Ripples of People

Ripples of People
(Spring Equinox)

*

Ripples of people,
uneven waves, sudden whirls,
fast currents of cars:
a wayward river within
a canyon of grand buildings.

*

These neat white windows,
row upon row, road after road,
a thousand eyes
trying to catch light, praying
to touch the feeble sunset.

*

Christina Egan © 2013

Busy junction in the dusk, with red and yellow lamps of cars and buses glaring.

These tanka were written in Knightsbridge, London,
in the last days of March — after equinox! —
when after months of dull and dark skies,
you may still be desperate for light and warmth.
For similar poems in German, see Alles drängt vorwärts.

Photograph: Deptford Broadway, London.
Michael Oakes © 2016

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Ich knabbre an Träumen

Ich knabbre an Träumen

I.

Ich knabbre an Träumen,
sie machen nicht fett,
sie machen den Mangel
an Leben nicht wett.

Sie füllen die Augen
mit flüchtigem Licht,
zerreißen das graue
Gewölk aber nicht.

Ich trinke Erinnrung
wie Tropfen von Gold
und spür’, wie die Zukunft,
die Zeit mir entrollt.

II.

Bundle of daffodils in front of a wooden fence in bright sunlight.

Ich klammre die Hände
um Murmeln aus Glas
und flüstere Wünsche
ins glitzernde Gras.

Die Murmeln sind tief
in den Taschen versteckt:
Noch nie hat ein Mensch
meine Träume entdeckt,

noch nie hat ein Freund
meine Träume geteilt,
am gläsernen bunten
Geäst sich erfreut.

III.

Es leuchten Narzissen
wie Sterne am Zaun,
wie stille Versprechen
im quellenden Raum.

Doch rinnt mit dem Regen
das Heute dahin…
Mir knistern wie Flammen
die Träume im Sinn,

wie blaßblaue Geister
und hellrote Glut –
O wehe den Menschen
mit Sehnsucht im Blut!

Christina Egan © 2012

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2017.

Persephone (die quellenden blüten)

Persephone

die quellenden blüten
Bundle of mauve crocusses, seen fro mthe side, transparent in the sunlight.die rollenden wolken
wie flüchtige schrift –
die dürstenden blätter
der perlende regen
das spielende licht –

der sprühende frühling
das leuchtende lächeln
gesicht zu gesicht –
die atmende erde –
das leben – das leben –
und dann das gedicht –

Christina Egan © 2015

Here is this fortnight’s poem in the
photo calendar
Rhönkalender 2017!

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2017.

Friday in Lent

Friday in Lent

Friday morning.
The city is busy and tired
under the closely curtained sky.

The headlines shout out:
Things fall apart,
trains, towns,
countries, couples.

Life hurts.

The day is a prison, a lenient one,
with gardens and books as windows
and magical messages beamed onto screens,
with the freedom of speech
and the purple pursuit of the heavens.

Christina Egan © 2001


Purple is the colour of Lent, representing suffering; you will find churches decorated —and their statues covered up — with purple fabrics. Purple (violet, lilac, mauve) is a slightly melancholy colour, but it also has dreamlike and spiritual qualities. My ‘purple pursuit’ has all these shades of meaning; ‘the heavens’ could refer to religious faith or simply to a decent and fulfilled life on earth, as in ‘Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’.

Friday is the time when Christians remember Jesus’ passion and keep some fasting, a miniature Lent within each week… or at least the time when they do remember their faith during Lent. The positive messages on your screen could come from a friend — or from God, if you believe in Scriptures!

For a German and English poem about Lent, go to Fastenzeit / Lent.

I Peel Potatoes Round and Round

I Peel Potatoes Round and Round

The pots and pans are stacked away
The fruit and flour packed away
The spoons and ladles tied away
And half my life is lied away

I peel potatoes round and round
And see the muddy peelings mount
I peel and chop and boil and feel
My lifetime passing with the peel

The dust and crumbs are sucked away
The sheets and covers tucked away
The mud and mildew brushed away
And half my life is washed away

I am a woman and a wife
And all of you deny my life
Cast speeches of equality
And stifling silence over me

The socks and shirts are stacked away
The boots and woollens packed away
The shears and shovels tied away
And half my life is lied away

I am a woman and a wife
And all of you deny my strife
Is this two thousand seventeen?
My shackles hurt me more unseen

Christina Egan © 2016

Line of washing outdoors, very colourful, above greenery and flower-pot.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2013.

Pretended liberation of women = Double shifts for women = New servitude of women

Read more in the essay  The Tea Turned Cold in the Cup  at FEMINISM.

 

Le tesson / The Shard

Le tesson

En février givré, je fouille
les feuilles mortes pour des fleurs
modestes et fortes et courageuses :
soldats contre la froideur

ou des pierres précieuses
éparpillées en bas, fragments
pâlis de la Cité Céleste
que quelques éblouis attestent.

Parfois, une sphère lumineuse
me frappe, vive mais tranquille :
plutôt que le premier bouton
ton œil est le tesson qui brille.

Christina Egan © 2017

A pair of mauve crocusses, wide open, in bright sunlight, with honey-bee hovering above.

The Shard

In frosty February, I scour
decaying leaves for the first flower:
some modest soldiers, strong and bold
against the kingdom of the cold,

or precious stones on muddy ground,
some faded fragments of the round
of Heavenly Jerusalem,
that dazzling more-than-real realm.

At times a circle full of light,
as calm as lively, strikes my sight:
but rather than spring’s early guard
your eye is the resplendent shard.

Christina Egan © 2017


For a German and English parallel poem about the first spring flowers, go to my previous post, King Spring / König Frühjahr.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2017.
Crocusses with honey-bee, captured in London in mid-February!