The Pattern of a Yesterday / Golden Dell

The Pattern of a Yesterday
(Knossos, Crete)

Knossos: woman in very colourful blouse sitting in a reconstructed window of the palace, in front of the same very colourful mural shown in the other photo.

the colossal columns
of the proud pine-trees
that lofty canopy offering shelter
from the flood of sun

the black and white and blood-red pillars
in the serene maze of the palace
those patches in the pattern of a yesterday
which is millennia past

Christina Egan © 2012

Flourishes on a mural, turquoise on luminous red and yello


The same mural in the palace
at Knossos, Crete. 
Harrieta171 via Wikimedia.

For German poems about Crete,
go to the cycle Kretische Küste.
For more about Crete, see below!

Golden Dell
(Chania, Crete)

You sip your coffee in the market-square
lapped by a sky and sea which both are blue;
you notice other folk from everywhere
and read this was the Roman forum, too.

You pass a corner with a golden dell:
stairs down and down, a hundred ages’ span…
The layers blur, solidify and swell,
and history unfolds, a dazzling fan.

Christina Egan © 2015


The Minoan civilisation is the oldest urban civilisation in Europe. The royal palace at Knossos, dating back almost 3,500 years, has the first stone street of Europe. Chania on Crete, a city of stone even 5,000 years ago, is one of the oldest continously inhabited European settlements. You look back on 100 and more generations…

My German translation of the first poem is called gesternmuster.



Ein großer lila Schmetterling
an einem feinen Silberband:
ein einfallsreiches Ornament
von unbekannter Künstlerhand,

das man vielleicht den Mauerresten
des Vorstadthauses einst entringt,
in sorgsam aufgereihten Kästen
dem Publikum zur Ansicht bringt.

Bis dahin werden Bild und Name
der Trägerin verloren sein;
nur ein verbeulter Brillenrahmen
wirft einen warmen Kupferschein,

und, rätselhaft, ein Silberring
trägt eine Inschrift auf Latein.
Die Zeitung schreibt: Der Schmetterling
mag Zeugnis einer Liebe sein.
Christina Egan © 2015

A woman's throat with a large butterfly pendant in silver and purple and a long blond ringlet on her dark garment.This story takes place in the future: when we are the past  unearthed, marvelled at, mused about. The inscription on the ring – which is a real item from the year 2000 AD – means ‘May we always love each other’.