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.

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Wer schaut (Wer lauscht)

Wer schaut

Wer schaut,
sieht, wie die seltenen Wolken ziehen,
über die Firste entfliehen,
und dann, wie der Himmel blaut.
Bloß blaut.

Wer lauscht,
hört die stumme Amsel
das heiße trockene Gras durchstreifen
und den seltenen Wind sich erheben,
wie er die blühenden Büsche bauscht.

Tall purple verbena with two white butterflies, one sitting, one flying, with its wings spread out.Wer lauscht,
hört die Schwalben pfeifen
und weiß, daß die Heiterkeit
noch eine Zeit bleibt
vor dem Herbst.

Wer schaut,
sieht die Blaubeeren reifen
im selben sommersatten Rotviolett
wie das ragende Eisenkraut…
und auf dem matten Blaubeerlaub
den winzigen flatternden Schatten
und dann den wolkenweißen
Schmetterling selbst.

Wer lauscht,
schweigt
in ein leuchtendes Schweigen hinein.

Wer schaut,
begreift
und darf sein.

Christina Egan © 2018

Garden with a few colourful flowers and berries in the foreground.

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2013 (butterflies) / © 2014 (garden).

An Average Life / And All My Youth

An Average Life

The admiral butterfly
a map of happiness
on the burnished green
of the ivy in May

its glamour
its poise
its place in the sun
imagine you had it

bright as a bracelet
fine as a feather
strong as a storm
imagine you were it

and you practised your movements
studied your speeches
turned up in good time –
and your part has been cancelled

the play goes ahead
with you as a servant
in black in the background
required to smile.

Christina Egan © 2010

 

And all my youth I have been old

Amidst the wealth of my existence
I suffer hunger dark and cold
I am invisibly imprisoned
and all my youth I have been old

On narrow shoulders I must carry
my illness like an awkward cross
I am inexorably burdened
by frailty and its offspring loss

Christina Egan © 2010

 

Orange Butterflies

Orange Butterflies
(Monarch Butterflies)

Brittle ochre leaves…
No – sinewy butterflies,
waiting through winter!

*

Orange butterflies,
tiny, tender, untiring,
crossing continents.

*

A swift golden cloud:
a million bright butterflies
following their stars.

*

Christina Egan © 2016

Clusters of deep-orange butterflies on deep-green leaves, similary shaped.

Monarch butterflies cluster in Santa Cruz, California.
Photograph by Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

On Orange Sails / Yellow Balloon

On Orange Sails

On orange sails
across the ocean
of the sky,
towards the land
of lust and rest,
the butterfly
must toil and flail,
must drift and dream –
like you and I…
On orange sails
I still woo you,
my butterfly.

Christina Egan © 2014


Yellow Balloon

The matching dreams of you and me
are mellow streams of scented noon,
are yellow reams of solid silk,
to sew into a huge balloon
and blow it up with double breath
and fire it with blazing love
to sail across the heaving sky –
for us, the sea is not enough!

Christina Egan © 2014


There are more poems and a photograph at Orange Butterflies.
There is now also an anniversary poem about a Red Balloon!

 

SEMPER AMEMUS

SEMPER AMEMUS
 
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’.