Poetry from Edward Lee



It unnerves me to know

that every time I remember

our first night together

I am actually remembering

my last remembrance

of that night,

and not the night itself –

or so men more intelligent than I

would have me believe;

and I fear I believe.


How far from reality

has my renewing memory taken that night?

How many changes has a precious moment

morphed  through;

a Chinese whisper of the mind?


How diluted has it become?

Have diminished have you become,

seeing as no single night passes

without my mind embracing you

and all the possibilities

that never were?





The garden has fallen back into

nature’s rough grasp,

while weeds caress

the streaked window,

and grass too long

to stand straight

sways drunkenly

in the wind

to a music I cannot hear,

but reverberates in my bones

as I slouch

in my stained chair in the corner

of the living room,

the T.V. flashing some poorly broadcast channel,






unlike my murmuring mind,

its noise threatening

to deafen

my flickering life.






Wish you were here,

but you’re not,

nor will you ever be,

here, or anywhere.


I miss you.

I hope you know that.

I would write it down,

but, even if I could gather the words

to contain the uncontainable,

where would I send it?

You no longer exist

to have an address.


You no longer exist,

and I miss you,

my tears staining this postcard

I bought six days

before your funeral.






How many times did I make the amateur mistake

of finding some oppressive unfairness

in my teenage life,

and, furthering my foolishness,

voiced such within earshot

Of my father,

and had to stand and listen to

how he had to walk to school

in his bare feet

in snow and rain and freezing cold,

and I would subtly

roll my eyes and say

‘Yes dad’,

and never mention my woes again,

at least not within

his superhuman parental hearing?


Sometimes, tail-ended onto

his bare feet travails

would be how

he had to bring his own stick to class

if the teacher took a mind

to strike him,

how each child had to bring their own stick;

the teacher gleefully wiling

to inflict the  punishment,

but indifferently disinclined

to supply the means.


Imagine that bone-bitingly cold classroom,

whipping sticks lined up against the wall,

voiceless conscripts waiting

for their call to duty,

waiting to be grabbed by cruel fingers

and swung into the soft, cold flesh, of a tensed hand,

bringing a pain the wrong side of numbness.


His hands I saw everyday,

and sometime felt

on my face,

in love, in anger;

I remember nothing to mark them

as having being marked

by the cruelty

of harsh educationally supported punishments,

but when he died

under the onslaught of age and pain,

I looked at his collapsed body

in the hospital bed,

tears full behind my eyes,

my voice lost inside me,

and with a trembling hand

I lifted the blanket

to look at the savagely treated soles

of his dark veined feet,

the weight of truth

trembling my soul.





I don’t want to be alone,

except for those times

when I want to be alone;

I never know which days

will crave companionship,

which will need absence,

or even how long

either moment might last,

be it minutes

or hours.


I realise the cruelty

bred into this fickleness,

yet feel little guilt

when my temper rises

at your stalled confusion

whether to kiss me

or close the door behind you.


 Short Bio: Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.
He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.
His Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/edwardleewriter





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