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  • LIFE OF A POET - PAUL SCRIBBLES - *Buckle up, kids, for this feature is going to leave you breathless. Paul Scribbles, who writes at his blog of the same name, is a new Toad at our sister s...
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    2 days 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...
    2 days ago
  • Rainy September - I'll survive Rainy September in Japan A can of cold coffee Warming up in my pocket
    3 days ago
  • KIM'S GAME - *"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold"* *W B Yeats* We live in alarming times. Not since the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962 have I been quite so aware...
    3 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...
    6 days 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 ...
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    1 week 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

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Swim


Over the last five years I have gradually become less able to engage in physical pursuits. Swimming has been suggested a number of times, but as the moving water in a bath or shower is like fire on my leg I could not face a pool….

My New Year resolution was to lose weight, this meant getting off drugs, eating less and being more active, a very tall order indeed. As doing nothing was not an option and I was starving and still not losing weight, I decided to give swimming a go; it has not been a pleasant endeavour.

Fortunately I used to be a good swimmer and despite not being able to kick, it's way too painful, I am plugging in the lengths. This poem came to me whilst trying to ignore the fire flowing over my right leg.

Oh and the mile…… Dream on.

The Swim

Stroke after stroke
windmill sails
heavy limbs drawn behind
On, on, left, right
Head turns rhythmically
Air drawn, held, expelled
still the arms turn
Reach, push
Water flows past
Length after length
Slowly moving towards
the mile.

John Carré Buchanan
09 January 2014

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Please

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My continued battle with CRPS has been particularly difficult recently. My decision to go drug free has had mixed blessings as cost/benefit analysis of side effects versus pain relief and depression plays out.

It has taken eight months to come off the opiates and anti-depressants and my first 'drug free' day (ie. no base line) was marred by the need to resort to breakthrough opiates during the evening, a fact that depression was quick to focus on.

Last night as I sat head in a bucket and racked in pain I wrote the bare bones of this poem. It is not cheerful, but it goes somewhere towards illustrating what living in constant pain is like.

Please

Dreams lie scattered, shreds in life's wake.
Tattered and torn, an ensign in a storm.
Cut the halyard, set it free
to soar - unbound - on the tempest.
God on high, hear my prayer;
Cut the halyard, set me free.

John Carré Buchanan
25 January 2014

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Elevator Music

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A friend of mine has encouraged me to have a crack at writing poems which do not use end rhyme. This is perhaps the start of something new. I hope you like it.

Elevator Music

Water dances over the stone obelisk
making sweet music as it tumbles and turns.
The joyous sound, natural, calm, peaceful.
A tranquil environment, sit, lighten the load.
Yet, there is an alien tune, an intruder.
Insipid, plink plonk of piano, sax, bass.
Riffles of Jazz on endless loop.
Someone, somewhere played this
image of a dark smoke filled room.
Worse still, someone bought it
and inflicted it on tranquillity.
Why?
Turn it off, let the natural order return.
Let the rivulets run.

John Carré Buchanan
15 January 2014