Gifts

Gifts

My love, I’d so much love to give you a gift:
a kite with the face of a friendly dragon,
a goblet carved from a coconut shell,
a rocking-chair on a scarlet rug,
a house by a little lake,
a little lake,
a life –

But I have none of these things to give away:
only smiles slotted through half-open doors,
kisses smuggled on underground trains,
words typed on a cluttered screen…
only these worthless,
priceless
words.

Christina Egan © 2008


You can find a poem shaped like a spinning top at Toys / Baskets / Bowls,
one shaped (and tinted) like a bush at By the Brittle Brown Fence,
and one shaped (and tinted) like a balloon at Red Balloon!

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purpurne beeren

purpurne beeren

gleißende wolken
gehäuft und gestaffelt
wispernde rispen
zufriedener pappeln

mannshohe rosen
und silberoliven
letzter lavendel
in hölzernen kübeln

purpurne buchen
mit purpurnem schatten
purpurne beeren
o süßes erwachen

was willst du mehr noch
mit sinnen und streben
schau um dich her doch
hier hier ist das leben

Meadow, lake, copses of diverse trees in the dusk; gleaming clouds, mirrored in lake.bunt ist der sommer
und golden im sinken
schlank ist das weinglas
mit purpurnem blinken

süß ist das lachen
verborgener vögel
stolz setzt der sommer
die gleißenden segel

Christina Egan © 2016

Old Botanical Garden, Dahlem, Berlin.
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016.

Cascades of Light

Cascades of Light

Cascades of light,
of mild, corn-coloured fire:
the sun pours itself out, down,
down across the black gulf
of space and time,
a flame, a smile,
onto the open rose,
the waiting face of the earth.

Christina Egan © 2004

Two large orange roses in the sunshine, yellow in the middle, with large healthy leaves.

Psalm

As warming as the sun’s first touch
after an age of ice.

The last love tastes like the first one:
radical, innocent.

No need to confirm with fire,
no need to confirm with words.

The world suspended in your eyes –
then life rolling out like a yellow-green valley.

Christina Egan © 2004

Vast lush meadow, with blue creek in the middle, under blue sky.

Photographs: Roses on the small island of Föhr, meadows on the tiny island of Hooge, both in the North Sea. Christina Egan © 2014.

Schimmernder Streif

Schimmernder Streif

Ich weiß noch den Teich
zwischen Wiese und Wald,
offnem Meere und Land,
zwischen Süße und Salz,
wo die Dämmerung lang
und unsagbar weich
in den Baumwipfeln hing,
auf dem Wasser verging…

Jener silberne Teich
gleicht dem schimmernden Streif
der Musik, jenem Reich
zwischen Stille und Wort,
Empfindung und Ding,
zwischen Jenseits und Welt,
jenem Raum, der vergeht
und aufs neue ersteht…

Für Anton Bruckner

Christina Egan © 2017

This poem, like others in German and English, was inspired by one of the greatest landscapes I have seen: the strip of land called The Darß (Darss) in the south of the Baltic Sea.

The first stanza can be read as an impression of nature independently of the second, which compares it to Bruckner’s music, or indeed any music. Bruckner, in turn, is one of the greatest composers I know!

Purple Clouds

Purple Clouds

When day and night become a seamless dream
of someone else’s iridescent eyes,
of someone else’s mesmerising voice:
you know before you have been loved in turn
that it was worth it to be born and burn.

When earth and sky become a milky screen
for someone else’s ever-changing face,
for someone else’s never-fading grace:
you know that you have lost your liberty
and gained a purpose or a destiny.

Christina Egan © 2012

Layer of orange clouds on blue sky

When you are newly in love, the other person
turns into the sole purpose of your existence —
and into the only being or object in existence.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2014.