Tuesday, 26 June 2012

On Being Mr Vice

Image Source

One of the more enjoyable events in military life is the Regimental Dinner. Each Regiment or unit adheres to a series of traditions. These determine such matters as who sits where, who might say grace, which dignitaries are toasted at the end of the meal and who, if anyone will be permitted to make a speech.

The President of the Mess Committee is ultimately responsible for the smooth running of the evening, usually assisted by the junior Subaltern, who acts as Mister or Madam Vice. This young subaltern may very well face a degree of trickery from his peers throughout the evening. This may be as simple as convincing them to say the wrong name when proposing a toast or something a little more drastic.

The poem below describes a number of the things I witnessed during Regimental Dinners during my career. There were many more, such as being encouraged to remove the Spurs from someone’s boots during the evening. This task, from which a victorious subaltern might emerge from under the table clasping a set of spurs, often ended with them finding that their entire place setting and chair had been removed from the table during their short absence. The rest of the evening could be spent squatting between two peers trying not too look too short or too tall!

The poem below tells of an unfortunate Mr Vice who having survived an evening was foiled at the last when the port decanters caught up with each other in front of him, an 'offence' which often cost folk the price of refilling the offending decanters. I hope you enjoy it.

On Being Mr Vice

The Subalterns are having fun
Ribbing him about the Dinner
Mr Vice is bricking it
Knowing he’ll end a sinner.

When he pulls back his chair
Will his cutlery come with it?
Has someone used catgut
To really land him in it?

Or when shaking out his napkin
Will a cloud of talcum powder
Coat his pristine Mess Kit
make the mess laugh louder

Perhaps the dental Officer
Had doctored his wine glass
Making a tiny hole in it
Through which red wine will pass

Will his little bell chime
When he needs to shake it
Or did a fellow Subbie
stick the clanger or take it.

The President rings his bell
The Vice rings in response
And grace and later toasts are made
He does not falter once.

The port decanters are on the move
Mr Vice has not been watching
As they reach him all together
He hears the crystal ring.

Having survived all the trickery
He'd relaxed and become distracted
and now the cost of the port
will from him be exacted.

John Carré Buchanan
26 June 2012

Friday, 22 June 2012

Alliteration Based On The Letter ‘T’
The Thirst

Image Source

The other day I wrote an Alliteration based on the letter S, This was quite a bit of fun, not to mention a bit of a challenge, so I thought I wold have another go at it. This one based on the letter T is about the way the plains in Africa become more dangerous as the rains make them more beautiful. Touareg are a type of African cow, as for the rest I’m afraid you will have to use a dictionary, but trust me it does make sense.

Alliteration Based On The Letter ‘T’ – The Thirst

The Tumultuous Thunderclap
Tears The Torrid Troposphere.
Thick Thorn Thicket Trammeles
Tightly Tethered Touareg.
Tentative Tears Tumble
Teasing The Thirsty Terra.

Then The Torrent Triggers.
Trickles Twist Together,
Then Tributaries tear trenches
Through The Terracotta Terrain
The Tide Tremulously Trumpets.

Thirst Tempered,
Tasty Tussocks Thrive.
Transient Throngs Traipse Traditional Tracks,
Trailing Treacherous Toothed Terrors
Tactically Tracking, Targeting,
Then Terminating The Tenderfeet.

This Time,
The Time Torrents Tempt Tender Tucker
To Transform The Tortured Transvaal.
The Technicolor Treasure Trove
Turns To Treacherous Tracks.

John Carré Buchanan
22 June 2012

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Alliteration Based On The Letter ‘S’
Slip Slop Slap

Image Source

On Monday I went to our local Open Mic Poetry evening. It turned out to be a cracking evening. At the end we decided that the theme for the next event would be to write an alliteration poem using a letter of our choice. I decided to try writing a poem using only words beginning with the letter “S”. I hope you enjoy the poem.

Alliteration Based On The Letter ‘S' - Slip Slop Slap

Silver Stallions Surge Shoreward.
Spray Sprung Skyward, Splits Sunlight,
Sending Sparkling Shards Soaring,
Subverting Sapphire Sky’s Splendour.

Slip Slop Slap, Sun Screen Splatters,
Sharp Sand Sticks Spoiling Smooth Silky Sheen,
Sand Scratches, Scours Sensitive Skin;
Swim Strips Sand, Starts Swirling Sunblock Slick.

Satsuma Sun Scorches Stark Shoulders.
Sombreros Shunned, Scalps Smoulder.
Sunblind Survey Supresses Scarlet Shene;
So Sungod Spurns Suncream,

Sunburn Sufferer Seeks Shaded Solitude;
Sipping Sundowner Sporting Swizzle Stick.
Salve Smothered Scarlett Shoulders Sting,
Sizzling Sucker Swears Softly – Schmuck.

John Carré Buchanan
20 June 2012

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Sea Shepherd


To Learn More About Sea Shepherd: Click Here

I unashamedly support Sea Shepherd.

Their mission is: To end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

The following poem (believed to be written by Captain Paul Watson) outlines the situation Captain Watson is currently in and the reasons for it, The poem speaks for itself, which is something the oceans' ecosystems are unable to do without the help of organisations such as Sea Shepherd.

Please take the time to read it and to visit their website by clicking on the image and/or caption above:

Sharkwater

In the cold hard face of adversity,
Strength is often found in diversity,
Passionate pens unleashed, our voices raised,
Of this global response I am amazed.

I appreciate the many letters,
Requesting that they remove my fetters,
My awful crime was I that stopped a crime,
I intervened against shark killing slime.

A decade ago I saved hundreds of lives,
I took away their evil finning knives,
No injuries caused and no damage done,
We stopped their slaughter and their savage fun.

My “crime” was it cost the poachers money,
The powers that be did not think it funny,
Favours are paid, politicians have their price,
Knives remove the fins in a single slice.

A decade passed before the gavel fell,
Why now? No one yet can explain or tell,
Without a notification given,
A bogus charge politically driven.

They tossed me into a tough German jail,
To prevent me from saving shark and whale,
The whalers smile and the finners smirk,
Feeling free to go insanely berserk.

They did not expect the massive response,
Nor such a compassionate renaissance.
They did not think that the people would care,
If the sharks die, who will care or despair?

This lord of the sea is viciously slain,
A massacre ecologically insane,
Tons of shark fins from Costa Rica`s shores,
Buys tons of corrupt political whores.

Costa Rica screams for righteous revenge,
The “rights” of fishermen they would avenge,
Justice screams out for the sharks and the sea,
No fair trial for the sharks or for me.

Gojira invited me to the stage,
Rock, the medium to express our rage,
The voice it builds and ascends,
Who knew that the sharks have so many friends?

From around the world many voices came,
Has the “green” German government no shame?
Costa Rica what are you thinking?
The world`s shark population is shrinking.

And yet they do the shark poachers bidding,
Who the hell do they think they are kidding?
Costa Rica is not so green and pure,
Truth can`t be found in a tourist brochure.

Truth is found on the Puntareanas dock,
A hundred thousand shark fins dried in stock.
For decades the law has turned a blind eye,
It seems everyone wants a piece of the pie.

A poacher complains, the courts mobilized,
A warrant for Watson is globalized,
Despite Interpol negating the request,
I am now a reluctant German guest.

The German people see that this is wrong,
Their support for my case is very strong,
The government claims they can`t interfere,
So this could drag on for more than a year.

A political prisoner I have become,
And to defeat I shall never succumb,
Thus opportunity presents a chance,
For this great cause for the sharks to advance.

Pamela Anderson sets the tone,
With her famous voice raised, to make it known,
Michelle Rodriguez speaks from Southern France,
Condemning Costa Rica with a glance.

Brigitte Bardot`s strong voice rises from France,
Greens Bove, Cohen Bendit take a stance.
The Five Nations Mohawks lend their wise voice,
We will make our stand, we have made our choice.

Brazil`s Senate speaks up in my defense,
The voices rising ever more intense,
The Senate of France states their support,
This illegal extradition to abort.

The shark finners placed a bounty on my head,
They want me returned and they want me dead.
I shan`t give them any satisfaction,
This case is a global call to action.

With Germany as our new working base,
We `ll expose this nature raping disgrace,
My trial will be Costa Rica`s trial,
For their foul crimes against Cocos Isle.

This sad requiem for the Tiburon,
Orchestrated from Frankfurt and Bonn,
Music reaching the world`s collective ear,
It`s not the shark, humanity must fear.

We fight to bring down the pirates of greed,
Our passion is what the ocean does need,
So we will fight this judicial assault,
With this strange case there is so much to fault.

If I am to be martyred to the courts,
The facts shall be in the daily reports,
This incident was captured in the doc,
We have evidence, they have only talk.

No injuries caused and no damage done,
Yet to my head they want to place a gun,
In a nation where dirty money rules,
The system is controlled by bought off fools.

Will Germany send me to the unknown?
Assassins may await where I`ll be thrown?
Should I be martyred for the shark and whale,
Berlin will have allowed greed to prevail.

Will the shark`s red blood stain the German flag?
With tons of fins shipped to Asia in bags,
Will Germany betray our noble cause?
For nothing more than Chinchilla`s applause.

How many sharks slain by humanity?
We must end this deadly insanity.
By challenging the fierce powers that be,
In our fight to save sharks in the deep blue sea.

Paul Watson
June 2010

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sovereign's Parade

Image Source

I passed out of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in April 1987; the Sovereign's Parade was reviewed by HRH Diana, Princess of Wales. The Parade was also watched on by the King Hussein of Jordan and members of the Greek Royal Family as well as Parents and loved ones of the cadets who were being commissioned that day.

Amidst all the pomp and circumstance there was one moment of levity which passed unseen by the spectators. The only evidence being jiggling bayonets which glinted in the sunlight as the Cadets holding their rifles tried to stifle giggles.

The words uttered that day remain in my mind just as fresh as the day they were made, because I believe if the question had been asked of me, I might have been still standing there trying to think of an answer. I hope you enjoy the poem;

Sovereign's Parade

We were immaculate,
dressed in our best Blues.
with bulled up boots
and shiny belts
and creases in our trews.

We’d marched around
in quick time, and we’d
done a lap in slow
and now we were positioned
for her to say hello.

The Companies were positioned
with the Women’s on the left,
they were viewed before us
which caused what happened next.

She took the time
to stop and chat
as the ranks she did review;
the General and entourage,
where hovering just in view.

She stopped just next to me
To have a chat with Bill.
At first I was disappointed
For I had time to kill.

“Do you get much time
to play with the girls?”
Her plum voice did enquire
I quickly bit my cheek
and started to perspire.

How was Bill to answer that?
I knew he thought the same!
for there was a very pregnant pause
……….before she asked
again….

By then I could taste blood,
my cheek I’d bitten through
as I fought to keep composure;
and then she asked anew.

But the third time it was different.
The question changed a little,
“Do you play with the Girls much?”
I could see the General bristle.

The General, and the entourage
where cringing in pain
as they prayed for an answer
before she asked again.

Then a spark of inspiration
leapt into Bill’s brain
and he confidently reported;
“As much as I can Mam;
as much as I can!”

As we sniggered silently
She move on down the line
and her entourage
- smiling now
followed close behind

The Academy Sergeant Major
lent in to have a word;
“F’ing good answer that, Sir,
F’ing good answer!”
And everyone who’d heard it silently concurred.

John Carré Buchanan
10 June 2012

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Royalty

Image Source

The Subject for our next Open Mic is Royalty, and I have decided to pen a quick poem on the subject.

As an Retired Army Officer I am proud to be both British and a Royalist. Despite being laid up with a flare up over the last week I have enjoyed watching the coverage of the Diamond Jubilee.

Three things spoilt my enjoyment of the events which I watched on Television, these were; the appalling lack of knowledge and presumably research displayed by the BBC’s reporters who for the most part babbled on inanely and failed to deliver any truly interesting commentary. Secondly the vast Number of British People who insisted in flying the Union Flag upside down (Yes there is a right way up.) and Thirdly a number of stupid idiots who insisted on carrying placards protesting the fact that the Royals dodge tax and are a waste of their hard earned money. (I suspect many of these imbeciles have been sponging off the social for years anyway!)

It was with the third point that I thought I would write the following poem which is factual and demonstrates that without even including the influence that the Royals have on foreign trade, their input to the country in terms of tourism and tax on their land equate to an estimated £115 per UK citizen per year whilst the cost calculated on the same basis is about 65 pence a year.

I hope you enjoy the poem;

(for the less knowledgeable; the broad portion of the white cross of St Andrew should be above the red band of St Patrick, and the thin white portion below, in the upper hoist canton commonly called the corner at the top nearest to the flag-pole.)

Royalty

To a child it’s about
palaces and crowns,
diamonds and rubies
and rich ermine gowns.

Immaculate soldiers
stand for hours on end.
with rifles and bearskins
our Queen to defend.

As adults we join
One of two schools
Republican or Royalist
- and the others are fools.

I’ve met the royals
At home and abroad
I’ve watched them work
And I loudly applaud

Of whirlwind visits
their lives consist
meeting and greeting
through night and day shift

One day the commonwealth
The next they’re back home
Surrounded by policemen
Wherever they roam.

Republicans argue that
they’re a waste of hard cash
but glance at the numbers
and that becomes trash

Every day of their lives
they serve our great Nation
they secure foreign investment
and enhance job creation

Each year they’re taxed
Two Billion pounds
That’s five times what they cost us
an investment most sound.

American Tourists
who flock to see our Royals
add Seventy Billion
to our National spoils.

Our royalty secure billions
for our National coffers.
They add political stability
no republic can offer.

They stretch British influence
around the world so wide.
They provide a National focus
In which most take great pride.

So stuff those who say; ‘Humbug’
and whinge about monarchy
put voice to our Anthem
and pledge them your loyalty.

John Carré Buchanan
07 June 2012

Visitors






Free counters!



Popular Posts

Blogs I Enjoy Following

  • The Phantom Bikes of Grandes Rocques - Tony Bradley - It's just after dawn, I'm on the beach again and something so really strange occurred I saw it, or did I fantasize . . . ? (I'm quite capable, . . . I'm a bi...
    2 days ago
  • A Summers Portrait (Uncomplicated things) - Soft summer breeze in fluttering leaves, homemade lemonade, strawberries and cream. Dappled shade under fruiting apple trees. Grandpa's, creaky, rickety roc...
    2 days ago
  • PRINCELY CHARLES - This month's theme for *Guernsey's Poetry Open Mic* event is *CATS* and I was therefore relieved to discover a couple of cat-poems gathering dust in the gl...
    3 days ago
  • Father - *To the face I can’t quite picture* *To the voice I can't quite hear* *To the smile so lost in memory* *To the moments you were near* *These are the though...
    4 weeks ago
  • Vertical Society Bullshit Jungle - Dear Japan I am tired Of vertical society bullshit This place is a jungle Balding managerial lions Lead prides of chuckling hyena recruits To the watering h...
    5 weeks ago
  • Scarborough Fear - If you should go to Scarborough fair There's a field of heather and thyme Where the breeze shall whisper the name Of a girl that used to be mine In this...
    5 weeks ago
  • Memories - I remember after moving here, all the family loved to visit. It was the place to make memories. Paddling in the river. Feeding the ducks. Watching the lam...
    4 months ago
  • Stop, Drop, and Roll - *I didn't realize how long it has been since I have been here to write* *Change often seems to create a sense of suspended animation* *where the outer wor...
    8 months 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
  • ... 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