Popular Posts

My Blog List

  • MOURN AND RE JOYCE - Returning from Italy recently, I was saddened to read of the death of *J P Donleavy*, author of a much-loved novel from my teenage years, *The Ginger Man*....
    18 hours ago
  • Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Peace - [image: Antonio Balestra, Justice and Peace Embracing, ca. 1700.jpg] *Antonio Balestra, Justice and Peace Embracing, ca. 1700* *Mercy and truth meet togeth...
    23 hours ago
  • Brought You Onions - Adam Clayton - I brought you onions in my backpack Sifting through those dry skin pickings Felt like building our rickety shack While the sun shines in through beetroot fit...
    1 day ago
  • Lost in Time - I smiled this morning as I watched Roy, my only son, lope down the drive, his grandfather's jaw, laughing dark eyes and hair receding already at thirty-six...
    4 days ago
  • Rainy September - I'll survive Rainy September in Japan A can of cold coffee Warming up in my pocket
    5 days ago
  • The Future is Imminent (acrostic) - The brass key turns tightening the spring How the second hand races, chasing dates Evenly stitching together the edges of time: Facing its face, no smile, n...
    1 week ago
  • Fifty Shots Of Whiskey - I'm pissed and i am pissed off But i ain't going down Many think that one more drink This man is gonna drown I'm tanked up like a fucking tank, ready for ...
    1 week ago
  • Transformed - *Transformed* *I hold on in my sleep* *clenched fists* *awakening with aching fingers* *empty hands...* *"It hurts, it hurts, it hurts," * *I think to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Under the Weather - On the radio today, there was a discussion about conversation starters with strangers. The 'expert' said that people in the UK often talk about the weather...
    2 weeks ago
  • This Job, Not That Job - *What I'm reading: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon* *What I'm listening to: Incomplete by James Bay* Isn't it fun to spend your birthday ...
    1 year ago
  • So Much Green - In the past, I have always visited Horizon in the South African winter, when the reserve is a tapestry of browns, interspersed with vivid splashes of gre...
    1 year ago
  • ... gloriously exciting! - There is something gloriously exciting about anticipating ones next Chad assignment, sitting in the back of the relative comfort of seat 34J, the the dron...
    3 years ago
  • Time-Out - Every now and again in life we come across a bump or hurdle. It can come in our relationships, our finances or as in my case, health. Right now I've been...
    3 years ago
  • thumbs up - it was a battle. looking back i don't think we ever had a chance, but you don't just give up on a young man in the prime of his life. we had to try. he ...
    3 years ago

Friday, 27 January 2012

Early Memories – UK I

  Image from; open.salon.com

Having returned to England our family moved to Croydon. The area was not the most salubrious of locations but was ideally located near a school, nursery and a Hospital where my Mother worked as a nurse.

Following the Second World War, Britain had experienced a period of high immigration as people from the Commonwealth, and particularly from the West Indies, had been encouraged by the British Government to come and work in the UK.

Many of these people endured extreme prejudice and intolerance from sectors of the indigenous British society and early African-Caribbean immigrants found private employment and housing denied to them on the basis of race. It was so bad that even the Trade unions would often refuse to help African-Caribbean workers.

Throughout the 1950’s there had been a number of Riots and racially motivated violence was common place right into the early 60’s.

It is against this background and the fact that my parents were returning from overseas tours where they had been part of the British expatriate community that in the late 60's I became best friends with a young West Indian lad called Steven.

This poem, based on memory and discussions with my mother, describes how two kids from different racial backgrounds became best friends and remained completely oblivious to the racial tension which our parents must have been so conscious of. I just wish that such friendships would replace intolerance and racism all over the world.

I hope you like this poem;

Early Memories – UK I

Mum had said Steven could come and play
but only if his mother said OK.
So when I saw them in a shop
I dragged my mum toward them.
‘This is Steven and his mum’ I said.

I didn’t see our mums’ surprise
as I looked at them with pleading eyes;
for whilst Steven was West Indian
he’d lived his life in England,
but a product of the Empire I was expat born and bred.

Our parents were of an age
Where race and colour like a cage
trapped them with convention
which today it’s taboo to mention.

Our mothers shone that day
As they pushed the barriers away
and let their boys play together;
Two best friends who saw each other
as if we each had gained a brother.

John Carré Buchanan
27 January 2012


  1. Reading your memories, I too got remembrance of my younger age, sweet and cute memories they are....

    1. Rebecca, Thank you for letting me know. I am delighted that my writing has bought you joy.

  2. I love your pieces from past memories..you have had an interesting life... :)

    1. Robert, Thank you for your comment, I am glad you enjoy these poems. You are right I have had a very interesting life. Unfortunately I find that tends to work against me since the accident. That said I have found some rewards in blogging and sharing some of my memories, and Comments like yours and Cali's below make it all worth while. I note you contribute to words that Etch, that is one of my favorite blogs.

  3. Very Nice poem.. One of the few blogs I actually stop and read. This poem is beautiful!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I am very glad that you find my work interesting and I hope that I can continue to meet your expecttions.

  4. Hi from Argentina!


  5. Replies
    1. Jakill, Thank you very much. When I wrote it I was thinking that I was treading on dodgy ground, and felt it might not go down too well. I am delighted I was wrong.

  6. Nice memories, I love the way of presentation.

    1. Blog o modzie, Thank you for your comment, It is great to hear you say you like my presentational style.


I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.