April 8, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

AFP photo



Henry Bladon




Paris ‘61



They stroll the banks of the Seine;

hear the shouting;

see dark smoke rising

above the leafy boulevards,

amidst the Algerian protests.


Curiosity invites them closer

to the cacophony of chaos.


She coughs as

the acrid smoke

wafts their way.


She looks at him

with tears in her eyes.

He seeks to reassure her:

it’s okay; this is not our fight.


The symphony of discontent


as the people feed

the politics of protest.


Streets awash

with anger at injustice,

and pulsing with

reactionary rhythm.

A river of humanity

flowing by burning vehicles

and shattered glass.


This is not our fight, he repeats,

as they leave the cannibalized streets

and the blackened heart of the city,

turning their backs

on the billowing rage.


They spend the evening

drinking wine

and having sex

as if nothing has happened.


Tomorrow they will read the papers

and learn about a massacre;

about deaths

from state ordered beatings

and drownings,

and they will feel shame for their nation

and sadness for the protesters.







Henry Bladon

Henry is a writer of short fiction and poetry based in Somerset in the UK. He has degrees in psychology and mental health policy, and a PhD in literature and creative writing. His work can be seen in Entropy, FridayFlashFiction, Mercurial Stories, Potato Soup Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, and Spillwords Press, among other places. 

Editor review

1 Comment

  1. Patricia Moore April 19, at 04:36

    Profound and touching and a great eye opener! Thankyou Henry! Respect. Patti Moore. ??


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.