Sunday, December 13, 2015

In The Luft - A Magpie Tale

In The Luft

The war's not here yet.
They still let us out to play
though we now hear things
in the far distance
and see flashes of white light -
even occasional
actinic colors -
you know, colors that sicken
and make you shiver.
I try to keep staff
thinking I'm happy enough
to go on waiting
but I stopped writing
you seven weeks last Thursday
and would probably
scream if you showed up
today or ever again.
So while kids all pile
on, I stand aside
coated but ever so chilled
as I watch them swing.

‎December ‎13, ‎2015 3:52 PM

Written for Tess' Magpie Tales: Mag 298

My relation to this word "luft" comes from the German as in Luftwaffe. Luft means air or space in the way air is space. Waffe is waffen is force of arms. Thus Luftwaffe simply means Air Force in the German.

In English, Luft is also a term from chess: The luft is the space made for a castled king to give it a flight square to prevent a back-rank mate. Not said quite right perhaps. The point of castling is to put the rook forward in defense of the king and as well to provide one (king side) or two (queen side) squares for retreat of the king behind the rook. King side castling is slightly favored because the queen side is harder to defend. Also, in a developing game, each player can anticipate and set up to prevent castling before the fact as part of strategy. This can be desirable because in the early or mid game the king forced out of the back rank in mid-board is highly vulnerable.

Luft is so strong a German word that it spread as is into Danish, Faroese, Middle English (that old), two Norwegian dialects, Old Frisian, Serbo-Croatian, and Swedish. In all cases it means air, as in way high up air or the space there, where it is hard to breathe. Luft is a word in English but it is rarely used in modern English as is. However, luft's offspring is lift. Lift is as I am sure you will all agree a very common word. Also loft can have a sense of high up, as in lofty or aloft. So there you go. Language is slippery like this.


  1. I like your young man watching over the children concept. Well done.

  2. Lovely and a different take on the prompt

  3. I enjoy a post that contains real info, fascinating content.

  4. As in all things life must go on despite conflicts elsewhere.Very educational on the added note Chris!


  5. I liked it, beautiful take on the prompt


  6. This is a beautiful write ....

  7. I figured this little man was on a mission, saddling weight on his shoulders. Life figured it was not too early.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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