#DailyPrompt: Welcome Stranger

Bookshop window in East Berlin“You got used to this now, but remember, this was once a divided city, still is, in subtle ways…”

She is right, my friend from the East: once, the river, and a hideous wall, had marked the boundary of a different world, different from this side, and different again from what the official statements said, as she knows.

“You cross the bridge, near the park, and immediately you know, the air resonates as if you were in another country, you see the signs: people still remember, you couldn’t be in Paris, or London, or Münich: it will take much longer to erase the past!”

I know she’s right, and, perhaps, I do not wish the past to be erased.

#FiveSentenceFiction: Hunger

In memory of Rosa Luxemburg, assassinated by proto-nazis in Berlin, on 15 January 1919.

Landwehrkanal u. Herakles Brücke

She’s here, standing still on this bridge, over the canal I know so well: I am surprised she accepted the invite.

Her creator’s description of her is so true: the curves of a goddess, the raven hair, the icy grey pupils, and those lips…

Ah, this hunger, this hunger for her soul…

Looking down at me with utter contempt, she says: “Here, not that long ago, your minions killed a good woman, a very good friend of mine…”

I don’t have the time to reply, in a fluid and unstoppable move she seizes my bony legs and throws me over in the dark waters of the canal: she’s a warrior, and I a miserable devil.

#Confession ~ #Bergmannkiez

Berlin 2014 | airfield TempelhofI ride to Gendarmenmarkt, and stop, leaning on my bike in front of the Französischer Dom.

You are there, talking to a friend; I stay silent, just watching, petrified lest I break that instant.

But you see me, smile: la beauté du diable…

We stay for a few minutes, chatting.

An old man sells bubbles bottles to the children, the late Summer air is still warm.

You have been working at the library nearby, I am riveted to your eyes, your lips.

We say hello to the friend, and start riding towards Kreuzberg – you know the city so well now.

In your street, we have a couple of beers at the pub, just in front of your door.

Then we walk to Italo, pushing the bikes. We both like this place.

The young waitress has eyes only for you (I don’t blame her), and messes up the order. You say: good food, but lamentable service. We laugh.

I fear the end of the evening, but you have much to do still.

Finally we finish the wine, on the pavement we hug.

You ride away, waving.

I feel like death.

 

#Valleys: the Runner #Fifty

LandwehrkanalShe runs along the path, admiring the green edge of the canal: this is her territory, austere and silent, in the morning light.

On the bank, the tall trees observe her, recognising her sombre and exquisite beauty.

Soon she reaches the small bridge, where she seduces and kills her victims.

#Valleys: The City #Fifty

Sophienstraße, BerlinFor her, the City is the charmed valley, and she is the river, forever flowing, undulating through her tree-lined streets.

She loves the fluid crowds of her boulevards, as she picks up men or women for the evening feast.

For she is a predator, swift and silent beauty without name.

#DailyPrompt: A Tale of Two Cities ~ #Berlin and #Paris

If you could split your time…

DSC_0422 dsc_0033.jpg

Your past is both frightening and inspiring; along those avenues and in your museums lie some of the darkest secrets.

We remember, yet, often, today’s visitors are blissfully ignorant. Your beauty has survived the worse hours of Europe’s long history.

Those ghosts are our constant companions as we walk your streets, kiss in your parks, dream awake in the midst of your present…

We love the hopes and courage of your people.  And the souls of those who died to keep you free.

#FiveSentenceFiction: Freedom

© Vincent BesnaultHe’s away, and I should miss him, and perhaps I do, but I know he’s happy.

He’s happy not because I am not there: he calls me every night, his words are as soft and suggestive as ever; he’s happy because he’s free.

He’s free of the ghosts of the past that haunted him, in Faust’s city he found peace and forgiveness, along her tree-lined streets, among people so much younger than him, and me…

I know he goes to the small park, where he finds solace, sometime love, maybe even poetry and inspiration.

I envy his freedom, but I know soon I will join him, not just for a day, or two, but forever…

 

#VisDare 59: Moxie #Fifty

Moxie

I know you don’t expect me yet, but I’ll be with you real fast…

And, you know, those jeans pull off easy, and those boots: I am already there, in your small studio, you, naked, me, naked, and the beast, in the street, happy…

Those boots are made for riding.

#AtoZAprilChallenge: Vinyl

VinylWith the wonders of  “digital remastering” ancient rockers of my generation can enjoy again the pleasures of old  7-inch records, discovering or rediscovering long forgotten musical treasures . Ah! The good old “45 tours” (45 RPM) vinyl marvels, with their fragile paper covers, the beautiful or garish pictures of young stars in action… Ah Gene Vincent, Billy Holly, the young King… rock n’ roll, jazz, be-bop, blues… The little objects scattered on the floor of our rooms, sometimes mixed with the peeled off garments and undergarments of boyfriends and/or girlfriends, sometimes broken… Vinyl and Coca-Cola…

Vinyl, they say, enjoys a revival. A good thing for sure, for those of us lucky enough to still own a working turntable… And the sound of the needle scratching the surface! No serious mixing without needles and vinyl! Oh glory of vinyl!

Image: vinyl records shops in a small area (Reuterkiez) of Berlin-Kreuzberg, courtesy of Taz Berlin (issue of 17/18 April 2014)

Vinyl Records Store

The eight tribes of vinyl collector

Daily Prompt: Three Coins in the Fountain #postaday

Have you ever tossed a coin or two into a fountain and made a wish? Did it come true?

DSC_0550 We stand on the small bridge, looking at the river, and the old houses on its banks. The Saint is looking at us, in turn, with the benevolent and transparent gaze of the medieval world.

You say: “Here, I want to marry you before the end of the year.”

“We will,” I reply, holding your cold hands in mine. “Look!”

And I toss the little gröschen in the dark water: “We will.”

I know the Saint is smiling: as if saying that she will make sure of it. And we know: it is our faith, our love, our world. We belong here.