Der Erde Auge / Dragon Island

Der Erde Auge
(Kaali, Estland)

Hier ist der Wald nur Wimpernkranz
um jadegrünen Augenglanz,
der immer träumt
und immer wacht,
der nimmer weint
und nimmer lacht.

Der Erde Auge schaut hinauf
in tausendfachen Sternenlauf:
Ein schwarzer Stein
mit Feuerschweif
schlug donnernd ein
und schuf den Teich.

Und um den runden Kraterrand
gehn hundert Menschen still gebannt:,
Sie schlendern her
zu eitlem Schaun
und schreiten schwer
in grünem Traum.

Berührt vom fernen Sternenschlag
sind tausend Jahre wie ein Tag.
Die Sonne fülllt
das Himmelsrund,
und urgrün quillt
der Augengrund.

Christina Egan © 2016


Dragon Isle
(Iceland)

Dark is the mid-morning sky,
shaded the treeless land,
granite the road of the sea,
burnt the abandoned strand.

Dragons looming like hills
have stirred from a century’s daze
to spew some sparks and some ash
before they set glaciers ablaze.

Christina Egan © 2010


The first poem, ‘The Earth’s Eye’ describes a startlingly green and perfectly circular lake in Estonia — a timeless, mythical place, caused by a meteorite crashing several thousand years ago, but within human memory.

The second poem was inspired by the news of a volcanic eruption on Iceland. Mythical creatures take on real life: not that hills look like dragons, no, dragons disguise themselves as hills…

I have also written a sonnet about the twin crater lakes of Sete Cidades (Azores). and a number of poems about the volcanoes of Lanzarote (Canaries).

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Der Sommer verglüht

Der Sommer verglüht

Der Sommer verglüht
in Purpur, Gold und Lapislazuli.

Die Straße erhebt sich
wie ein Tempel der Vorzeit.

Die Dinge sind rund und reif,
getränkt mit Regen, gesättigt mit Licht.

Feuchtes Gras flammt grün,
üppiges Moos überkleidet den Stein.

Wie Weihrauch steigt
der weiche Atem des Lavendel.

Die Wolken gleißen, gleiten,
Flotte ins offene Blau.

Brüchiger Backstein, zerknitterndes Laub:
Altes blättert ab, zerfällt in tausend Brauns.

Herbst, Kelter des Jahres,
Zeit, Fest der Verwandlung.

Christina Egan © 2001

A very descriptive and colourful poem with a philosophical note:

“Autumn: wine-press of the year.
Time: feast of transformation.”

My Pack of Cards

            My Pack of Cards

My pack of cards, when it was new,
was green and yellow, red and blue:
            from grass and leaves
            to golden sheaves,
            from glowing grapes
            to frosty flakes!
The leaves peeked out, unfurled, and grew,
flared up, fell off, when they were due.
            The fruits were round,
            the ice was sound.
            My year was clear,
            my joy was sheer.
My pack of cards is worn and torn –
my world is pale, and I’m forlorn.

            Christina Egan © 2016

Buds and fresh leaves on top of shoots above a parkIn children’s picture books, the four seasons are sometimes painted in four basic colours; everything is in its place, everything is perfect. Of course, it has never been like this: the weather is always unpredictable, particularly north of the Alps.

However, at the place where I grew up — Central Europe — the seasons were more clearly marked and more stable than on the British Isles. I also believe they were more regular: they seem confused and shifted just now. It is disorientating and worrying…

You can find an impression of undefinable weather at Cimmerian Summer whether it is due to the British climate or to global changes, I do not know.

The poem also expresses nostalgia for childhood, when everything on earth seems in its place. It was inspired by children’s picture books, which often allocate four basic colours to the four seasons.

Photograph: Schloßpark Fulda. Christina Egan © 2014.

Water-Lilies and Reed

Water-Lilies and Reed

Waterlilies with half-open luminous pink and white flowers.White water-lilies,
opening with a pink glow,
like eyes of new-borns,
like the dawn rising and
looking at itself in wonder.

*

The reed unfolding,
tall green screen, finely woven,
around green water.
A forest of reed, towering
above ducks, children, yourself.

For Liu Sun Ye

Christina Egan © 2016

Photograph: Liu Sun Ye (Ye Liu) © 2016.

King Spring / König Frühjahr

King Spring

The highway under my window is suddenly flooded with sun.
I see a strange person passing – his face is greenish and long,
his hat is purple and pointed – and followers thronging, hatless.
Is it a pharaoh? A druid? A dancer in fancy-dress?
I’ve spotted a spearhead of petals, magenta pushed up into blue,
the first magnolia flower: King Spring and his retinue!

Christina Egan © 2016

Large long buds above a road, with one opening in bright magenta, the folded petals looking like a hight hat.

König Frühjahr

Die Landstraße unter dem Fenster liegt plötzlich im Sonnenlicht.
Da geht ein fremder Geselle mit grünlichem langem Gesicht
und purpurner spitzer Mütze; Barhäuptige folgen ihm.
Ein Pharaoh? Heidenpriester? Ein Tänzer im Narrenkostüm?
Es ist eine Lanzenspitze, rosenrot hochgereckt,
die erste Magnolienblüte: Ich hab’ König Frühjahr entdeckt!

Christina Egan © 2016

Photograph:  Magnolia buds (England, February). Christina Egan © 2016.

Palmenhaus / Palm House

Bright red koi fish coming out from underneath curved green bridge across pond

250 poems!


Palmenhaus am Wolfsweg –
Palm House at Wolves Lane

Huge banana leaf, bright green above bright green bridgeSattgrüne Segel,
wölben sich die Palmblätter
hier im Gewächshaus.

*

Green sails, filled with light,
with sap, the palm leaves billow
here in the greenhouse.

***

Tiny waterfall behind little red bridgeBlütentrompeten
antworten dem Wasserfall:
Kannst du’s vernehmen?

*

The flutes of flowers
answering the waterfall:
can you perceive it?

***

Turtle in pond under palm-trees

Dieser Tümpel ist
dem Schöpfer ein Tropfen,
der Schildkröte die Welt.

*

This round pond is
a drop to the Creator,
the world to the turtle.

***

Two koi fish in bright yellow and bright orange; dark water reflecting white sky and structure of glass-houseIm schwarzen Wasser
das Spiegelspiel des Himmels,
der Blitz des Goldfischs.

*

In the black water
quivering of heavens,
lightning of a goldfish.

***

Birght red koi fish coming out from underneath curved green bridge across pondAus nachtgleichem Naß
unter der grünen Brücke
schießt der rote Fisch.

*

From the night-like wet,
from under the bright-green bridge
the red fish shoots out.

***

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2013
German texts: Christina Egan © 2014
English texts: Christina Egan © 2015

Sonett der drei Seen

Sonett der drei Seen
(São Miguel, Azoren)

Der Teich war gelb, und gelbe Dämpfe stiegen
ins heiße Blau, umringt von dunklen Ranken,
als müde Glieder sich im Gelb entspannten
mit Blättern, die wie Schlick im Strudel trieben.
Der See war grün, und grüne Schimmer hingen
in steilen Hängen und in flachen Tiefen,
worunter ungeheure Feuer schliefen,–
zur rechten grün und himmelblau zur linken.
Und um die gelben, grünen, blauen Kessel
und buntbestickten Ufer lief ein Band
von schwarzen Felsen und von schwarzem Sand;
und darum – ohne Grenze, ohne Fessel
und ohne Form – das Meer, das Element…
O selig, wer die sanften Inseln kennt!

Christina Egan © 2016

Sete_cidades_(14267780070)

 

Sete Cidades, (São Miguel, Azores). Photograph by Aires Almeida from Portimão, Portugal, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

The colours of the water are really like in the photo! See also my verse Acherons Mund  for the darker aspects of these isles.

These poems may work in a translation software, although you only get the meaning, not the sounds, which are like music and like the sounds of nature itself!