Kerzenbekrönt

Kerzenbekrönt

Senkt sich die Dämmrung an frostigen Tagen
– früher denn jemals, doch zauberhaft blau –
hängt über stolzen gewölbten Mansarden,
hält über giebelgeschmückten Fassaden,
bannt aus dem Geiste das leidige Grau.

Stürzen Gestirne herab in Kaskaden
– feucht ist das Pflaster, doch goldengetönt –
spannen sich Perlen an Faden um Faden
blinkend und bebend von Laden zu Laden
bis an die Kirchtürme, kerzenbekrönt.

Christina Egan © 2016


This poem was inspired by a front page photograph of the superb newspaper Agora  in Fulda, Germany, which I had folded over. Then I noticed that beneath the idyllic historical street lit up for Christmas, an industrial container had been inserted through photo montage: as a makeshift home for a refugee family. I felt I had to write a second poem, which you can find at Farbechte Hoffnung.

The street shown is Friedrichstraße, which gives you quite a good impression of past centuries, despite severe damage during the Second World War and ensuing changes. Fulda is quite good for midwinter holidays because of the Christmas Market, the nativity scenes in the churches, numerous festive events… and the snow in the mountains.

Remember November

Remember November

Eight times the leaves have paled,
been plucked and swept away,
eight times the sun has waned
and steeped the days in grey;
eight times the loom of spring
has woven rainbow rugs,
eight times made blackbirds sing
between the bursting buds;
eight times the fruit has swelled
and, in its turn, the fog,
eight times the frost has quelled
the sap’s impatient throb –
Eight years my heart has found
its breath and path in you;
eight years it’s watched your mouth
for words as warm as true.

Christina Egan © 2005

This anniversary poem goes through the seasons, with a focus on autumn. You could change the title and the number of years if you want it for your own anniversary, perhaps even swap the lines, starting with spring.

regenbogenlied

regenbogenlied

in meinem herzen geht die sonne auf
man sieht es nicht auf meinem lebenslauf
ich bin gekettet an denselben platz
ich bin verwickelt in dieselbe hatz

doch fällt ein lächeln mir aufs angesicht
wie wenn das licht sich bunt am regen bricht
wie wenn das licht
wie wenn das licht
sich bunt am regen bricht

 

in meinem leben geht die sonne auf
ich setz es nicht auf meine karten drauf
ich pflüge weiter auf demselben feld
ich mache schulden und ich mache geld

doch fällt ein lächeln mir aufs angesicht
wie wenn das licht sich bunt am regen bricht
wie wenn das licht
wie wenn das licht
sich bunt am regen bricht

 

in meinen augen geht die sonne auf
und scheucht den nebel und den frost hinaus
die matten haare glänzen silbern auf
und kunterbunt kurvt nun mein lebenslauf

doch liegt ein lächeln mir im angesicht
wie wenn das licht sich bunt am regen bricht
wenn mein gemüt
wenn mein gemüt
sich bunt am segen bricht

Christina Egan © 2011


Is the blissful encounter which has invisibly changed a life one with another person or with God? As in Im Inneren des Regenbogens / Inside the Rainbow, it is left open.

Inside the Rainbow inspired Francis Logan to this beautiful piece of music, available on SoundCloud and YouTube:Image: Still from Inside the Rainbow on YouTube. Music and video: Francis Logan © 2018.

Zauberspruch zur Winterverbrennung

Zauberspruch zur Winterverbrennung

Lohende Flammen, lohende Glut,
schmelzet den Schnee uns, schmelzet den Frost!
Knisternde Äste, knisterndes Holz,
brechet den Bann uns, brechet das Eis!

Christina Egan © 2016

Ancient manuscript (9th/10th c. AD) in neatly written Old High German.

 

These lines were inspired by two things: the German custom of gathering round huge bonfires to drive the winter out; and those few pagan spells in ancient German which have come down to us.

The sound of the hissing flames and the crackling branches is captured in the verse. The power of winter is interpreted as a spell, an ordeal of darkness and cold, which this spell, the chant or prayer of man, can break.

 

The only pagan spells in Old High German, probably written down in Fulda monastery in the 9th or 10th century AD. – Photograph: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The First of December

The First of December

The ample, even, hand-like leaves
carelessly crumpled up by the frost
overnight,

the luscious colonies of moss
dusted with ice in the colourless light
of the day.

And we cannot deny this is still only autumn:
the yearly slow and sure descent
towards the cold.

This is the month of shrinking days,
of darkening hair and shivering skin
touched by damp.

This is the season of flickering lights,
some of them real, all of them glimmering
drops of hope.

Christina Egan © 2012