Yes Ministers by Colin Dardis

The newly appointed Minister for Loneliness will be given an office with no windows at the end of a long corridor.

The Minister for Apathy will not bother going to work tomorrow.

The Minister for Feeling Peckish has left crumbs on the head of her esteemed colleague while snacking in the back benches.

The Minister for Curiosity has said he is looking into this.

The Minister for Itchiness has scratched her previously announced policy considering it “too rash”.

The Minister for Binge Watching has said to stay tuned for further updates.

The Minister for Prostration will be announced tomorrow.

The Minister of Anticipation is looking forward to the announcement of the Minister for Procrastination.

The Minister for Shyness has cancelled all future public appearances.

The Minister for Uneasiness has a bad feeling about all these new ministers.

The Minister for Embarrassment has had their social media accounts hacked.

The Minister for Schadenfreude enjoys this.

The Minister for Austerity has been axed due to cutbacks.

The Minister for Plain English will hereby be known as The Minister for Exactitude, Economy and Elucidation in the Application of the Written and Spoken Word.

The Minister for Epiphanies has suddenly realised the ineffectiveness of this Government.

The Minister of Ministers has announced an end to the appointing of new ministers.


Colin Dardis is one of Eyewear Publishing’s Best New British and Irish Poets 2016, and recently an ACES ’15-16 recipient from Arts Council of Northern Ireland. His work has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA. A collection with Eyewear, the x of y, is forthcoming in 2018. Colin also co-runs Poetry NI and is the online editor for Lagan Press.

For Immediate Release by Colin Dardis

For immediate release

(blackout poem based on


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

20th January, 2017 by Colin Dardis

We remain in a state of shock.
We remain in disbelief.
Today has been stolen
by liars and by thieves.

We remain in calamity.
We remain at the tipping point.
Today we have been taken
by a sunrise that disjoints.

We remain inside history.
We remain caught in tragedy.
Today we are much poorer,
lead in false alchemy.

We remain the will of the people.
We remain what must be respected.
Today the will of hate
and fear must be rejected.

Mutiny by Colin Dardis

The captains have sunk down
to the level of rats.

The armada slaves have been left
to row for themselves,
the sails too thick now
with the blood of those
thrown overboard,
trapped on a course
not of their choosing.

There will be no vote
on how best to stay afloat.
The stars have been realigned,
needles removed from their compasses,
all the maps pissed over
by a drunken admiral.

Deserter rats,
when you eventually wash up,
no shore will want you.

We Don’t Have Victories Anymore by Colin Dardis

A found poem based on the transcript of Donald Trump‘s Presidential Campaign Announcement on June 16th, 2015


We don’t have victories anymore.

They kill us.

I beat China all the time.

All the time.

When did we beat Japan at anything?

They beat us all the time.

When do we beat Mexico at the border?

They’re killing us.


A group of people,

a nation that truly has no clue.

They don’t know what they’re doing.

They don’t know what they’re doing.

Obamacare: you have to be hit by a tractor,

literally, a tractor, to use it.


When was the last time you heard China is killing us?

They’re killing us.

I don’t care.

I’m really rich.


Somebody said, “Oh, that’s crass.”

It’s not crass.

“Please reconsider.”



We’re dying. We’re dying.

We need money.

Thank you, darlin’.

I think I’m actually a very nice person.

I’m really proud of my success.

I really am.

That means everything.

I don’t have to brag.


Through stupidity,

We now have a gun on every table.

We’re ready to start shooting.

So be very, very careful.

The American dream is dead.


“A found poem, based on the transcript of Presidential Campaign Announcement from June 16th, 2015. All the words/phrases were said by Trump, I’ve just been ‘selective’ in what I’ve drawn out from the transcript.
Colin Dardis is a poet, editor and mental health advocate He is the founder of Poetry NI and an ACES ’15-16 recipient from Arts Council Northern Ireland. Colin is also one of Eyewear Publishing’s Best New British And Irish Poets 2016, and currently longlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing.

Broken Prayer by Colin Dardis

Jesus, I have knelt under the apple knee
and tasted the serpent’s poison,
but a man may pray for antidote
with mouth and mind and heart and hands
open in sweet sustaining supplication;
bleed for me Jesus, and let me taste sanctuary in your blood,
shelter from the rampaging hordes
of crazies drugging the streets with their diatribes,
crazies worshipping their golden bombs
and silver Kalashnikovs aiming at the hearts
of every good, kind, sane person out there.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweet Lord Jesus,
I have lost count of how many times I have forsaken you,
distracted from my calculations
by whore-shaped sin, blubbering breasts
offering barbed wire teats to suckle upon,
lilting, riving torsos across the streets
promising perhaps the shallowest of gratifications
as they toss and discard lovers like tissues;
and I became a whore myself,
whoring to the power of fiscal pleasure,
unemotional security kept in vaults that drip
with the saliva of a billion investors,
rusted copulation of humanity and greed.

Jesus, I am lost in cosmic confusion,
a bundle of atoms thrown together
looking for his place on the Periodic Table:
map my acid stomach, graph the malleability of my metal,
consider the neutrinos and revolutions of my nature
spinning through a fog thick with the stench
of intellectual excrement, the unwashed learning
of experience gained, each lesson a knot
for the noose to hang innocence with;
oh mourn for our temporal childhoods!
mourn for the lost years of refuge blinded by enlightenment,
the exposure of puberty placing needles in our eyes
and then asking us if we would be so obliging
as to stick those needles deep into our pupils,
severing the optic nerves with the point of adulthood
and while we are at it, let us take up a thousand more needles
tipped with agony to plunge into our sorry hides,
a torture of acupuncture akin to the iron maiden
closed over bodies and minds still alive and screaming
for a pill to kill the pain, a hand to hold lacerated palms;
oh Jesus, where is our sponge and vinegar?
all we have are thieves that mock us while we hang.

Jesus, we’re walking inside spiritually abandoned cities
with men who have no concept of the soul,
who have chopped down your crosses to build bonfires
so that their wives may have somewhere to burn their discarded fat;
cities with no fresh water for baptism,
every chalice spiked by marauding hucksters
come to rape the face of humanity
and spit hatred into its eyes.
They have rewritten your gospels Jesus,
and now preach not of eternity and everlasting love
but of the power of the here and the now,
the denial of consequence for the sake of today,
building ivory towers and not caring
if tomorrow’s children can climb the stairs,
if they can even crawl out of the shadows of the palaces,
placing malnourished limb in front of each other,
umbilical cords trailing like butchered kimono dragons without fire,
breathless babes of Babylon snuffed out underfoot
as Utopia bends down to smell its own shit.

Jesus, they’re waiting to drop the bomb,
their bulbous, greasy fingers posed on the button
as all our green fields are pockmarked with landmines
rattling in the winds of heresy, sandbagging our minds,
making escape the impossible dream;
so we build artificial minds offering artificial escapism,
digital fantasies to console our weeping
and plant distraction into our living rooms:
a pair of blinkers for every man, woman and child
to turn away from the festering corpulence of bankers
and unseen pioneers of legislation
queuing up to jump through the loopholes;
there is no tiger leaping through the flame here,
our economic tiger lies dead in a pool of failed businesses,
with the vomit of sub-prime mortgages and toxic debt
soaking into its stinking fur.
Jesus, let us break through these firewalls of cynicism
holding the fools of mankind to ransoms
that can only be paid with our entrapped souls,
forced into gas chambers, singing to order,
singing in order to forget the kiss of monoxide,
by the order of faceless generals called prosperity,
civilisation, the great white American dream
wearing the mask of hope.

Jesus, we pumped our children full of gasoline
and left them matchbooks for an inheritance,
a generation of ticking cataclysms,
an assembly line of suicide machines;
parents defending themselves with ignorance
against these accidents of birth
stillborn in culture and still crying for their bottles.
We put sugar in their upbringing and hide the sting
of perpetual disappointment born into dawning reality,
ground their glittering rocket ships and piss into their milk.

Jesus, all our heroes have been cemented over
and our eyeglasses dusty, having given up the good search
for another redeeming saviour; we carry debt now
as our burden, instead of your cross, Jesus,
and sling our shoulders low against the ubiquitous weight
gained from the cost of modern living.
Those that retreat are soon lampooned and considered weak
in the face of a bull we reared to spear us all,
our houses and cars and credit cards, red rags
stained by our toiling blood;
the persistence of commerce
pushing commuters into city pockets
chasing the unholy dollar;
forcing frightened foot soldiers
to greet the day before the sun,
dawn chorus of stock markets,
tickers applauding like overactive pacemakers.

Jesus, they stuck paper money in their pipes
and used the future as a match.
We have forgotten our prayers
and soon our tongues will lie mute
from the lack of progress in our protests,
lying down with legs open and spread cheeks
allowing the pistons of industry
to pump crude oil through our assholes and into our hearts;
we’re motors running on spitefulness and gluttony,
drowning our babies in the bubbling slick
and erecting our temples around the oil wells,
lining the pews with holy barrels,
a measurement of society’s worth.
We will weigh the value of human life
against the oil fields and gold mines
and find that the minerals outweigh us all,
minerals that have the extra ballast
of tanks and bombs behind them.

Jesus, now we need you more than ever:
two thousand years of pestilence has ruined your kingdom.
They burnt your crib and made you lie in the desert,
kicking your foetal body curled up in prayer
and wiping their shoes on your swaddling bands.
Make them kneel to your stations of survival,
break their pretty facades and petty conceits
masturbating in the wings of the church,
no, not even in the wings, but in full view of the alter,
flapping their half-turgid, half-flaccid genitals
into the communion cups, and wiping themselves clean
with pages torn from the Bible
while swiping from the donation plates.

Jesus, there is no warmth in our deathbeds:
Autumn has stripped us of our dignity
and lambasted our precious petticoats of copper,
our valued pennies accrued in hardship
sewn together as a windbreaker against Winter;
our deciduous gardens hold no fruit
and the maggots cry out for an apple to fester in,
this great famine of the soul come to wash away
the rice mountains and wine lakes of salad days,
where bank accounts mean more than accountability,
interest rates mean more than interest in your fellow man.
We’ve been baked in the oven of transgression,
burnt skin cackling out like Tantulus,
beseeching and crazed by eternal thirst.

Jesus, there is no meat for our broth,
all we have are ancestors’ bones to feast upon,
a hearty stew of heartache and desolation:
we mine poverty for potatoes, kinship for barley,
despair for carrots, and sacrifice our morals
for paltry snippets of week old beef
just to be able to extend our collective miseries
into a few more days of drought,
sinking our well of depression deeper into the cold.
We’ll eat the rocks in our delirium.

Jesus, help me hope;
do not let help and hope feel like happenstance.
Is Doomsday coming soon?
Surely now is the time for your judgment.


Colin Dardis is a poet, editor, creative writer tutor 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. His most recent collection, ‘Dōji: A Blunder’ was released in Nov ’13, from Lapwing Publications. He is also the founder of Poetry NI, which aims to provide a platform for poets in Northern Ireland.