Queen of the Night to King Moon

Queen of the Night to King Moon

I suck the moisture from the Martian sand
and spend myself in reckless rapid bloom.
I am the Queen of a vast sun-quenched land,
yet subject to the magic of the Moon.


Cactus seen from above, with two star-like flowers bigger than the body of the cactus

Sieh, vom Zauberstab des Mondes
angerührt mit sanfter Macht
sind zitronengelbe Sterne
wie Laternen still erwacht,
schütten Düfte in die Wüste,
todgeweiht nach einer Nacht –
desto größer, desto süßer
in verdichtet lichter Pracht.

Texts and photograph:
Christina Egan © 2014

You can find another photo of and poem about the Queen of the Night, Die Macht der Königin der Nacht, at the entry Green Blood.

The flowers indeed often come out with the full moon… and mostly last only one day… although they do last a second night.

Cacti must not stay outside overnight in a damp country: if their roots get too wet, they suffer and die. I only put them in the garden to make them and the insects happy… and the people!


Green Blood

The plant on the window-sill

Lush Christmas cactus on window sill, appearing to reach out to the viewer, with little cacti around.

It is shining, it is glowing,
while the sun is rising high!
It is stretching, it is growing,
so am I, oh, so am I!

It is breathing, it is throbbing,
full of blossom, full of birth!
It is floating, it is bobbing
on the bubble of the earth!

Christina Egan © 2015

Fist-sized cactus with large star-like flower on long firm stalk. Palm-tree shaped red plant in background mirroring the flower's shape; white rose petals on ground mirroring its colour.Die Macht der Königin der Nacht

In der Mittsommermitternacht
ist ein schneeweißer Stern mir erwacht,
eine bebende Blütenblattüte:
Mit heimlicher Königsmacht
hat ein Kaktus den Funken entfacht,
eine klare Trompetenblüte!

Christina Egan © 2013


The Tree at the Corner

Shiny reddish bark, paper-thin and frayed, on a straight round tree-trunk.I gather air and light,
I filter drop on drop,
till there is liquid life:
my waving hands’ green blood.

I give you air and shade
with my bright canopy,
till there is solid gold
through age-old alchemy!

Christina Egan © 2015


Was der Baum im Winter tut

Bare branches against sunset in mauve and apricot; high mountains along horizon.Mit tausend nackten Zweigen hält der Baum
gleich einem gläsernen gewölbten Kelch
die Gänserufe und den Amselsang,
das gleißend hingegossne letzte Gold
und dann das Pfauenblau der frühen Nacht…
Und jene Stille wie ein Geigenklang.

Christina Egan © 2013

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2013/2014/2016

These lines portray plants as living creatures and active participants in this universe.

The non-descript pot-plant stays in its place, yet it gives and takes, grows and procreates — and presumably enjoys life, particularly in spring.

Around summer solstice, the humble cactus suddenly pushes out an unlikely flower, shaped like a trumpet and dazzling like a star: it has revealed itself as a Queen of the Night!

The everyday tree turns the inanimate elements into living matter; and it brings forth beauty even while that life turns towards death again in autumn.

Around winter solstice, the bare tree perceives the beauty of this earth — sunset and dusk, birdsong and silence — or at least, it forms part of this array for us.