Poetry: Time by Tamara von Werthern

Image: Pexels



Birds outside the window

Free to fly from tree to rooftop

And wherever they please

Between their song there’s silence


Pure and sweet. So much of it

It coats the window sill and makes us

Catch our breaths, this room is floating in it

Like a capsule in space


Now, days are elastic, we no longer run

From place to place to fit everything into

An invisible schedule, we allow time to stretch

And be itself, not beaten into submission


Cut into parcels and weighed up like gold

We let it be there, unfettered and fully itself

Like an ocean we might drown in or sail across

It’s there for us, to find beauty on our doorstep


And while away hours however we wish. To wander

Through the day as we’ve never done before

Call a friend in the afternoon, knowing they’ll be home too.

Read a book, plant flowers, and brush our hair slowly.


To really feel time running through us, to breathe it in

And be moved by it. It’s terrifying at times, this vastness

Of Time, if we could only befriend it, and live in it

As best we can, and float along its streams and eddies.


Then maybe it will all come good somehow.


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.