Written By

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




I wake up

And I’m on a train

I pass out

And I’m in a station







Walking backwards

Through the morning crowd


Talking sideways to the passers-by


And nodding at a stopping stranger

Who tells me that she understands

Something I do not


Daylight – street light

Could be – I am

But the what and the where

I am not sure




I do not have a screen of my own to touch

And I have no fixed direction

For the ground beneath my feet


Always moving

Always changing


A bus a train a plane a ride

Another unknown place


From Topoľčany to Poi Piet

From Tongzi fields to Burma clouds


It’s all grey then green then grey again


Like those eyes on these ever changing faces

Watching me as I watch them

Passing through our passing frames


All disembodied disconnections

Buying Monday tickets for Sunday trains


Like lovers like friends like family

All of them gone – all of them void


Like the roots of a tree

This body this feeling and all of these memories

They are so easy to see but so hard to stop from spreading


Like the motorway laid over my childhood home

Like the rash running up the back of my legs

Like the supermarket stood

Where my school was


Like nothing that ever was or ever will be

Had ever once happened


Who am I? What was I?


I have no idea


I have given away all my change

And rolled and smoked

All those discarded butts

Which flicked their laughter at me




From here to there and back again

That roof of stars is the only law I recognise


And that too bright sun

Which blinds my eyes

To all the billboards and all the barriers

Is the only promise I trust


“Come along now”


There can be no more running and no more delays


Not now the guard has spoken

And the police have been called in


“That’s it mate – up you get – you know you can’t sleep there”


“Yes I know”


The walls are being burned back by the night

And this world of mind

Is returning me to the same space – wherever I am going


Image and text © J H Martin



J H’s Previous Contributions To Edge Of Humanity Magazine


A Story Of Grief

Life On The Irrawaddy’s Muddy Waters

Life On Waste Land

No Way To Die

Artist Exposé | Urban

Taking Different Paths

Reddish Days In Asia

A Quiet Exit