Wer schaut (Wer lauscht)

Wer schaut

Wer schaut,
sieht, wie die seltenen Wolken ziehen,
über die Firste entfliehen,
und dann, wie der Himmel blaut.
Bloß blaut.

Wer lauscht,
hört die stumme Amsel
das heiße trockene Gras durchstreifen
und den seltenen Wind sich erheben,
wie er die blühenden Büsche bauscht.

Tall purple verbena with two white butterflies, one sitting, one flying, with its wings spread out.Wer lauscht,
hört die Schwalben pfeifen
und weiß, daß die Heiterkeit
noch eine Zeit bleibt
vor dem Herbst.

Wer schaut,
sieht die Blaubeeren reifen
im selben sommersatten Rotviolett
wie das ragende Eisenkraut…
und auf dem matten Blaubeerlaub
den winzigen flatternden Schatten
und dann den wolkenweißen
Schmetterling selbst.

Wer lauscht,
schweigt
in ein leuchtendes Schweigen hinein.

Wer schaut,
begreift
und darf sein.

Christina Egan © 2018

Garden with a few colourful flowers and berries in the foreground.

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2013 (butterflies) / © 2014 (garden).

Lilac and Lime

Lilac and Lime

Vase with small but very bright flowers, mainly raspberry-pink and lemon-yellow, like fireworks, against turquoise table and turquoise sheet.It is coming at last! With the singing wood
of luminous lutes, with trumpets and drums,
in garments and feathers of lilac and lime,
of honey and rose, with stately stride,
with canter and caper, the pageant of summer
is wending its way and filling the valley
with birds and butterflies, blossom and breeze.

Christina Egan © 2008

Little tree with apple-green leaves in a park in average summerly green

For a German poem about the pageant of summer, see geh aus mein herz.

 

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2013 / © 2014.

By the River I was Sitting

By the River I was sitting

By the River I was sitting
Watching barges floating by
Like the clouds so full of promise
In the blue and burning sky

Bearing jewels, bearing silver
From the mountains crowned with snow
Bearing spices, sweet and fiery
From the jungles down below

By the River I was waiting
For a boat to pick me up
Till the oars were folded inward
And the city-gates were shut

On my roof-top I was watching
Night like lapis-lazuli
While the stars were slowly rolling
Round the tiny lonely me

By Two Rivers I was dwelling
In a house of golden bricks
In my dress of snow and silver
Waving to intrepid ships

When the stars had come full circle
Strangers broke my city-gate
And my boat lay by the palm-trees
Finest date-wine was its freight

And it flew against the current
And it floated with the storm
Till I climbed the purple mountains
Where the River Twins are born

Christina Egan © 2011

Jar, elegantly curved, with brown and blue glaze.

 

This song of the woman by the river is taken
from my stage play The Bricks of Ur  (© 2011).

Place: City of Ur, Mesopotamia — Time: 2000 B.C.

Photograph: Assyrian jar (9th to 7th c. BC).
© The Trustees of the British Museum.

Milder Mai

Milder Mai

I.

In der weißen Marmorwanne
wartet schon ein warmes Bad:
So steht weiche Luft im Marktplatz,
füllt ihn bis zur feinsten Naht,

nimmt die Jacken von den Schultern,
von den Gliedern das Gewicht,
taucht das graue Reich des Nordens
in ein weingetöntes Licht.

II.

Lavender with fresh and wilted blossom, next to pale-golden grass.Wieder wuchert der Lavendel
halbwegs übern Gartenpfad,
birgt in prallen grünen Stengeln
seine süße lila Saat,

säumt die amethystnen Rispen
noch mit Lapislazuli,
jubiliert mit frischer Stimme
in der Sechsten Symphonie!

III.

Little tree with bright-blue blossom, next to pink and blue flowers.Wieder naht die Sonnenwende,
milder, üppiger denn je;
niemals tat so wohl das Leben,
niemals tat es mir so weh.

Selbst die losen Rosenblätter
leuchten wie ein Wolkensaum…
Und ich pflanze unter Tränen
einen himmelblauen Baum.

Christina Egan © 2014


I was thinking of sunlight like golden wine, but it might also a dusk like rosé…

The blue-blossoming tree is a ceanothus; the Sixth Symphony is Beethoven’s Pastoral.

Lavender; ceanothus. Photographs:  Christina Egan © 2016 /© 2017.

 

purpurne beeren

purpurne beeren

gleißende wolken
gehäuft und gestaffelt
wispernde rispen
zufriedener pappeln

mannshohe rosen
und silberoliven
letzter lavendel
in hölzernen kübeln

purpurne buchen
mit purpurnem schatten
purpurne beeren
o süßes erwachen

was willst du mehr noch
mit sinnen und streben
schau um dich her doch
hier hier ist das leben

Meadow, lake, copses of diverse trees in the dusk; gleaming clouds, mirrored in lake.bunt ist der sommer
und golden im sinken
schlank ist das weinglas
mit purpurnem blinken

süß ist das lachen
verborgener vögel
stolz setzt der sommer
die gleißenden segel

Christina Egan © 2016

Old Botanical Garden, Dahlem, Berlin.
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016.

Purple Clouds

Purple Clouds

When day and night become a seamless dream
of someone else’s iridescent eyes,
of someone else’s mesmerising voice:
you know before you have been loved in turn
that it was worth it to be born and burn.

When earth and sky become a milky screen
for someone else’s ever-changing face,
for someone else’s never-fading grace:
you know that you have lost your liberty
and gained a purpose or a destiny.

Christina Egan © 2012

Layer of orange clouds on blue sky

When you are newly in love, the other person
turns into the sole purpose of your existence —
and into the only being or object in existence.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2014.

Glass Mountain (Potsdamer Platz)

Glass Mountain
(Potsdamer Platz)

Lights above you, lights around you,
shifting blue and mauve and pink,
lights below you, lights surround you,
pierce the black and loom and shrink.

Glass fronts of enormous silos
mask the dusk and stare and blink,
figures wander in the windows,
lifts in tubes float up and sink.

Water basins spread around you
shifting blue and mauve and pink,
glass roofs open in the ground, too,
names flare up in mirror print.

Glass façades and water fountain
multiply the hum and glint:
you have stepped inside a mountain,
you are trapped in steely pink,

trapped beside a thousand others,
lulled by murmur and gay tunes,
screened from sun and stars and weathers
by a tent-roof in sweet blues.

Futuristic glass buildings, pointed and rounded, illuminated in blue and pink; in the corner, old facade visible beneath.Then you see the stucco hover,
curling in a livid tint;
chandeliers unfurl and quiver;
then you hear the glasses clink…

Have you dreamt of the Titanic
or of old Potsdamer Platz?
No, this is the real relic,
the hotel that dodged the Blitz

and kept spinning through the nightmare
of the void swept by the wind –
sad and splendid sole survivor
under glass and neon pink.

Christina Egan © 2017

Sony Center on Potsdamer Platz, with old façade visible beneath the glass (here, in pink). Photograph: Pedelecs by Wikivoyage and Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

For a German poem on the old, vanished, Potsdamer Platz, look at the sonnet Nächster Halt: Potsdamer Platz.