Scott Elder

Two Poems


In the Maelström

First the fissure, then the fall
one little cog has given up

a bit of iron in a pool of oil
the concrete floor is weeping

underneath: a breath of earth
you attune your ear to whispers

a spiral tugging at your sleeve,
a pulsar’s secret murmur 

lying limp on every tongue
of every stranger in the street

it’s just a tale, a star’s demise
I’ll have cognac with café

a cube of sugar for the bitter,
another for the bite 



View From the Terrace

There are only two people on shore
from here it looks like a boy and his mother

the boy is throwing stones into water
now, they are walking away 

in one hand he’s holding a doll
in the other his mother’s fingers

the doll is bald as a cloudless sky
now, only the chug of a trawler

etching a line in the bay
un autre verre, s’il vous plait 

the waitress lifts my empty glass
I drown in a glimpse of her hand

and, breathless, breathe in the sea
the boat     the sky     me


Scott Elder’s work has been widely published on both sides of the Atlantic as well as having been placed or commended in numerous competitions in the UK and Ireland and shortlisted in the Bridport, Fish, Plough, and Troubadour Prizes. His debut pamphlet, ‘Breaking Away’, was published by Poetry Salzburg in 2015. A first collection, ‘Part of the Dark’, by Dempsey&Windle 2017 (UK), and his second, ‘My Hotel’, is forthcoming in Salmon Poetry 2023 (Ireland).

To discover more content exclusive to our print and digital editions, subscribe here to receive a copy of The London Magazine to your door every two months, while also enjoying full access to our extensive digital archive of essays, literary journalism, fiction and poetry.

Image Credit: Mixed Media On Panel, Mixed Media, Skipping Stones by Patricia Oblack 

Dearest reader! Our newsletter!

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest content, freebies, news and competition updates, right to your inbox. From the oldest literary periodical in the UK.

You can unsubscribe any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or directly on Find our privacy policies and terms of use at the bottom of our website.