Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Swing


This Poem was written for our next open Mic which has the theme "Spooky".

The Swing

Golden hair streams from the flying head
excited blue eyes wide open with delight.
Bright summer dress billows
as white stockinged feet thrust forward.
The smile, missing two front teeth, a joy to behold
as she swings back and forth
from the mighty bough
and the bright sun shines down.

Golden leaves rustle on the swaying boughs
the gnarled bark watches.
Bright leaves billow on the breeze
and gather at the great oaks feet.
If it could, would the tree smile?
Does this ancient life see irony?
Standing tall across the ages
it's great bows thickened
whatever weather came

for once;

Auburn hair fell limply from beneath a hessian sack
the terrified face obscured.
Skirts, bound at the shin, fluttered on the fall
booted feet jerked back and forth
smiles and grimaces in the crowd;
justice upheld.
As she swung back and forth
on the hanging tree
soft rain fell.

John Carré Buchanan
21 October 2017


If you click on the link below you can listen to me read this poem.


42 comments:

  1. Excellent poem? Yes. Spooky? Yes,definitely. Did the final stanza take me by surprise? You bet it did!

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    1. Hi Richard, Thanks for your kind comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem and the twist!

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  2. Oh John, the contrast between the small girl swinging, and the scene in the second stanza - such a contrast, down all the years.....the tree having witnessed so much history. I believe trees feel and understand everything. How they must suffer!

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    1. Hi Sherry, Thanks for your comment. I'm not sure I hold with the idea that trees have conscious thought, but the idea that they have 'witnessed' man's doings over centuries and sometimes millennia is very compelling, and yes probably pretty sad too. We don't treat trees vey well!

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  3. What a difference a few years makes! Fascinating tale rooted around the bough of an old tree.

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    1. Hi Thotpurge, You are right a few years can make a huge difference. Thanks for your comment.

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  4. That contrast is terrifying, amazing what an oak tree can see. Couldn’t read the last stanza without thinking of Strange Fruit.

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    1. Hi Brudberg, thanks for your comment, I'm glad the poem provoked the desired effect.

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  5. Golden hair / golden leaves / auburn hair present so many different situations of life in three stanzas. Lovely to listen to your voice too :)

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    1. Hi Sumana, Thanks for your comment, I am glad you liked the audio.

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  6. An excellent write very haunting

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    1. Hi Jae, Thank you, I'm glad you found the poem haunting.

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  7. shockingly illustrated in words not least because of the contrasts - well imagined John. Had to re-read several times to full appreciate - the middle verse leaves room to contemplate beginning and end - literally and metaphorically

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    1. Hi Telltaletherapy, I'm glad you appreciated the poem, thanks for your comment.

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  8. Love the contrast between the girl swinging, and the scene in the second stanza.. Beautifully haunting!

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    1. Hi Sanaa, Thanks for your kind comment.

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  9. Wow John, it felt to me like a passage of beauty to ancient to horror? Your poem here was quite an experience of the day. Very crafty, I like it. Thank you.

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    1. Hi J.T, I'm super glad you liked the poem, thanks for your kind comment.

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  10. Whew! Same tree has witnessed so much. I like the way the poem flows. We are touched positively by the first stanza. We are shocked by the final stanza.

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    1. Hi Mary, thanks for your kind comment, I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.

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  11. Just as stunning on the second read, John. Wonderful writing.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the poem twice, much appreciated.

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  12. Thank was an interesting juxtoposition.

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    1. Hi Annell, thanks for your kind comment.

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  13. The difference between now and then is striking! And creates a deep effect. Images in my mind, I shall hold for a long time

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    1. Hi Namratha, I am glad the poem had a lasting effect. Thanks for your comment.

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  14. That "justice upheld" line chilled me to the bone, left me wanting to know more about the circumstances...

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    1. Hi Magaly, I guess when I wrote it I was thinking of someone who was a social outcast rather than a hardened criminal but I decided to leave it to the imagination. Thanks for your comment.

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  15. Eerie and spooky...what history our trees can tell if they could talk...loved it!

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    1. Hi Donna, so true. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. Thanks for your kind comment.

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  16. Interesting poem...how you took us through the years from one image to another.

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    1. Hi Toni, I'm glad you found it interesting. Thanks for your comment.

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  17. that "soft rain" ending, is very powerful. Thanks for a profound write

    much love...

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

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  18. A breath of fresh air turned punch in the gut, or at least a chill up the spine.

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    1. Hi Colleen, Thanks for your kind comment.

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  19. I would like to think that particular tree had not witnessed anything awful...but that's me and probably why I have never had a firm grip on reality:)

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    1. Hi Cressida, that would be nice but then that would probably have required the absence of humankind. Thanks for your comment.

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  20. The juxtapositioning of each stanza with the others is powerful and intense. A fantastic piece - brilliantly crafted.

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    1. Hi Wendy, thanks for your kind comment. I am glad you liked the poem.

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  21. Your last stanza was a surprise. Spookier than I expected because it reflects something real, not out of this world. Great job!

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    1. Hi Myrna, Thank you for your kind comment.

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