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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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Transformed - *Transformed* *I hold on in my sleep* *clenched fists* *awakening with aching fingers* *empty hands...* *"It hurts, it hurts, it hurts," * *I think to ...
    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

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Little Ted


I thought I would pen a small tribute to my oldest friend. The image above proves that even at fifty he still has more hair than me;-)

The poem is an acrostic based on his highly imaginative name. I hope you like it.

Little Ted

Lying in a cot
I comforted the infant.
Through years of dormitories
tucked away, safely hidden,
loved. Always loved;
even when he’d grown.

Trusted to guard his offspring;
exuding the love absorbed over
decades, lived in a child’s heart.

John Carré Buchanan
27 May 2014

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Twitcher

Image Source:

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 ;-)

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Broom Cupboard


When I joined the Army in the early 80's many of the directing staff (DS) at Depot Para were Falklands veterans. They had experienced war at it's most primal level and were determined to ensure that the soldiers they trained were, to use the Regiment's motto, 'ready for anything'. By coincidence the platoon was destined to return to the same battalion as the DS, which naturally drove them to push harder and ensure that their protégés did them justice.

In this incredibly hard environment there was a need for recruits to vent and the DS used an unconventional (and very unofficial) mechanism for allowing us to do so. As such the broom cupboard became a place where differences could be settled and respect could be earned away from prying eyes.

It was also a place where I learnt that friendships forged in fire last forever.

The Broom Cupboard

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
Behind the closed door
differences were settled.
The bully, strong, confident,
bought crashing to the floor
by his victim
and yet, no face was lost.

Amidst the brooms and polish
fists flew, differences were sorted;
the result stayed silent,
save for the unspoken respect
forged in the dim confines
of a place where rank
meant nothing.

John Carré Buchanan
10 May 2014