Spell of the Orange-Tree

Spell of the Orange-Tree

The orange-tree is growing,
the orange fruits are showing
and glowing in the dark.
The moon’s translucent fire
is woven into wire
by spiders on the bark.

Oranges hanging from branches against blue sky

The silver light is flowing,
the silver web is growing
and glowing in the dark.
The secret saps are welling,
the golden spheres are swelling
to fortify the heart.

Christina Egan © 2016

Photograph: Morocco. Christina Egan © 2012

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On the Orange Bridge

On the Orange Bridge

I.

The bridge bears tiny trembling lives
across the wild and icy strait,
a miracle of miles.
So moves my life, suspended by

the scarce, but strong and sparkling, stakes
of kisses and of smiles.

Golden Gate Bridge from below, with waves lapping a rocky beach.

II.

If I could pray, my wishes might
arise like incense to the light
and cling to royal robes.
Yet I am weak; all I can give

is work and talk and love and live
on tangy glowing hopes.

Christina Egan © 2008

Golden Gate Bridge. Photograph by Christian Mehlführer.
‘Featured picture’ on Wikimedia Commons.

I wrote these lines just before I went to San Francisco. Coincidentally, I found it so cold there that I could not cross the bridge on foot even in September! Yet, it is gigantic and awe-inspiring, like many things in America, whether natural or man-made.

P.S.: I did get kissed on the bridge…! Thank you!

This Day of June


My 100th post!


This Day of June

zenith of the sun
semaphore of summer

the day when the flowers start melting
into fruit into
seed

the day when the very stones come alive
with lichen with
light

this day of June is yours
this day of June is you

Christina Egan © 2012

Top of wall covered with lichen and tree with patchy bark, mirroring each other.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2014


I like to think of a human life as a sequel of seasons:
with glorious midsummer when one is a mature adult!
(‘Midsummer’ around solstice, ‘maturity’ around 35 to 45 years.)
This has also recently become the typical age for marriage
and parenthood. Also, most people now have long lives,
so having a chance to run the course of all seasons.

The two solstices are symbols of the cycles of nature:
at the highest point of the sun, heat and harvest are still to come,
but at the same time, the days are already getting shorter again…
Conversely, the lowest point of the sun sets off the period
of bitter cold and snow, but also of ever longer light and new buds.
The seasons are interlinked, as are all cycles of life and death.


The next post, A Quilt of Light and Shade, describes
the time around summer solstice in London, England.

London, This Moment of May

London, This Moment of May

I.

London, this moment of May.
High stately building, lower part in deep shade, upper part brightly lit, with red double-decker bus passing.A Grand Canyon in grey,
imperceptibly turning to purple,
with an orange glow on its battlements –
but teeming in all its cracks,
with foam of blossom and bird-flight,
with currents of people and cars.

Not a city, but a county, a country,
a proud world in itself,
the planet in a valley,
an open oblong fruit,
rich with glistening seeds,
in the giant hand of clay
hollowed out by the Thames.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016

II.

It is not mine, this city: I borrowed it.
I borrowed it for a home,
for a while,
I borrowed its language,
for good.

Or it borrowed me,
it borrowed my eyes
to mount this tall bus,
it borrowed my mouth
to sing this new song.

I run through its veins
of walls and windows,
of trees and lanterns…
A Grand Canyon in grey.

Or it runs through my veins,
a pale-purple stream,
murmuring, glittering…
London, this moment of May.

Christina Egan © 2013


 

The title alludes to the famous line by Virginia Woolf:
“… what she loved; life; London; this moment of June.”
I happened to write my poem in May, on a red bus…


 

P.S.:

A year later, the climate across Europe has slid further into resentment towards foreigners or strangers of any description, be they war refugees or your next-door neighbours. There is a lot of blind anger and fear of vague entities like ‘Europe’ or ‘Islam’. This is the road to racism and fascism.

My essay about my identity as an immigrant to England stayed on the front page of trade union UNISON‘s website for weeks: I dream in English. I come from one country, live in another, and plan to move to a third; yet my main identity is European at any rate!

Göttermahl (Malerei in Fulda)

Göttermahl
(Malerei im Stadtschloß zu Fulda)

Rundes Brot mit blonder Rinde
spendet uns der Sonne Kraft;
roter Wein voll süßer Hitze
filtert uns der Erde Saft.

Zu dem Abendbrot gesellt sich
stückweis gutgewürzte Wurst;
saftigbunte Früchte endlich
stillen den entfachten Durst.

Welches Mahl man mir auch biete,
nichts kommt dieser Speise gleich,–
und mir scheint gar, man genieße
ebenso im Götterreich!

Christina Egan © 2015

You can find very clear photographs of
Emanuel Wohlhaupter’s painted ceiling
(1728-1730) in the City Palace of Fulda
at Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte.

Hält die Waage Nacht dem Tage

Hält die Waage Nacht dem Tage

Sieh, Morgen graut,
sieh, Morgen blaut!
Noch einmal leuchtet grün das Laub,
noch einmal schimmert gold das Haar,
und Mittag bäckt die Früchte gar.

Das Ziffernblatt
liegt sonnensatt,
der Schatten aber rückt hinab.
Der Wein saugt letzten Saft hinauf,
die Felder halten Ausverkauf.

Das Licht entsinkt,
das Jahr verklingt…
Noch einmal wird der Schritt beschwingt,
bevor uns Nebel stumm beschwert
und Sturm uns durch die Haare fährt.

Hält die Waage
Nacht dem Tage,
fällt die Blüte ohne Klage,
treibt der Feuerdorn die Beeren.
Was vergeht, wird wiederkehren.

Christina Egan © 2015