Older Poems (#6)


My diary entries end at:
tanks entered Denham Town.”
On Monday the 6pm curfew had been called;
the next day
I walked along the grassy footpath
of the University of the West Indies campus
the heat cocooning me,
causing mirages of people walking
in the distance.

The campus was empty,
only security gathered in groups
where the roads met
or cruised past in cars.

Clouds hovered
amidst the peaks
of the Blue Mountains
always promising rain,
but no rain came.

At the library
whispered conversations
“but they are innocent people,”
“then they should leave.”

The ground swallowed me then
the air like a wet towel smothering me
as I walked the long walk home
to the sound of nothing.


Published in Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters. Issue 3. July 2014. http://mokomagazine.org/wordpress/poems-by-lou-smith/

Interviewing the Caribbean Spring 2017

Part 2 of Interviewing the Caribbean, ‘A History of Violence: The Making of Caribbean Society’ has been released and is available for purchase on MagCloud: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1274190. Part 2 features work by Jacqueline Bishop, Imani Tafari-Ama, Gloria Joseph and many more amazing writers and artists. I was privileged to have poems and an interview included in Part 1 of this issue of Interviewing the Caribbean edited by Opal Palmer Adisa.



Older Poems (#5)


Swarms of yellow
in the morning
when the light still
streaks white;
they dot the trees
and are all I can see in
the spaces.
A butterfly
is an exhalation of breath
carrying the name of the deceased,
their soul inhabiting this place
for a period so brief.
But what is time
in a swarm of yellow butterflies?
Names are inscribed
in the tissue of wings—
my ancestors’
souls released
from their chrysalis,
an abundant mass
the colour of little suns.


Published in Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters. Issue 3. July 2014. http://mokomagazine.org/wordpress/poems-by-lou-smith/


Poems in ‘Interviewing the Caribbean’

Part 1 of the latest issue of Interviewing the Caribbean, ‘A History of Violence: The Making of Caribbean Society’ is now available. Four of my poems appear in this issue. It is an honour to be in the company of such magnificent Caribbean writers and artists as Kendal Hippolyte, Merle Collins, Devorah Major, Opal Palmer Adisa, Gillian Mapp, Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming, Robin Clare, Teju Adisa-Farrar and many, many more. Thank you to editor Opal Palmer Adisa for putting together such a rich and thought-provoking issue.

As the title of the journal suggests, I have also been interviewed by editor Opal Palmer Adisa. The journal is available to purchase on MagCloud: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1226109



Slow Journey

It is the small things
translucent snail
fits perfectly between
forefinger and thumb
slow-journeying across
the brickwork
torrents of rain sliding
off its shell
(memory of gerbera
stems soft as fur)
snails were my guardians
then, shell-swags
full-to-brim with teapots,
books and leathermans.
In my deep bones
I know they protect me
stalked eyes roaming,
household deities


Newcastle Launch of ‘riversalt’

A huge thank you to everyone who came to the Newcastle launch of my book riversalt at The Press Book House. It was a really special night. I’d especially like to thank the amazing Anwen Crawford for launching the book on the night and Murrie and Ivy at the wonderful Press Book House.



You can read about the event in this article by Melinda McMillan in the Newcastle Star

The Listening Room Presents: Hearts on Fire

I’m excited to be reading poetry at this awesome night of performance: Wednesday May 25th 2016, 7pm-10pm at The Wetlands Studios, 623 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Victoria. Hope to see you there!


The Listening Room Presents: Hearts on Fire

Third time lucky! You saw it here first! A gig to remember and not to be missed! In a community of incredible artists extraordinary beauty is inevitable!


Abbey Howlett
So Phia
Flaux Pas
Shanna Watson
Essie Thomas
Lou Smith
Cara Fox

Artwork by Sha Gaze

Yes it is the monthly soul fire exploration hours. Second and last Wednesdays of every month. This one falls on the twenty fifth day of May. Auspicious as.

Come down.