Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Fame

Last night I attended the local Open Mic evening. These evenings have a non-compulsory theme and last nights was; 'when I met someone famous'.

It struck me that, as an expatriate and an Army Officer, I had met a wide variety of 'famous' people, but I had also met many 'people of great value'. In my mind it is the latter group which is more worthy of acclaim. Whilst many famous people do a lot of good in the world it is ordinary people who are often best placed to add extraordinary value.

The following poem is dedicated to the millions of people of great value around the world.

Fame

Oh!
While we're all name dropping I'll have a go,
Queen Elizabeth, King Hussein,
Princes; Charles, Andrew and Pavlos of Greece.
Princesses; Aisha of Jordan, Diana and Anne
Politicians so many, I’ll name but a few;
Maggie, John Major, Ian Paisley - that’ll do.
From TV Kate Adie, John Simpson and Martin Bell
I interviewed Kenny Everett, Dame Jackson and Lord Weatherill.
Then there were sports folk, like Daley and Tessa
and dukes and duchesses, and one contessa
A slack hand full of generals, De La Billiere, Rose, Jackson
Church leaders I’ve met just two;
Robert Runcie and Desmond Tutu.
I’ve hosted bands like ‘The Sweet’,
and met Victor Meldrew.

I could go on but when all’s said and done
they're all just people like you and me.
Some fun to be with, others, just glum.

but the person I remember most,
wore mud streaks on a face like a ghost,
at six she'd lost her parents to a boy with a gun
and roamed dangerous streets alone.

We all have our heroes, the great and the wise
but A list or B list I’ve come to despise,
For when you’re out on your ear
and your folks have been shot
fame does not matter one single jot.

It’s how you treat others, that sets you apart,
true heroes fill the cracks in society
unsung, just getting on
and no one’s as important as;
a child’s dad or mum.

John Carré Buchanan
20 October 2014

Saturday, 18 October 2014

It's Only Pain

During the last year or so I have managed to wean myself off the prescription opiates and anti-depressants I was using to control CRPS. This had the added benefit of allowing me to stop seeing the doctors and nurses who were treating me using conventional pain treatment models.

Since I escaped their clutches, I have remained drug free, lost over 50 Lbs in weight and set myself the goal of completing a half Ironman (known as Granite man) next year. People who meet me often say that they are glad that I’ve recovered; unfortunately this is not the case. I still have CRPS, my pain levels remain super high and I still suffer from bouts of depression.

Chronic pain exists almost as an entity; it is not like acute pain which is designed to stop you from harming yourself. This has made training pretty difficult, as CRPS masks acute pain caused by normal training injuries. (When you’re standing in a fire it’s hard to tell you have a hamstring problem.) My solution has been to return to the premise I learnt as a young paratrooper; “Whatever it does to me, it can’t make me pregnant!”

The following poem is a candid insight into my daily struggle with CRPS.

It’s Only Pain

“It’s only pain”,
the mantra whispered again and again.
As if to convince me the waves are not there,
they just feel like a phosphorous flare.
As they flow and they burn
I just have to learn,
That; “no harm’s being done”.

Nausea wells deep inside
as the skin of my leg is gently fried.
Unlike real fire, nerves remain whole
so there’s no mercy for this tortured soul.
Twenty-four seven I have to endure
they tell me; “there is no cure”.
“It’s only pain”, I say it again.

I push and I strive
as I make to survive.
My mind carries just three thoughts
Ouch,
Why bother? and
“It’s only pain”,
said again and again.

John Carré Buchanan
18 October 2014

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Infection - Jihad

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The news is dominated with the rise of IS in Iraq and Syria and to a lesser degree the spread of the deadly Ebola virus from West Africa to Texas. Whilst not related the two news items do bear a number of similarities, not least of which is a spectacular lack of action until things had got out of hand. This chain of thought led me to write the following poem;

Infection - Jihad

I creep, my insipid movement, invisible.
Who would notice me amidst the crowd?
Slowly, as I meet, I become; we,
and in turn; we become a force majeure,
invisible, but our strength grows.
Minute by minute, hour by hour,
the infection spreads
until the time is right.
Then we explode onto the scene,
overwhelm order and normality,
tear at the very fabric of the host
within which we, the disaffected,
hid, rubbed shoulders and spread.
Our aim; 'to dominate',
to destroy all that is not, us.

John Carré Buchanan
01 October 2014