Magnolia in March

Magnolia in March

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Gold under my tree:
daffodils, minted sunlight.
No gold in the sky.

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Purple stars appear
beneath the bedroom window:
little sky on earth.

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The bare black branches
hold a round yellow lantern:
the rising full moon.

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Christina Egan © 2005/2016

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Standing in the Slush

Standing in the Slush
(February Haiku )

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Standing in the slush,
by the bus stop, I’m looking
for lost memories.

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Wet empty benches,
wet winding sand paths, furrowed
by hurried footsteps.

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I’m rubbing my eyes,
weighed down by dreams, and there –
first leaves like lances!

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Christina Egan © 2013


Like February Sparks, these haiku were written at the hardest time of the year, when our strength is about to be exhausted entirely. This is when we have to be strongest, when we have to fight hardest, as the previous post, Venus and Mars, describes. At least, in southern England, flowers appear very early, in winter, really, to cheer you up…!

Alles drängt vorwärts

Alles drängt vorwärts

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Fahrzeug um Fahrzeug,
bunte Menschen, Hunderte,
alles drängt vorwärts.
Durch das Adernetz der Stadt
rollt das Leben, das Sterben.

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Kein einziger Stern,
bloß Wolken, Nebel und Staub
über den Dächern.
Doch Funken stieben, golden
und rot, über die Kreuzung.

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Christina Egan © 2015/ © 2017

Busy junction in the dusk, with red and yellow lamps of cars and buses glaring.

These tanka were written in Bloomsbury, London,
one in summer and one in winter, one bright light
and one in dim light;  but the seasons and hours
make less difference in London than elsewhere…
For similar poems in English, go to Ripples of People.

Photograph: Deptford Broadway, London.
Michael Oakes © 2016

Oasis (Marrakesh)

Oasis
(Marrakesh)

All these proud palm-trees,
a thousand and one, now bow
before your beauty.

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A road of roses,
an avenue fit for a king –
just right for you.

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Desert dust reaches
for your ankles of marble,
envied by my hands.

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Christina Egan © 2016


Orange tree full of fruit and rose tree with large roses in front of high pink wallsThis is actually a set of winter poems: Morocco in midwinter is like northern Europe in midsummer! Marrakesh welcomes you with warm sunshine, thousands of palm-trees and tens of thousands of roses in all colours… Around the city, wherever the ancient irrigation system does not reach, the land stretches dry and dusty.

Photograph: Orange-trees and rose-trees within the rose-coloured walls of Marrakesh. Christina Egan © 2012

Bus Stop Haiku

Bus Stop Haiku

The full moon captured
in a cage of stone and wood:
a white paper lamp.

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Wilting lavender
on the window sill, turning
into bursts of scent.

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Brick wall and bus stop:
in between, seven nations
squeezing together.

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Christina Egan © 2016


An ancient art form capturing mundane moments from the big city: In Wood Green, London, a crowd from seven nations is squeezing onto the red buses. I looked out for beauty at the bus stop and found it.

The full moon glimpsed turns out to be a bedroom lamp. The luxurious lavender grows in a little tin pot. The third autumn haiku does not even have any image from nature: just a brick wall…

Sonnenuhrzeiger / Sundial Garden

Sonnenuhrzeiger

Die Sonne gleißt auf grüner Flur:
Ein jeder wird zur Sonnenuhr.
Der Schattenmensch liegt lang im Gras,
der Abend schrumpft in gleichem Maß.

Die hingestreute Sternenzier
ist mürbes Laub wie Packpapier.
Die weißen Blumen tanzen stumm
um einen dicken Stamm herum.

O trink das Licht mit Haut und Haar:
Noch ist der Himmel hoch und klar!
O trink das Licht mit Aug und Sinn:
Es liegt die Kraft des Alls darin.

Christina Egan © 2016

Top of wall covered with lichen and tree with patchy bark, mirroring each other.

Sundial Garden

The sun will gain ground,
conquer inches of lichen,
of leaves and of lawn.
Across the square garden creeps
the shade of the steep gable.

Christina Egan © 2005


In these poems, a whole gardens turns into a sundial: in the first one, each person in the park is a sundial hand, and in the second, a house with a pointed roof fulfils this function, casting its shadow over a north-facing yard.

The first poem is set in late summer or autumn and in the late afternoon or evening, the second one in late winter or spring and possibly in the morning. The yearly and daily descent of the light is as inevitable as its subsequent rise.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016.

Ripe Apples and Pears

Ripe Apples and Pears
(Rhön, September)

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Ripe apples and pears,
plenty, between the pebbles
in the nimble stream.

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The forest, still green,
whispers and rustles and taps
with dropping acorns.

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The gilded beech-tree
stretches out one long arm
towards the morning sun.

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Christina Egan © 2013

Green field in the foreground, flat top of wooded hill with chapel in the distance, much blue sky above.

These haiku were written on walks around the Florenberg, a steep little hill in Germany, clothed with forest and crowned with a one-thousand-year-old chapel. The Fulda area was covered with beech-trees and oak-trees once.

Summit of Florenberg in spring, seen from another hilltop. Photograph: Christina Egan © 2014.