poetColin Dardis is a poet, editor and arts facilitator, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His work has been published in numerous anthologies, journals and zines throughout Ireland, the UK and the USA.  Colin runs Poetry NI, in which he is the editor of FourXFour, an online journal focusing on poetry from Northern Ireland. Pen Points Press, a poetry micro-press founded by Colin, launched at the Belfast Book Festival 2014. Colin also runs Purely Poetry, an open mic poetry night in the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast.


Sunday morning, early,
the closest the week
gets to the blank slate.
Small, stillborn hours,
asking for nothing.

The dawn chorus is
a low, reticent chord
repeatedly strummed
by a lightweight thumb,
slowly pealing away.

It is late July,
your bed sheet lying
across bare legs that ask
to be left where they are.
The day grants this one wish.

Only Shelter

in all that could be said
there was rain
although I have no proof
beyond time and place
and that I sit here now in front of you
being DRY
you can say that was no rain
not deny rain outright
to the never
only that I was there
and there was no rain
and perhaps even to move past
to say that there WAS rain
and I in absence
and further still
of no rain and no I
and still time and place
without either
or to push still
no place
so no rain
and only I
in a certain time
yes that is certain
there certainly was
a time
and I was still
you decide


(a univocalism in ‘e’)

Wrecked femmes remember self-neglect:
every need met, never tenderness,
where freewheeler gents eyed freely,
entered, expressed themselves, then left.
The steeds expect these terms.

They’ve seen defects chewed,
dresses peeled, depths fettered,
strengths bettered, styles exceeded.
The feeble get rejected, deleted scenes,
better deeds kept elsewhere.

These depressed teens, repressed rebels,
see empty streets where greenery jewelled.
They’re pretence-kept,
needlessness expressed freely.
These new types preserve everywhere,
yet few seem esteemed, even respected.

The petty envy the pretty,
the pretty envy the nerveless,
the nerveless envy the eldest,
the eldest envy every element present.