Friday in Lent

Friday in Lent

Friday morning.
The city is busy and tired
under the closely curtained sky.

The headlines shout out:
Things fall apart,
trains, towns,
countries, couples.

Life hurts.

The day is a prison, a lenient one,
with gardens and books as windows
and magical messages beamed onto screens,
with the freedom of speech
and the purple pursuit of the heavens.

Christina Egan © 2001


Purple is the colour of Lent, representing suffering; you will find churches decorated —and their statues covered up — with purple fabrics. Purple (violet, lilac, mauve) is a slightly melancholy colour, but it also has dreamlike and spiritual qualities. My ‘purple pursuit’ has all these shades of meaning; ‘the heavens’ could refer to religious faith or simply to a decent and fulfilled life on earth, as in ‘Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’.

Friday is the time when Christians remember Jesus’ passion and keep some fasting, a miniature Lent within each week… or at least the time when they do remember their faith during Lent. The positive messages on your screen could come from a friend — or from God, if you believe in Scriptures!

For a German and English poem about Lent, go to Fastenzeit / Lent.

Mitte Februar / Schnee über Nacht

Mitte Februar

Die Welt hat allen Glanz verloren
wie eine ganz verwelkte Frau.
Am Himmel Wolken, Schnee am Boden –
ein Leichentuch von blassem Grau.

Dahinter kämpft mit langem Atem
das fern verbannte Feuerrund:
Unmerklich schmelzen schon die Schatten,
und Farbe braut im Untergrund.

Die schwarzen Zweige sind lebendig,
das nasse Moos voll neuem Saft,
und das ermattete Gelände
wird auferstehn mit satter Kraft.

Christina Egan © 2012


 

Schnee über Nacht

Der Schnee hat wie ein Federbett
die kahle Erde zugedeckt,
begräbt die Schuld,
begräbt den Schmerz
in Gottes gnädiger Geduld,
in Gottes unbegrenztem Herz.

Christina Egan © 2012


Mitte Februar was published in the Rhönkalender 2015 (entitled Ende Februar). The 2017 calendar includes three poems by me and is still available.

Bow and Arrow

Bow and Arrow

The arrow itself
is love,
it is shot through my eyes,
and you know it.

The bow, however,
is lust,
it is built from my bones,
and I know it.

The string, it’s the string
of pain
which gives me my power,
the pain underneath my skin.

Christina Egan © 2013


 

On the overwhelming
natural force of falling in
love, see also my previous
post
‘The Mechanics of Love’ .

Loss (Rounded is My Life)

Loss

Rounded is my life, a jewel
sparkling in the summer rain,
spinning round the hollow axis
of a loss without a gain.

Will you for one moment only
silently pick up my pain,
hold it in your gentle hands and
watch the white and biting flame?

Will you say: I’ve seen you suffer?
Will you say: I’ve felt the same?
If you know me and you tell me,
then I have not lived in vain.

You alone can see the beauty
of this tall and forceful flame,
of this shadow of abundance,
of this ghost of life’s full game…

Shall I pass unknown, unnoticed,
shall I die in pointless pain?
You alone can read my eyes and
call me by my real name.

Christina Egan © 2013


The first half of this poem describes a bereavement or a loss akin to it, like a miscarriage or a divorce. The second half turns this work into a love poem or a religious poem; as often in my work, I keep it open. Some of these lines could therefore be read at a funeral.

It is June again, and in northern Europe, rain is as characteristic of this month as sunshine is, and it can be as pleasant! The season might also relate, as often in my poetry, to the person’s age: someone afflicted by loss in the midst of life, when they should be thriving.