Tiefgelb / Tieftürkis

Colour wheel with 18th century labels: clockwise from yellow over red to blue and green; one purple field has paled to pink.Tiefgelb

Die tiefgelbe Blume vor wollweißer Wand,
die frohrosa Büschel vor lehmbraunem Zaun,
der vollblaue Tag über kraftgrünem Land –
der rundbunte Sommer, ein tiefgelber Traum!

Christina Egan © 2016


Tieftürkis

Tieftürkis und lässig prächtig,
sonnensatt und sonnenträchtig
steht der Horizont noch spät.
Schwarze Flammen, schwanken Bäume,
stumm gestaltgewordne Träume,
wenn der wirre Nachtwind weht.

Liegt die Erde endlich nächtig,
scheint der Himmel übermächtig,
unerschöpfter Helle Quell.
Alle Sehnsucht kann noch fruchten
in verborgnen Gartenfluchten
oder einer höhern Welt.

Christina Egan © 2017


Colour adjectives develop only very slowly in languages all over the world. There are still not nearly enough! I don’t see why in German, we have the words ‘deep red’ and ‘deep blue’ — written as one word, even — but no ‘deep yellow’ or ‘deep turquoise’; so I am introducing them. I also made up a number of unusual descriptors for the first poem, leading up to the internally rhyming ‘rundbunt’ for multi-coloured in all colours of the earth or of the colour wheel.

Colour wheel with 18th century labels: clockwise from yellow over red to blue and green; one purple field has paled to pink.

 

Image: Arnoldus Lobedanius, Utrecht, 1744. (One purple field must have paled to pink.)

Reproduced with kind permission of the Library of Cologne University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule Köln).

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Berlin Zoo Station

Berlin Zoo Station

I.

Blurred impression of large railway station through train window.Building sites, cordons,
corridors, concourses,
people whizzing, weaving,
people sauntering, skipping,
dragging luggage along, around,
trains shooting in and out,
shuttles on a loom.

Faces, faces like packs of cards,
shuffled, shuttled across the city,
voices, voices from all the winds,
into all the winds, and everyone
means something to someone,
everyone means something,
means everything.

 

II.

Cloud strips, golden and pink, above a dark crowded square at the very bottom.

Trains bridging borders,
the square, sun, people,
people, specks of colour
propelled past me,
their shades brushing me,
their warmth, breath,
so near, here, now.

Life, life, yes, yet
nothing but
the first faint dawn
of a future with no night,
no barriers, boundaries:
destination without distance,
one web of light.

Christina Egan © 2016 (I) / 1999 (II)

Photographs: Railway station and airport in Berlin. Christina Egan ©  2016.

The Last Advent

The Last Advent

The rolling emerald hills,
the towering topaz rocks,
the earth-girding ocean
in its royal blue roar,
even the starred sky
in its silvery silence –

Like a sumptuous silk robe
and an embroidered curtain,
they will be drawn aside
to reveal the true splendour –
Then they will be discarded
like rough grey sloughs.

And new worlds will arise,
circles of festive fire.
Shadeless, doubtless,
deathless, boundless.
And we shall be alive
for the first time, forever.

Christina Egan © 2012

Hildegard_WerkGottes_12Jh_

 

These lines remind us of the double meaning of ‘Advent’: the first coming of Jesus, when he  was born to Mary, and the second coming at the end of times, when this world will be replaced by an eternal one beyond imagination.

Picture: from a 12th century codex of  Hildegard of Bingen’s Book of Divine Works.

Verkündigung (In meine helle Stille)

Verkündigung

Church portal with iron lantern seen through window with grate; all light-grey and light-blueIn meine helle Stille
fiel Gottes hohes Wort…
Geschehe denn sein Wille
an diesem schlichten Ort,
geschehe denn sein Wirken
an diesem Gnadentag,
daß meine ferne Seele
nun seinen Funken trag’,
bis dieser armen Erde
ein neuer Morgen blaut
und jeder Mensch voll Wunder
in Gottes Auge schaut.

Christina Egan © 2014

Since the ‘Annunciation’ of God’s salvation for this earth to Mary,
everyone can gain eternal hope and immediate access to God.

This poem has been published in the Münsterschwarzacher Bildkalender 2016.

Photograph: Church of Mary as Queen of Peace. Christina Egan © 2014


Über alle Hoffnung

Über alle Hoffnung

Fürchte nicht der Tage Neige,
nicht der Kräfte bittern Schwund,
denn der Gott des Lebenshauches
birgt das ganze Erdenrund.

Fürchte nicht der Freunde Ende,
nicht einmal das eigne Grab,
denn der Gott der Engelheere
steigt mit dir zur Nacht hinab.

Hinter allen Schattentälern
wartet unverrückt das Licht,
denn der Gott der Sternenfernen
hält zuletzt, was er verspricht,

und er wird dich neu beleben,
dich als sprühendschönen Stein
über alle Hoffnung heben,–
Alles Glück wird unser sein.

Christina Egan © 2015

This poem declares that after bitter
death, a new life is prepared for us,
a happiness surpassing hope. –
It could be turned into a hymn.

The Man is Not in his Seat

The Man is Not in his Seat

The coffee is still on the table,
the table is still in the street,
the seat is still in the corner:
but the man is not in his seat.

Perhaps he has gone to his office,
perhaps he has gone to the park;
perhaps he’ll be back in a minute,
perhaps he’ll be back before dark.

I think he is due in the morning,
I think he is due every day;
I think we have all of us seen him
whenever the bus passed this way.

The coffee dries out on the table,
the table is still in the street,
the seat is still in the corner:
but the man is not in his seat.

A friend may have called at the café
and lead him away with a smile;
or a man in a car brought a message,
so he said: I might be a while.

Or else he will never return here
to raise his glass to the street:
The stranger who passed was an angel
to take him away from his seat.

Christina Egan © 2015

In memoriam Erdogan Güzel
Murdered in the street in Wood Green,
London, England, on 10.7.2015
Requiescat in pace