Forgotten #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt



No, we haven’t forgotten: through this gate we walked, you and I, when the wall was new, the grass so green, and the sky so clear. We believed, the future was a wide alley, bordered with roses, your hand in mine, our eyes to the horizon.

Then came the clouds, and the blizzard, metal locusts. I held the shield high, and you were safe. That haven would not be taken. But outside, down in the valley, beyond the wall, the hordes of demons attacked, days after days. We could no longer breath, they scorched the earth, killed everything. The companions and I retreated, and stood by the gate.

There we died, one by one, till the sea of Evil receded. The last one who stood tall, alive, you know. He’s your Lord now, a Saint, in shining armour.

I, haunt these woods, remembering the day, when we crossed the gate.

Honour #writephoto




The small crypt was still in darkness  as we approached, on that frozen morning of January.  Every year, on the same day, we gather here, on this desolate hill.

As usual, we were silent, as all of us know the place, the rite, the reasons. Besides, had we anything to say we would have done it, without words.

This year, we noticed the trace. Footsteps, in the fresh snow. Our horses noticed also the scent. The scent of a woman. We are rarely surprised by anything. But we were… intrigued.

We dismounted and followed the small path. A crow, perhaps too young to know, or remember, took fright and disappeared in the deep forest.

Our leader gave the sign. In our minds the words of the litany formed:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer…”

Our leader pushed the door open. In ranked order we entered the crypt.

“Fear is the little death…”

As we knelt on the ancient slabs, around our lord and liege, we saw the rose, and the message.

“And when it has gone past me, I will turn to see fear’s path…”

She was here, not that long before us.

The witch, she remembered. Her scent…

“Where the fear has gone there will be nothing…”

Our leader stood up, then we followed him, and drew our swords.

We let our blades rest on the stone, a faint ray of light illuminated the rose.

Our leader bowed. We left the crypt, one by one, leaving him alone with his brother.

Outside, we, wraith knights, waited.

The snow fell.

We prayed.

Every year, on the same day, we gather here, on this desolate hill, since our lord passed away, and we brought his body here, all the way back from the Holy Land.

“Only I will remain.” 



Circle #writephoto




They were six of them, and their leader may have been Galahad. There, they fought, back to back, from one dawn to the next, for days and nights, against the armies of Evil.

There they died, for, then, knights never surrendered. And there, the circle of stones remind us: the battle continues, and they watch us, puzzled, at times amused, more often annoyed. So much effort, for such so small people…

#AtoZChallenge: April 25, 2013 ~ V.









V is Thomas Pynchon’s first novel, published in 1963.  V has two story lines, that ultimately converge on the island of Malta.  V stands for “Veronica”, as well as for the symbol of the two paths converging.  Some say it also stands for Vera (Manganese), and of course Valetta.

The central hero, Profane, ex US Navy sailor, is drawn into hand to hand combat with alligators in the New York sewer…

“What had interested him most were the accounts of Veronica, the only female besides luckless Teresa who is mentioned in the journal. Sewer hands being what they are (favourite rejoinder: “your mind is in the sewer”), one of the apocrypha dealt  with an unnatural relationship between the priest and this female rat, who was described as a kind of voluptuous Magdalen.”

The novel is full of unthinkable, crazy, and adorably unsexy characters…

“It came out that Fina was spiritual leader or Den Mother of this youth gang. She had learned in school about a saint, called Joan of Arc, who went around doing the same thing for armies who were more or less chicken and no good in rumble. The Playboys, Angel felt, were pretty much the same way.”

“In April of 1899 young Evan Godolphin, daft with the spring and sporting a costume too Esthetic for such a fat boy, pranced into Florence. Camouflaged by a gorgeous sun-shower which had burst over the city at htree in the afternoon, his face was the color of a freshly- baked pork pie and as noncommittal.”

“Herr Foppl has ordered all the ladies to dress and make up as they would have done in 1904.” She giggled. “I wasn’t even born in 1904, so I really shouldn’t be wearing anything.”

“Oh I was only a young lad then, full of myth. The Knights, you know, one cannot come to Valetta without knowing about the Knights. I still believe… as I believed then, that they roam the streets after sunset…”

“… And that’s fine. The ride is a bumpy one, the roads sometimes parallel, sometimes divergent, sometimes overgrown with weeds. My favorite passage, for example, involves Father Linus Fairing, a priest who ministers to rodents in New York’s penumbrous underground, his parish “a little enclave of light in a howling Dark Age of ignorance and barbarity.” I could endeavor to explain what his story has to do with either Profane’s picaresque adventures or Stencil’s search for V. But I am not sure it would make much of a difference. Pynchon novels, like certain dishes, tend to only suffer from excessive explanation. I advocate surrender to Pynchon; letting your mind toss on the wild currents of his language is a lot more enjoyable than treating his novels like puzzles, wondering where the pieces fit: Who is Rachel Owlglass? Why are we in Egypt? Just enjoy the bumps—or try to.” ~ Alexander Nazaryan, New Yorker, March 29, 2013

Siege of Acre
The Hospitaller grand master Guillaume de Clermont defending the walls at the Siege of Acre in 1291, by Dominique-Louis Papéty (1815–1849) at Versailles.

#AtoZChallenge: April 13, 2013 ~ The Lady of the Lake

Viviane and Merlin Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, rules Avalon, the mysterious land of the Arthurian legend.  She bewitches young Merlin, the magus, who has fallen in love with her, his teacher.

Her gift to the young King Arthur is his sword, Excalibur.  She will raise Lancelot, the perfect knight, seeker of the Holy Grail, and for their fate, Queen Guinevere’s lover.

In the souls of celtic people (Welsh, Cornish, Breton) lingers the story of Joseph of Arimathea, who, according to the Gospel of Nicodemus, brought the blood of Christ our Saviour to Brittany.

In the legend Lancelot himself is named “Lancelot du Lac”, in memory of Viviane, his adoptive mother.

The Lancelot-Graal project

Arthur and Lancelot

#AtoZChallenge: April 12 – K is for Kamikaze

“The Kamikaze (神風?, literally: “God wind”; common translation: “Divine wind”) [kamikaꜜze] ( listen), official name: Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (特別攻撃隊?), Tokkō Tai (特攻隊?), or Tokkō (特攻?), were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of thePacific campaign of World War II” –

Often we talked about them. What it takes to commit, to the certain death, the annihilation. You think they were like those ancient knights, confronted by treacherous archery: brave and hopeless, lost, doomed to be massacred. I feel different about the Kamikaze: they anticipated our age, of suicide bombers, of human beings willing to sacrifice everything to a cause we do not understand, or refuse to understand. They were not behind, but ahead of their time, not only ready to die, but also, while they lived, a poignant proof of the absurdity of war.