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.

Get Up and Follow Me

Get Up and Follow Me

Love sometimes does  pass our little lives
and stops and speaks: Get up and follow me.
We look, look up, into each other’s eyes,
get up, leave all and follow hand in hand.
There is a love that’s larger than the sun,
it knows the shade, the night, it knows no end,
it’s definite and infinite, it flows
through our hearts, till two are truly one.

Christina Egan © 2000


These lines were inspired by the biblical stories of Jesus calling his followers, who literally got up, left everything behind and — followed him. Just imagine you are getting up from your desk this minute to walk out of your life!

I wrote this poem for my own wedding and recommend it also for anniversaries; a long time together is not eternity yet, but a great achievement and a great gift. Perhaps you could even use it for Valentine’s Day.

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.

höhlenmenschen / cavemen

höhlenmenschen

die treppe rollt
hinab hinab
die u-bahn grollt
fährt ein fährt ab

der tunnel biegt sich
durch die nacht
der aufzug hebt sich
aus dem schacht

die masse schiebt sich
durch die schlucht
ein wabern webt sich
in die luft

ein sonnenstrahl
blitzt auf vom glas
ein vogelschwarm
stiebt auf vom gras

der rest ist schatten
stahl und stein
dies ist die stadt
tritt ein tritt ein

Christina Egan © 2015

cavemen

the staircase bores
into the ground
the tube train roars
goes round and round

the tunnel bends
through rock through black
the lift ascends
the narrow gap

the masses heave
through deep ravines
fumes waft and weave
through all these streams

a glint of sun
reflects off glass
a pigeon swarm
explodes from grass

the rest is shadow
steel and stone
this is the city
welcome home

Christina Egan © 2015


This poem — created in parallel in both languages — questions the notion of progress by observing its epitome, the world city, with its underground tunnels and dark gorges between skyscapers.

You can read more laments about the strain of our urban environment in the previous post, Amidst the rush / Schrumpft die Welt, and find some relief in When Webs of Steel / Von stählernen Waben.

Amidst the Rush / Schrumpft die Welt

Amidst the Rush

Amidst the rush, the silent crowds,
the glaring lamps, the blaring sounds,
I sink into a narrow seat,
a circling thought, a fleeting sleep…

Christina Egan © 2015

— 

Give me Two Minutes in the Sun

Give me two minutes in the sun,
give me two minutes in the breeze,
above the roofs, above the trees,
above the dust, above the din –
Give me five yards to stretch and spin,
give me a bench to look and breathe
before I must descend again –
Give me two minutes in the sun!

Christina Egan © 2015

Schrumpft die Welt

Hängt man vor dem Bildschirm
wie im Schattenreich,
wird das Auge müde
und der Rücken steif,

sieht man von der Weltstadt
eine Backsteinwand
und vom Erdenrunde
einen Rasenrand,

schrumpft die Welt zum Rechteck,
klickt man hin und her,
werden Leib und Seele
rastlos oder schwer…

Streift ein Strahl dein Fenster,
stürzt ins müde Aug –
Pflück den Blick des Himmels,
pflück den Tag und saug!

Christina Egan © 2015

By contrast to the previous post, On the Volcano’s Rim, which evokes an extraordinary experience at an exotic place, these poems describe the most mundane and repetitive of actions: commuting in a big city, working in a modern building, typing on a computer…

Schrumpft die Welt, or Shrinks the World, shows how, squeezed in front of a screen for hours, a person may only feel alive for one moment — when a ray of sunshine brushes his or her desk…

This criticism of contemporary life continues in höhlenmenschen / cavemen, where the tunnels and canyons of a world city resemble the rock dwellings of our distant forbears.