Lilac and Lime

Lilac and Lime

Vase with small but very bright flowers, mainly raspberry-pink and lemon-yellow, like fireworks, against turquoise table and turquoise sheet.It is coming at last! With the singing wood
of luminous lutes, with trumpets and drums,
in garments and feathers of lilac and lime,
of honey and rose, with stately stride,
with canter and caper, the pageant of summer
is wending its way and filling the valley
with birds and butterflies, blossom and breeze.

Christina Egan © 2008

Little tree with apple-green leaves in a park in average summerly green

For a German poem about the pageant of summer, see geh aus mein herz.

 

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2013 / © 2014.

Advertisements

Hollow Oak / feuerrad

Hollow Oak

Two round brooches with circular ornaments in gold and garnet, also glass and shell.Under the circle of branches,
under the tent of the tree,
inside the ring of the brambles,
sit on the roots with me!

Sit on the roots emerging
under the perfect round,
crouch by the tree-trunk surging
hollow from hallowed ground.

Under the circle of oak-leaves,
under the tent of the sky,
blue like the lakes in the valley,
come and sit closer by.

Very bright painting of the earth and universe in concentric circles on a golden background.Sheltered by tangled brambles,
held by the hollow oak,
tingled by ancient prayers,
kiss me and kindle hope!

Christina Egan © 2018

(Epping Forest, Essex)

 

feuerrad

das eichenlaub vergeht in goldesglanz
als sich das feuerrad der sonne senkt
die eiche hebt die wurzeln wie zum tanz
indes sie ihre hundert äste schwenkt

der eichenstamm rotiert als starke nabe
in jenem reigen zwischen tag und nacht
sein hohlraum bildet eine honigwabe
vom drachenzahn des brombeerstrauchs bewacht

die eiche streckt sich stolz am waldessaum
der sich zum wasserreichen tale neigt
wie gold und kupfer loht der alte baum
der tagstern sinkt das mondrund aber steigt

Christina Egan © 2018

(Epping Forest, Essex)


Illustrations: Anglo-Saxon disc brooches. Author: BabelStone [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons. — 12th century depiction of the world, illustrating a work by 11th century author Hildegard of Bingen.

Nächster Halt: Potsdamer Platz

Nächster Halt: Potsdamer Platz

Schwingt ihre Hüften und wippt ihre Füße
fröhlich die Straßenbahn, macht einen Satz,–
weben Zylinder und Wagenradhüte,
Kappen und Häubchen am Potsdamer  Platz!

Strahlen geschwungene Straßenlaternen,
äugen Gesichter aus blumigem Putz,
lachen Plakate und wirbeln und werben:
Pflückt euch das Leben am Potsdamer Platz!

Längst sind zu Staub die Fassaden zerstoben,
längst ist verklungen Berlins Karussell,–
aber im Geiste, dem Zeitlauf enthoben,
dreht es sich kunterbunt, munter und schnell.

Christina Egan © 2017

Noble townhouse with rich stucco ornaments and rose-tree.

This poem is the middle part of my Berlin Triptych, together with Nächster Halt: Bahnhof Zoo and Nächster Halt: Flughafen Schönefeld. Someone arrives at Zoo Station, then passes Potsdamer Platz on a round-trip, and leaves from Schönefeld airport.

For an English poem about the same square, go to Glass Mountain (Potsdamer Platz).

Photograph: Noble townhouse in Berlin — one inspiration for these lines! Christina Egan © 2016.

Au milieu de la vie

Au milieu de la vie

Two large poppies almost touching, looking like goblets filled with sunlight.On s’est trouvé en Messidor,
toujours en pleine jeunesse;
on s’épousé sous chutes d’or
avec une folle tendresse;

on a franchi brouillard, chaleur,
tempête et sécheresse.

On est toujours en Fervidor,
en pleine abondance,
comme s’il y avait de l’avenir,
toujours rempli de chances…
On entrera le Fructidor
toujours en pleine danse!

Christina Egan © 2013


This poem uses the terms of the French Revolutionary Calendar, which were created by a poet; the names of the summer months evoke heat and harvest.

The couple have met in the midsummer of their lives, got married a little later, and are now going through late summer — still dancing!

Not only according to numbers are they “in the middle of life”: they are in the midst of things, and they live more intensely than in their youth.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2017.

Rear Mirror

Rear Mirror

Telegraph wires:
a flock of birds turns them into
three lines of verse.

*

No flowerbeds here –
but a line of bright washing
dancing in the wind!

*

A palm-tree appears
in the rear mirror, and huts
in the still lagoon.

Christina Egan © 2018

Washing-line with red, orange, yellow, green clothes, forming a triangle with the matching flower-beds behind.

These haiku about haiku were written looking at three picture postcards, where I instantly perceived patterns and metaphors.

Poetry – and painting or photography – are like rear mirrors which make hidden things visible and ordinary places special.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016.

The Dance of the Sacks

The Dance of the Sacks

There’s the war tax and the peace tax
There’s the core tax and the fleece tax
There’s the fish tax and the spice tax
There’s the poll tax and the vice tax!

There’s the whisper of a tax-plan
There’s the whistle of the tax-man!

There’s the old tax and the new tax
There’s the wool tax and the wheat tax
There’s the old tax for the new sacks
And the new tax for the old sacks!

There’s the tax-man with his tablet
It’s a state-protected racket!

Christina Egan © 2011

Small clay tablet with cuneiform text.

This comical song for a jig is taken from my stage play The Bricks of Ur  (© 2011) set around 2000 BC.

The tax collectors could wield either Sumerian clay tablets or 21st century electronic tablets!

I must have been inspired by a hilarious jig in one of the first seasons of Shakespeare’s Globe in London…

Receipt for 13 woolen garments, ca. 2038 BC. Photograph by Rama, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr [CeCILL or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr] via Wikimedia Commons.