Edward Lee – Four Poems

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.


There is a ladder in my back garden.
It’s been there for as long
as I can remember,
firmly rooted in place,
all solid rungs present and correct,
stretching high into the sky,
disappearing into the black clouds
that never seem to move,
the black clouds
that keep the sun off
the fading grass.

I have yet to climb the ladder,
for what else is a ladder for,
but to climb?
Maybe I never will.
I’m not afraid to,
but neither do I smile
when I see it,
the dirty curtains
on the back window
tight in my twitching hand,
my tear-tired eyes grateful
for the hidden sky.


Nothing but chance
and stardust,
yet here we are,
smugly seated
upon the top
of the food chain,
surveying all
we believe we rule,
seeing so far,
yet failing to see
the homeless man
with the empty soul,
and aching toes,
as he tries to stretch up to us,
his shaking hand
no different than our own


Drunk with cheap alcohol
and hard kisses
we laid the world before us
and imagined that it was ours,
ignoring the pale knowledge
that we were but a few hours
and a guilt-cleansing shower
from the harsh reality
of the tangled vows
we had both made
long ago
before the eyes of different lovers.


It is when you reach above your head
that I realise how tall you’ve become;
the bathroom light switch
stretching ever closer to your fingertip,
the high cupboard
no longer able
to hide its treats,
while the bathroom mirror is slowly,
but so very surely, capturing
the top of your blond head.

Oh, how tall you’ve become,
how tall you’re becoming.
I miss so much
when I am watching,
but see almost everything
when I look away.




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