Friday, 4 September 2015

The Weekly Shop


Walking around a supermarket the other day, I couldn’t help overhear a couple of women complaining vociferously about various items not being available on the shelves. This proved to be the spark for the following poem, I hope you like it.

The Weekly Shop

Keen bright eyes take careful aim
as the long thin pipe seeks hidden game.
Cheeks bulge, then, with a puff,
the speeding dart finds the scruff.
Deadly toxins still the beast
the hunter’s earned his next feast.

With smoking leaves and homemade axe,
high on the cliff, a young man hacks.
Angry voices fill the air
as honey bees protect their lair.
The raider drops his hard won prize
towards his family’s upturned eyes.

With nimble fingers they pluck at shrubs
collecting berries, leaves and grubs
or use sharp sticks to dig the soil
for roots and tubers they really toil.
Termite, lizard, frog and beetle
are normal fare for many people.

Heavy plant roars and rumbles
as from its bowels rubbish tumbles.
Across the piles of fetid waste
figures dash with frenzied haste
to gather scraps, with naked hands,
that filled the city’s garbage cans.

A wonky wheel on the trolley
woke her babe which sucks a dummy.
She moves along the sterile aisle
and flashes staff a plastic smile,
selects produce that bears no scar,
then pays and races to her car.

John Carré Buchanan
04 September 2015


This poem is linked to Poets United.

37 comments:

  1. Your few weeks rest has paid off, John. You're back and writing better than ever.

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    1. Richard, Thank you very much for your kind comment. I guess I am taking this opportunity to finish a number of poems I had not quite finished. Not having the pressure of writing for specific themes or deadlines is making it much less of a chore.

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    2. That's a worthwhile exercise, John. It's good to revisit some of our old poems, reevaluate them and perhaps edit or restructure. The self-imposed pressure to constantly produce new material can be destructive of true creativity.

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  2. Greetings John. This poem for me showed the distance we grown between kill and table -- no blood, no scar even, no sense of attainment or prayer to be worthy of one's meat. Well done with the rhyme and metrics they are pretty seamless and keeps things chugging along.

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    1. Hi Brendan, Thank you for your comment.

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  3. This was an interesting piece. I feel for the people it's about. And you have wonderful rhyming skills! Bravo!

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  4. Oh yes, John, such a contrast between those who have too much and those who scratch a hard living out of the ground. Reminds me of some Mayan women, who traveled to Tofino some years back, to talk about how they were reforesting an area of desertification. They planted tiny sprigs, and carried tin cans full of precious water to tend the roots.......their prize village accomplishment was the erecting of an outhouse, which they whitewashed, decorated and took photos of to show us. It was a child who asked them, who had traveled past our abundance of rivers and lakes, and visited some of the lavish homes full of Too Much Everything: "Is there anything you would like to ask us?" And they said yes - they wondered why North Americans complain so much.

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    1. Hi Sherry, Thanks for your kind comment. I am so glad you got the message in this poem. I am always saddened when I hear people who have everything complain! I guess I am fortunate to have travelled and spent so many years living overseas.

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    2. Yes you are indeed. It changes you forever witnessing poverty in the third world and for the better. Everyone should do it, you appreciate everything a lot more and thus your lie is enriched.

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  5. I think the ease with which we pick up food, not even letting it stew or baking a bread is so strange... I try to do something on weekends that at least partly make me remember that food is work... yesterday for instance we were out picking mushrooms.

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    1. Thanks Brudberg, It's good to hear that people are taking this approach towards food. So many people don't.

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  6. What a wonderful capture of the ironies of life. I am often struck with the obscenity of excess in our western world. You've imaged it well!

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    1. Hi Bev, thank you for your kind comment.

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  7. Excellent poem that I agree with completely. Most of us do not realize just how good we have it.

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    1. Hi Rob, so true, thank you for your comment.

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  8. You have clearly brought out the difference between people who work for their food and our generation who just buy processed food. Thought provoking. Also, for new writers like me work like this is inspiring!

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    1. Hi Namy, Thank you very much for your kind comment. I am glad my writing inspires you, thanks one again.

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  9. A very interesting read. Thanks!
    ZQ

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  10. Excellent poem, John. Definitely shows we should not take our 'easy lifestyle' for granted. We so often do not appreciate what we have and more often than not we do not think of those who struggle to exist.

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    1. Hi Mary, thank you for your kind comment.

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  11. thanks for your poem. It's such a good reminder of how privileged most of us are.

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    1. Hi Myrna, Thank you for your comment.

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  12. This is why I try and grow my own produce...to feel a connection to the land and bring it from my toil to the table....such a worthwhile feeling....and such a better taste. Loved the contrast of the poem.

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    1. Hi Donna, Thank you for your comment. Happy growing:-)

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    1. Hi MMT, Thank you for your comment. Yes sadly they are and despite what people think the 'supermarket shop' is not the way forward!

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  14. I doubt we can ever go back to that simple living , but there are so many things we can do to understand how far we have drifted and how much we can do without so easily.

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    1. Hi Thotpurge, thanks for your comment. You are right, unfortunately mankind's inherent greed and laziness means that that realisation my only happen when we have done irreparable damage to the word we live on.

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  15. Yes, our supermarket shopping and something missing is definitely a !st world problem, isn't it. Nice reminder, John.

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  16. I agree with your words - there is so much we take for granted, unaware of what we have actually lost...
    Anna :o]

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  17. Hi Anna, thanks for your comment.

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