Edward Lee


His nails were bitten
to the quick,
yet he still managed
to get dirt under them,
clawing at the ground
eating the soil
that stuck to his palms,
all the while muttering
that he was digging for hope,
the sky above him
empty of it for too long;

the sky above us all,
the smell of earth
wet on our breath.


There is a violence in the soil.
You can feel it
if you walk bare-foot,
day or night,
rain or shine,
the ground wet or dry.

There is death too,
of course, the stillborn child
of the violence
in the earth;
there is always death,
at the end,
at the beginning,
bringing its own ending.

The violence in the soil is ours.
We have poured it in blood
deep into the ground,
with our wars,
our rages against each other,
against ourselves.

What shall we do when that violence rises,
as it must, as it will,
still covered in red dirt,
and wipes us into the sea
leaves us to drown?
Will our thirst be sated then?
Or will we simply die
our teeth bared
against the unfairness
of a world
made to our savage design?

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

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