Poetry Drawer: You come to me in Hiding: Had I known: At your touch by Ritamvara Bhattacharya

You come to me in Hiding

At the deepest hour of night, You, my Lord, come to me in hiding.
In your strong arms, you pull me close enough –
You are my bliss.
You are the charioteer of my chariot moving past amidst all sorrow.
You, alone, are my friend.
You are my vulnerability, you are my catastrophe.
You are my bliss.
You conquer my enemies in concealment.
You, my Lord, solely is my friend.
You are the Rudra incarnation, you are the fear of the fear.
You are my bliss.
You are the thunder bifurcating my bosom.
You alone are my friend.
I bid you to lull me in death cutting me from the ties of all the bondages of Samsara.
You, you are my bliss.

Had I known

Had anyone known that you would beckon me?
I was dead-ignorant-asleep.
Samsara had encroached on me in deep darkness.
Had I known that you would pour in the bliss of grief in my soul,
had I known that you would drench me in tears!
I had not known when the sun of your benediction graced the eastern hemisphere,
without much thought, I could feel your gracious warmth filling the innermost folds of my heart, soul, skin –
You, my Lord washed off my shore with the tide of your immortal sea –
You broke open all the bars that I had put across.
You brought the wind of evensong, you brought hope in my heart.
The boat of my existence is now anchored at your lotus feet.

At your touch

My sadness has crossed the paths of infinity.
At last it has touched your feet, a summation of happiness and mirth.
Since days, I have shed tears boundlessly,
I have not known why it has been flowing relentlessly-
Today, I have woven a string of my teardrops, to garland you, O my Lord.
Your Northern Star has beckoned me in evading darkness.
I have never reasoned the sadness that I have borne all the while
I was still in quietness.
Today, after ages, at your touch, my sadness has become a string of the lute that plays for you.

Ritamvara Bhattacharya writes from a darling’s heart, Darjeeling. She believes in what Sylvia Plath said, “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” She writes for the pleasure of it. She writes for the ‘I am in her heart’, a voice that creates ripples and sensation. She received The Nissim International Poetry Prize in the year 2020 and the Tagore Poetry Prize in 2020. Her poems have been published in some noted portals like The Muse India, Café Dissensus, The Sunflower Collective, Aynanagor, Chakkar, The Indian Periodical, Plato’s Cave and others. Her debut chapbook,’ In the mirror, our graves’ along with veteran writer Ravi Shankar N published in 2021 has received accolades. She is an avid lover of life, literature, colours and has lived in awe for the past quarter-century. She intends to see the world stricken with fear and courage, in silence and sound, in love and hatred, all. She believes contradiction adds to the aroma of living and would love to dwell in the same, giving birth to more celebratory bells. August Rituals is her first solo debut poetry book published by Writers Workshop in August, 2022.

Poetry Drawer: POETS: SILENCE: LIFE: HOPE by Jasna Gugić – translated by Anita Vidakovic Ninkovic


Where are you, Poets,
You, Wizards?
Let us paint with our poem
This sorrowful world
And people with masks,
For behind the mask
Even eyes are lacklustre
And we no longer breathe.
Let us raise voice
And scrape the mud from our soles.
Let us raise voice
For all of those silent in their homes
And isolated,
Immersed in the misery
Of everyday boring jobs.
Let us cloak with our imagination
This programmed world
And keep the scent of childhood
And first kisses
Let us bring back love,
That divine joy of life.
Let us pour it over from our poems,
May it flow down the streets
And may it touch
Every solitary man in tears
And women wearing black.


Silence in me
strikes in lightnings
of the sky, too grey
and destroys my accumulated
fear in the years
of non-belonging.
Silence in you
does not know my fears
and gets lost in the words
of unknown people
whose hands cannot
touch the softness
of our hearts.
Don’t let me stay silent
because my love is
louder than your smile.
The loudest one.


This life is
soaked with tears
and the words are too small
to pronounce
all life in an instant
and my love
hidden in the corners of solitude.

This life is
soaked with tears
and the pain of the past
is stronger
than the impending ecstasy
in the kiss of the night
and my escape is stronger
than the strength of your will.
This life is
soaked with tears
and the joy gets crushed
by the sorrow of the
desperate and disbelief in a
new longing.
This life is
soaked with tears
but today there is a smile
in my eyes
so don’t walk away
from my smile.
Don’t let the grief
to put out these embers
at least sometimes
when I forget
that this life is soaked with tears.


I would like to take
the paths of new hope
and erase my footprints behind
me because your escort is
superfluous before the rising sun.
I would like to walk
the land of solitude
for years
and walk on
the silence of the
pathlessness liberated
of all your words and
deeds. I would like to be
born again
bathed in purity
of my soul
and stand
in front of the starry sky
as a newborn.
And pardon
my rude words
and be patient
because my loneliness
is your loneliness, too.
You are my other self.
You do what I am afraid of.

All Rights Reserved @ Jasna Gugić

Translated by Anita Vidakovic Ninkovic

Jasna Gugić was born in Vinkovci, Croatia. She is the Vice-President for public relations of the Association of Artists and Writers of the World SAPS; Global Ambassador of Literacy and Culture for the Asih Sasami Indonesia Global Writers, P.L.O.T.S USA the Creative Magazine Ambassador for Croatia; and a member of Angeena International, a non-profit organization for peace, humanity, literature, poetry, and culture. She is also co-editor of the anthology, Compassion—Save the World, one poem written by 130 world poets.

The last important award with a single nomination for Croatia was awarded by UHE – Hispanic World Writers’ Union – César Vallejo 2020 World Award for Cultural Excellence.

Jasna is a multiple winner of many international awards for poetry and literature, and her work has been translated into several world languages. Her first independent collection of poetry was published in 2021, a bilingual English-Croatian edition, entitled Song of Silence. She lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.

Many of her poems have been translated into several foreign languages and are represented in joint collections. Her poems have been published in magazines in the USA, Spain, Greece, Italy, Russia, India, Syria, Denmark, Brazil, Mexico, Bangladesh, Serbia, Albania, Nigeria, Belgium, China, Chile, Nepal, Pakistan, Korea, Germany and etc. Her poems are published in so many world-famous print and electronic magazines, journals, websites, blogs, and anthologies like Spillwords Press – USA, P.L.O.T.S. The Creative Magazine – USA, Mad Swirl – USA, Synchronized Chaos Magazine – USA, Cajun Mutt Press – USA, WordCity Literary Journal – USA, Medusa’s Kitchen – USA, Atunis Galaxy Poetry – Albania /Belgium, Lothlorien Poetry Journal – UK, Polis Magazino – Greece, Homouniversalis – Greece, Chinese Language Monthly – 中國語文月刊 – China, Eboquills – Nigeria, Azahar Revista Poetica – Spain, Sindh Courier – Pakistan, Magazine Humanity – Russia, Entre Parentesis – Chile, Daily Asia Bani – Bangladesh, Bharat Vision – Denmark, Litterateur Rw, Dritare E Re – Albania, Literary Yard – India, Gazeta Destinacioni – Albania, The Moment International News – Germany, Kavya Kishor English – Bangladesh, PETRUŠKA NASTAMBA, an e-magazine for language, literature, and culture – Serbia, Güncel Sanat magazine – Turkey, Cultural Reverence, a global digital journal of art and literature -India, A Too Powerful Word – Serbia, Magazine Ghorsowar – India, Al-Arabi Today Magazine, Magazine Rainbow, Humayuns Editorial – Bangladesh, Himalaya Diary – Nepal and Agarid br. 24 and 16, Online newspaper NewsNjeju, Korea, Willwash. wordpress blogzine – Nigeria.

Poetry Drawer: Nappies: Island Dreams: Polly Poodle’s View with a Room (Sestina) by Wendy Webb


Nappies. Knew nothing about nappies
in 1965, nor 1970.
Nappies in 1980 meant:
Big Sis with toddler under one arm,
milk bottle in her mouth
and my camera playing tricks.

Yet in 1993 we bought full-size/
boy/known brand
and experts in disposables
within a week.
Tried pull-ups, swim shorts,
recyclables: sodden, all.
Too scared of pins.
Nappy mountain friendly;

Advanced driving next:
ante-premature super-mini
(and willie test-tube in the hospital).
SCBU/humilactor/and that gentle
sweet aroma of breast-fed Tinies.
Experts in six weeks.

Gave up on nappies in 2000
(incontinence pads reach the parts…).
Occupational Therapy assistance,
a life-saver. Granny grab-rails
to assist the ‘crouch and drop’
of special needs. Learnt in no time.
A year for collection of
discharged equipment.

So, when I say that I’m thankful:
the Care Home took charge
of extra-small dementia and
personal care… Nappies.
Nothing extra-sweet
like a pure breast-fed baby.

Island Dreams

Happenstance of Zoom meetings:
it was a new day, a new name, I could manage
to sign in/unmute/and Leave.
My dreams, like hot air balloon rising post-sleep,
for friendship on a little ethereal island
for a couple of hours. Memories are made…
of – a name – Poet and Editor,
speaking on Publication and Performance.
Vibrant young speaker challenging beginners
and experienced poets to move forward, floating
on enriched tomorrows; avoiding drowning lands.
Awaiting the fruitiest stork to fly in, select the wing-
beat for a new birth; far at sea before sunset.

I wake to stacked competition, soft mess of guano
bleaching the Farne Isles (post-season). Lark rise…

Polly Poodle’s View with a Room (Sestina)

I watch that awful photo fade so fast,
regret the scuffs and scratches from that time
no-one could imagine as worth preserving.
It was just a flat, shared grounds, open-plan,
somewhere to leave in daylight (leave behind).
So many times returning. One day, gone.

I know it was expected, now you’re gone,
I thought that bin estate would not fall fast.
My memories of you are there, behind
those boarded windows into frame-washed time.
I had thought to improve your room: a plan
that vanished – with you – nothing worth preserving.

The mantelpiece a hazard. Worth Preserving?
You knocked your head; the bed-head wrong. Now gone,
within such view (your things/path/grass). No Plan
to catch and throw each stick beyond that fast
road without a crossing, just dodging Time.
Don’t cross to corner shop. Don’t look behind.

I found it on the sideboard (bills behind
your lottery card). Was it worth preserving?
A rug/a chew, yet dog-hairs spread in time,
exacerbating your chest. Now long-gone,
Polly-Poodle. Oh, such a dame! So fast,
she ruled your heart (and purse), yet no Vet’s Plan.

You should have moved – for her, for you. A plan
for slowing down, city living left behind,
before that pooch ran out, wagged tail, too fast
for doggie treat from old man. Worth, preserving?
He left for hound-view heaven. Now all’s gone:
the flats, the paths, the busy road. And, time.

You kept quiet (what the doctor said). Your time
vanished before last visit. All cold-plan,
to pack/house clearance/keys; a service. Gone:
nostalgia/demolition/visits behind
one scratchy late-found photo worth preserving,
while I breathe peace to my view, over breakfast.

So now it’s time to leave this frame behind,
within my heart. For what plan’s worth preserving?
They’re gone, self too, releasing heaven’s fast.

Wendy Webb: Born in the Midlands, home and family life in Norfolk. Published in Indigo Dreams, Quantum Leap, Crystal, Envoi, Seventh Quarry) and online (Littoral Magazine, Autumn Voices, Wildfire Words, Lothlorien, Radio: Poetry Place), First in Writing Magazine’s pantoum poetry competition. She devised new poetry forms; wrote her father’s biography, and her own autobiography. She has attempted many traditional forms and free verse. Favourite poets: Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Burnside, John Betjeman, the Romantic Poets (especially Wordsworth), George Herbert, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Mary Webb, Norman Bissett, William Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Poetry Drawer: Last Look: Bad Patch: Crab Heart: Smoke & Sand by Stephen Mead

Last Look

This is ice-fire, the layers
of veins, crystal hard from the centuries
which flowed & flow still
when touched…

So us runaways, exiles, pariahs on
home turf know what blood is made in these jagged
streams carved between the shoves, the shaming shouts of:
“Shut up & get out!”

We know there is worth here & are miners of that resource
if fear won’t cripple belief, sell short the dream.

Look man, it’s all I got, got me
a ticket, got me a plan
though the streets took my man
& I’ve got a kid comin’ who’ll need something
besides skeletons I’ve been told, warned—–
better left in the closet.

Hell no. These are the roots, these are the voices to be brought out
in the light so as not to repeat things, so as to glean from the cracks
every rough shine teaching the gift of shelter—–

Can’t hock it, can only neglect—& I won’t—the estate of love
our arms deserved.

Bad Patch

To be mad as hell at God put yourself in the shoes
of some dying subway runaway, some throwaway hustler.

Read, between news sheets: abuse, deprivation,
the shamed spirit stripped to an armor’s shine called Courage.

Lord, wrung out by fury & then flung adrift, what luck,
love will still establish anchors,
a network for, if not, leprosy, the unwanted,
only, a bad patch, antiseptics will come to replace caring.

This is bitter business, this death, a vandal desecrating every cell’s sanctity
& then hocking what’s left.

Come on, Heaven, besides blind righteousness,
cough up an explanation.

Though bile-loaded, I won’t shun it, nor surrender to numbing,
the foul predator of fury.

Here, in these trenches, empathy replenishes, paints word, forges Will.

Here, witnessing anguish, the hardest, most feared moment,
longing is a warrior angel for the gift of intimacy
staring pestilence down.

Crab Heart

My, what a device, each a hand a hook
hoisting me up to squeeze & leak out.
Such a sump pump, this muscle,
only central and capable
of thinking like Mengele.

All day I can feel it,
cramping animal fitted to size,
a vice with incisors clicking worse than a clock.

I feed it minutes, all paintings
wax paper wrapped in order to keep,
but it peels them in self-preservation then roosts in their chips.

Oh old bulging crab heart, old warty crustacean, what do you want?
To be boiled and salted, your shell picked clean too?
I would do so gladly but your hide is too tough & you’d bite off my fingers.
I know how you operate,
every night performing surgery & regenerating like a messiah.
My body’s the Eucharist with an altar for a soul.
So break, humiliate me as you must
& have yourself a banquet.

Smoke & Sand

Hemmed by the tender resentments,
a lifetime’s invisible shroud giving a brand to the hands even
so all that is touched smells of caste-marks…

Yes, I am dissolving from this with the aid of specific spices
& liquefied ointment to anoint what is wrapped upon sand
by light muslin.

Waves come, waves biblical as revival tents at Saks,
& I smoke off into old summers, into the sensations of green.

Here is the psychology of poetry returning heat back to fluid,
& I will mix it like white chocolate into a chilled cocoanut drink.

Sip, sip—–
the specifics of your mouth meant for sweetness,
that tang of risk, that volcano, that brook of your tongue
meant for desire alone…

Is it insanity this quest that I have should you belong to another
but still want me? So mad it may be, but whatever sun I now am,
borne from grit & from fog, pours full for your shores
as every beach waves.

Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer. Since the 1990s he’s been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online.  Recently his work has appeared in CROW NAME, WORDPEACE and DuckuckMongoose. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before Stonewall.

You can find more of Stephen’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: Wall Pictures: A Momentary Lapse of Reason by Dr Susie Gharib

Wall Pictures

I view the five pictures on the opposite wall.
I had chosen aesthetic frames to beautify a very ugly office-room
and to suit their literary worth too.
The idea of personal affinities between the inmates of the frames
on me suddenly dawn.
I begin with Oscar Wilde whose elegance
is overshadowed by his doom:
a two-year imprisonment
followed by penury, meningitis, and personal destitution.
No wonder he died alone.

Next sits on my wall the enigmatic Edgar Allan Poe,
whose mysterious death has inspired so many essays and books.
He lay in a heap in ill-fitting clothes,
a victim to a beating, cooping, or alcohol…
a riddle over which to brood,
a pathetic end to a tragic figure
whose demise should have taken an epic form.

Above Wilde, the self-made Brontës before Branwell pose,
a universal emblem of talent, stoicism and fortitude.
First went Emily, resistant to every proffered cure,
eager to be rid of the house of clay that imprisoned
her chainless soul,
then followed Anne who died miles away from home,
leaving heart-broken Charlotte to sip a few drops of happiness
before quitting the world,
all departed in the prime of youth.

Sitting at a table, Emily Dickinson looks into the beyond,
probably waiting for the carriage to ferry her into the unknown,
an obsession with death that people find morbid,
but I don’t.
With a fetish for white, she shunned the multitudes
and died in quietude.

At the top, Charles Baudelaire, with pursed lips, looks on
at a world beset with technology, materialism, and the death of hope.
Abandoned by the woman he cherished most,
he carried in his eyes the loneliness of the world
and died feeling forlorn
in a nursing home.

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

When Pink Floyd sings A Momentary Lapse of Reason,
I think of your lapses
that extended over weeks and seasons,
of your suicide
that I regard as the worst type of treason.

You opted for the easy way out,
left behind grieving friends,
a distraught spouse,
a son who scratches your tombstone
with your chisel and mallet
every Christmas morning
and every anniversary
that his mom observes.

You make us all feel guilty,
and responsible for our inability to comprehend
what ailed your heart,
and a thousand ways that could have saved your life
continuously haunt our minds.

In my dream, you beckon to me
to follow you to the graveyard
that is adjacent to our playground
in Templetown
where we both grew up.
I always respond with the same words:
I cannot be selfish and abandon my dog,
the only friend I have,
then I wake up.

Dr Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Green Hills Literary Lantern, A New Ulster, Crossways, The Curlew, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Ink Pantry, Mad Swirl, Miller’s Pond Poetry Magazine, and Down in the Dirt.

Susie’s first book (adapted for film), Classic Adaptations, includes Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, and D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

You can find more of Susie’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: The Dark: Howlers: Wealthy Sibling Photoshoot: Rice: Bump by James Croal Jackson

The Dark

I lay in the dark. Still as a spider
I haven’t yet decided if I am

going to kill. I am done giving
meaning to arduousness. I could

quit my job but another will fill
it. With worthlessness. The oval

mirror reflects nothing
without the presence of light.


the bar on Liberty Ave
with wolf on window
singing into microphone

under the moon with drinks
in me I sometimes transform
in daylight I am worthless

watching the impeachment
plop on a walk an old man

with a cane limping down
Liberty Ave wearing MAGA

the war is happening the old
men are crossing the road

Wealthy Sibling Photoshoot

Stepping out of their pool,
wet feet dripping onto
afternoon cement–
luxury sunglasses,
soft and floral swimwear,
perfect voluminous

Over the fence behind
them– the Instagram
background– vines
drop, dangle, gaining
strength in the sun.

Skulking forward,
their shadows
take from their
own darkness.


My mother coming home
from work:
you better get the rice started.

I know. This is my
duty, always, and yet
I forget
until your call–

my father watches
on cars pass by.

The dark
and rural road.

He makes a game:
how many cars
until it’s Mom

We count one,
two, three, twenty

steam rising over
in another room, childhood.


The world
is a squirrel

in the middle of
a country road

and– phone out,
music loud–

I can’t tell
if I ran it over.

James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. His latest chapbooks are Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022) and Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021). Recent poems are in Stirring, Vilas Avenue, and *82 Review. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Twitter/Instagram

You can find more of James’ work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: He buys you Kebabs: Radio: If I was by Ben Macnair

He buys you Kebabs

He buys you Kebabs,
I would have bought you diamonds.
The diamond he bought you
Sits on your finger,
And grins, like the Cheshire Cat,
Just before it disappears into thin air.

Your smile,
Against the Sun.
He buys you Kebabs,
And you laugh,
Maybe you want to remember
Maybe your blood runs cold in your veins,
Maybe you gave this man your future,
And he gave the life you never knew you wanted.
The girl I knew,
The Woman I see,
Are one and the same.
Same grace, same smile, different name.
He buys you kebabs,
The diamond he bought you,
Sits on your finger and grins,
Just like the Cheshire Cat
Just before you disappear.


The Nude on the Radio
was followed by the Shipping Forecast,
He was all blushing, red skin,
and pink goosebumps,
no one knew about it,
as they thought it was the 
type of play on words
you hear on Radio 4
but the Leather seats,
the controller,
and the interviewer
know it to be a horrible reality.

If I was

If I was a Salmon,
I would not swim up stream,
just to spawn the once,
I would want a bigger part in the scheme.
If I was a racehorse,
I would not run,
You would have to make me.

If I was a lemming
I would get to the edge of the Cliff,
and then say after you.
If I was catch,
I would like a woman,
who was good and understands.
If I was a Politician, 
I would not make this about me,
I would not use Taxpayers’ money 
to feather my own nest,
and write purple prose
to commend my name in history.
If I were an actor,
and you were happy listening,
we would spend some time together,
ask where it was leading,
Was it serious?
Or just a bit of fun?
but I think our time together 
has had its run.

Ben Macnair is an award-winning Poet and Playwright from Staffordshire in the United Kingdom.

Poetry Drawer: Her Tied Hair Has A Loose Strand: Directions: Dirty Faces by Phil Wood

Her Tied Hair Has A Loose Strand

Vexed, tight-lipped, the look
enough. He grips a fork,
there’s work, no time to vent.
He wants the jacket off,
the dungarees aren’t clean,
it ain’t Sunday.

His daughter’s reproach
to look away. The house
needs tidying. Her dress,
brown as crops in drought,
pinned with a cameo brooch.
I wet my brush.


A laconic farmer, weather knapped,
nodded. His labour not mine.

The path wrinkled a balding hill,
knuckled rocks, no water clamour.

A lamb bleated, some bees bustled,
a breeze lisped, my mind pettifogging

like fish flicker light in ponds. I paused
my climb. The solitude proves

elusive, this path a pentimento
of others. It reassured in a way.

Dirty Faces

No verdant splendor on Constable Drive,
where kids kick balls against a graffiti hall
and tags proclaim that Banksy is their Dad.
The colours spray a leaf of Autumn’s shawl.

A virtuous Madonna will not grace
this Raphael. A cul-de-sac for hordes
of scallywags, all schooled with grown-up faces.
They paintball play on those with posher doors.

The traffic slows on Turner Road with sleeping
policemen. Scamps, tooled up with artist hearts,
will grime your car with dirty sponges, demanding
no coins. What they do they do for art.

Phil Wood was born in Wales. He studied English Literature at Aberystwyth University. He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. He enjoys chess and learning German. His writing can be found in various places, including recently : Fragmented Voices, Gwyllion, Black Nore Review and a featured collaboration with photographer John Winder at Abergavenny Small Press.

You can find more of Phil’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: She is by Kumar Ghimire

My notion of heaviness
Rests upon arms of her.
Spring of my face
Can be felt in
in the weather of her face.
She is gentle
gentleness can be seen in her words.
She is great.
Her greatness can be seen in her gentleness.
Flowers gets jealous
for the aroma of her compassion.
Time stops to see
The beauty of her love.
Bees try to rob sweetness
Of her kindness.
Pages of skies might be filled.
Even ink is made up of ocean water.
But she is beyond expression.
She is within me.
She is sweet and kind.
Whom I call as mummy.

Kumar Ghimire is a Nepalese poet. His poems have been published on many national and international magazines like Sahitya Post, Polish Magazine, Synchronized chaos, writers club etc.

Poetry Drawer: I Follow in the Footsteps of Generations: I Think of You: To Seek the Sky and Never Know the Ground Again by Edward Lee

I Follow in the Footsteps of Generations

Using an obsolete map,
drawn by a hand
not my own, I
search for the centre
of myself, knowing
I will never find it,
but finding my steps swift
and easy with the possibility,
like a treasure hunt
guaranteed to end
with treasure, no matter
how many find the place.

I Think of You

For one hidden weekend
my dick became
part of you, your cunt
a part of me, like homes
made for only one soul,
before being left empty
when that soul moved on.

Then, real life began
and we never knew
each other again,

not as intimately
at least, encountering each other
in corridors and meetings,
the occasional conferences
and wide lunches, our bodies
whispering to each other,
your wedding band
drowning them out
with frantic whispers of its own,
insistent and louder
than its whispers of before,
the whispers we had so
gloriously ignored.

To Seek the Sky and Never Know the Ground Again

The wax from my wings
has melted and scalded my skin,
while my feathers released
dance higher than I ever could,
free as they are now
from the confines
of the gloriously
inglorious ideas
of men.

And the ground
has greeted my body
like a lover intent on harm.

I am broken,
but breathing,
and already my bones are healing,
their sound audible
over the rasp
of my lungs.

I will rise again,
because I can,
because I must,
the sky above me
all I can see,

the sky above me,
and I below it
where I was never meant to be.

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 and Poetry Wales. His poetry collections are Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny BridgeThe Madness Of QwertyA Foetal Heart and Bones Speaking With Hard Tongues.

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