Silent Roads

Silent Roads
(Virus Crisis)

limpid morning
liquid noon
falling stars and
swelling moon

roaming foxes
flitting bats
passing faces
passing steps

Red houseboats amongst lush trees and blossoming meadows.real colours
newborn light
flowing hours
breathing tide

sweeping herons
floating boats
swelling meadows
silent roads

real flavour
real sound
real labour
on the ground

nimble hands and
muddy boots
curling vines and
twisting roots

real treasures
on your spade
real colours
on your plate

Tall tomb with urn on top, tilting, on old cemetery.real paper
flowing ink
time to wake and
time to think

time to sleep and
time to slow
time to weep and
time to grow

time to rise and
to rejoice
time to hoist your
real voice

Christina Egan © 2020


While London closed down to protect itself from the 2020 coronavirus, I was cut off from my job and from the internet for a while. (This blog ran on as pre-scheduled.)

I was very fortunate to spend many hours outdoors, working in my garden or walking under the countless trees and along the hidden rivers of London, and through the suburban roads, cleared at last of traffic and crowds. Spring brought splendid sunshine, as if it were already high summer.

There was time. There was air. There was life. For many who were not ill or caring for those who were ill, this must have been one of the best times of their life.


Tottenham Marshes / Tottenham Cemetery. Photographs: Christina Egan © 2020.

Gedächtnisgarten zu Tottenham

Gedächtnisgarten zu Tottenham

Wie Sternennebel
schweben die schneeweißen Büsche
im Nachtgrün am Rande des Parks,
und aus dem sattschwarzen Grunde
ruft ihrer mehr herauf
das funkelnde Zepter des Mondes,
als lebte der Amsel Perlengesang
das Dunkel hindurch.

Wie übergroße Urwaldblüten
liegen in Schlaf geschmiegt
die silbernen Gänse,
erfroren geglaubte Träume
verlorengegebener Kraft.
Der Duft von überallher
ist schwer, er wiegt,
er ist wirklich.

Die Rinnen der Inschrift
im Granit des Gartentors
füllen sich langsam mit Sinn:
Garten des Friedens.

Christina Egan © 2006

High brick wall with inscription 'Garden of Peace'; iron gate with lawn and palm-trees behind.

Memorial Garden, Tottenham Cemetery. Photograph: Christina Egan © 2013.

Bloomsbury, on the Ides of May

Bloomsbury, on the Ides of May

I will remember: it was on the Ides of May,
the light was lingering late, still bright behind
the fading curtains of clouds, ready to burst
into colourful banners; so were the buds in the parks.
Short were the shades of the columns and those of the crowds
ceaselessly weaving around the corners of concrete.
I will remember the weary assembly of tombstones,
too weathered to count as a witness, the lime-green life
pushing out from the cracks, the benches eager for laughter,
Edge of tomb, with weeds outside and insidethe birds’ unheeded, untiring, Vespers to God.
See: I lay down the unspoken secret in verse.

Christina Egan © 2007

 

 

Photograph (taken in Tottenham
in July): Christina Egan © 2013.

Blütenschnee / The Opposite of Snow

Du bist der Blütenschnee

Du bist der Blütenschnee,
du bist die Blütengischt,
die Blütengalaxie,
die mir das Glück verspricht,
die mir das Glück versprüht,–
die Frühlingssymphonie,
die nimmermehr verblüht…
Du funkelst mehr denn je!

Christina Egan © 2018


The Opposite of Snow

This sweet and heavy blossom,
white with a golden glimmer,
an incandescent glow…
Its sweet and heavy scent,
like gingerbread in summer –
the opposite of snow!

Christina Egan © 2018


The first poem compares blossom to snow, the second declares it the opposite of snow. Both could be a description of a beloved person: delightful or even delicious like gingerbread…

April (Aufquellend)

April

Aufquellend
wie Perlennester
der Vogelgesang
voller Lust.

(Eingezingelt vom Gebrüll
der Preßlufthämmer.)

Amongst high, dark, buildings, lawns, trees in blossom, and in the middle, a red doubledecker bus.Blütenwolkenweiß
und babyblättergrün
lacht das Land,
lacht die Luft.

(Aufgeschnitten in kleine Gevierte
zwischen den braunen Backsteinbauten.)

Jetzt sind Licht und Wind.
Jetzt ist Atem, endlich.
Jetzt ist das Jetzt
ein Jetzt.

Christina Egan © 2006

Park with bright green lawns and tree-tops; in the centre two trees covered in pink or white blossom.

Russel Square; Tottenham Cemetery. Photographs: Christina Egan © 2016/ © 2018.

Children of the sun and moon

Children of the sun and moon

When we drift through ink-blue dusk
under the twigs of moon-white blossom,
under the crystal orbs of street-lamps,
under the shadeless signals of neon,

when we slide across concrete squares
and sail around sharp and rounded corners,
restless and vigorous, at home in the dark,
at home in the city, nocturnal birds,

we know deep down that we are still
children of the sun and moon:
the sun must rise in our eyes,
the moon must rise in our brain;

we must admit that we are still
children of the earth and sky:
the spring must rise in our bones,
the stars must rise in our veins.

Christina Egan © 2016

Osterglockenlied

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

Was soll ich jene jauchzenden Narzissen,
die sich in zartesten Zitronentönen
und vollem Apfelsinenleuchten dehnen,
die mehr als wir vom wahren Leben wissen,
mit meinen leisen Reimen nacherschaffen?
Um unauslöschlich nun sie zu entfachen:
in Flammen, die dem Blatt Papier entspringen
und Freude ringsherum zum Klingen bringen!

Christina Egan © 2015

 

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2017.

Milder Mai

Milder Mai

I.

In der weißen Marmorwanne
wartet schon ein warmes Bad:
So steht weiche Luft im Marktplatz,
füllt ihn bis zur feinsten Naht,

nimmt die Jacken von den Schultern,
von den Gliedern das Gewicht,
taucht das graue Reich des Nordens
in ein weingetöntes Licht.

II.

Lavender with fresh and wilted blossom, next to pale-golden grass.Wieder wuchert der Lavendel
halbwegs übern Gartenpfad,
birgt in prallen grünen Stengeln
seine süße lila Saat,

säumt die amethystnen Rispen
noch mit Lapislazuli,
jubiliert mit frischer Stimme
in der Sechsten Symphonie!

III.

Little tree with bright-blue blossom, next to pink and blue flowers.Wieder naht die Sonnenwende,
milder, üppiger denn je;
niemals tat so wohl das Leben,
niemals tat es mir so weh.

Selbst die losen Rosenblätter
leuchten wie ein Wolkensaum…
Und ich pflanze unter Tränen
einen himmelblauen Baum.

Christina Egan © 2014


I was thinking of sunlight like golden wine, but it might also a dusk like rosé…

The blue-blossoming tree is a ceanothus; the Sixth Symphony is Beethoven’s Pastoral.

Lavender; ceanothus. Photographs:  Christina Egan © 2016 /© 2017.

 

Chandelier

Chandelier

At last, the air is warm again; the sky
at last gets gradually infused with light,
the clouds are dusty blue and creamy white:
the colours, too, warm up, warming the eye.
And that pale cliff of buildings, sheer and high,
gets saturated with the same delight
and holds it up against the sinking night:
this half-forgotten gentle golden dye.
And here, above the square of glittering grass,
above the blossom bursting on the trees
which trembles when the wilful spring winds pass,
there floats another sparkling tree, it seems:
a thousand particles of precious glass
struck by the grand piano’s swelling breeze.

Christina Egan © 2013

Yellow Fire (April Haiku)

Yellow Fire
(April Haiku)

*

Little rust-red leaves,
no, blood-red in the sunlight,
there, throbbing with life!

*

White stars are floating,
above the ancient tombstones,
on the slanting tree.

*

Little lime-green leaves
running along the hedges,
look, like yellow fire!

*

Christina Egan © 2017

Drawing of three old-fashioned spinning tops.Illustration from
‘Children’s games throughout the year’ 
(1949) by Leslie Daiken.