Google+ Badge

Friday, 29 March 2013

"Praying for Nelson"

Praying for Nelson
He taught the world forgiveness
And we need him still

Copyright © Res JFB 29th March 2013

Nelson Mandela under observation and "responding positively" to treatment.
(The Guardian Friday 29th March 2013)

Thursday, 28 March 2013


My good friend and comrade in arms Damar Bahadur Rai
at Kengingau Airstrip, Interior Division, Sabah.
Built by POW's in WWII


I remember those heady days
When we both thought
This might be the real thing.

Exploring likes and experiences
Enjoying the shared discoveries
And common ground.

Remember the Gurkhas?

How fond I was of them?
How proud I was 
Of my service with them?

What fun we had drinking
Rice wine in Longhouses
With the Headhunter's trophies
Smiling above our heads.

How delighted I was

When I heard you say,
"Mum used to date Gurkha Officers."
Still delighted, I asked,
"What, Nepalese Gurkha Officers?"

The horror in your voice
Was echoed, chill, in my heart!
"No... No..." you shrieked, "No... No...
White Men... White Men...
They were White Officers!"

In such glimpses through

The curtain to your soul
Heartbreak is born!
Things were never the same!
And there is no going back!

© Res JFB 27th March 2013

Captain Harkabir Gurung,
on the right of the picture.
He went on to become
Queens Gurkha Orderly Officer
after our tour in Borneo.

This is dedicated with great admiration and affection to the men
of the two Gurkha Brigades that I served with in Borneo.
As you can read above, I will NOT hear a word said against these
gentle and cheerful men from the mountains.
Nor will I tolerate any racial bigotry!

"Appalachia, Appalachia"

“Appalachia, Appalachia”

Appalachia, your green mountains are weeping  black tears.
Mine Owners. Your neighbours are living in fear.
You’re raping the mountains and Good Mother Earth,
Your millions are nothing to what this land is worth!

Appalachia, your sons have fought in all wars,
They’ve given their lives so what’s yours remains yours!
They’ve marched off to battle to serve that Great God Mars,
Would you have them return to a land that’s all scars?

Appalachia, Appalachia, I know you of old,
Your songs are worth more than silver and gold.
Scots – Irish and English and Cornishmen  too
All men who sang here when this land was new.

Appalachia, your mountains will always need trees,
To hold back the rainfall, like the shore holds the seas,
Without them  your rivers will run clear no more,
But be thick with slime like a slaughter-house floor!

Appalachia, your mountains should be sacred lands.
To show what your God could do with His hands.
Mountaintop Removal is a crime against Him!
And a crime against nature, a terrible sin!

Appalachia, the time has more than come round,
Time to start healing on this Holy Ground.
Your men folk have fought that all men might be free.
That freedom should apply both to you and to me!

Who wants to hear the rumble of dynamite all day?
Or giant earthmovers where the blue jay should play
The shareholders and mine owners don’t live around here,
So time to leave the mountains to the people who care.

America, America, come listen to this prayer,
It’ll be too late to save ‘em when the mountains ain’t there!
Appalachia, come waken and nevermore say,
Mr Peabody’s Coal Train has carried us away!

Appalachia, Appalachia, I know you of old,
Your trees should be valued much higher than gold,
The green lungs of the mountains in the Land of the Free
Not a scar on a Mother, where her breast used to be!

Copyright © Res JFB 28th May 2008

These photos are not mine and may be subject to copyright ©
If they contravene any ©, contact me and I shall remove them 

Monday, 25 March 2013


A sliver of cinnamon bark
In my bowl of saffron rice

Oh how that taste and perfume
At once sweet and earthy
Still affects me

I can remember when young
The scent of rolled peelings of
Cinnamon bark
Drying in the tropic sun

I recall as though
From my own past
The words of Michael Ondaatje
And his tale of the
Cinnamon Peelers wife

It is as though I can smell
Her breasts and shoulders
Warm and aromatic
As if my scented hands
Had lovingly caressed her
With the dust
Of that exquisite spice

I seem to remember her
Touching her belly
To MY hands
And saying
“I am the
Cinnamon  Peelers wife
Smell me.”

And I remember how
As so many times before
I really WANTED that woman!

Copyright © Res JFB 25th March 2013

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Gold of the beech wood
A crisp rustling carpet
Makes a poor man King

Copyright © Res JFB 23rd March 2013

"Green Whales"

Dark mossy boulders
Like green whales heaving upward
On a leafy sea

Copyright © Res JFB 23rd March 2013

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


We need our head in the sun
Just as we need our feet on the ground
And our toes wriggling in the dirt

Copyright © Res JFB 20th March 2013

"Green Thoughts Of Home"

Let me find a nice soft bed
Where beech and oak and ash hold sway
A mossy bank to lay my head
And blackbird's song at end of day

Let me listen to my hearts content
As I lie among those stately trees
The robin's call, the dove's lament
Floating on the evening breeze

The sound of water over stones
Was always music to my ear
The dragonfly's passing drone
And drifting pollen on the air

Just once more before I die
I want to smell the loam and flowers
And spend some time in a bluebell wood
Where moving shadows mark the hours

And should I die as well I could
Please don't shed a tear for me
But bury me there in the wildwood
Because that is where I want to be

So I could rest where foxes roam
And badgers snuffle in the leaves
I'd know that I had made it home
Sleeping beneath my beloved trees

Copyright © Res JFB 20th March 2013