Monday 16 May 2022

Five Poems by Edward Lee

 


THE EDGE OF AN ENDING

 

A lifetime

of biting our tongues

has left half the world mute,

while the other half

says so little in so much

we stopped hearing

their words

a decade, or more, ago,

 

and then we wonder

why we are here

at the edge of an ending,

the glittered edges slowly

falling away.

 

 

IN BLOOD

 

There were those

who would die,

and did die,

just so we unborn

could be born

in as close to freedom

as we humans

can allow ourselves,

some of their names known,

some forgotten between the gaps

of what the memory of a country can hold.

 

Now there are those

that get fat off this country,

and stand themselves proud

in the blood of the past,

not realizing the blood was not shed

to stand in, it was shed

to build upon, just as peace

is always built upon war.

 

 

SENSELESS GRIEF

 

A love that hurts

is not love,

but a sadist's

dream of wet redness,

I tell myself, a failing attempt

at humour, though there is

some truth there too.

 

I love you,

without pain – a lie,

this time, flat out,

all pretense of humour

cast aside, for there is pain

in my love for you, a pain

I cannot explain except to say

that some hearts love easily

and some hearts love hard,

and my heart is very much the latter.

 

Of course, there too will be pain

at the end, when you go, when the love

in my heart has not your heart

to sing to at night, when sleep

is still some distance away

and I tell myself things

so I might survive the madness

of a grief that mourns for those still alive.

 

 

AM I FINALLY COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN?

 

The warmth I seek at night

no longer comes from you,

but now emanates

from within myself,

some newly discovered chamber

between my stomach

and heart, a place not there

the last time I had cause

to search myself.

 

You can almost hear

the hum of it, as wave

and wave of heat

ripples through me,

a liquid-less river

creating circles

beneath my skin,

that collide gently

with my bones, the marrow shook

and shook again.

 

Is this what peace is,

the calm of an untroubled heart?

Is this self-reliance,

the name I reach for

in the mornings now my own?

So many decades

on the planet, I finally

need no longer seek comfort

in the skins of others.

 

Am I finally comfortable

in my own skin?

 

 

NO FLAME LASTS

 

The house made

of holy candles

burns brightest,

but it still burns,

and then ceases to burn

when its fuel is gone,

when only ash

and non-flammable wreckage remain.

 

Remember that,

as you seek to light

the darkness

inside us all

with your words written

thousands of years ago.

Remember that when the heat

of the flame seeps from your bones

and the world continues to turn.


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, The Blue Nib, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and Poetry Wales.  His play ‘Wall’ was part of Druid Theatre’s Druid Debuts 2020. 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, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.

His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

 

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