Tuesday, 17 May 2011

babbling in Berlin

Berlin is a place of intensities
some you can't really put a finger on
a city with subterranean sadnesses
but on the surface quite friendly
reminds me of New Orleans in a way
especially since Katrina
complete strangers will invite you to dance
while down in the U-bahn
little ratties play amongst the rail ballast

i carry coins to drop into the cases of musicians playing in the street
in the long passage between lines under Stadmitte
a young woman uses the accoustics of the space
to transform simple improvisations in a minor key
to the music of the angels on her shabby violin

wandering on i stop to let my fingers read the braille of old bullet holes in the stones of battered buildings

in the less salubrious streets a respiratory filter is probably necessary
when walking at night
judging by the tide-mark of graffiti
otherwise you'd be breathing in a lot of of stray spray

above arm-reach the walls are smooth cream, yellow, white,grey
flowers bloom on balconies
and some even sprout trees

under the Alexander platz a young man asks for money
he's thin and unkempt
and surprised when i buy him a cheese and salad roll at the sandwich bar
i consider it an excellent investment and wish him Guten Appetit.


  1. Beautifully evocative images your words conjure here. My teenage nephew is in Berlin, and the most I can get out of him when I press him, is that the TV is just moving pictures because he can't understand a word of it!

  2. What a lovely person you are.
    I can see you.

  3. and still more peonies for a kind gypsy

  4. noch viel spass in Berlin.........

  5. India, how can you cope with all those different influences.

    Berlin made me so sad. This was before the wall went down and strangely enough West Berlin was the saddest with the blingbling.

    hey..have it good

  6. Loving these 'postcards from Berlin" India ... so would like to walk those streets... your words and pics do take me there!
    ps the monument image previous post ... speaks!

  7. yes it is still a wounded city, you do feel it.

    I love the vibrancy of the street art though, and the bullet holes never cease to invoke some kind of awe.