Tuesday 22 November 2022

Five Poems by Edward Lee




The silence you left

comforts me

more than your voice

ever did, or your touch,

or, for that matter,

your very presence,

my existence one of constantly coiled apprehension

that I might disappoint you,

anger you,

lose you,


all of which I did,

and more, but

that is not why you are gone;


your heart simply ceased,

quickly, surprisingly.

Your heart ceased

and now you are gone.


I miss you,

without missing you,

the comfort of silence,

the absence of the fear

of angering you,

not enough

to calm my need for you

beside me, this inexplicable need.





Told too many people

too many lies, so,

many of those people

no longer believe

a word I say,

most of them unwilling

to listen to any word I say.


I can't blame them,

I suppose. I don't, most

of the time, though those times

I do mind, those times

when I am telling the truth,

it scratches under my skin,

to tell a truth

and be thought a liar

(and yes, I know exactly

how that sounds).


If I haven't re-earned

their trust by now,

I never will, and

why are we wasting words,

true or otherwise,

on each other

when there are thousands of people

who have never lied to them,

and thousands more who do not know

that I had told more lies

than any one person ever should

even if they lived a dozen lifetimes?





Died so many times before,

some demises brought on by my own self,

others given to me by the world,

most of them aided by the disease

which blackens my brain, my life

the offspring of its wide spread,


but I don't want to die

anymore, or at the very least,

only once, and sometime in the time

left before me, some far distant time,

but no, not now, not now

that I have something

to live for, something worthy

of survival, no matter the struggle

to achieve that survival.





Your absence is apparent

every time I enter the house,

the comforting presence

of you that once filled the air

before you even entered

the room.


I suppose I'm trying to say

I miss you without saying it,

but where is the harm

in saying it, when I have never

had any issue with voicing

what was in my heart (though

what was in my head

was always harder to shape into words,

this hard contradiction sometimes

stunning me into silence, but

you had grown used to it

across all our years together).


I miss you. I miss you.

Though I would not ask

for you back

if it meant that

all the pain

you left behind

was waiting

to wrap you

in its cruel arms again,

like a violence so silent

only the damage it bestows

can be audibly discerned.




            For PW


I would have sold my soul

for a rope that could have anchored

your soul to your body

for a moment longer,

just so your daughter

might have arrived there

in time to say goodbye.


But I don't believe

in such fancies

as the soul,


though I would

if it meant

I could have sold mine

to hold onto yours

for those handful of minutes

as she rushed to the hospital,

the call of the doctor still loud

in her semi-sleeping ear.

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, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The Blue Nib and Poetry Wales.  His play ‘Wall’ received a rehearsed reading as part of Druid Theatre’s Druid Debuts 2020.

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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