Septembertraum

Septembertraum

Warm wird noch einmal der Tag,
hält die Verfärbung des Laubes auf
und verführt das Grün überm Grund
zu Gewändern in haltlosen Farben!
Scharlach und Schnee und Ultramarin
rütteln die Flügel der Seele auf…

Mild wird noch einmal die Nacht,
als läge der Frühling vor unseren Füßen,
ausgerollt bis zum Horizont,
statt des unabwendbaren Herbstes.
Silbern und sanft steht der Park
und klar wie ein Kristall der Traum.

Christina Egan © 2014

Front gardens with brick walls, flower pots, rose tree.

A warm September day lures new flowers — in bright red, snow white, deep blue — instead of the inevitable discolouring of the leaves, while the night is still ‘silver and gentle’. 

For a moment of suspense, instead of autumn spring seems to be unfolding before us…

Not necessarily an autumnal equinox  event, but very much in the spirit of it.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2013.

Au milieu de la vie

Au milieu de la vie

Two large poppies almost touching, looking like goblets filled with sunlight.On s’est trouvé en Messidor,
toujours en pleine jeunesse;
on s’épousé sous chutes d’or
avec une folle tendresse;

on a franchi brouillard, chaleur,
tempête et sécheresse.

On est toujours en Fervidor,
en pleine abondance,
comme s’il y avait de l’avenir,
toujours rempli de chances…
On entrera le Fructidor
toujours en pleine danse!

Christina Egan © 2013


This poem uses the terms of the French Revolutionary Calendar, which were created by a poet; the names of the summer months evoke heat and harvest.

The couple have met in the midsummer of their lives, got married a little later, and are now going through late summer — still dancing!

Not only according to numbers are they “in the middle of life”: they are in the midst of things, and they live more intensely than in their youth.

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2017.

Ripe Apples and Pears

Ripe Apples and Pears
(Rhön, September)

*

Ripe apples and pears,
plenty, between the pebbles
in the nimble stream.

*

The forest, still green,
whispers and rustles and taps
with dropping acorns.

*

The gilded beech-tree
stretches out one long arm
towards the morning sun.

*

Christina Egan © 2013

Green field in the foreground, flat top of wooded hill with chapel in the distance, much blue sky above.

These haiku were written on walks around the Florenberg, a steep little hill in Germany, clothed with forest and crowned with a one-thousand-year-old chapel. The Fulda area was covered with beech-trees and oak-trees once.

Summit of Florenberg in spring, seen from another hilltop. Photograph: Christina Egan © 2014.

Cimmerian Summer

Cimmerian Summer

This lifeless gloom: is it the dusk?
This pale white disc: is it the moon?
Is this a mild day in November?
No: in the land of ceaseless mist
this is the sun; the afternoon;
the lightless first day of September.

Christina Egan © 2015


“ἔνθα δὲ Κιμμερίων ἀνδρῶν δῆμός τε πόλις τε,
ἠέρι καὶ νεφέλῃ κεκαλυμμένοι.”

There are the land and city of the Cimmerians,
wrapped in mist and cloud.”  

Homer, Odyssey, 11:14-15


“Britain is set in the Sea of Darkness.
It is a considerable island. This country is most fertile,
its inhabitants brave, active and enterprising….
but all is in the grip of perpetual winter.”

Muhammad al-Idrisi of Sicily, ca. 1154


Homer never ceases to inspire us. Incidentally, I saw a retelling of the Odyssey  last night, at a London playhouse, or rather, amphitheatre! (On this first day of September, the weather is in fact glorious.)

The memory of four clearly marked seasons, full of bright leaves and fruits, and the sorrow about the apparent confusion of the climate are depicted in My Pack of Cards.

First Autumn Days / Erste Herbsttage

First Autumn Days
(September Haiku)

*

Fiery flower,
still sucking sunshine, still scaling
the wooden fence.

*

The sky turns deep pink
above the first rusty leaves
and burning berries.

*

The moon, low and large,
a knob of solid silver
on heaven’s sceptre.

***

Erste Herbsttage

*

Feurige Blume,
noch saugst du die Sonne ein,
kletterst den Zaun hoch.

*

Tiefrosa Himmel,
erste rostrote Blätter,
brennende Beeren.

*

Der Mond, niedrig, groß,
solide Silberkugel
am Himmelszepter.

*

Christina Egan © 2015

*

Haiku have 5 + 7 + 5 syllables.
The German haiku are translated
from the English ones.