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16 October 2014
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Brian Gogarty
Colin Dardis

Colin Dardis resides in Belfast where he currently hosts a monthly poetry night in the Safehouse Gallery and is a member of the performance group 'The Belfast Poets'. He is also the editor for Speech Therapy, a small journal focusing on new poetry from the North of Ireland. Previously, Colin has been a co-ordinator of Poetic Splendour, a monthly performance poetry night in Belfast. His poem 'Perhaps' was short listed for the Edit Red 2006 Writer's Choice Award for Poetry.

The Jackpot Rush by Colin Dardis

It isn’t the pram in the hallway
or the cot in what was once the spare room
that keeps us from achieving greatness.

Pens, swords, laurel leaves clutched
despairingly, triumphantly
in fist raised through victory or violence,

mankind subjecting himself
to his own potential for fallibility,
his potential to cradle the stars in the orphan night
and find greatness resting at his doorstep.

destined for eternity
to miss his chance at the jackpot:
a bitter husk
cutting his life down for fodder;
hostage to fortune, nepotism, old boy networks,
the wrong contacts;
cursing the time, the place,
the hour coming and finding no man willing
to take the reins and beat surrender.

Forget the haunt of the snow-ridden page
and press your footstep into
the whites of contemporary eyes,
overt with envy
at the achievement of other men.

Trade in your crow for a starling,
a hawk for a blackbird,
and practice this literary falconry
just by being there:
breathe in life and milk out poetry
from the glands of desolate inspiration,
piling meat onto the tender, young bones
of skinny mongrels;
that experienced flesh
handed down from old men’s thrones
and translated into
golden volumes of accomplishment.

A new king is crowned,
but great kings are never content.
Long live the King.


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More from this writer:

Poetry
Birchwood
A Mouth to the Flame
The Jackpot Rush
The Cap Fits

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