Friday, 23 June 2017

Sitting On The Pan

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This is the second of two poems I wrote whilst traveling to the UK yesterday. I hope you like it.

Sitting On The Pan

The flight's all boarded, nice and neat
everyone has got a seat
inflight checks have been done
a safety brief for everyone
no one listens, they never do
well ok, perhaps a few.
A speaker crackles into life
the captain says we face more strife
a short delay while a slot is found
the aeroplane is stuck on ground
the door is open for fresh air
and avture makes that air smell queer.
Eventually things fall in line
I can't help think, "about bloody time!"
the plane's pushed back as tables stow
upright seats, we're ready... Go!
the mewling baby's fallen quiet
we're on our way, what a riot.

John Carré Buchanan
22 June 2017

Departure Lounge Blues

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I flew off Island yesterday to go to a reunion, the trip did not go as smoothly as I had hoped, on the positive side it inspired two poems, here is the first;

Departure Lounge Blues

I'm waiting on a flipping 'plane,
the retched flight's delayed again,
it always seems to be the same,
departure lounge - waiting game.

No water through security,
replacement available; for a fee.
They say the wifi here is free,
but can't log on it's so dodgy!

The tannoy squawks into life,
"don't leave your bags or there'll be strife"
and calls delaying flights are rife.
For some this is a way of life!

Frazzled parents, excited kids,
business men, deals on skids,
and tempers rise ....... God forbids;
lean back, breath and close eyelids.

Then comes the call, the flight is ready
the rush and crush as folk so heady
board the flight that's not quite ready
and in the rush someone left teddy......

John Carré Buchanan
22 June 2017

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Parás On Parade

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The rubber on the end of your sustainable wooden pencil may look harmless but it is the result of an industry which is having a significant negative impact on the environment.

The felling of primary forests to plant plantations has a significant impact on biodiversity and the chemicals and water used to process the latex also damage the surrounding land and watercourses.

Rubber, having been treated with harsh chemicals is toxic and the disposal of it in land fill or as rubber tire marbles on our roads is also cause for concern.

This poem, written for our next open mic which is themed 'rubber', aims to highlight the plight of the trees. As an retired member of the parachute Regiment I couldn't resist the name which is explained in the footnote.

Parás On Parade*

Like captured soldiers they stand in ranks
Resolute.
Their lifeblood drips from open wounds
carved into their skin,
tapped to small vessels,
collected, processed and turned into
tires, boots, balls and rubber bands.
For thirty years they'll stand;
and then - exhausted
they'll be torn down, replaced.
and their offspring will endure
The same fate; so that we
can erase our mistakes.

John Carré Buchanan
17 June 2017


* The Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is the preferred source of commercially grown natural rubber latex.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Double Maths

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​The subject for this month's open mic is 'rubber'. This poem is my take on the topic, I hope you like it.

Double Maths

The black gown swept in,
flecked in dandruff and chalk
and the dance began again.
Function, cosine, blah blah blah.
The chalk bounced on the blackboard
its staccato bursts leaving
a nonsensical trail of symbols
hurriedly transcribed to paper
by confused students
before a felt lined wooden block
turned it to a cloud of dust.
The protestation from the back;
a voice asking 'what...'
cut off by a barked 'SHUT UP'
and a flying blackboard rubber.

John Carré Buchanan
09 June 2017

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Dentistry

Source: John Buchanan

​The subject for this month's Open Mic is 'teeth'. This poem is directed at the ivory trade but could equally apply to the destruction of many other animal and plant species around the world.

Dentistry

The grass here is lush this year
where last t'was trodden down.
The soil this year is richer here
since poachers bought them down.
Amidst the grass great boulders lie
that were not here before;
before the crack and thump,
the panga's* ring and chainsaw's roar
that soaked the soil in pools of gore.
All that's left of them this year;
white boulders strewn in rich grass
and the sound of distant pianos.

John Carré Buchanan
19 May 2017


* A panga is another name for a machete.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Fear

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Fear

There's nothing like a little fear
to keep the proles in check.
Just keep them feeling frightened
so that you can skew the deck.

Dictators and governments,
ancient kings and queens
all have used the ‘bogeyman’
to help achieve their dreams.

To catch or kill a terrorist,
or keep the fuel tank full,
they'll let you steal their liberties
and not think rational.

They’ll let you tap their telephone
and track their every move,
they'll even pay the media
to keep them in the groove.

A constant stream of atrocities
fills their every screen.
Yet they're much more likely
to die without a scream.

The world is more peaceful
then it's ever been before,
a violent death’s unlikely,
as is pestilence, disease and war.

Yes: there's nothing like a little fear
to keep the proles in check.
Just keep them feeling frightened;
… My turn to skew the deck

If you're a tiger, a snow leopard,
butterfly or polar bear,
You've every right to be frightened
for man's greed outstrips all fear.

John Carré Buchanan
23 April 2017

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Too Much Chocolate

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Our next open mic happens just after Easter and the theme will be ‘Too Much Chocolate’.

Chocolate contains cocoa, sugar, palm oil and milk (cattle), four ingredients that are responsible for huge tracts of primary rain-forest being destroyed across the globe. I thought this poem should represent the voices of forests and their inhabitants. I make no apologies for the last line.

Too Much Chocolate

Last week we heard a distant roar
that drifted on the air,
it crept ever closer
and bought with it despair.

The pillars are still falling
and all around us now
the constant whine of chainsaw
lays our forest bare.

You'll turn it into pasture
or cover it in palm.
Drag away the timber
to turn into a barn.

In places you'll plant cocoa,
where it shouldn't really grow
and it will leach the soil
and the insects they will go.

Then the birds that feed upon them
and the plants they pollinate
will vanish in a moment
from the hell that you'll create.

This Easter as you celebrate
the life that was reborn,
remember us, I beg,
for you decimate our forest
for a f***ing chocolate egg.

John Carré Buchanan
08 April 2017

Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Goat Kebab

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This is a poem I wrote for an open mic on the subject Media. I did not finish it in time for the open mic and to be honest I'm not sure it's finished yet, but the events behind it have been on my mind for a while so I am going to publish it anyway;

The Goat Kebab

She walked into the HQ
pearl earrings shining bright
and G2 whispered
"Oh shit, there's going to be a fight."
A short while later,
maybe half an hour,
the radio crackled into life
someone was under fire.

A couple of days later
we were followed by the Beeb
as we drove a beat up rover
up country at low speed.
Then steam billowed from the bonnet,
we spluttered to a halt
and realised there were mines about,
our hearts dropped with a jolt.

Looking back down the road
to where his lens should be
the stringer filming our incursion
was nowhere to be seen.
We eventually fixed our waggon;
without stepping on the ground
and backed carefully down the track
to where we turned around.

And then the camera man turned up
goat kebab upon his knee
we sat and took a breather
and talked of family.
He'd been sent out there
because he spoke the lingo
and now he was stuck there
his life just hung in limbo,

He gathered images of horrors
for the correspondents to describe
their voice-overs recorded
from safer countryside.
He gave us a Union Flag
to stick upon our Rover
for the Brits were well respected
that battlefield all over.

A week or so later we learnt our friend had died
his Rover had been mortared
despite flags on every side,
he'd died gathering the images
that filled the news back home.
We raised a glass that evening
and shared a goat kebab
then as a precaution, peeled the flag off our cab.

John Carré Buchanan
03 December 2016

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Earth

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I wrote this poem for our next Open Mic on the subject of 'The Earth'.

Earth

A blue marble turns in a bejewelled sky
a reflection in an alien eye
it's surface rich, a treasure trove
the gaze is held from apojove.*

and deep within that alien's mind
a burning hatred of mankind
for watching Eden from the stars
our alien spaceman sees the scars.

It's not his place to intervene
nor the first extinction he’s seen.
He turns his gaze from the Petri dish
and wishes man had stayed a fish.

In the scheme of things we do not matter
despite our busy clitter-clatter.
As obligate parasites without a host
our future’s nothing more than toast.

The marble will take another turn,
it will recover from the burn
and life forms of a different kind
may flourish, if they’re not so blind.

John Carré Buchanan
08 October 2016


* The point in an orbit around the planet Jupiter where the orbiting body is farthest from the planet.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Miscreants

Source: Buchanan

I wrote this poem for an Open Mic with the subject of; 'Skin'. I feel slightly guilty because I couldn't include more names and keep the rhyme. Suffice to say that that I am proud to have served with a bunch of reprobates who got under my skin.

Miscreants

Somehow those miscreants got under my skin,
they were brothers, but never kin.
The likes of Midnight, Scotty, Mac and Doc
in a place where strife ran amok.
There was a job to be done
and it got done
but they had an unrivalled capacity for fun.
It was hard to keep the lid on
Immersed in a crucible
bonds formed, bonds that live on
and will; 'till the last of us is done.
Yes my friends,
you got under my skin
and you live here, deep within.

John Carré Buchanan
11 September 2016

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