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/
The prompt, Wednesday April 26
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
A new post in response to today’s one-word prompt, and the weekly writing prompt #86 by the secret keeper…
I won’t score any points, for inspiration is a race
between silence and unspoken words,
Perhaps to be read, take it or leave it,
Zip it even!
Strike me off your list,
Prompt, April 20
“There are no ghosts here,” the old man said, as a matter of fact. “You will find a few old stones, but nothing worth spending much time. They rebuilt the city as they pleased: no reference to its past, its soul, its heroes…”
We took a few more steps through the nondescript city center, we could have been anywhere in a dozen European cities. “But have a look at the river bank,” my companion continued, “I won’t walk with you, but it’s the only place deserving your time…”
The river was twenty minutes away. All along the water luxury mansions faced the tree-lined alley. Gone were the cheap take-aways and the congested streets. Here was real wealth, and good taste. People here did not bother about the fate of other parts of the city: they had bigger fish to fry.
Then I looked at the record of flooding, on the wall of an old tower, standing there, as a warning…
Today’s one-word prompt
He watches the City born again, the ghosts of the past walking, silently, amidst the joyous crowds. The ancient monuments look old and cleansed, no longer ruins martyred by war. Yet he does not follow the script, blindly, but, rather, reflects on the meanings, the hidden messages, the untold truths. Here were divisions, for sure, and the hideous spectrum of tyranny. But here was courage also. And patient work, and the indomitable spirit of a great nation.
Photo: Brandenburger Tor, von Bundestag cupola, 2017 (Honoré Dupuis)
This was her city, she’s lived here all her life, and even before she became the angel she now is, she knew the streets, the people who haunted them, and the sort she could meet, the day people, and the night creatures. She was a little of both, and even now, if you could see her, it might be in the glory of dawn, or in deep darkness, in those hours when the ghosts of the city roam the deserted parks, the tree-lined alleys and the silent museums.
She’s here on her territory, she knows the history, she knows the truths, the myths, the real faces behind the masks. She can read the stories the old houses tell, the dreams of the humans who live there. She can hear distant voices, she recognises them. She can read ancient books, she can read what is engraved on stones, hidden from view, forgotten, in abandoned buildings no-one ever visits.
She’s here for a reason: she’s the angel of Death, and close to her the Devil never comes.
Image: “Angel statue in a destroyed city“
We see the birds gather and fly, first as a small group, then swarming in a dark cloud, defying the glowing sunset. As the coulours change, as the sky turns from blue into purple, then into the deep hue of the coming night, they fly higher, for a short instant, to finally dive, back into the trees. Violet strikes appear in the sky, time seems suspended, the fleeting memories of the day prepare us to the silence that follows, to the peace yet to come.
Inspired by https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/controversy/
“No, you won’t do that, and as you well know, if you did, you’d be on your own!” The statement sounded pretty final, so I stayed silence: from then on I’d have to demonstrate I understood where I stood, in the order of things.
And I did. So we are, in a state of cease-fire, neither war, nor peace. I have made-up my mind of course, but I won’t risk a return to this controversy: I value the silence, the long lazy mornings, the quiet evenings. Is this wisdom? Or is it cowardice?
Picture: Orange, Helsinki, 2015, via osmaharvilahtiosmaharvilahti.tumblr.com
The source of all wisdom…
You are away, the old instinct is awake, the walk in the park, a chill wind playing with dead leaves: my soul is hiding, without you… Crocuses shine, defiant, as clouds mask the sun.
You are away, I bathe in solitude, hunter no more, guessing at the dance in the skies, sacred world, surrounded by such beauty, sinner, well on his way to purgatory, or worse?
You are away: instinct prevails, the blank page stares at me, provoking, icy-cold.
The lake is alive, it’s just me: half way there, between heaven and hell.
Photo: Rehberge, Berlin
The interrogation went on for hours, as he answered the questions, seemingly endless and random, but he knew, designed to catch him lying. He would not lie. There was no point. The truth would be denied, of course, but someday, what was on record would be known, and his innocence recognised. Some day.
Photo: Münster, Lamberti Kirche, die Täufer