Sunday, 20 July 2014

Mogadishu - 09 December 1992

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This poem is a different take on ‘the beach’ theme for the next open mic.

It is a sad fact of life that people have different objectives when undertaking a common venture. This was demonstrated on the 09 December 1992 when the US Navy Seals and Marines landed on a beach near the international airport at Mogadishu as part of Operation Restore Hope.

Prior to the landings the ‘powers that be’ briefed the world’s media and local warlords on the impending operation. This lead to an absurd situation; where highly skilled warriors attempted to make a covert landing on a beach under the glare of the lights and cameras of the world’s media.

It must have been extremely nerve-racking for the men involved.

Mogadishu - 09 December 1992

Silently they cross the sea’s gloss black surface.
The dinghy propelled swiftly through the darkness
towards the shore line.
Beyond the surf;
the matt blackness of the beach rises to dunes,
silhouetted against a moonlit sky.
His heart quickens, this is it,
His mind’s eye sees the next steps;
through the surf, the silent dash across the beach,
senses alert to the slightest sound or movement.
He grabs his gear, readies his weapon,
prepares to tow the boat through the surf,
eyes, ears, vigilant.
A glance left and right to ensure the team is ready
then break from the cover of the inky water
to cross the narrow stretch of sand.
Suddenly his world erupts in dazzling light.
Night vision destroyed, his ears tune in,
voices, running feet.
He prepares for a firefight but this is no enemy.
Questions shouted, cameras, lights.
He stumbles to his feet rushes up the beach
searches for cover.
The media horde chase – press in – shout questions.
Here in the darkness stealth comes to an end.
Here on a beach near Mogadishu
he digs in, his life risked;
for the sake of a photo opportunity.

John Carré Buchanan
20 July 2014

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Beaches

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I wrote this for an open mic with the theme; 'The Beach'. I believe it is self explanatory.

Beaches

Suddenly the trees parted
the road just stopped.
Lying there in front of me
a pristine curve of golden sand,
turquoise water fringed with lace,
lapping gently under graceful arches
topped with palm fronds.
Paradise.
But look closer.
Look amidst the tide line.
Amidst the Raffia, drift wood, coconuts, shells,
fishing net, buoys, lighters, syringes,
a lone, tar covered, flip flop.
Look closer.
Small clusters of bone and feathers
grouped around piles of plastic.
The rotting carcass of a hawksbill turtle
head and fins entangled in faded blue nylon.
Look closer still.
Tiny coloured grains pollute the sand
kill tiny creatures
PCB's, dioxins, benzine,
leach into the sand, the water
poison micro organisms
which underpin the food chain.
Poison plankton, poison fry, poison tuna,
poison man;
and the TV ad asks us to fund cancer research.
How perverse.

John Carré Buchanan
19 July 2014

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Sculptures In Eden

Image Source: John Buchanan

A few weeks ago I visited a friend who lives in a lovely house set in a beautiful garden. On stepping out of my car I was immediately aware of birdsong which seemed to fill the air.

Whilst we sat and chatted over a coffee, I couldn’t stop admiring the garden which had a number of stunning sculptures in it. The garden inspired me to write this poem.

Sculptures in Eden

Manicured lawns drop toward still water
tightly constrained beyond the tree line.
An Acacia shaped Hawthorn leans casually
to cast dappled shade and invite a picnic rug.

Light, dances in the watery mantle of a sculpted orb,
ethereal images flicker deep within the crystal ball.
A robin briefly joins the axe head on its pine-butt plinth
his steely facsimile glints in its gleaming cheek.

This glorious opera house, filled with bel-canto
is a living metaphor for the flooded vale below.
A tranquil oasis, envisaged and sculpted by man
yet filled with beauty crafted by a greater hand.

John Carré Buchanan
27 May 2014

For Pam

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Robin

Image Source: John Buchanan

Today I made yet another trip down to the idyllic Moulin Huet Tea Room. Whilst I was there I was inspired to pen a short poem about one of the garden’s residents, who was intent on letting everyone know that he owned the joint. He also graciously allowed me to take his photo.

I hope you enjoy the poem.

The Robin

The Robin owns this place
it's clear for all to see
if he isn't on the bench
he's perched up in a tree.

He hops and jumps and glides about
to search the leafy shade
for morsels of his favourite food
a banquet ready-made.

His pips betray his presence
before you see him clear,
with fiery flash, his Scarlett bib
announces; 'I am here.'

Then the little fellow pips
with voice both loud and true,
as if to say; 'well ok;
I'll share my place with you'.

John Carré Buchanan
02 July 2014

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