dans le verre / Mother-of-Pearl

dans le verre

Glass screen with patterns in black, white and gold, resembling surf and seagulls.les couleurs de la mer
sont versées dans le verre
du présent du souvenir
faites-les resurgir

les couleurs de la mer
de l’argent jusqu’au vert
améthyste et saphir
laissez-les reluire

dans ce vers

Christina Egan © 2016


Mother-of-Pearl

The sea is not blue,
no more is the sky:
that is a child’s view,
a picture-book’s lie.

Whenever the rainbow
touches the sea,
it sprinkles a faint glow
of eternity.

From indigo ink,
to raspberry pink,
with peppermint green
and gold-leaf between…

The sea is not blue,
or grey of some hue:
the sea is a swirl
of mother-of-pearl!

Christina Egan © 2016


Photograph: ‘Rhizome’. Sculpture by Laurence Bourgeois (Lô).
Verse pattern of French poem after Jean-Yves Léopold (J. Y. L.).

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Im Inneren des Regenbogens

Im Inneren des Regenbogens

Im Inneren des Regenbogens
im Schimmer der Glasfenster
im Wasserfall der Gnade
im Vorzimmer des Himmels

habe ich dich gesehen
habe ich dich gespürt
habe ich dich gehalten
habe ich dich erkannt

in einer leuchtenden Freude
in einer sprühenden Stille
in einem haltbaren Augenblick
in einem Haus aus Licht

Christina Egan © 2016


On the Inside of the Rainbow was written at Pentecost, my favourite religious holiday. It may be about an encounter with a beloved person or with God himself. 

The description ‘Haus aus Licht’ (‘house [made] of light’) also figures in the last line of the poem Auferstehung (Resurrection)  by Marie Luise Kaschnitz.

Since my poem is a chain of statements and images, it may work quite well in a translation software.

April Rules the Land

April Rules the Land
(April haiku)

April rules the land,
leaden and golden in turns,
wayward as we are.

*

Oxford Street, busy,
a splintered rainbow, patterns,
shaken and broken.

*

The white narcissus 
sings with a voice as sweet as
her brother blackbird.

Christina Egan © 2000

The last haiku originally referred to ‘the ivory rose’, although in England, outdoor roses do not blossom yet in April. When I changed the wording to ‘the white narcissus’ to link it to the season and month, I did not know that the flower’s official name is Narcissus poeticus, or Poet’s Narcissus!

The ivory rose
sings with a voice as sweet as
her brother blackbird.

Winter Sunrise in Morocco / in England

Winter Sunrise in Morocco

Orange tree full of fruit and rose tree with large roses in front of high pink wallsthe rainbow scarf of the sky
stretched out above the battlements

awesome and unnoticed
by the markets which never sleep

and millions of golden roses
rolled out along the highways

in the carved and inlaid caskets
of the powdery-pink courtyards

strings of peach-coloured roses
clusters of orange-blossom and fruit

Christina Egan © 2012

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2012

You can read a German poem about a Moroccan city at In Marrakesch. The buildings and walls of Marrakesh are pink by law!

Around the turn of the year, I found it warm and sunny by day and pleasantly mild by night. In fact, people were hoping for some rain…

Winter sunrise in England

at the edge of the orb of the earth
a mighty web of finest twigs

painted onto leaf gold
by a master’s hand

and then the blob of molten gold
so bright that it seems to melt them too

like a favour from the heavens
like the face of a god

as if life were possible
one more day one more winter

Christina Egan © 2012

In northern Europe, the winter is so hard that by the beginning of spring, you may feel, even if you are not at all old, that it was the last one you reached.

In Germany, it is cold by day and by night for many months, there is snow and ice, and above all, the nights are long and the days often dull so that you may not see the face of the sun for days; in England, the cold is less bitter, but — which is worse it reaches indoors…

In Marrakesch (Einst fiel ein Regenbogen)

In Marrakesch

Einst fiel ein Regenbogen auf die Wüste
zersplitterte in funkelnde Oasen
in Perlen Spiegel abertausend Tücher
in Brunnen Palmen abertausend Rosen

Zum Regenbogen wird der Horizont
zum schwarzen Drachenkamm das Hochgebirg
und über kühnen Türmen hängt der Mond
wenn Dunkelheit das Mauerrund umwirbt

Und immer Hupen Räder Rufen Reden
Laternen Tänzerinnen wie zum Fest
Dies ist die Stadt wo jede Nacht das Leben
ein Feuerwerk ist: Dies ist Marrakesch!

Christina Egan © 2012

There is a longer version of this poem, as lyrics for a love song, for once a happy one…

This text may work in a translation software. You can read an English poem about Marrakesh at Winter Sunrise in Morocco.Vast square by night, illuminated by lamps in market stalls, with the sunset along the horizon and a massive minaret showing. The Square of the Dead is incidentally the most lively place on the planet. You must visit it after dusk to get the full experience. Nothing prepares you for Marrakesh!

Photograph: Square of the Dead, Marrakesh, Morocco. Christina Egan © 2012

A Faint Rainbow (Christmas Card)

A Faint Rainbow
(Christmas Card)

A faint rainbow maybe,
draped across a frozen market,
a filigree tree in the foreground,Old Dutch painting: lively scene of skaters between barren trees, steep gables and a pink manor house
some leisurely loops of skaters,
cloaked figures arranged like mute music –
that’ll do for a Christmas poem.

Good that my second-hand thoughts
and my second-rate verse
are still better than any in town
and almost as good as mulled wine…
And good that my real-life love
turns every single day into Christmas!

Christina Egan © 2012

These lines were inspired by this round painting :
A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle, ca. 1608-09,
by Hendrick Avercamp. — © National Gallery, London

ostseeschlaflied (Darß)

ostseeschlaflied
(Darß)

hinaus tritt aus dem hohen wald und schau
wie sand auf see und see auf himmel trifft
wie sich am abend spiegelklares blau
in unverhofftes violett verwischt
wie sich der wellen und der wolken grau
in hundert regenbogenschatten bricht
zurück nun tauche in die dunkle au
die nacht ist nah doch ewig ist das licht

Christina Egan © 2015

The Darß (Darss) is a majestic primeval
island at the very edge of Germany.

You can read an English poem about
the Darss at Midsummernight Far North
and more German ones at Schöpfung (Darß).