Written By

Poet and Photographer J H Martin @ A Coat for a Monkey






The sun

Offers no illumination

In the rust coloured

Brick dust of dawn

Swirling around a woman’s figure

Tapping mortar off of bricks


That last week used to house

In their one room

A mother father grandmother grandfather

Son daughter two dogs and a cat


Where did they go?

I wonder

Sitting watching

Eating steamed bread


Do the idle bulldozers know?


Did the tents in rows

For migrant workers

See them leave?


Did the lines of fluttering flags

Hear where they went?


Or was everybody too busy to notice?


The woman throws

The clean brick onto the pile

And picks up another one

Pausing briefly to wave

And shout hello

To the three approaching green shirts

Who wave and shout back

And then start sifting through

The rubble heaps

For lead pipes tiles and fittings

To sell on somewhere else


Their shouts and conversation

Soon drowned out

By the claws of diggers


As they start up and begin

To break up and remove

The remains of a hundred demolished homes

To build a hundred more


In the din of metal on stone

The machines huts piles of bricks

Hats and scavenging hands

Are swallowed whole

By the incoming mist of enveloping dust

That turns the sun

Into a dim lit distant shadow


Where did they go?

I wonder


Watching the steamed bread

Disappear in my hand


Images and text © J H Martin