restloslächeln

restloslächeln

von dem blütengesicht
wendest du dich ab
vor der glockenstimme
läufst du davon

denn du willst dich nicht
wundsehnen
nie mehr willst du dich
krankfragen

es ist dir zu teuer das
restloslächeln
zu gefährlich ist dir das
endlosküssen

und dein eignes blütengesicht
versteckst du sorgfältig
samt deiner glockenstimme
in deinem kopfkissen.

Christina Egan © 2012


Observations of the fear of love, the fear of falling in love, the flight from a person you would love to love…

In German, you can more easily invent new words which will be written in one word: here, it is ‘making yourself sore with longing’, ‘making yourself ill with asking’, ‘smiling without leftover’, and ‘kissing without end’. Occasionally, German is more concise than English!

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.

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!

Get Up and Follow Me

Get Up and Follow Me

Love sometimes does  pass our little lives
and stops and speaks: Get up and follow me.
We look, look up, into each other’s eyes,
get up, leave all and follow hand in hand.
There is a love that’s larger than the sun,
it knows the shade, the night, it knows no end,
it’s definite and infinite, it flows
through our hearts, till two are truly one.

Christina Egan © 2000


These lines were inspired by the biblical stories of Jesus calling his followers, who literally got up, left everything behind and — followed him. Just imagine you are getting up from your desk this minute to walk out of your life!

I wrote this poem for my own wedding and recommend it also for anniversaries; a long time together is not eternity yet, but a great achievement and a great gift. Perhaps you could even use it for Valentine’s Day.

December Date

December Date

The afternoon is royal blue,
Burning sparkler on black background, looking like a supernova!with tiny lights festooned,
I rush, I’m flushed, I look for you —
we never meet too soon!

The windows decked with evergreen,
with tinsel and with gold —
and there, my angel, genuine,
a candle in the cold!

Christina Egan © 2015

Photograph by Gabriel Pollard [CC BY-SA 2.5].
Featured picture on Wikimedia Commons.

My City Calls (Grey Roofs Grey Walls)

My City Calls

Grey roofs grey walls
Make up this place
A rough and kind
Familiar face

The spires chimneys
Market stalls
Suspended bridges
Station halls

Oh face of walls
So great so mild
My city calls
Come here my child

My city calls
With golden chime:
While winter falls
Stay here some time

The sky is full
Of rain and snow
Of miracles
To fall and grow

So many faces
In the street
Yet far away
The one I need

Far is my dear
So far away
But I am here
Just day to day

My city calls
Me with her charms
My heartbeat falls
into her arms

Christina Egan © 1995 / 2012


 

Like in Heimkehr nach Köln, the big city is seen as a mother. There are other poems or songs where I describe it as a person — man or woman, although I feel that a city is female. It is a personal relationship: my heart beats for the city, as I claim in Geflecht / Geflechte.

You Want to Read This Poem

You Want to Read This Poem

You want to read this poem
time or no time
rhyme or no rhyme.

You want to know
that your face is a flame
in the hidden temple
of someone else’s heart
trembling and steady.

You want to dwell
on the deep-blue dusk
of her dress
of her eyes
of her soul.

You want to believe
one last time
that three hours are enough
to fuel three years of delight
and from there three thousand.

You want to be sure
she will never be too close
never too far
like surges of birdsong
like surf.

You want to read this poem
as if it were a prayer
as if it were a promise.

Christina Egan © 2011


You Do Not Want to Read this Poem

You do not want to read this poem
however much sunlight
however much midnight.

You do not want to plough
through luminous ciphers
of your own beauty
you want to hear it in someone’s voice
you want to see it on someone’s lips.

You want to lift your eyes from the paper
onto her face
you want to lift your hand from the paper
onto her arm
let it rest.

You want to step through this poem
as if it were a secret gate
to the tiered garden
of an ancient manor house
you heard of in a novel.

You do not want a host of poems
a pavement of paper
a quilt of hopes
you want a host of moments
a quilt of memories.

You do not want to read this poem
you want sudden life
before the sun has sunk.

Christina Egan © 2011