Beetles on the Ark / Urban Copse

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Orange Beads

Orange Beads

I.

I nod to the flower
the colour of dark wine
stalks and spikes that tower
above my legs and spine

twin doors an orange spill
the only one in town?
why is my own door still
an ordinary brown?

O sweet day!

II.

All these parallel roads
the orange doors are where?
again the suburb soaks
in sunshine hello there!

they smile and say hello
all else though stays behind
their sturdy frames and so
I keep my orange find

two bright beads

III.

The hawthorn turns orange
the blackberry turns black
mingling at the park’s fringe
behind the cycle track

the sky is blue as if
this were a normal state
as if we could just live
beyond the iron gate

of summer

Christina Egan © 2016


In London, you can find many front doors painted in red, blue, or green, but I had never spotted an orange one. I have mentioned a striking yellow door elsewhere. I usually go out without a camera, but I capture impressions with my pen!

There are so many green spaces in London that you can walk through parkland for hours. To find blackberries and hawthorns tucked between a duck pond and a little copse is quite normal in this vast city of over eight million people.

The verse pattern is borrowed from the French poet, Jean-Yves Léopold, who does not have a website. Eight short rhymed lines, almost without punctuation, are followed by a ninth line which is even shorter and does not rhyme at all, so it stands out.

Rosen wie Splitter

Rosen wie Splitter
(Juli-Haiku)

*

Rosen wie Splitter
von Mittagsglut, Mondnacht
und Sonnenuntergang.

*

Warm und schwer von Düften
schwappt die Luft durch den Park,
lacht lautlos der Teich.

*

Goldene Blüten,
tausend Trompeten, hörbar
nur für die Engel.

*

Christina Egan © 2001

Two large orange roses in the sunshine, yellow in the middle, with large healthy leaves.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2014

May Haiku (Bruce Castle)

May Haiku
(Bruce Castle)

Glowing orange orbs,
cluster of new-born planets:
this year’s first roses!

*

Dusk, delayed, scented:
the earth emerged from the dark,
bedecked like a bride.

*

Below the half-moon
a low-flying aeroplane
slices up the sky.

*

The tower-clock strikes,
bright, as if an angel called:
Be alive! Alive!

Christina Egan © 2013

You can see a photo of Bruce Castle, Tottenham, London and read some similar poetry in German at Himmelblaue Uhr.

Himmelblaue Uhr (Tottenham)

Himmelblaue Uhr
(Schloßpark zu Tottenham)

Die Dämmrung senkt sich auf die Flur.
In Vogelsang
tropft Glockenklang
von einer himmelblauen Uhr
an einem himbeerfarbnen Turm.

Die Rosen schimmern wie Laternen.
Von ringsum her
summt der Verkehr.
Ein Flugzeug funkelt zwischen Sternen
und segelt durch Kornblumenfernen…

Die Wetterfahne blinkt am Mast.
Ein Ruf, Gebell,
der Uhrschlag, hell –
Und alle Sorge, alle Hast
kommt zwischen Tor und Tor zur Rast.

Christina Egan © 2016

Manor house in red brick, turret painted in pink, with a red door, white decorations, and a bright-blue clockface, under a blue sky.

You can read similar poetry about a walk on a tranquil evening at May Haiku (Bruce Castle).

This is London, too — not only the steel and glass office blocks and underground tunnels I describe in höhlenmenschen / cavemen and related posts, or the bitter poverty I touch on in There’s door on door. London is, in fact, a particularly green city, and Tottenham a very green part of it.

Bruce Castle, Tottenham, London.
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2014