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Four Poems by Colin Dardis

Colin Dardis is a poet, editor and freelance arts facilitator from Northern Ireland. He was one of Eyewear Publishing's Best New British and Irish Poets 2016, with a collection from Eyewear, 'the x of y', forthcoming in early 2018. Colin is also the founder of Poetry NI and editor for Lagan Online. His work has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA.

Bear the Frost

The absent heat of November

stops you from reaching the train on time,

pinning you to the mattress, posturing

the abandonment of a new lower

while longing for the elegance

of the butterfly and its pins.

Morning passes, hours protecting yourself

from frost. There is no comfort here:

no cups of tea or warm smiles,

expansive conversation filled with fluff,

no glittering artwork to widen the pupils,

only the preservation of a passing comfort.

We must bear the season’s bite on our cheek

and charge stomach first into the world

to prove we are hungry for the day,

eat our fill from the orchard fruits,

then in evenings, rest well by the fireside,

knowing our labours at least shook the soil.

Evening Sky

Half-four, and the dimmer switch is already turning:

dipping the day behind a concealer of cloud,

as if suddenly embarrassed by its blush.

The coy empress knows how to apply a fan.

The sun refuses to work anymore, clocked-off

and used to the shortening hours,

gone round to the hemisphere next door

for a cup of coffee and the nightshift.

She is always on the burn, attending every morning

as any faithful worker would; even on sick days,

she asks Rain to stand in for her. By job-sharing,

they ensure that there is always something to report.

This Train Is For _____

My recent life is one of travel,

sparking in and out of existence

between filaments of the North Coast.

Passing useless marshland

ignored by motorways.

I’m flying next to a crow.

I’m sailing on an engine.

We will not stop to wait for the wind.

Forgive me Nature,

you are too far to walk alone.

Night Train


On the night train with nothing to do,

just stare at myself for imperfections

in the window’s imbalance of light

or spy strangers through impossible angles

three students behind me, already hungover.


The majesty of countryside goes uncrowned,

unseen monochrome of nothingness.

I wait for these black mirrors to enthral me

pass the next seven stops, hoping lampposts

can illuminate more than mere stations.

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