Monday, 19 May 2014

The Twitcher

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For a short period of time in the early 90's I was a Primary Forward Air Controller (PFAC). This was an exciting and very challenging role which involved guiding fast jets on to their targets. Problem was; once an attack had taken place and the pilots had flown away the PFAC would still be on the ground within sight of the enemy and they would be looking for him.

For some reason this role sprung to mind when I was tasked with writing a poem themed 'birds' for this months Open Mic. The poem took 15 minutes to write, I hope you like it.

The Twitcher

The birds flew in just after dawn.
They skimmed the treetops,
left ripples on the surface of the lake.
The first, and last, their prey knew of them
was a mighty, stomach wrenching, roar
as they flashed past;
leaving dust and devastation in their wake.
Up on the hill top
he tucked the laser away,
confirmed the kill,
then crawled over the brow,
stood and broke into a tab*.
Job done,
bug out.

John Carré Buchanan
19 May 2014


* Tab; A term the Paras' use to describe a run carrying full kit. A bit like the Royal Marines' 'Yomp', but faster ;-)

If you click on the link below you can listen to me read this poem.

28 comments:

  1. A powerful read, of which I enjoyed, I also listened to your reading via the link, very good and well worth hearing.

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    1. Thank you Julian, I am glad you enjoyed it and thanks also for your comment on the audio track.

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  2. A dangerous job from the sound of it.. so nicely described!

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    1. Yes, a very dangerous job especially when you work as a 2 man team. Thanks for your comment.

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  3. Nicely done I could picture the bird well

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    1. Hi Jae Rose, Thank you for your kind comment.

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  4. Glad that you wrote the explanatory words as well... What a frightening situation with these 'birds,' but what an important job!

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    1. I guess it was only frightening when things went wrong but it was always challenging. Thanks for your comment.

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  5. What excitement added to danger, a good equation for this poem, well done
    Happy Sunday

    much love...

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    1. Thank you Gillena. I hope you have a good Sunday too.

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  6. Wow, thanks for the explanation of this poem. I can see the man, exposed, on the ground as the great "birds" roared over.............I can see him, breaking into a "tab"......lickety split.

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    1. Thank you Sherry, I'm glad the combined poem and introduction got the message across.

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  7. What a chilling place to be after the birds of prey has left... liked the reading a lot.

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    1. Thank you, you are right but the adrenaline is flowing! Thanks for the comment on the reading, I've been experimenting with the audio and hoping people like it. Being disabled myself, I am trying to open things up to a slightly wider audience.

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  8. This is so haunting! I like that you provided us with an explanation :)

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    1. Thank you Sanaa, I'm glad you found the explanation helpful.

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  9. I am thankful of the explanation. The "birds" descending...I truly love raptors and even though you were speaking of planes, my brain stuck on raptors. A very interesting and powerful read.

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    1. Prohibit Toni, thank you for your comment, A lot of military aircraft are actually named after raptors, Falcon, Hawk, Harrier etc. I'm glad you liked the poem.

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  10. Wow! I found this enjoyable and exciting

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    1. Thanks for your comment Martin, I am glad you enjoyed the poem and that it conveyed excitement.

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  11. I very much enjoyed listening to the poem. (Like others, I found the explanation helpful).

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    1. Hi Indybev, Thank you for commenting on the audio, I am considering doing more Readings and getting positive feedback is great.

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    1. Thank you Ayala, I am glad you liked the poem.

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    1. Hi Rosemary, I am glad my poem conveyed the imagery so well. Thanks for your kind comment.

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  14. Love the poem, but your audio really brought it home. Well done!

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    1. Hi Sarah, thank you, I am beginning to feel like the audio is a bit of a hit.

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