Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Goat Kebab

This is a poem I wrote for an open mic on the subject Media. I did not finish it in time for the open mic and to be honest I'm not sure it's finished yet, but the events behind it have been on my mind for a while so I am going to publish it anyway;

The Goat Kebab

She walked into the HQ
pearl earrings shining bright
and G2 whispered
"Oh shit, there's going to be a fight."
A short while later,
maybe half an hour,
the radio crackled into life
someone was under fire.

A couple of days later
we were followed by the Beeb
as we drove a beat up rover
up country at low speed.
Then steam billowed from the bonnet,
we spluttered to a halt
and realised there were mines about,
our hearts dropped with a jolt.

Looking back down the road
to where his lens should be
the stringer filming our incursion
was nowhere to be seen.
We eventually fixed our waggon;
without stepping on the ground
and backed carefully down the track
to where we turned around.

And then the camera man turned up
goat kebab upon his knee
we sat and took a breather
and talked of family.
He'd been sent out there
because he spoke the lingo
and now he was stuck there
his life just hung in limbo,

He gathered images of horrors
for the correspondents to describe
their voice-overs recorded
from safer countryside.
He gave us a Union Flag
to stick upon our Rover
for the Brits were well respected
that battlefield all over.

A week or so later we learnt our friend had died
his Rover had been mortared
despite flags on every side,
he'd died gathering the images
that filled the news back home.
We raised a glass that evening
and shared a goat kebab
then as a precaution, peeled the flag off our cab.

John Carré Buchanan
03 December 2016


  1. Have a like John. The ending is excellent.

  2. Thanks JB, I'm glad you liked it.

  3. I suspect this poem needed to be written, John. It certainly needs to be read, and by a wide audience. Is it finished? I tend to think almost all poems improve with age and occasional tweaking. Who knows?

    1. Thanks for your comment Richard, I suspect in the end there will be a better link between the first verse and the remainder of the poem. I wanted to show that whilst The correspondent was back at the HQ, others were up country and at risk, but I'm not entirely sure I have managed that as efficiently as I would have like. Still as you say, time will tell.


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