Thursday, 31 May 2012

Demons Vs Love

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During the last couple of months I have been using a tricyclic antidepressant which has been shown to have an analgesic effect for some chronic pain sufferers. Unfortunately in my case the drug did not have the desired effect and changed my already dismal sleep pattern making me slip into sleep at irregular intervals both day and night.

The nocturnal snoozes became a real issue for me as I found that when I woke in pain I was incredibly difficult to gain control of harmful thoughts and prevent the inevitable slip into a dangerously depressive state.

During this period I spent most nights racked in pain, unable to sleep, fighting horrendous thoughts; thoughts I took to see as ‘demons’. Fortunately during the days I had the support of family and friends. This allowed be to recharge my emotional batteries sufficiently to survive the following night.

This poem aims to describe my feelings during this period and also show the importance of both faith and love in the healing process. I dedicate it to my Family and Friends who have had and continue to have, my back since this ordeal began.

Demons Vs Love

Curtains have closed,
teeth have been brushed,
Goodnight kisses shared.
The house falls quiet,
now it’s time:
demon time.

Now there are no distractions.
one mind stands alone
protected by thought.
Demons rage wildly;
fuelled by pain
and a burning desire for freedom.

Rational thought crumbles
as demons swarm over it.
Anger, grief, guilt, loss, despair;
they’re all there like rats and they
scurry and gnaw at the fabric
of the thought shield.

Counterpoint after counterpoint
are rebuffed and defeated.
The organised mind is shredded.
Every tear produces new edges
which cut and grate the soul
until it begs for release.

Night after sleepless Night
the exhausted mind
struggles to repel demons.
Day after day
cracks in the shield
are repaired by their love.

John Carré Buchanan
31 May 2012

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Of Happiness

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Of Happiness

Ebony hair stirs softly on a zephyr.
Laughter dances at the corners of emerald eyes.
Ruby red lips part to reveal a dazzling array
of almost perfect pearl white teeth;
and the world…... brightens.

They lie beside each other on the grass,
naked feet casually raised to the firmament.
Elegant fingers craft a daisy chain
which she places on his head with a giggle,
He holds a buttercup to her chin.

Four twigs tumble to the gabbling brook;
whoops of joy echo in the verdant valley
as feet patter across the bridge.
Eager eyes scan the chuckling water
and an excited young voice calls; ‘I won!’

Hands swing in unison, fingers entwined,
untroubled feet rustle autumnal leaves
as they flash gold, and red and tumble aside.
Two clouds of breath linger on the chill air
melding to one, as they fade.

With eyes closed he basks in the winter sun,
the scent of her perfume when first they met,
the ecstasy on the face of the new mother,
and the smile on her lined face;
as she held his hand and gently slipped away.

John Carré Buchanan
20 May 2012

Friday, 18 May 2012

A Prayer

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A Prayer

muffled sound,
grey darkness,
through soft shut lids.
Warm body,
cold thoughts.
so cold they burn-
as they roll over me;
like water on a
wave washed shore.
I am laid bare.
Warm body,
cold mind,
that the body were cold?

John Carré Buchanan
18 May 2012

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Bilbo – A Hamster's Tail

Image: Bilbo by Elanor Buchanan

Last night my daughter’s hamster, ‘Bilbo’ died. He had lived a fair life for a hamster and his passing was not wholly unexpected. He was buried under a rose bush in our garden and in keeping with his name Elanor read the following words from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ over his grave.

‘End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path... One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass... And then you see it………White shores... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.’

I must admit that Bilbo’s passing seemed to affect me more than it did Elanor, who had been expecting him to die as he was very old for his breed. I kept feeling jealous of Bilbo as he has moved on, whilst I remain here trapped in a pain riddled body longing for an end to my current life.

Before I reveal my poem I should explain the references to the Lord of the Rings. Both Elanor and I have a great love for these books, indeed Elanor’s own name is derived from Tolkien’s ‘The Return of the King’, when at the end of the book Frodo suggests Sam’s daughter should be named after a flower in keeping with the old custom in the Shire. Sam agrees, but says; ‘if it’s to be a flower-name, then I don’t trouble about the length; it must be a beautiful flower, because, you see, I think she is very beautiful, and is going to be beutifuller still.’

Frodo suggested the name ‘Elanor’ after the sun-star, the little golden flower in the grass of Lothlόrien, both Sam and I agreed.

And so to the poem;

Bilbo – A Hamster's Tail

Sometime during the night
the rhythmic tapping ceased.
That irritating, yet somehow comforting pulse
that played every night; stopped.

The nocturnal cacophony;
click, click, click of the water bottle valve,
grate of enamel on bars, rattle of a turning wheel.
These barriers to sleep; ended.

Snuggled quietly in its den
the soft, sand coloured fur became still.
No longer did it trap the warmth that rose from within.
The warm bloods circulation; ceased.

There, on a star filled night,
while the cats prowled the house and garden,
and the family and the dog slept peacefully,
Bilbo the Syrian hamster; died.

The sun rose into a clear blue sky,
A sand coloured body was buried under the rose bush,
as for Bilbo; he sees; ‘White shores... and beyond,
a far green country under a swift sunrise.’

John Carré Buchanan
13 May 2012

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Liberation Day

The Guernsey Flag

Today Guernsey is celebrating Liberation day. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Sarnians around the world a very happy 67th Liberation Day.

Liberation Day

A flag flies free
Over Sarnia chérie
Williams Gold Cross
On the red of St George
Enrich the beautiful blue sky
As they dance on a breeze up high

Our Elders remember when it was not so
when an imposter deigned to overthrow
When the red, black and white
Proclaimed German might.
Five years oppression
and depression

Then came the red white and blue
to bid the Germans adieu.
and from that day
the ninth of May
is celebrated every year
and on Liberation day Sarnians raise a cheer.

John Carré Buchanan
09 May 2012

Friday, 4 May 2012

In Case Of Emergency Break Glass

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In Case Of Emergency Break Glass

The box in my mind is inscribed with six words;
In case of emergency break glass.’
The memories stored within
are designed to bring me home.

Neptune hurls his cavalry at our shore
Fearsome white stallions charge
Manes fly, eyes roll and hooves pound
as they attempt to breach the wall.

Off shore, silent defenders stand, fast.
Rugged, Red , Granite shoulders
bear the brunt of the attack.
Whilst their claws tear the hearts
from the attacking steeds.

And then in the aftermath Primrose,
in the hedge rows Bluebells in the woods
And Daffodils in the fields
Tranquillity and beauty divine.

Here in these memories; I dwell
Here; I have legs that work.
Here; there is no pain.
Here; I am a man again
My blood flows; released by shattered glass.

John Carré Buchanan
04 May 2012

Thursday, 3 May 2012

He Who Pays The Piper

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The poem below is about a real person, I had the good fortune to work with him during my last tour in the Army. His unusual way of indicating that he had had enough was truly brilliant and I thank him for the many hours of useless discussion he saved me from.

He Who Pays The Piper

Peter’s experience was legendary,
he was the guru in his field.
To his knowledge and experience
even consultants would yield.

He would attend meetings
as his boss’ right hand man,
where he’d clarify things
the hierarchy didn’t understand.

Ever the diplomat,
Peter would hang his head
To hide his disbelief
in what Some “experts” said.

But once he’d heard enough
he’d make his contribution,
and leave them all astounded
at his elegant solution.

It was always pretty obvious
that the meeting should end,
but the high priced help
had their egos to amend……

Now Peter was a busy man
he hated wasting time,
so he showed that he’d had enough
in a manner most sublime.

He’d reach a finger behind each ear
and remove his hearing aids,
then he’d lean back in his chair
oblivious to the ensuing tirades.

One evening whilst we were having a beer,
I asked him about this habit.
He said; ‘I don’t pay good money for batteries,
To waste them listening to fools rabbit!’

John Carré Buchanan
02 May 2012