January – A Poem by J H Martin



Your public ward

Your gone
But not forgotten figure

Lying amongst
The bodies sitting
The bodies standing
The bodies everywhere

No way to live
No way to die

Not slowly
And with assistance

But with violence
And alone

Eyes rolling
Torso convulsing

With only
A mask and tank
Beside you

Gadaw ga

Like the stain covered walls
Like the bedpan littered floor

Like your crowded
Public crematorium

Monks chanting

Your dead
Carried on our shoulders


With your corpse undressed
And your white shirt returned

You are my
Orphaned brother
Sister and katong


“You remind me of my parents”



© J H Martin

January – Free Broadside Download


An earlier version of the poem was first featured in Be Untexed, a Burma-based literary magazine.