Standing in the Slush
(February Haiku )
Standing in the slush,
by the bus stop, I’m looking
for lost memories.
Wet empty benches,
wet winding sand paths, furrowed
by hurried footsteps.
I’m rubbing my eyes,
weighed down by dreams, and there –
first leaves like lances!
Christina Egan © 2013
Like February Sparks, these haiku were written at the hardest time of the year, when our strength is about to be exhausted entirely. This is when we have to be strongest, when we have to fight hardest, as the previous post, Venus and Mars, describes. At least, in southern England, flowers appear very early, in winter, really, to cheer you up…!
bei der kapuzinerkresse
die hohen blättertreppen übersteigt
ein strauß aus scharfen feuerfarbnen blüten
du stehst und schaust und malst dir aus er gleicht
den küssen die das lächeln überbieten
und fragst dich ob in dem verwunschnen garten
umsäumt von fremden roten blumenfächern
wohl wirklich solche gaben dich erwarten
als antwort auf dein grenzenloses lächeln
Christina Egan © 2011
You can actually eat the petals and young leaves of nasturtium: and they taste as fiery as they look! These were the last of cascades of blossom — in December!
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2015.
Die Sonne gleißt auf grüner Flur:
Ein jeder wird zur Sonnenuhr.
Der Schattenmensch liegt lang im Gras,
der Abend schrumpft in gleichem Maß.
Die hingestreute Sternenzier
ist mürbes Laub wie Packpapier.
Die weißen Blumen tanzen stumm
um einen dicken Stamm herum.
O trink das Licht mit Haut und Haar:
Noch ist der Himmel hoch und klar!
O trink das Licht mit Aug und Sinn:
Es liegt die Kraft des Alls darin.
Christina Egan © 2016
The sun will gain ground,
conquer inches of lichen,
of leaves and of lawn.
Across the square garden creeps
the shade of the steep gable.
Christina Egan © 2005
In these poems, a whole gardens turns into a sundial: in the first one, each person in the park is a sundial hand, and in the second, a house with a pointed roof fulfils this function, casting its shadow over a north-facing yard.
The first poem is set in late summer or autumn and in the late afternoon or evening, the second one in late winter or spring and possibly in the morning. The yearly and daily descent of the light is as inevitable as its subsequent rise.
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016.
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, 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
In 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.