Black boot with white laces

Figure 1 – Black boots with white laces, Salem, MA. (c) DE Wolf 2017.

Continuing with my experiments taking close-ups with my IPhone, here is Figure 1, which shows a black leather boot with white laces. Looks like a major pain to get on, leave alone to tie.  Now boots are interesting, especially metaphorically. The most recent is the phrase “boots on the ground,” meaning to send in ground troupes.  There are, of course, the sexual connotations, as in Nancy Sinatra and her famous, “These boots are made for walking,” as in “Are you ready boots? Start walkin'”  And of course, there is “boot camp” and “bootstrapping.”

As far as this photograph is concerned, I like the pure white on black contrast. I like the texture of both the leather and the laces. And, of course, I like the elongated aspect ratio, which I have tried to capture and accentuate with the cropping, and I was even tempted to crop irregularly to accommodate the bow, which forces you “outside the box.” And finally, I am taken back to college English literature class – always a joyful moment – and to Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Boots.”


We’re foot—slog—slog—slog—sloggin’ over Africa —
Foot—foot—foot—foot—sloggin’ over Africa —
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!)
                There’s no discharge in the war!

Seven—six—eleven—five—nine-an’-twenty mile to-day —
Four—eleven—seventeen—thirty-two the day before —
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!)
                There’s no discharge in the war!

Don’t—don’t—don’t—don’t—look at what’s in front of you.
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again);
Men—men—men—men—men go mad with watchin’ em,
                An’ there’s no discharge in the war!

Try—try—try—try—to think o’ something different —
Oh—my—God—keep—me from goin’ lunatic!
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!)
                There’s no discharge in the war!

Count—count—count—count—the bullets in the bandoliers.
If—your—eyes—drop—they will get atop o’ you!
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again) —
                There’s no discharge in the war!

We—can—stick—out—’unger, thirst, an’ weariness,
But—not—not—not—not the chronic sight of ’em —
Boot—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again,
                An’ there’s no discharge in the war!

‘Taint—so—bad—by—day because o’ company,
But night—brings—long—strings—o’ forty thousand million
Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again.
                There’s no discharge in the war!

I—’ave—marched—six—weeks in ‘Ell an’ certify
It—is—not—fire—devils, dark, or anything,
But boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again,
                An’ there’s no discharge in the war!

And I’ll offer as illustration to Kipling’s poem Figure 2, which shows British troupes in Mesopotamia in 1917. Mesopotamia? That’s Iraq and basically the same war a century later.

Figure 1 – “Boots on the ground.” British troupes in Mesopotamia c 1917. From the US LOC and in the public domain in the United States because of its age.

This entry was posted in Personal Photographic Wanderings.