Do Diamonds Die?

Do Diamonds Die?

Even diamonds die.
Empires erode,
battlements decay,
skyscrapers melt.

Not so what locks
your look into my look,
my heart into your heart.
Love will live.

With or without a night
or even a day,
a confession, a vow.
Love is born love.

Diamonds have grown for us,
as rare in the vast dark soil
as stars in the fathomless void.
Heaven does happen.

Christina Egan © 2004Engraving of hot-air balloon between layer of clouds and starred sky with moon.Illustration from a children’s book of 1896.
Image provided by British Library
through Flickr.

P.S.: Reader, he married me!  ;o)

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die unterseite der ahornblätter

die unterseite
der ahornblätter

die unterseite
der ahornblätter
zu entziffern
bin ich bestellt

die verästelungen
der äderchen
die lebenslinien
und altersflecken

pergament
durchsichtig
gegen das licht
liebesgedichte

bettlerschalen
dankbar und demütig
bischofskelche
frohgemut hochgemut

die unterseite
der ahornblätter
zu besingen
bin ich geboren

Christina Egan © 2019

Die Unterseite der Möwenflügel

Die Unterseite der Möwenflügel
läßt mich die sinkende Sonne erahnen,
das ragende Raster der Fensterspiegel
darf mir ihr blendendes Angesicht rahmen!

Dies ist die Kreuzung voll Hast und Getöse,
Räder und Füße wie wirbelndes Laub,–
dies ist der Augenblick, den ich erlese,
Blitzen und Blinzeln im zehrenden Staub.

Christina Egan © 2019

Quiet Fire

Quiet Fire

In balmy darkness
I was floating
over sand and salt,
along the garland of lights,
below the curtain of stars…

One fell.
In a flash, I thought of
my distant beloved one,
in a flood, it came back,
the impossible future.

Decorative paper, black with ripples in grey, white, purple.He, too,
had come like a shooting-star,
fair, fast, in a sweeping curve,
with careless grace,
like a message from life.

Cold is the sea now and rough,
with dullness tainted the days
and the sparkling tent of the night.
The quiet fire has passed:
the face that mattered.

Around me is autumn,
and I know that spring will return
and my youth will not.
The voice that struck me is silent;
and my heart eats death.

Christina Egan © 2012

A memory of the Mediterranean Sea, where one can swim, and swim even in after dark, even into autumn…

Decorative paper. Image provided by British Library through Flickr.

Daedalus on the Battlements

Daedalus on the Battlements

You drag your baggage through the crowd,
and from the loud and glaring maze
you spill into the heavy haze
of autumn fog and stifling fumes,
into a tube you crawl through tubes,
into a bullet aimed at space –

You soar, you blink, anticipate
some mellow light, some subtle blues –
And then you float above the dunes
of salty sand, the plains of ice,
the shadow of a sheet of cloud –
You sail above the blazing skies!

Christina Egan © 2016


Another return to Greece with winter sunshine even before I arrived: a sunset above the clouds! — Daedalus escaped the labyrinth by flying from its walls; the flaming sun plays a key role in this myth. 

You may get the sense of this poem quite well in a translation software.

Septembertraum

Septembertraum

Warm wird noch einmal der Tag,
hält die Verfärbung des Laubes auf
und verführt das Grün überm Grund
zu Gewändern in haltlosen Farben!
Scharlach und Schnee und Ultramarin
rütteln die Flügel der Seele auf…

Mild wird noch einmal die Nacht,
als läge der Frühling vor unseren Füßen,
ausgerollt bis zum Horizont,
statt des unabwendbaren Herbstes.
Silbern und sanft steht der Park
und klar wie ein Kristall der Traum.

Christina Egan © 2014

Front gardens with brick walls, flower pots, rose tree.

A warm September day lures new flowers — in bright red, snow white, deep blue — instead of the inevitable discolouring of the leaves, while the night is still ‘silver and gentle’. 

For a moment of suspense, instead of autumn spring seems to be unfolding before us…

Not necessarily an autumnal equinox  event, but very much in the spirit of it.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2013.

War and Peace (Red Fog / Green Shoots)

War and Peace

I.

Red Fog

Red fog rose
from the bloody river
when Baghdad’s proud walls
crumbled to dust.

The sobbing, the gasping
rose with the fog,
scratched the blank sky
till it wept blood.

High soared the blinking blades,
higher the cries of triumph,
down on the broken timber,
the toys forlorn in the ash.

Red ran the Tigris,
bearing pots and books and bodies
down through the desert,
frayed crimson silk.

Decorative brick with symmetrical floral motiv, deeply incised.

II.

Green Shoots

Green shoots, vibrant,
blue buds, brilliant,
climbing the trellis
of ten thousand tiles.

The tall white walls,
the wide white courtyards,
the shimmering basins:
those were the flags of peace.

Not the carpets of ash
which the conquest leaves,
nor the polished parchment
where the truce is signed.

Peace is the pomegranate
in the smooth wooden bowl,
peace is the spinning-top
on the deep-green glaze.

Christina Egan © 2003 (I) / © 2018 (II)

These poems were inspired by the massacre of 1248 when the Mongols took Baghdad, but they can be applied to any war Mesopotamia has seen in the course of the millennia, or indeed to any other part of the world…

Brick from Baghdad, mid-13 century. Photograph: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Brown Butterfly / Brauner Schmetterling

Brown Butterfly

 

Found, found on sandy ground:
bronze brooch from an unknown age,
bright map of an unknown land,
O quivering flower,
brown butterfly!
Where have you flown…?
Little butterfly,
your mirroring wings
are dust lifted up from the earth
and assembled to beauty of heaven.
Grace, grace beyond a name.

Bright admiral butterfly, maroon with 'eyes', on purple cone of flowers.

 Brauner Schmetterling

 

Gefunden auf sandigem Grund:
Bronzebrosche verlorener Zeiten,
bunte Karte ferner Gefilde.
Du erbebende Blume,
du bräunliche!
Wo flogst du hin…?
Schmetterling,
deine Spiegelbildflügel
sind Staub, der Erde enthoben,
gesammelt zu Himmelsschimmer.
Anmut, namenlose Anmut.

Huge tropical flower, orange and wide open, with human hand for comparison.

The shape of the poems — and their
colour — emulate those of a  butterfly.

English poem: Christina Egan © 2005. 
German poem: Christina Egan © 2017.
Photographs: Christina Egan © 2013.