Instinct #WritersWednesday

The source of all wisdom…

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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

I will listen… #ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 195

Peregrine HeathcoteIt comes back at this time of the year: longing for open spaces, a different sky, another light in the morning… So we argue about where, and when, and for how long: not a severe argument, I’m willing to listen, and you have the grace to hear my reasons. But it won’t end for sometime, perhaps not even before the new year.

For we are travellers in a hurry, to discover, and also to retrace our steps, in equal measures. By now the range of possibilities is hardly finite. I lean toward the East, and you to the South. Evidently the West and the North haven’t lost anything yet.

Maps litter the room, photos of unforgettable places, mementoes of love in strange places…

We look at each other, and laugh. No chess game this is, more like a battle field!

#FiveSentenceFiction: Breakfast

DSC_0069The ancient woods are vibrant with bees and morning birds, the early sun rays playing across the foliage of the oaks, ashes and beeches.

We follow the path, almost a straight-line to the little hill where the mausoleum stands, white on virgin green and blue sky.

There is a stile, then a sharp bend, and from that corner we admire the Downs, a vista of peace and tranquillity: the world is still asleep.

This is late summer, soon the rains will come, and a different landscape will unfold: grey clouds, heavy with storms, strong winds, and the escape of the migrating birds toward warmer climes.

We are much younger than the trees, and as we open our frugal meal, the steaming thermos of coffee, we wonder: are they protecting us, or us them?

Image: Darnley Mausoleum, in Cobham Woods, Kent © 2015 Honoré Dupuis

#DailyPrompt: Dictionary… #150words

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dictionary, Shmictionary.”

Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).

TemptationI told you, the day we first met. “I don’t believe you” you said in reply, smiling. Of course, I was devastated, what could have I expected, from a beautiful witch?

In those somber days, before I was initiated, before I learned the meaning of those words, I could not see. It was a long journey, in darkness, often close to despair, but you were my constant guide.

Then, one day, the skies cleared, the east wind pushed the clouds away, and I saw the light.

Why did it take me so long? “Often, before you can understand, you need to learn the meaning of its opposite…” Finally I understood the meaning of Love.

#FiveSentenceFiction: Bubbles

BubblesIn the silent house she sits, and thinks of you, writes a letter – which you will never receive.

Long ago you met, and you loved, in the silent house – and then you left.

Her, in her poor, wounded heart, she cannot leave – she lives in the bubbles of her memories, for you long forgotten.

Such is the law of love, a much asymmetrical feeling, one party always staying put, while the other floats away…

Away from the bubbles, gathering dust, and tears, in the silent house.

#VisDare 91: Solo

Jazz al frescoWe walk on the open square: children are playing with coloured balloons, an old man sells ice-cream, in front of the church young people wave flags of eastern countries…

You turn to me and say: “Listen!”

The clear sound of the trumpet rises clear above the street, but we cannot see the musician at first, and then there he is: playing this divine melody, under the cloudy sky, oblivious of the crowd slowly gathering around him.

We look for a hat, a box, some recipient where to throw our change in, but there is none, for this is a poet, who lives by and for his art.

#Promptbox: Clouds

OdetteSince they’d settled in the city, by now he has almost forgotten when that was, he rarely thinks of the old town. Only in Spring, as the resurgence of colours, the clothes of women in the street, and the smiles on children’s faces, made him long for a past of peace and smallness, when himself was a kid, and the world was still vast.

In his study of Neukölln, surrounded by pictures of their travel, through Europe and North America, and portraits of his wife, Sarah, and of his one-time lover Melissa, the girl from Köpenick, sometime together, once or twice in a trio with Helga, his therapist, he continues to write, now on his second novel, now richer than ever, but still a disturbed soul.

This morning, Sarah’s out with Melissa, on a shopping expedition that may also take them to the haven of the Gendarmenmarkt apartment, and the renewed complicity of their mutual affection. His mind, unconcerned, at peace with heir present life, is floating away, to narrow streets, to medieval lanes bordering overgrown and haunted gardens, to a busy street where pedestrians wear old-fashioned clothes, and where he, alone, for a while friendless, seeks answers to questions that will elude him for ages to come.

There, behind clouds and the sharpness of an ancient Spring, he’s looking for her, near the old school, not far from his parents’ house, perhaps even along the river where his mother walks to admire the kingfisher. The sounds are low and a little hesitant, blurred by the silence of his room, and the low notes of jazz drifting from the lounge: this is an imperfect journey, as if he were reluctant to go all the way, resisting the call from these years of solitude and longing, from his childhood.

He’s near the church; he sees the pharmacy on the right, next to the barber where his father and he have their haircuts on Saturdays. The wide square has recently been redesigned, and the rubbles from the war cleared, and replaced by an elegant parterre of flowers. To his left he knows a short walk would take him to the bridge, over the little river. To the right is the main street, and somewhere, half way to the town limits, is the house with the courtyard.

He can see her now, a young girl, naked like him, and bathing in the old stone tub, near the fountain, at their feet the rounded stones reflect the sunlight: she’s laughing and throwing water at him, her face that of sheer pleasure. House and yard may be the oldest in the town, at the back is a workshop: her dad’s working space. Her face upturned to him, she sees their future, no doubt, and her smile fades. She starts crying, small tears keep flowing on her rosy cheeks. He does not understand, he thinks she’s angry with him, he holds her hands in silence. Calmer, she kisses his cheek. Her mum calls them both inside, to get dry and clothed.

At night, in his room, or rather the corner of the house where he sleeps, he can hear the rats running inside the hollow walls. His mum says they are as old as the house. He’s no longer there, time must have passed, he’s now bigger, stronger, but he’s still looking for her. He cannot remember, there is a small lane, near a nightclub: he knows this is important, or it will be. Some shadows obscure his vision: Helga did say he should not attempt to go there. A crime was committed there, not by him, he was far away then.

This is it, he was far away, and he should not have been: Julian knows the truth, he betrayed his childhood love, he is inconsolable. No amount of work, of success, no therapy, can ever change that fact.

#FiveSentenceFiction: Envy

Morning envyThe moon appeared, a moody silvery face half masked by grey clouds, just above the trees. The young woman moved slowly through the quiet house: it was still early, perhaps before seven in the old clock time: she knew where to find her love, the writer, who must have been at work for a good two hours when she woke up.

There he was, one beloved hand resting still over the keyboard, the deep eyes reading; she did not want to disrupt his thoughts, soon enough the city sounds would bring him to the present (whenever that was, and hopefully close to her.)

He saw her reflection in the screen: “Good morning to my angel,” he said turning toward her, an unstoppable smile on his lips.

“I envy you so much,” she replied, kissing him with much tenderness, “you can so easily live in two worlds at a time…”

Dawn

Visions from Hell, Paolo GirardiThe small bird was close to our window: her voice rose high and clear in the light mist shrouding the garden. She was celebrating life and the dawn of a new day, she was saying hope is alive, and look at me: I am small, but I am here, for God is great and I am a small spark of life in His Creation.

So the dark thoughts of the night were dissipated: the ugly sight of a vicious murderer, walking free from a court room, thanking the corrupt judge, and smiling to the hapless “world press”, the thousands of women and children massacred by powerful armies over five continents, the despair of seeing a once great nation protecting the greedy, the torturers, the hordes of trolls masquerading under the symbols of hate and death…

As I write I hesitate to turn on the news. For it is mostly lies and irrelevance. This is not a place for a writer to tread: and it is Sunday, which used to be a day of peace.

Then I think of the small bird: this is a new day, and somewhere the angels are smiling, ready to turn the Devil and his legions to ashes.

Image: Visions from Hell, Paolo Girardi