Choeung Ek (Killing Field)


Human bone underfoot
a hoopoe calling out of
silence. The tree against which
infants were killed, still broad, again
green. A boy from a nearby shanty calls
from the other side of
the perimeter-fence –
hand held out.

The living tree is beyond innocence;
never built this ageless fence
these walls of skulls
the invisible line between
us               and

Phnom Penh, 2011

Martin Kovan

Author: Martin Kovan

Martin Kovan is an Australian poet and writer of prose fiction and non-fiction. He also works in academic Buddhist studies, ethics and philosophy, based at the University of Melbourne. He has spent some years in South Asia, including working inside Burma and neighbouring countries, before and during its recent democratic transition

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