Inside-out #WritePhoto

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt

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At the end of the tunnel was the entrance of a stone stairway, the steps polished by age, and the ancient walls covered by luminescent lichen and drops of water, heavy in the dim light. She thought she’d heard a flutter of wings, and remembered the small bat that had shown her the way.

Soon, she knew she was climbing the height of an old tower, and, after what felt like an hour of climbing, she could see some daylight, from a high window above her. It had rained and water was pouring from a gargoyle higher up, perhaps near the top of the tower. Yet the stairway continued. She’d seen some blue sky in the clouds, a sign that the storm was going away.

In the tunnel she’d walked for a couple of hours, the ground slowly rising, until she found the steps. Through the ancient window she could only look up, as the ground seemed far down beyond her sight. She wondered how high the tower was. Was the temple at the top of the tower? The sound of the gargoyle’s water got dimmer. Again she heard what sounded like a light beating of wings. The air got colder. How strange she thought: she was climbing up those stairs, and the temperature was coming down…

Green #writephoto

green

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt 

She filled her lungs with the fresh, pure air of the forest. At her feet the little stream flowed, silent, mirroring the foliage of the trees and the clear sky. The entrances of the tunnels were surrounded by lush vegetation.

Her feet were in the water, a delightful feeling, and the sun was warm on her skin. She felt revived, born again. She’d never felt so close to the ancient world, soon she would know whether the prediction was right: she only had to follow the stream and starts her journey between the ancient walls…

Still she had a choice to make: there were two entrances, and she knew they did not both lead to the temple. The oracle had said she would know which one to chose. She looked up beyond the green canopy, some creature had stirred high above, hidden from view. Then she saw the little bat, who quickly disappeared through one of the arches…

Temporary #TheDailyPost

The Prompt

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After sundown the city soon wears a cloak of silence: aside from the main avenues, traffic thins out, children rush home, buses and trams, stop by stop, deliver their cargos of precious and tired humanity to their homes. This leaves the freedom of the quiet streets to the flâneurs, to the tramps, and to the night lovers. Except on Friday, when the young revel late, and noisily (bless their voices and their smiles) this temporary truce lasts until the early morning, just before five o’clock, when a new work day starts.

In these few hours of peace, the ghosts roam unheeded the deserted parks, along the canals, and if you are lucky, you may even see some poet, lost in her world, in the semi darkness of a bridge, or lying on a bench, near a lake. It is as if the city was catching up with her inner thoughts, before her children awake from their dreams…

Picture: berlin 2017 © martin u waltz. streetberlin.net, at http://streetphotography.streetberlin.net/image/158029491898

Of a Bottle of Coke, and a Typewriter

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In 1937 the city of Berlin celebrated its 700th anniversary. 1237, was the year when the first artefacts and documents attested of the existence of an organised municipality, in what was then the town of Cölln, as Berlin was still then a mere nearby hamlet. In 1937, the NSDAP, the party of Adolf Hitler, had been in power for four years, following its electoral success in the general elections of 1933. Fleeing the noises and fracas of another election, we visited the most interesting, and beautifully laid-out exhibition “Berlin 1937, Im Schatten von Morgen“, at the Märkisches Museum, Berlin.

Fifty exhibits, photographies, audio recordings, day to day objects, display the day, as it happened, at a time when all organised resistance to the régime had long been brutally suppressed, and the city’s cultural and public life were totally subordinated to the dominating ideology. One can see the Wehrmacht marching, Coca Cola Gmbh doing well, and a typewriter, magnificently manufactured, and doted of a special key for “Schütz-Staffeln” (SS). There are also recordings of letters and diaries of people, then jailed, soon to be directed to an even worse fate, and their murder.

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It all felt strangely close to us, not at all old history. Yet, since, the city saw so many tragedies and as much destruction as the human species can take. We walked those streets, and heard the marching songs. In 1987 Berlin celebrated its 750th anniversary.

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Pictures: courtesy Märkisches Museum, Berlin

Obelisk #writephoto

Thursday May 4

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I must have lost consciousness for a long time. I don’t remember who I am, I don’t know where I am. Was I travelling? Where did I start my journey?

I look up, alerted by the sound of waves. It is dusk. Is this desolate shore my final destination? On whose orders did I come here? Or have I just materialised here, from nowhere, other than a maddening nightmare?

I look up and see the obelisk, the sentinel… In my mind a message is forming: “You were expected long ago.” Expected? By whom? When? Was I on a mission? Have I failed?

On the horizon, the golden globe is sinking. Is this my world? Am I alone? I hear a low humming floating in the air. The temperature is quickly falling. The sound seems to be coming from the monolith…

Is this an alien world?

Control #TheDailyPost #MaiFeierTag

Today’s Prompt, May 2, 2017

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As we approach the well known street, the crowd gets denser, perhaps quieter too, as if listening to itself. There are many people here, young and old, in pairs or small groups. The air is crisp and the sky peppered with cotton-like clouds. Will it rain? People chat, laugh, stop at little stalls that sell food and drinks. Some carry flags, or small hand-written panels that proclaim peace, or the end of time.

We walk hand in hand in this familiar city, our home. We stop at a band, listen for a few minutes, walk on. There are speeches, some photographers stand on ladders, for a better view of the human sea. More people are coming. Residents sit at their windows, admiring the show.

At the limits, barring motors to access the streets, stand the city police, calm, reflective, attentive. Girls smile. Little ones in push-chairs look at the sky. You look at me and say: “You see, this is a great holiday, and all is in control!”

Picture: Sunday morning, May 1, 2017, Brandenburger Tor (Honoré Dupuis) 

Knackered #TheDailyPost

Today’s Prompt

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He trains everyday, like a champ. Each exercise is a proof: that he’s survived, will survive. This régime would sink a younger and bigger man. Yet, from dawn to dusk, he forces his body to comply, counts his heartbeats, listens to his breath.

He’s very ill. He will soon die, but simply refuses to surrender and wait. Stubborn, you may say. Yes, that, and also… knackered.

Image: via http://misterdoor.tumblr.com/

Roots #TheDailyPost #WritersWednesday

The prompt, Wednesday April 26

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She belongs to this city, even if she would deny it. Her accent, I know, is – ever so lightly – from somewhere else, further East, for such is History. Once upon a time, those lands belonged here. Her roots are here.

And I, wandering those streets, drinking quietly on the benches of the parks, try to guess where she is, now, that war again sounds on the horizon. She haunts my dreams, her steps always fading, beyond some wall, or perhaps, behind a cloud.

The ruins have gone – so many women cleared the streets, as the soldiers jeered. At night I roam the squares, near the churches…

She’s nowhere to be found…

Photo: berlin 2017 © martin u waltz. streetberlin.net

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