Three poems by Andrew Sclater

Nursery Rhyme

Don’t talk to Mother, she is feeding your brother.
Don’t talk to Mother, or else she will smother you.
Don’t talk to Father, either. You are NOT to bother
Father– he is at work. Run along. Stop lurking now DO
what I say. DON’T answer back. Put on your shoe.
There are places I know for children like you…
Stop making faces. Get out.
Do up your laces. Wipe your snout.

(previously published in New Writing Scotland 33, 2015)

I see my father linger in a bulb somewhere,
heavier than the filament,
denser than the gas-filled sphere,
dithering among diminishing lumens,
changing places with letters and wattages
               and marks of EU approval.

Neither screw-fit nor bayonet
but, by some technical marvel,
managing to attack
in both modes… But now he fades
farther as father, gathering “ahs”,
               and everyone has switched off.

(previously published in Butcher’s Dog, 2012)
Colonel Slingsby-Smythe Warns his Wife of Disaster–
an Act of God, or Worse, has Laid a Curse
upon their Evening and, Potentially, the Hereafter

My dear,
   I fear
our clock
   has stuck….
                  at ten
                          to eight.

The hand
   of fate
will have
   us wait
                  for – ever
                          for dinner….
Andrew Sclater’s poems have won Scottish Book Trust and New Writing North awards, and been shortlisted for the Picador Poetry Prize. They have appeared in Best Scottish Poems, The Dark Horse, Magma, New Writing Scotland, The Istanbul Review and Shearsman. Andrew is a founder and co-editor of Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine.