I can’t write about Bowie- there are many glorious essays, articles, outpourings, anecdotes, tributes and stories accumulating like gold dust in his wake… they are easy to find, and have been comforting I think for so many of us who feel bereft. I’ve just read this one by Chris Roberts in the Quietus …this is interesting too…The Villa of Ormen… It’s not too late to feel grateful to the Thin White Duke, even if he has returned to the stars. I have a renewed sense of ‘better do it now and better do it the way I want to do it’…and I am sure I am not the only one. What a legacy…. listen to this…Black Star by Elvis Presley- right to the end Bowie was impeccable with his art and his intentions…
On the last day of our latest visit to Berlin we changed trains at U-bahn Westhafen and discovered this visual feast. Artists Françoise Schein and Barbara Reiter re-designed the station in 2000, using the 1948 text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, juxtaposed with quotes from Heinrich Heine in German and French. For more information on the artwork and the project click here.
One more reason to love Berlin.
It’s National Poetry Day and the theme this year is water. Here is a new/old poem from me, one of the #Broadcast poems edited and brought up to date in macro form, with a rainy picture taken in Berlin earlier this year, of the reflection of one of Dan Flavin’s light installations outside the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum.
I’m writing about Berlin at the moment – of course, it has been written about before… so beautifully
Running at 160 bpm I LOVE you Kreuzberg with your HOT slides and cool water You live in a Labyrinthian mind which allowed us to drift by the hotel where Borges went BLIND and WILDE passed in Paris but to almost never meet the Minotaur of St Marks Square Who could have predicted all that would follow after the first initiation ten YEARS ago? The top of my head was trepanned and the light poured finally finally finally and I went away from all of that only to return in ever decreasing circles a circle now dowsed in salt and broken BROKEN finally finally not even a spiral or a loose thread Just no thing Hanging maybe a noose a stitch to be picked up in time I ran up a green hill I ran through the mining villages of South Wales loving that land which might be HOME This is the journey back now I am wound tight and ready to let go
I’m coming to get you in song.
I am drafting poems for my MFA dissertation. The general theme is place, as with most of my writing in recent years. This week I have been transported to France, Italy, Germany, Ethiopa and am currently visiting the Cherokee Nation. It’s cheaper (and more fun) than flying. Some of this ‘mental travel’ is to revisit places I have already been to, some of it is vicarious, via maps and online resources…some of it is imaginary/visionary.
I’ve been reading William Blake’s The Mental Traveller this morning, seeing as I am on this strange journey with my poems- although the subject matter would seem to be more mental travail than travel…it is, like all his work, thought-provoking, beautiful, troubling and magickal:
And these are the gems of the human soul:
The rubies and pearls of a lovesick eye,
The countless gold of an aching heart,
The martyr’s groan, and the lover’s sigh.
The training has continued to go well, even though when I plugged myself in to Week Seven’s podcast for the first time I gulped when I heard the friendly female voice say “This week you will be running for 25 minutes without stopping”. In the end I managed to do just that three times, the last time at 11pm at night. I finished packing for our trip to Berlin and headed out for my first late night run around my estate. I discovered that at 11pm most people’s lights are out, and that the trees overhanging the path create patches of darkness despite the streetlighting, which for some reason I’d never noticed in the same way on coming home from a night out. Running definitely gives you new perceptions on well-known places.
Week Eight has been my best, and most enjoyable week for running- I ran three times, each run for 28 minutes, and I did it in Berlin. Berlin! I ran the same route each time, more or less, while my friend looked after Sam.
What a great way to get a feel for a place. From Falckensteinstrasse, where we were staying in Kreuzberg, I ran down Schlesische Strasse, up to Treptower Park, then back down, across the Oberbaum Bridge and along the East Side Gallery– part of the Berlin Wall which remains standing and is home to some great street art.
Now we are back from a wonderful week away in a city that has captured my heart (sorry London) and I am about to begin my last official week of training on the NHS Couch Potato to 5K schedule, which has got me running and loving it. Then I have one more week before I run in the Trees For Cities Treeathlon on Saturday 15th September. I am raising money for this excellent organisation- please help me reach my target!