Portraits of children innocent and experienced seeking havens from educational systems, psychological diagnostics, and other threats and dangers to their private selves and public safety while adults look on and back at childhood with longing and regret and ruminate about their own children with varying success. Alternatively sad, funny, profound and disquieting as the warped space surrounding John Singer Sargent’s psychologically charged painting The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit. (For the record, there were no grandchildren.)


“Vivid poems showing real insight into childhood fears, doubts and enthusiasms. They are full of empathy for how souls of all ages struggle to make sense of the puzzling world they must live in.'

Carol Burnes, poet, storyteller


'Marcus Smith presents a kaleidoscope of poems reflecting time and desire through a child’s view of the world, alternating with the adult’s idea of the child. These are both passionate and disturbing poems that urge the reader to call on and confront his or her own experience of childhood.'

Gabriel Griffin, Poetry on the Lake


Isabella Robbins

A child who doesn’t fit anyone’s mind,
I’m slow at mazes of letters and words
and know numbers are strange elusive birds.
Tested, my soul when tested proves ill-defined:

'Isabella Robbins, crayon a picture
of how you dream.'
                                   Purple for the twilight
in room with black box and window of white.
A stick figure stiffly watching the future –
I call it, 'I hope I have a good day,'
written in the teacher’s near-perfect hand.

The pain I draw is like a muted scream
I’ve hid so well no one can understand
how to help, or what to them help might mean.

Next week, in my room, I draw,'I go away.'