when it began to get dark i realize this wasn't no joke
standing at clapham common. we still didn't have a place

moving round mum coat looking up at troubled voices
that had asked we two small girls break open our piggy

i wanted to find a goldmine in there, nuff brown coppers
to give us a home for the night. social services took us

to balham. more fretful hours in the warm waiting room.
would they rescue women and children first? leave us

fatherless for the night, waiting, falling asleep unsure of
the morning, who was in control, where to call home?

from Connecting Medium (Peepal Tree Press, 2001) copyright © Dorothea Smartt 2001, 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