Far out at sea


The fox outside

Barks harshly

A cough and a scream

Rolled into one


A bit of wild outside

Roaming through our gardens

And his cry tears through the night

Leaves me wide awake


In darkness, in this room, this house

Where I must stay where I am safe

Cocooned in walls, my blanket heavy

And my thoughts swirling


For a while we were suspended

Like a comic book figure over the abyss

But the fall will come

I can see now that it will


And that everything will change

Nothing can stay as it was

We must morph and adapt

And find new ways to navigate the world


When we’re allowed to leave this safety net

That’s pulling close across our soft throats

The more we thrash in it, like fish, slippery

In their net, on the heaving hulk of a boat


Far out at sea.


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.

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak meant that the Hackney Citizen was unable to print a monthly newspaper for three months.

We're grateful that we have since been able to resume printing. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our readers, whose donations kept the paper from disappearing completely at a distressing time for residents.

A huge thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to support us through the lockdown, and to those who continue to do so as we slowly recover from the dramatic fall in advertising revenues, on top of the existing challenges threatening the future of local journalism.

A one-off donation or a regular contribution from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the newspaper in print and the website running in the coming months and years.

Find out how you can donate.

Thank you for your support, and stay safe.

The Hackney Citizen team