The ghosts of yesterday

leave footprints in the snow

that falls between

the blinking of blind eyes.

You can see them,

these past tense ghosts,

on breath-visible mornings,

gathered at the base of your window,

their intangible fingers

trying to tap, tap, tap

at the glass,

attempting to wake you,

so you might let them in,

share your warmth,

maybe give them a tomorrow

to huddle around.

Any tomorrow,

any tomorrow you can spare,

willingly or not;


you have so many,

what is one less to you?






I can hear hoof beats

as I press my ear

to the earth,

needle rain beginning

to fall on my back;

they grow louder and louder,

until my ears bleed,

the blood diluted by the rain,

flowing down my cheek,

into my mouth,

into the dirt.


I know I should rise,

I should run,

escape what is coming,

but I remain lethargically still,

unable to avoid

the split in the earth

that swallows me whole.






A shovel that only ever dug graves

stands in the uneven corner

of the cracked centre

of the world,

some dirt still painting its blunted edge,

while cackling men and women,

semi-blind from staring at false suns,

choose not to acknowledge its existence,

now that they reside in falsely-coloured lives

that no longer know death

as delicately as their ancestors

once did.






No matter how much I shower

I still smell the dirt on me,

the decay of my death,

the satin inlay of my coffin,

the wood I broke

to rise,

gathering splinters

in my stained skin

that I can not remove,

clay beneath my nails,

most of them cracked,

all to reclaim air,

sunlight, life,


little realising that the life I led

never existed anywhere

but in my head,

and I had wasted a good death

for nothing.


Trust me, I would clamber back down,

barricade myself back into my coffin,

but some other disenfranchised fool

has taken it,

covered himself up

with all that loose dirt

and broken wood,

his dirt-muffled cries of joy

rising sluggishly towards the unfocused sky.






In a jigsaw boat I borrowed

from a hooded man

with no shadow

I sailed to the centre of you,

searching for myself.


I had lost all that I was

to you and your shining heart

many years ago,

only for you to wish to be lost too,

lost far from me,


so far away that I needed

this shattered boat

and the ability to temper time

to reach you

and find the only part of me that mattered

haphazardly coiled through your dyed hair

and tattooed fingernails.


Edward Lee


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.