Written By

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




A man got out of his car
And emptied his gun
Into the nearby buildings

Two children were killed
By a heavy goods truck

And somebody somewhere
Was awarded a medal for bravery


While I looked at
Black and white photos
Of war crimes and genocide
And listened to a belly dancer talking
About how she used to climb trees
In her village up north
Before she became a film star



By the river
The dealers didn’t stop
And the thieves didn’t notice
But the fried rice was good
And the beer was ice cold


It reminded me of France
Twenty years ago
A small crêperie old friends
And more photos on the walls
Of bullet pocked statues
And ransacked temples


When she gave us the bill
The owner asked for a donation
To send to the cause


Before the train tracks were laid
Their people moved in
And the maps were then changed


Not that the bar girls
Looked up from their phones


And the tuk tuk drivers
Didn’t put down
Their wrenches and chains
And stop mugging that guy

Outside that run-down pool hall
On Street Something-Or-Other


Not one person asked
Or said a thing to me


The gunman
The children
The medals or wars


Like then
As like now
They stick to their drinks
And I stick to mine


There’s a fight on the TV
And a young girl with great legs
Stood by some fool at the bar



It’s all over in nine seconds
But I’m not surprised when they leave



Eighty Nine

Or two Thousand and Seventeen

It doesn’t matter
Does it?


From London to Phnom Penh

From then until now

It’s just the same old same old
City stained rouge



Image and text © J H Martin



J H’s Previous Contribution To Edge Of Humanity Magazine

A Quiet Exit