Marjory Woodfield

Marjory Woodfield has recently returned to New Zealand after living in Saudi Arabia. She has been a Bath Ad Hoc Fiction winner and was recently long listed for the Alpine Fellowship (Venice). Her writing has been published by BBC, Nowhere, Flash Frontier and Raven Chronicles. 

Her writing inspiration often comes from travel in the Middle East. This might be anything from a visit to an Arabian souk (market), small children kicking a ball in an Ethiopian village or the mosaic floor of a Byzantine church. 


The Sweetness of Oud

  1. Arabic عود (ʿūd), wood

Fragrant chips beside a burner
smoke rising.
He smiles, wanting me to stop and buy.
I shake my head. Let out my breath
sweep past, abaya trailing in the dirt.

  1. Arabic عُود (ʿūd), lute

Short neck and pear-shaped body
four strings. Silver chain attached.
On the table alongside, hand-made fabric dolls
glass bottles with layers of coloured sand
T-shirts saying, I’ve climbed 900 steps to Ad Deir.
I choose the small pendant, take it back to wear in Riyadh.
I like its silence.