

just a few grams evaporating,

that’s OK,

but everything else must stay the same.

The economy of despots and madness,

still remains,

our heritage, our history

written and shelved

quiet the pain.


Please dismiss any attempt

at researcher’s remorse,

comments will be moderated

and later stored,

archived as sanity

feelings ignored.


These words are too heavy,

please take them away.

Keep calm,

and I hope

you have a most unusual day.

Michelle Thomasson 21.03.14


Reading 'Archived': https://soundcloud.com/michelle-thomasson/archived-a-poem-by-michelle-thomasson-recorded-by-on-the-record


On behalf of the research for CAAT and On The Record "Arming all Sides” and the Arms Trade in World War 1: http://armingallsides.on-the-record.org.uk/case_studies/shells-shells-and-more-shells/


Photo kindly supplied from the Cheltenham Local History Society:


https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/starting-your-research/starting-to-research-the-history-of-your-area/cheltenham-local-and-family-history-centre/

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