Dorothea Smartt

Image by Robert Taylor

Bringing it all back Home

Dorothea Smartt

Bringing it all back Home

Dorothea Smartt

Bringing it all back Home

Bringing It All Back Home

Here I lie. A hollow
Samboo. Filled with your tears

and regrets. The tick in the eye
of Lancaster Pride. The stutter,

the pause, the dry cough, shifting
eyes, that cannot meet a Black man’s

gaze. Questions, questions from either
side that foul us for answers. The how

and the why ultimately defeating us
with shame, with anger, with the defensive

voices of those who lived and enjoyed
the benefits, who did not question too

deeply the source that enriched
all of Lancaster life.

Who will heal and elevate to light
the souls of your ancestors if

you refuse to remember? If you
cover their incarnations with half-truths?

Grocer? You were a Slave Trader!
And everything has its price,

and denial is only debt
with interest to be paid.

Note. Grocer was a contemporary Lancaster misnomer for those involved in the buying and selling of goods from the so-called ‘west indies trade’, the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

from Ship Shape (Peepal Tree Press, 2009) copyright © Dorothea Smartt 2009; used by permission of the author and the publisher.


Dorothea Smartt

Dorothea Smartt reading from her Poems

1Mother Music

2Generations Dreaming I

3Generations Dreaming II


5Five Strands of Hair

6Black Girl Shuffle



9Milkdreams Ghost

10Connecting Medium I

11Connecting Medium II

12Gambian Sting

13c.1950 – Bubble n’ Squeak

14c. 1967 – Sweet Potato n’ Callaloo

15I’m In The Market For Hair

16Ruby Lips

17Shipshape & Lancaster-Fashion

18Bringing It All Back Home

19Samboo’s Elegy: No Rhyme Or Reason

2099 Names of Samboo

21Lancaster Keys: The Brew Room

22Shake my Future

23Pissed Off

24A Sense of Denial

25After Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, “Gaia breaks up with Humanity, her young lover”

Books by Dorothea Smartt