Kitchen Sill Radio


In the kitchen on the window sill

There’s a small retro style radio

It was meant to keep us company

While doing the dishes and cooking


Now it no longer provides comfort

Sparking spontaneous shuffle dances

Across the tiles, with a cooking spoon microphone

It says one word again and again


And each time it’s like a small hard pebble

Sinking further down into my soft insides.

It’s a new word, which we never heard before

And now it’s everywhere – a constant


It triggers thoughts of the apocalypse

Of how fragile the walls of our home are

How porous and insufficient

And how the world outside keeps changing


Day after day – of how everything that seemed

A certainty is in flux and like slipping sand

The world will have been remoulded

When we finally step outside again


Tamara von Werthern is an award-winning playwright based in Hackney.

You can read more about the success of her dystopian short film, I Don’t Want To Set The World On Firehere.

Her play The White Bike, and climate change book Letters to the Earth, featuring her contribution, are available at Pages of Hackney bookshop on Lower Clapton Road, which is currently closed but still selling book tokens.

The coronavirus outbreak sadly means the Hackney Citizen is unable to print a monthly newspaper for the first time in its 12-year history.

At a time when independent and trusted news is more important than ever, this was an incredibly difficult decision to have to make.

Without print advertising, our major source of income, a one-off donation from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the website and social media feeds running through this unprecedented crisis.

When Hackney and the wider world has fought off this virus and we return to some semblance of normality, the print edition will be back.

Find out how you can donate

Thanks in advance for your support, and stay safe.