Poetry: Screens by Tamara von Werthern

Image: JoanDragonfly / Creative Commons


Always there between us, a sheet of glass
The flicker of their light slips into dreams
Our postures hunched, our fingers poised
To chase after ungraspable things

All day we sit, all day we stare and click
And zoom, and flick and make in the unreal
Our eyes are red, our brows are knit, a strange
new pain thrumming in wrists and hands

And yet we’re drawn away from table, bed, outside
Into this square of light, to feel that our lives, once
Big, expansive, roaming free, are now squared off
And held in one small room, with this bright window

To the world. This is where it’s safe, behind this glass
We cry and laugh, we throw kisses with our small round
Yellow faces. The simulated social life expands and fills
The void of our empty days. This is a shadow play of life

As it used to be.

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.