J H Martin

J H Martin is from London, England but has no fixed abode. His prose and poetry have appeared in a number of places in Asia, Europe and the USA. For more information, please visit:  A Coat for a Monkey.

A Prose Poem

By J H Martin


Her gold ring
Chimes against
The side of her glass

“Are you listening?”

I wasn’t
But I nod
And stop staring at her thighs –
A pale tease
That stretches out
From the hem of her black dress


A male cadaver
Wrapped in white cloth –
The bitter smell
Of burning juniper –
Yellow prayer flags
Flapping with the wind –
A venue of vultures circling above

In the dim light
Her brown eyes glisten

“It was so savage – so elemental
Those vultures diving in – covering the corpse
The only sound – tearing flesh
Their featherless heads – reaching in again and again”

Her red lips crease into a smile
And her quickened breath slows now

“That feeling –
Standing there
That feeling was indescribable

Maybe it was
The way they stripped the body clean –
Maybe it was
The deafening clamour of their wings –
Maybe it was the way
They climbed so effortlessly into the sky

I don’t know

All I do know
Is that I’ve never felt that sense of freedom
As I did standing there, watching those vultures
Growing smaller, smaller, ever smaller
Until not a single trace of them remained
In that endless expanse of perfect blue sky”

I may nod
But in all the time that I’ve been here
I’ve never once felt the ecstasy
That I can see in her wide brown eyes

“Yes, freedom”