am kalten kamin / Winter Sunset

am kalten kamin

die eingerahmten flammen
von süßer sonnenkraft
sinken in sich zusammen
in kalter mitternacht

das feuer das dich blendet
in wildem geisterglanz
hat sich zuletzt verschwendet
zu tode sich getanzt

eh noch der morgen graute
liegt ausgelaugt der herd
und über deinem haupte
hängt sichtbar nun das schwert

Christina Egan © 2017


Winter Sunset

If only I could fly
across the icy sky
into the dying sun,
so all my tears,
my wants and fears
and wanderings would be none.

If only I could fall
into the fiery ball
and warm and melt away,
and then be shot,
a sparkling dot,
into a new-born day.

Christina Egan © 2003


Image: No title. René Halkett (1938). Image with kind permission of Galerie Klaus Spermann.

The Eagle’s Outpost

The Eagle’s Outpost

Gently, I lay my hand upon a stone:
it snuggles up to my pulsating palm.
The last time it enjoyed the sun god’s balm,
he gilded nimble chariots of Rome,
and legionnaires patrolled the city walls
above the river of a thousand miles,
while olives, dates and spices glowed in piles
and glittering fabrics flowed from shaded stalls.
The halls were fashioned of a thousand stones;
so were the roads rolled out to many lands;
and all were laid by many thousand hands…
This eagle’s outpost held ten thousand souls –
A dream of dreams, lifted into the light:
I was in Dura Europos last night.

Christina Egan © 2018

Runis of fortress on hilltop in arid land, above wide river with green fields.

The ruins of Dura Europos above the Euphrates, today in Syria, in 2016.
Photograph
 by Marina Milella [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.


 

After 500 poems, the usual poem about a Roman Road to start the year!

 

Die letzte Stunde dieses Jahres / Some Prayers


500 poems posted on this site !


 

Die letzte Stunde dieses Jahres

Die letzte Stunde dieses Jahres ,
ein runder Spiegel, wendet sich.
Der volle Mond, ein endlich klares
Signal, ganz hoch, verschwendet sich.
Ein glitzerndes, unabsehbares
Feuerwerkstanzen blendet dich,–
und etwas Wahres, Wunderbares
aus alter Zeit vollendet sich.

Christina Egan © 2017

Burning sparkler on black background, looking like a supernova!

Some Prayers are Like Lightning

Some prayers are like lightning
and others are like dawn,
some prayers are like sunset
and some perhaps like noon.

And saints and angels lift them
across the heavens’ dome
and lay them on the carpet
below the flaming throne.

And God will weigh and sift them
and send his answers down –
some veiled and some diverted,
some sooner, though, than soon.

Christina Egan © 2017


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

Hochglanzfotos / glossy faces

Hochglanzfotos

Hochglanzfotos
von den letzten Hopi-Indianern
Hochglanzfenster
auf die Skyline der Zukunft
Hochglanzgesichter
ohne einen Schatten von Tod

das glitzernde Fest
über dem Abgrund
ist noch nicht ausverkauft

Christina Egan © 1990


glossy faces

glossy faces
framed by paper
framed by screens
framed by windows

painted faces
painted bodies
images of desires
images of images

sculpted and painted
masks and totems
with unseeing eyes
swarming around me

a mass of masks
each one an island
drifting in an ocean
of mute music

of flashing messages
clashing messages
fake facts
fake names

glossy faces
perfected
imperishable
and just so happy!

Christina Egan © 2018


While the second poem comes from a world of mobile devices and social media, the first one was written in 1989 or 1990, when computers (personal computers) where gradually being introduced and the internet (worldwide web) was only being invented. I must have been thinking of television and cinema, magazines and newspapers, posters perhaps or record covers…

This is the End (Yet all will be well)

This is the End

Most days are too harsh, and most days are too dark,
and most hours are trundling along through a void,
while the moons fade away, barely leaving a ray,
and proud cities, piled up to the clouds, are destroyed.

Yet all will be well, yes, it yet will be well,
and all manner of things will be well in the end,
when in fathomless bliss like a fathomless kiss
all the stars, all the spirits will brighten and blend.

Christina Egan © 2004


Lines five and six are a quote from Sister Julian of Norwich,
an English hermit and mystic who lived six hundred years ago.

In Advent, which this year starts today, Christians also think of
the inevitable and terrifying end of the world.

Massive stone walls piled upon each other

The Tower of Jericho, around 9,000 years old. Photograph:
Reinhard Dietrich (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
.

Captivity

I.

looking through the lofty glass door
I feel the faint sun on my forehead

I press my hands against the glaze of ice
I grasp the slender handle to crack it

I must lean out of it
I must step out of it

into the sparkling garden below me
into the buzzing street beyond it

I must follow the clouds to the edge of the land
I must follow the winds to the edge of the earth

 

II.

Iron railing in brick wall, like a gate without lock, with view onto green riverbank.tomorrow I will open my eyes
as if I saw the sun for the first time

tomorrow I will get up and go
as if my steps were guided and guarded

I will step out of my mind
into someone else’s mind

I will step out of my eyes
into someone else’s eyes

then I shall touch beauty
then I shall taste life

 

III.

Heavy rusty gate, decorated with swirls, with keys in lock.the summer was short
and long was the winter

I witnessed neither
I looked upon bricks

that was when I realised
how glaring lamps are and how bland

how pages are made of paper
and screens stay stubbornly flat

that was when I faded
from a flag to a shadow

I chewed on the bare bread of hope
turning sweet on my tongue

Christina Egan © 2012

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2018 / 2014.

Schlaflied / Die Riesenschaukel

Schlaflied
(Spätherbst)

Blätter fallen,
Regen fällt,
langsam schlafen
geht die Welt.

Schlaf’ auch du nun,
Mutter wacht.
Gute Ruhe,
gute Nacht.

Nebel wallen
und verwehn,
Schnee wird fallen,

Stern wird stehn.
Schlaf’ auch du nun,
Engel wacht.
Gute Träume,
gute Nacht.

(Für Johannes)

Christina Egan © 2009


Die Riesenschaukel

Papa, Jakob, Julian
stoßen ihre Schaukel an,
Schaukel mit dem Riesenkorb
trägt sie von der Erde fort.

Sie schaukeln und schwingen,
sie jauchzen und singen,
hinauf, hinauf, hurra!

Mama, Jakob, Julian
stoßen ihre Schaukel an,
fliegen übern feinen Sand,
fliegen übern Waldesrand.

Sie steigen und sinken,
sie lachen und winken,
hinauf, hinauf, hurra!

(Für Julian und Jakob)

Christina Egan © 2009


You can of course substitute your own names in this song, for instance ‘Vati, Klaus und Peter nun’ or ‘Mutti und Elisabeth’. Perhaps you can find tunes, too!